Category Archives: Recipes And Other Healthy Food Alternatives

My Current Daily Nutrition – Bulking Stage

Weightlifting/Body Building in the build/bulk stage requires eating a calorie surplus, in my case calculated to 2,800 calories. In the past year+ I’ve been cooking a lot more because I’ve been researching and focusing on my nutrition. Getting in my daily exercise operates on auto pilot, as I find it easy, regardless of how I feel, to workout daily. Eating is a day-to-day thing. I do not plan out my weeks menu and cook as such. Usually the night before I’ll give it some thought, and I’m always shopping ahead so there are many choices in the house.

Here was my menu today:


My daily Shakeology meal replacement shake. I get a jumpstart on my overall nutrition and calorie goals as this weighs in close to 800 calories. Added to my scoop of chocolate Shakeology – 2 tbsp. each of unsweetened shredded coconut, flax see, PB2 chocolate, wheat germ; 1 tbsp. Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa; 2 cups of mixed fruit; 2/3 cup low-fat chocolate milk; 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.


I went out to lunch today to a nice place in Falmouth, MA called Crabapple’s. I ordered Baked Haddock & Scallops with sides of mashed squash and a fruit cup. I asked to go light on the butter (that’s still engrained in my head – eating lean).



I cooked at home while watching the pre game of Monday Night Football. On the stove I grilled a 6 oz. center cut pork chop – cooked in Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. pica de gallo. In the rice cooker, I mixed 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup black rice – served myself 2/3 cup cooked.


Mid morning – 3 oz. baby cut carrots with a tbsp. humus; 1 cup Puffins Peanut Butter cereal. Afternoon – 5 oz. dark meat turkey. Before dinner – bakery bread 1 slice death by chocolate (my cheat for being cheat free last week).


Post workout shake consists of Dymatize Elite Gourmet and Hammer Recoverite. Right before bed (waiting for me in the fridge) – Dymatize Casein and 1 tbsp. Natierra Trail Mix. I drink plenty of water during the day – a minimum of 8 glasses, and sometimes up to a gallon.


I use MyFitnessPal ( to track my food, and do this daily. I find it to be an invaluable tool if you really want to take your nutrition to the next level. I can quickly see my calories, proteins, carbs, fats sugars. All foods originating from home are measured. I do my best at restaurants to estimate portion sizes. There is a margin of error in tracking daily nutrition. I am fairly detailed, but estimating at a restaurant suffices. Sometimes I’ll use the bar code scanning feature of MyFitnessPal to quickly upload a food. The above is just a representation of one day. Foods like avocados, almonds (nuts), salmon, etc. are part of the mix. I don’t eat the same menu every day.

The above logged in as follows: 2,808 calories, 322g carbs, 75 g fat, 243g protein, 28g sat fat, 120g sugar. I’m guessing I could add 100-200 calories for the margin of error.

I’ll probably take away the cereal as that’s added sugar, which I get plenty of eating fruit (I was using it as a starch portion). There are many theories as to the amounts of macros needed to gain muscle mass based upon many factors like weight, where I am currently at 153 lbs.. The most important factors to me are that I’m getting my protein in, timing my carbs for workout fuel, and supplementing where I see fit. You can judge for yourself if you consider this a “healthy” day, but right I’m working hard at fueling my body to gain muscle.

Whether you are bulking like myself, or you are eating to lose weight, the approach to nutrition should be the same. Have fun with it, with the realization of how very important it is to living a healthy lifestyle, more so than the workouts. Exercise and nutrition need to work in unison.

Sunday Dinner – Designed To Fit My Needs

I am currently doing a weight training/body building program at home [Body Beast by Beachbody]. The program includes a meal plan/nutrition guide geared for proper mass building. Per the calculations in the guide, I calculated out at 2,800 calories per day to eat during the build/bulk stage, with a 50/25/25 Carb(Starch)/Protein/Fat breakdown. I do not follow the meal plan, but instead track my progress on MyFitnessPal and use the programs food guide to pick from in addition to my accumulated knowledge on healthy foods.

Tonight I went out food shopping and came across a 3-pack of thin sliced NY Strip Steaks (4 oz. each). I wasn’t thinking about dinner until I saw the steak, and then proceeded to add some dinner shopping to the general list. When the dust settled, the following was my Sunday dinner I prepared for myself:

  • A salad (approximately 2 cups raw) – mixed lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, 2 tbsp. Bolthouse Farms Caesar Parmigiano dressing
  • 4 oz. NY strip (fresh), marinated for 20 minutes in Worcestershire Sauce, onion powder, pepper, minced garlic
  • 13.7 oz. sweet potato cut into wedges, sprayed with approximately 1/2 tsp. olive oil, added parsley and pepper
  • 4.6 oz. pencil asparagus

Prep time was around 25 minutes (while watching football):


Next – heat up the grill for the meat and potatoes! I put on the sweet potatoes first, and flipped them a few times over a 5-minute period before adding the steak to the grill. I steamed the asparagus with a few sprays of olive oil.


