Before Hunter was born, I told Dustin my number one goal for the first six months after giving birth was to get into shape. I hadn’t been in the best health before getting pregnant and the pregnancy hadn’t really helped me with my whole body image. Plus, due to pains during my pregnancy (such a lovely time!), I couldn’t exercise as much as I would have liked. All in all, I was ready for a change and I wanted to get started as soon as possible.
So, in the last few months of my pregnancy and, now that Hunter is here (hooray!), I have been watching what I’m eating. I have also started an exercise routine that consists mostly of weightlifting. That’s right — I’m getting buff! I now pay very close attention to the calories, protein, carbohydrates and other nutritional components in everything I eat. I’m choosing to follow a high protein, low carb kinda lifestyle and am reaping the benefits of doing so.
I’ve lost 40 pounds so far, feel stronger and better about myself and plan to keep going. Yes, a good portion of that weight was because I was carrying a baby, but still! Dustin had already been working on getting himself into better shape beforehand and has lost 30 pounds as well (go Dustin!).
One of the new challenges we face is that we aren’t as creative with our meal planning when we have to restrict the kinds of foods we eat. Unfortunately, spaghetti, pizza and fried chicken, for example, do not a healthy diet make. We still allow ourselves to eat those kinds of foods on occasion, but they have been extremely limited. And, we have found, the more we follow this new diet, the less we even want those types of less healthy food.
As you know, I really love food and so I refuse to not enjoy what I’m eating just because it’s healthy. My goal is to make delicious healthy food — it just takes a little bit of planning.
We’ve learned that preparing food at home is the best way to control what we are eating. Eating out is super difficult. Not only is it much easier to weigh and measure out portions at home (we use a digital scale to measure meat and cheese), it’s also a sure-fire way to make sure no added butter, oil, salt or other unwanted additions sneak in.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy pork chops is with this Carolina spice rub. We choose to grill them, but they can be made on the stove top or pan-roasted in the oven. Dustin has spent a lot of time perfecting the spice rub for these chops and I am so happy he did. The rub is the perfect combination of savory, slightly sweet and with a bit of a kick. So yummy!
I am also so happy I get to be the official taste tester for his research. Good times.
With the chops, we usually make some green beans or asparagus and either steamed or mashed sweet potatoes. Our goal is to have a lean protein (like these chops), a good-sized portion of vegetables (like the green beans or asparagus) and a small amount of carbs (like the mashed sweet potatoes) in every meal.
I’ll keep sharing our progress and other meals that fit with this high protein, low carb diet since I know many of you out there are struggling with the same thing.
What is your biggest challenge in the kitchen with your diet?
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 4 bone-in, thick cut pork chops
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (garlic powder, onion powder, coconut sugar, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt and cayenne).
- Rinse the pork chops and pat dry with paper towel.
- Generously cover all sides of each pork chop with the spice rub.
- Place the chops on the grill over direct heat and let cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chops reaches 145 degrees.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.