They say that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym – and they’re right. You can have massive, ripped abs, but you’re never going to see them if they’re underneath fat. Now you could go on some intense diet where you have to weigh your meals and count your calories, and you’ll likely lose some weight and you’re abs will show through, but is that something you can stick to long term? I know I can’t.
I can’t bring myself to spend that much time analyzing every meal, so I found a few simple meals that I enjoy but still keep me lean. The best part is I eat as much of each as I want. No weighing, no worrying.
I’m not trying to sell you on some get fit quick scheme. There isn’t one. The only way to get and keep a six pack is by adding better habits to your routine. My routine is that I make some healthy meals that last all week each Sunday. It makes it so much easier to open the fridge and have something I actually want to eat waiting for me.
Here are three of the meals I’ve added to my routine that I can tell made a difference, and I actually enjoy. I’ll talk about it in the description, but I make two of these meals in large quantities to last all week, and the other I make as needed.
Banana & Blueberry Smoothie
Banana and blueberry smoothies are my usual breakfast. They only have 3 ingredients (whole milk organic yogurt, frozen blueberries, bananas), so they’re really easy to make, and easy to keep the ingredients around. The recipe I have makes enough for two 30 oz smoothies, so you can make one in the morning, and throw half in the freezer for later.
Now I know some of you are going to read that I use whole milk yogurt and assume that using low-fat yogurt would be even better – it isn’t. There has been a lot of confusion about what eating fat does for your body, and many people believe that eating less fat is better. Eating fat increases your metabolism, makes you happier – yes, really – and keeps you feeling full longer, so you don’t end up snacking throughout the day.
If you’re still not convinced, know that I eat 2-4 Tablespoons (1-2 oz) of grass-fed butter in my coffee every day. Since doing so, I’ve actually lowered my body fat %; I have better concentration, and I’ve lowered my bad cholesterol.
As long as you’re eating good fats, fats are a good thing.
- 32 oz. Whole Milk (Full Fat) Plain Yogurt
- 1 Banana
- 3 Cups Frozen Blueberries
- Combine the 32 oz yogurt and banana in blender and blend until smooth.
- Add 3 cups of blueberries to same blender and blend until smooth.
Grass-Fed Beef Strips
These can be eaten by themselves or added to other dishes. I prefer to eat them by themselves or with the vegetables I’m going to be talking about below on this post.
First, why grass-fed beef? Can I use grain-fed beef instead? You can, but you’ll miss out on many of the health benefits. Grass-fed beef has more healthy omega-3 fatty acids, healthier fats, and more antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E.
Grass-fed beef can be more expensive than it’s grain-fed counterpart, but you’re investing in your long-term health. Don’t believe it pays off? My grandfather who only started eating healthier in his 40’s is now in his 80’s, and he can still snowboard better than I do, and I’ve been snowboarding for almost 20 years. I don’t know about you, but if eating healthier will allow me to snowboard down some fresh powder in my 80’s, I’m in.
What’s great about this recipe is that they stay good for about a week, so you can either make them fresh when you like, or if you’re like me and don’t want to cook every day, make a lot and eat them throughout the week.
- 3-4 Lbs Lean Grass-Fed Beef Strips ( 4-8" long x .75" thick)
- 2-3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
- Course Ground Pepper to Taste
- Toss all grass-fed beef strips into a bowl
- If the meat has been sliced, but not separated, separate the pieces now.
- Add 2-3 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce and pepper then stir until the meat is coated evenly.
- Because the meat is lean, you will want to cook it on high heat for a very short amount of time, or it will become chewy.
- I like to leave the meat outside of the refrigerator in the bowl until it's almost room temperature, so that it will cook quicker and the meat will end up more tender.
- Preheat a frying pan on high heat.
- If you have a vent hood, it's a good idea to turn it on, because cooking at this high of heat is likely to cause some smoke.
- Depending on the size of your pan, you want to make sure that you don't add too much meat at a time to the pan that each piece isn't touching the bottom of the pan. For my pan, I find that I can add about 25% of the meat at a time.
- The goals is to cook the meat quickly, so adding too much means that your meat may come out chewy.
- I like to cook my strips to medium-rare, so I cook them around 20 seconds each side on very high heat. I do this because I like them fairly rare, but also because they end up cooking a little more when I reheat them for meals throughout the week.
- Once all the meat is done cooking, add course ground pepper to taste.
- I cook them without any strong sauces, so that I can add them to a multitude of different dishes throughout the week.
- If you're eating them by themselves, try dipping them in hummus.
I’m not a huge vegetable fan, but I knew I needed to get more into my diet. These are good enough that I can eat them daily and actually look forward to it.
If you’re only going to be eating these for a meal, like I often do, you’re going to need to eat a lot of them. I also have a weakness for eating these with a small side of healthy, ranch yogurt dressing. You don’t need a lot, but there’s something really delicious about dipping either the carrot or sweet potato in it. Trust me.
- 6 Large Carrots
- 5 Small Zucchini
- 5 Yellow Squash
- 3 Small to Medium Onions
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
- 4 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary
- 3 Large Garlic Cloves
- Course Black Pepper to Taste
- Sea Salt to Taste
- Wash and rinse all vegetables
- Slice zucchini, yellow square, and carrots into 1 inch pieces
- Slice sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes
- Slice onions into quarters, then separate each quarter in half
- Add all vegetables into a large pot or bowl for mixing
- Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and rosemary to a small bowl
- Press or dice the garlic and add to the small bowl with the rest of the oil and spices and mix
- Pour the oil and spice mixture over the bowl full of sliced vegetables
- Mix the vegetables with a large wooden spoon until evenly coated
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Cover two baking pans with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier)
- Spread vegetables evenly on the baking pans
- Cook vegetables for a total of 40 minutes, turning them once after 20 minutes