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Back to post-holiday clean diet (and loving it).

This morning's delecious breakfast!

You know that feeling you have when you return home after a vacation? No matter where you go or how much fun you have it’s always nice to come back to familiar comforts. That’s sort of how I felt yesterday getting back to my usual healthy diet after a few days of indulgence. I really enjoyed all the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but most of those foods are so “heavy” that it really has an impact on how I feel–especially if I have that kind of stuff a few days in a row, which I did.

My favorite breakfast!

My favorite breakfast!

Yesterday morning I made my usual breakfast: 8 ounces of roasted red potatoes served alongside egg whites with garlic, chopped green onions and cilantro. I also almost always have a couple tablespoons of Smucker’s natural peanut butter while I’m cooking the egg whites. I keep this meal interesting by alternating between several different hot sauces (Tabasco Green Jalapeno, Cholula Mexican Hot Sauce, Valentina Salsa Picante and Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce, to name a few) but my favorite these days is Tabasco Chipotle. As much as I love Cholula, I seem to return to the Tabasco Chipotle more than any other hot sauce.

I see that Cholula makes a Chipotle hot sauce now, I need to pick up a bottle of that! Have any of you tried it yet? How does it compare to the Tabasco Chipotle?

By Meal #2 I was craving my usual lunch: a nice grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice (mixed with chopped green onions and tomato) and a salad drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Lately I’ve been sprinkling the chicken breasts with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Seasoning before grilling, and I just love it. I like to squeeze a little lemon juice on the chicken breasts, too. The Montreal seasoning is a tad on the salty side, and I wish it was offered as a lower sodium version so I could use more of it.

Of course I always eat the chicken breasts with a big dollop of Sriracha on the side. 🙂

I was going to work out in the morning yesterday, but I got wrapped up in work and wasn’t able to train until the afternoon. So Meal #3 was my post-workout meal (yesterday was leg day), and that’s almost always 2 scoops of Nitrean protein powder, 1/2 cup raw oats, 15 ounces of water and 8 ice cubes. I toss all that into my Blendtec blender and hit the “Smoothie” button.

I like to get a solid meal in me about 1.5 hours after my post-workout shake. Meal #4 changes all the time, as this usually winds up being the meal Lisa and I eat together (dinner). Yesterday I made a couple of healthy chicken soft tacos. These are simple to prepare and taste great: I just chop up some cold grilled chicken breast, lettuce, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, various peppers (Jalapeno, Serrano… whatever I have on hand), hit that with a few twists of fresh ground pepper and a little lime juice and then wrap it up in whole-grain tortillas along with a touch of Greek yogurt, sour cream or natural ranch dressing.

I also make a hot version of these wraps with caramelized onions and bell peppers. They taste like chicken fajitas, and are very healthy.

The trick to making wraps healthy is finding a good tortilla. There are some really unhealthy ones out there, so you have to shop around. The ones I usually use are LaTortilla Factory Multi-Grain (NOT whole wheat) Smart & Delicious Soft Wraps. They are large tortillas, but weigh in at just 100 calories, 18g carbs (12g fiber) and 3.5g fat (mostly from extra virgin olive oil). I truly prefer the taste of these to the white tortillas–and I’m not just saying that! They are really good.

My pre-bed meal is almost always egg whites and Smucker’s natural peanut butter.

These are pretty much the same kind of foods I’ll be eating on my upcoming cut, just less of them. You’ll notice that I use hot sauces and spices extensively to help keep me from getting bored. I am also always trying out new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen.

With a little creativity eating healthy really is easy and delicious. Also, once you get used to eating healthy it becomes virtually impossible to go back to poor eating habits because you’ll find yourself craving the stuff that makes you feel great. I know I do!