Well, that’s it folks. Summer is officially over on tomorrow. Feels like it’s already over for those of us with children who returned to school last week. Summers are just never, ever long enough. However, I recently realized something I could look forward to in retirement. When you no longer have children in school, summer really can continue through most of September. September is usually really nice, but when your kids are in school and you are back in the grind you can’t really enjoy it. So, other than getting gray and droopy, there is that to look forward to! 😉

If you’ve been actually reading my blog posts, you may recall back in January I talked about following a “Macros” plan where I was tracking my food with the goal of hitting certain targets of each macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat) each day (see this post). I followed that plan for nearly four months before having surgery early May. I had great results. I gained 2 lbs. of muscle and reduced my body fat from 23.5 to 19.5. I decided during my recovery period I didn’t want to try to continue to track my food. Toward the end of June I started up again, but not with the same focus. I would do most days during the week and not the weekends. Summer is so hard to stay on track! Well, now that summer is over I’m planning to recommit myself beginning Tuesday after Labor Day weekend. To motivate and further educate myself I attended a seminar last week with Jason & Roz of Own Your Own Eating at Reebok CrossFit One. It did the trick and I’m reinvigorated! If you want to learn more about it, send me a note and we can chat.

If you want to make an improvement from your summer diet of barbecues, ice-cream and beer, but don’t want to do anything complicated or time consuming, you can simply cut out sweets and added sugars and alcohol for the month. I’m facilitating a group at the gym and calling it “Sober & Sugar Free September“. Just cutting out these items will make a huge difference in your daily calorie intake.

Here’s what’s cooking after the long weekend:

Steak Salad w/ Butternut Squash & Cranberries (NEW & GF – Can be PALEO if you omit the cheese): This recipe looks intriguing. I’ll likely omit a few ingredients like the blue cheese and hazelnuts, but the rest of the items look like a great combination for a family Labor Day dinner. I will grill the steak and cook the squash in a grill basket as well. I make a homemade balsamic vinaigrette I will use (1/3 cup olive oil, 3 TBS balsamic vinegar and 1 TBS mustard).

BBQ Chicken Casserole (NEW, GF & PALEO if you make the BBQ sauce listed or purchase/make your own Paleo and/or GF option): I’ll be using sweet potatoes instead of russets

Ground Beef Tacos (Can be GF & PALEO when using lettuce shell and exclude cheese and sour cream) : I’ll have corn tacos for the family, but I’ll use large romaine leaves for my taco shell. When I make tacos, quesadillas or burritos I season the meat with my own blend of mexican seasoning rather than the store bought packet that is very high in sodium and other unnatural ingredients. I simply combine 2 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon each of cumin and oregano.

Shrimp & Zoodles (GF & PALEO): Thursday night is fish night when the husband isn’t home. The girls enjoy shrimp cooked in Rao’s marinara with pasta, but I’ll have zoodles instead.

 

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