One Step In My Journey to Health
Two years ago, I realized I was skinny fat – yep, as much as I loved fitting into my “skinny” jeans, something deep down told me I wasn’t healthy. When I hired a personal trainer, he confirmed it – I was the classic definition of skinny fat – a person who may “look” fit and healthy and have a normal BMI yet is overly thin with little muscle development. While the scale may have “told” me I was healthy, I had to realize that my addiction to being a certain weight wasn’t healthy, mentally or physically.
As a health coach, I was shocked to realize this about myself and knew that if I was to be a good coach for others, I needed to keep it real – work on myself first. My journey to add muscle began in the kitchen as I knew the right foods were needed to fuel my body. In my quest for easy, high protein, healthy meals ensued, I found I had a hard time getting a balance of good quality fats, protein and carbs in a single meal without getting bored!
I started to look for clean, healthy sources of protein and found that bison was an excellent addition to my protein sources. As I searched for ways to cook bison, I came across a recipe called Veggie Meatloaf from Whole Foods…that had bison in it. NO idea why it was called Veggie Meatloaf when it had meat in it, but nonetheless, it was worth a shot.
After almost two years of working with my trainer, I have developed stability and endurance through strengthening my ligaments and tendons so they can support increased lean muscle mass. My body has a great foundation to build upon along my journey that is the continuum to be strong and healthy. I have not only learned how to eat to support my physical goals but have learned how to build a strong balanced body to support movements for everyday activities making me functionally strong. Learning to embrace my new body has given me the mental strength I have needed so I can hit the gym without fear or trepidation. I can walk confidently into the gym and know how to handle my body weight and perform the exercises necessary to further my goals.
I have gained almost 20 pounds of lean muscle and no longer fit into my “skinny” jeans but that is OK, empowering really. I am far healthier than I have been in years and my strength is increasing weekly. They say “strong” is the new “IN” look…and while I tend to shy away from trends, this is one I will continue to embrace!
Healthy Bison “Veggie Meatloaf”
2 onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked quinoa
3 med carrots, shredded
5 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons chia seeds or 2 eggs
3 pounds ground bison meat
6 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup, I prefer a spicy ketchup with habanero or jalapeños
Prepare the quinoa first so it has time to cool
Saute the onions and garlic so they look translucent then cool
Chop the fresh spinach and shred the carrots
In a large mixing bowl, add the chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water – let sit for 10 min or until the seeds have become “gel-like”.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well – I have tried using a mixer and found that mixing with your hands works best.
Put mixture in the pans – I use 2 – 6″ by 8″ glass baking dishes for this amount, however, loaf pans would also work.
Bake at 425 for 30 minutes – adjust the timing depending on thickness
This recipe makes 8 large portions and will freeze well. I recommend freezing individual pieces as they make a great lunch to take to the office or something easy to pull out of the freezer for dinner when you don’t want to cook but want to eat healthy!