Essentially A Cook

Let me start by saying, I am in no way employed, paid to endorse or asked to promote the following product (I wish I was!).  All my posts are purely out of the goodness of my heart (aren’t you lucky?!).  I share things because they have been life changing (seriously this thing has been) or enhanced my life (it really has!) in some way and I think others could benefit form hearing my experience(s).

You may know that I am an awful cook (if you didn’t know, now you do).  I have good intentions and ideas but rarely do they turn out to be anything resembling what they should be (I can burn oatmeal).  I can however bake, oh can I bake, but that means someone has to eat said baked goods.

I have always been on a mission to learn to cook.  However, have never remotely come close to achieving this mission.  Until… the Instant Pot!  If you aren’t familiar with what the instant pot is, let me enlightening you.

The Instant Pot is a multi function small appliance.  It is first and for most, a pressure cooker.  But has the ability to be a slow cooker, yogurt maker and other things depending on your model of choice.  This post is all about the pressure cooker feature.

I, at first did not get all the hype of this little gadget and thought it was a waste of money, especially since I am missing a cooking gene.  But friends of mine convinced me to give this little pot a chance.

Enter the Instant Pot into my life.

I get this pot thing (seriously had no clue what I was getting myself into), open the box and am instantly intimidated.  So, I read online posts, join the Facebook group, scour Pinterest, do the “water test” (this is suggested to be done before starting to use it) and then I stood there.  I stared at this thing as if it would magically tell me how to use it or make me dinner.  I had no idea where to start!

 SIDE NOTE:

You should know another thing about me, I can go from “yay this is great” to “this is the worst thing ever” in about, oh, 2.2 seconds.

I instantly went into regret mode! Why did I waste my money on this thing?  I still can’t cook and this thing isn’t going to change that!  Now I’m stuck with this stupid thing, that I paid for and still have nothing for dinner!  The emotions were real.

But after a few deep breaths, help from a friend, let me tell you, once I got over the first hurdle of how the heck do I use this thing, wonderful things happened!  Things I never imagined could happen!  I CAN COOK!  Every meal I have made is edible (imagine that!).

Not only has this little pot that could, allowed me to make meals that I never dreamed I could make, it has saved me so much time!  Meals can be prepared in record time.  Would you believe it if I told you it cooks chicken breasts in 12 minutes?  Cause, it does! The Instant Pot is no joke and can help turn you into a cook, a time saver and meal prep-er (yeah I made that word up).  Honestly, if it can work for me, it can work for anybody.

Let me delight you with a list of some of the things that have been made all in my Instant Pot:

  • Chicken Fried Rice (which is basically a super good chicken, rice and veggie dish). Made this several times! SO GOOD!
  • Chicken Wings
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Let’s just say every part of the chicken I have cooked in the pot
  • Roast (pork and beef) with potatoes, veggies and gravy (yes all in the one pot) x 2 times
  • Sweet and Regular potatoes
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Cheesecake
  • Banana Bread
  • THE BEST meatballs and gravy x 3 times
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Potato Chilli x 5 times (yeah we like this one)
  • And More!

All these things were made fully in the Instant Pot (very little dishes to wash), with the help of the abundance of recipes I found online.  However, now I am at the point that I am starting to “wing” it and create my own recipes (Gasp!).  Something I never imagined in a million years possible (remember I’m missing the cooking gene).

The time and energy this thing has saved me is incredible.  So much so that I bought a second one (don’t judge)!  Yep, I am essentially a Pot Head (that’s what us obsessed with the Instant Pot are called).

Meet….

Finding MY Right Nutritional Plan

Working on my dietary habits has been a constant battle. I went to school for holistic nutrition, so I’m well educated on the good and the bad of eating “right”. I am also a firm believer that everything in moderation is ok and that you need to be happy, as well as, healthy and fit.

For the past few years, I wouldn’t say I was eating bad but, I was allowing myself more of the moderation stuff, like eating out, sugar (oh how I love my sugar) and carbs (the bad ones). Since getting serious about Crossfit, weight training and, exercise in general, I have really started looking at what I eat to “fuel” my body.

I’m a small person, always have been. I come from small parents and I have never really had to “watch” what I eat (other than for health purposes). So when I increased my physical activity, I did what I thought was right. I increased my food intake. Hey, I was burning a lot of calories a day, so as long as I ate a lot of food, it didn’t matter what I ate, right? Wrong!

I, as many others, am really good at being able to increase my carbs and fats. Extra pasta, yes please! More potatoes, sure! But what I wasn’t doing was balancing my meals properly. Sure I know about nutrition and eating healthy but I never really invested the time to learn about eating and fueling my body for the amount of physical activity I have started to do. Again, something new to consider, another area for me learn about (I LOVE LEARNING!).

First, I started by talking to my naturopath. I began taking some supplements and started to really increase my protein. But when I increased my protein, I increased my carbohydrates as well (and then added a nice desert because, of course I deserved it after all my hard work). I looked into paleo and well, some aspects of it look good, other parts of it did not make sense to me (and I don’t like bacon).

While in my search for the correct nutritional plan for myself, the lovely Christmas Abbott conveniently wrote a book (#TheBadAssBodyDiet) and shortly thereafter, held a seminar in my city. After attending the seminar, I decided to try the first part of the plan, the 21-day detox.

I’m not going to get too in depth with what the entire plan involves (because you should read the book) but basically, you eliminate a lot of the bad (sugars, processed foods etc.), balance each meal and snack correctly and eat for your body type (size, weight and goals).

Now, I’ve been told that this is common knowledge in the physically active community, to balance your proteins, carbs and fats in a 40/30/30 ratio. But sometimes it takes someone that inspires you, that reminds you of where you came from and where you can go, someone that has been there – done that to show you the way (be it new or old). Sometimes, even though it may already be out there (in some form) they were able to shine a light on something that might just work for you, they help you through it and make it attainable. This is what I have found. It doesn’t matter how I found it or how long it took me, it’s that I think I have finally found the right fit for me, my body and my activity level. I hope that through my experience I can encourage others to find the right nutritional plan for them or to even try this one.

Stay tuned for my next blog on how the 21-day detox went.

 

A little glimpse at what my snacks and lunch planning looks like!

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