Monday, July 12, 2010

Back from the gym

Here's a mistake I've been making, while I go back to the Sweat program Jared designed for me three years ago.

I haven't been squatting or deadlifting heavy enough and I think I'm losing some strength gains. My 4x3 squat last week was a weak 225 and tonight I incorporated deads where they weren't before. They're down to 185.

So back on the horse ... because I might want to lose weight but I don't want to watch my strength go with it, too.

I'm also looking for recipes, so if you're out there reading, fill me in on what you have. I'm an avid reader of Clean Eating by Tosca Rena and I've recently started following her blog and Twitter stream.

Sometimes, though, the recipes are a bit out of whack and I make the mistake of preparing them before checking the macros. For instance, a steak and vegetables over pasta recipe has 46 grams of carbs and 28 grams of protein. I think - now I could be wrong, but I think - that's too many carbs for a single-serving meal.

This one, however, is an all-around win. It's delicious, easy to make and a great balance with more protein than carbs. Check it out:

Chicken Almondine
with lemon green beans

1/4 c. slivered, unsalted almonds, toasted, divided
1 tsbp. whole wheat flower
1/4 tsp. paprika
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Olive oil cooking spray
1 lb. fresh green beans
Zest of one lemon (about 2 to 3 tsp)
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp)

1. Grind 1/8 c. almonds to a powder using a food processor fitted with a standard blade or a spice grinder (I mashed them up in my mortar and pestle). In a medium bowl, combine ground almonds, flour and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken breasts in almond-flour mixture and set aside.
2. Set a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat for one minute. Mist with cooking spray and heat for one more minute. Reduce heat to medium-high and sauté chicken for three minutes per side or until golden brown and no pink remaining. Remove from heat.

3. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add beans and blanche for one minute. Remove beans from water. In a large bowl, toss beans with lemon zest and juice then season with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, sprinkle remaining 1/8 cup of almonds over top of chicken, dividing evenly. Serve each chicken breast with 3/4 cup of beans.

Nutrients per serving
Calories: 220; Total fat: 6 g; Saturated fat: 0.75 g; Carbs: 12 g; Fibre: 5 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 30 g; Sodium: 111 mg; Cholesterol: 66 mg.

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