Meals, Miles & Muscles: Week 1 – Getting Started Again

Collage of chile rellenos, meal list on a chalkboard, shrimp and sausage boil

I suppose the first thing I should say is that I love the idea of meal prepping. I don’t mind putting in the work to prepare meals in advance. And having a fridge full of healthy meals ready to go sounds wonderful! But… I don’t like eating the same thing over and over. And I don’t necessarily like eating reheated food unless it’s leftovers that I’ve reworked into a new dish. I’ve tried and I just can’t get past that. So we don’t really meal prep in the full sense. Instead, each week we (mostly I) come up with a list of meals that we will eat for dinner. Much of the time these are inspired by whatever produce looks best in the store or from the garden or farm stand or what we are trying to use up from the pantry or freezer.

Although I dislike eating the same thing over and over for dinner, I don’t mind as much at breakfast time. Most days we have a bowl of Greek yogurt (homemade or 2% Fage) with whatever toppings catch our fancy. I keep a shelf in the pantry stocked with honey, dried fruit, granola, cereals like Kashi Chocolate Crunch or Berry Crisp and some vanilla protein powder that Lloyd likes to use. I’ve also managed to collect a number of jars of jams and preserves from specialty shops while we are traveling. Those make great yogurt toppings and fun souvenirs.

Typical breakfast spread

Lunch is along the same lines as breakfast. We’re both fine with eating a sandwich or reheating a smaller portion of leftovers from the night before. Occasionally we’ll switch up the workout schedule for an evening run. In that case, we might have a larger midday meal and just snack in the evening. Or just eat ice cream or popcorn because, you know….

So now that you have a little background on how we like to eat our other meals, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week.

Meals for the Week

Instant Pot Shrimp Boil from Damn Delicious.

Half the recipe will feed two of us with a bit left over. I do make a couple of changes to adjust for our taste:

  • Conecuh Spicy & Hot Hickory Smoked Sausage makes a great substitute for the andouille if you prefer a little more heat. I’ve got that and some AmyLu Chicken Andouille sausage in the freezer, so I will probably use some of both.
  • Frozen ears of corn instead of fresh. No change to cooking time necessary and they’re already the right size.
  • Louisiana crab/shrimp boil packet instead of the Old Bay while cooking. Next time I’m going to try the liquid.
  • Cajun seasoning instead of the Old Bay in the butter topping. Either way, don’t skip this part – it ends up making a tasty sauce you can soak up with some crusty bread!

Crispy Baked Chile Rellenos

We impulse-bought hatch chile peppers at the grocery store as they were unloading the first boxes of the season. Am I the only one that impulse-buys produce? I can’t walk through that department without seeing or smelling (the peaches! the strawberries! the chiles!) something that I simply must purchase.

I’ll roast the chiles over the burner on our barbecue (our cooktop is electric) until the skins are charred, steam then peel them. I’ll stuff the peppers with some 2% Monterey Jack cheese and bread them using a technique I learned from Southwest Discovered. Sides of InstantPot refried beans, HEB frozen Mexican-style rice, and Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn will round out our meal.

Sheet Pan Nachos

This will be one of the simplest meals this week. Tortilla chips layered with taco meat, whole or refried beans from a can, and grated 2% Mexican blend cheese. That goes on a greased sheet pan and into a preheated oven at 400 degrees F until everything is all hot and melty. Serve with typical nacho toppings like chopped tomato and onion (or pico de gallo), jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado. Simple, flexible and yummy!

Cheez-It Chicken

My son is staying with us right now and Cheez-It Chicken is one of his favorite foods. In fact, he will be making this for dinner one evening. Basically, it’s chicken tenders dredged in sour cream and then rolled in crushed Cheez-Its and baked in the oven.

We’re going to eat this with another family favorite, asparagus roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic since I have some on hand. Otherwise, we’d be eating it with Jon’s favorite, broccoli.

That’s all the meals we have planned for the week. We are headed to San Antonio for the Remember the Alamo… Beer 5K with our friends from MyTeamTriumph Wings of Texas, so our meal plan is flexible this weekend!

Collage of chile rellenos, meal list on a chalkboard, shrimp and sausage boil

This Week’s Workout Schedule

Lloyd mentioned in the intro to the Meals, Miles & Muscle series that our training cycle for the Wine & Dine Two Course Challenge and ultimately, the Little Rock Marathon has already begun. Our running schedule is pretty much planned into March of next year – whew!

Sandy, Jeff Galloway, and Lloyd at the Peachtree Road Race 2019
Caught up with Jeff at Peachtree!

We are using Jeff Galloway’s Half Marathon for Time Goal Runners plan through Wine & Dine weekend. It’s a fairly simple plan with two runs during the week and weekend runs that alternate between easy, long and 800m track workouts. We’ll add in some hill workouts since we often run where it’s pretty flat. In November, we’ll switch to a different plan for the marathon.

Along with running, we are currently working on strength training which was an integral part of our Dopey training. We are both currently using Stronglifts 5×5, a beginner-friendly barbell weightlifting program. It’s been great for building overall strength. It’s much easier to lift the 5-gallon water bottles now!

While Stronglifts officially says that you should work out three days per week, we don’t always manage to do that. I’m happy with two days per week and making very slow progress. Running is our focus right now and strength training is a tool we are using to become better runners.

That all said, here is our planned workout schedule for the coming week:

Monday Stronglifts workout B (squat, overhead press, deadlifts)
Tuesday 5-6 mile Long Run (rescheduled from Sunday)
Wednesday Stronglifts workout A (squat, bench press, rows)
Thursday 35 min run
FridayStronglifts workout B (squat, overhead press, deadlifts)
2 mile easy walk
Saturday Alamo Beer Run 5K

As Lloyd said before, this is all more fun with friends (and accountability partners). So join us here, follow us on facebook (@fatmanontherun), and on Instagram (Sandy – @sleepigrl / Lloyd – @fatmanotr). We’ll be adding training reports, thoughts on meals, and recipes throughout each week. FYI, if you’d like a complete recipe (or as complete as I have) for any of the meals mentioned here, just give me a shout!