Once the steak hit the grill, everything was ready in around 5 minutes. I put all the food on the plate, and had a very enjoyable dinner along with a glass of water (going alcohol free for the duration of Body Beast).


The sweet potato was large and I contemplated eating half of it, but once I dug in, I decided I needed the full nutritional breakdown of the meal to fulfill my daily requirement. To get the best possible results from a body building program, it’s imperative that you fuel your body properly for the best results, those results being the best your body can do.

Nutritional Data Per MyFitnessPal:

717 calories; 22g fat; 100g carbs; 36g protein; 8g sat fat; 25g sugar

I did the best I could loading the proper information into MyFitnessPal.

Hummus Recipe

I always have Hummus in the house. I use it as a dip when snacking on carrots and other vegetables, or as a spread on sandwiches. I was almost out of Hummus, and I remembered I had purchased some garbanzo beans a while back. So I asked my wife if she knew how to make Hummus – a stupid question to ask the manager of a high school kitchen 🙂 . She made it, and I like it better than any store bought one I’ve ever had. Looks like from now on only homemade Hummus in my household.

Here is her recipe:

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, I use PB2 powder (dry)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder.

You need a really good mixer or food processor to blend the ingredients. We have the HealthMaster Elite blender which makes the Hummus nice and smooth (we also have a Ninja blender, but the HealthMaster does a far better job of blending smooth). Refrigerate right away. Lasts in refrigerator for up to 1 1/2 weeks. Delicious on sandwiches or as dip. And just like the Sabra or Joseph’s brands found in a supermarket, you can add things like roasted red pepper, garlic, etc. to change the flavor profile.

Making Your Meal – Be Adventurous

Call me the “wing it” cook. I don’t follow recipe books, nor do I watch cooking shows to learn. One day I probably will (and should) do the aforementioned in order to get a true understanding of seasonings and various cooking methods in order to take my healthy food preparation to a whole new level.

The other night for dinner I didn’t feel like cooking one of my standard 3-course meals (fish/meat/chicken; sweet potato/rice; vegetables). So I opened up the freezer and refrigerator and winged it by just grabbing some “stuff”.

  • Honey Grain Bagel – untoasted
  • Turkey (I cook whole turkeys and freeze the meat)
  • Sliced onion
  • Avocado
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sprinkling of the Hormel real bacon bits
  • Fresh basil from the garden (I take no credit – my wife does 100% of the vegetable and herb garden)
  • For the spreads – Tzatziki (mayo replacement), garlic hummus, spicy mustard
  • Side of steamed asparagus topped with parmesan cheese

Simple to whip up, and it was tasty & filling.20130722_195512

You end up with some unique tastes when you just whip things together without over thinking the preparation process.

Give it a try – be creative.

Grilling – Summertime, Anytime

I enjoy grilling, and I do it year round. I use a gas grill, and have not used charcoal for a long time (mostly due to clean up and ease of use – call me lazy 🙂 ). I’m not the most sophisticated cook, but even with my simpleton ways I am fairly happy with how my meals come out. Tonight’s dinner was made entirely on the grill, and from prep time to table took less than 1/2 hour.

The main dish was thick cut center cut pork chops. I find the thicker chops don’t dry out as much, and once you sear them they stay juicy. I used a little bit of Worcestershire sauce, some pepper and onion powder, topped with  2 tablespoons of sweet & sour sauce from my local Chinese restaurant. I cut up one very large sweet potato into wedges, sprayed with some olive oil, and lightly seasoned them with pepper and onion powder before grilling for 5+ minutes (no prepping – just put raw wedges onto the grill). The veggies, which were squash & zucchini, were grilled for slightly less time than the potatoes (I bought them already cut up at a farm stand which also included fresh basil, but it would take a couple of minutes to cut up your own). I also sprayed them with a little olive oil.


In addition to pork chops the grill is great for fish, chicken, and of course steak. You can grill corn on the cob and many other veggies too. I personally choose not to eat some of the “staple” foods that end up on a grill just because I’ve taken them out of my “foods that I eat” list – for instance hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage. Yes, there are compromises when you choose to eat healthy, and although I used to love those foods I’ve learned to live without them.

Use your imagination. The grill produces some very flavorful dishes, as the grilling alone adds an extra flavor on top of what ever seasonings and other toppings you use, more so than the oven or stove. If you don’t have access to a grill, there are pans that simulate grilling. I’ve used those with success also. A healthy grilled meal is a very satisfying one.