A Day of Rachel Mac Food



Editors Note: Rachel Mac is a commercial litigator in Chicago, Illinois, who lives a healthy lifestyle despite often spending 12+ hours per day in the office. She has come up with a low-maintenance healthy lifestyle that allows her to eat well and hit the gym regularly, with a schedule that’s anything but consistent. Quest is happy to welcome Rachel Mac to our blog, where she will be a regular contributor. Find Rachel onย Facebook and onย Twitter–and add her as a friend!

If you’ve read the three-part blog about my transformation, you already know that I exchanged a series of unhealthy habits for good ones and transformed my body–and my life–in the process. ย Two of the most important changes I made were switching from eating out to cooking at home, and focusing on eating more protein and fewer carbs. ย I’ve learned a lot about cooking–I started out knowing almost nothing!–and I’ve changed my approach to my diet a number of times, but these two rules remain.

When people ask me what I eat, I can sum it all up in four words: more protein, fewer carbs. Nearly everything I eat is cooked by me, for me, so I am able to eat healthy food all the time. But friends, family and Facebookers wanted more specifics. Although no two days are the same, here is a sampling of a normal day.

Breakfast: batch-cooked “Mac Muffins”

Breakfast is the best time of day to get in a ton of protein and set yourself up to be full and focused at work, school, or on the go. It’s often hard to find time to prepare food, then sit down and eat in the frantic rush to get out the door. I stumbled upon a great idea out of pure laziness: batch-cooking breakfast. Thus I created Mac Muffins (named after me, and because they taste a lot like McDonald’s popular breakfast treat).

Ingredients (makes four servings):

24 egg whites

1 c. dry oats (rolled oats, old fashioned oats, plain Quaker oats, or quick oats will do)

12 slices 97% fat free canadian bacon

Directions:

The name of the game here is layering. Read on and see ๐Ÿ™‚ Spray an 8×8 square pan with Pam or any other nonstick spray, and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1/4 of the egg whites (6 whites, or their equivalent from a carton) and place one layer of canadian bacon at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the oats (so, 1/4 c.), and put this mixture in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and add another layer of egg whites, then 1/4 c. oats, then a layer of canadian bacon, then another 1/4 c. oats. Repeat this until you’ve used all your egg whites, oats, and canadian bacon, cooking each layer until it is no longer wet in the middle. When it’s done, cut it in four pieces and store them in the fridge.

I re-heat these to take on the go by placing them in the oven at 350* on a piece of tin foil for about 15 minutes. When I’m ready to leave the house, I take it out of the oven, sprinkle a little sea salt on top, and wrap it up in the foil to take it to go! Another option for re-heating is to place a piece of cheddar cheese on top (or even in the middle, like a sandwich!). Yum!

Macro Breakdown:ย 200 calories, 2g fat, 13.5g carbs, and a whopping 30g protein to keep you full all morning.

 

Mid-morning Snack:

Between breakfast and lunch, I like a protein-packed snack to keep me full and functioning. Cottage cheese is great, but I’m not a big fan of the taste. So I add 2 Tbsp almond butter, 1 packet of Truvia and 2 tsp cinnamon–which has the added benefit of reducing my blood sugar after I eat it!–and pop it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before I eat it. I call it healthy ice cream.

Macro Breakdown 357 calories, 21g carbs, 17g fat, 35g protein.

 

Lunch: buffalo chicken salad with asparagus

 

Ingredients:

1 Can chicken

2oz Fat Freek Greek Yogurt

2Tbsp Hot Sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)

Directions:

Canned chicken is the best time-saving food I know of. It’s fully cooked chicken breast in water, similar to canned tuna.

Rinse and drain the chicken; I use 5 oz of chicken (two 9.75oz cans make about three servings for me–don’t ask me about that math!)

Add two ounces of Fage 0% fat greek yogurt and 2 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce, stir it up.

It would also be delicious with chopped onion and jalapeno mixed in. Add 1 slice Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain bread and serveย with veggies on the side.

Macro Breakdownย 295 cal, 23g carbs, 3g fat, 45g protein.

 

Mid Afternoon Snack:

Vanilla Almond Crunch Quest Bar, of course!

Macro Breakdownย 230 cals, 19g carbs, 12g fat, 20g protein.

 

Dinner: Grilled sirloin with blue cheese sauce, balsamic-vanilla asparagus and sauteed spinach

Ingredients:

5oz Sirloin Steak

2oz Frat Free Greek Yogurt

2Tbsp Flax Seeds

2 Tbsp Blue Cheese Dressing Mix

Asparagus

Spinach

Whenever I get the chance and get home from work early enough, I like to try out new ideas in the kitchen for dinner and eat my food freshly cooked. Sirloin steak is relatively lean and very easy to cook.

Place it in a frying pan over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, flip it once, and remove it from the heat when it’s just a bit pink in the middle.

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet in the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and just a touch of vanilla extract.

When the steak is done, cook the spinach in the same pan the steak was in.

To make the blue cheese dressing, combine Fage 0% fat greek yogurt with 2 Tbsp flaxseeds and 2 Tbsp blue cheese dressing mix (I buy mine from my favorite Chicago store, The Spice House www.thespicehouse.com, which ships its delicious spice blends around the country!)

Dessert: Zucchini apple sauce

What’s dinner without dessert? But living on a reduced-carb diet eliminates most traditional desserts, so I had to re-think things! ย I’d heard that if you boil zucchini in lemon juice, it tastes like apples, so I thought this would be a great way to make apple sauce.

Boil 4 baby zucchini (cut into 8ths) in a 50/50 mix of fresh lemon juice and water for about 8 minutes.

Drain the lemon water off, returned the zucchini to the pan, and blend it with an immersion blender.

Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 packets Truvia, and a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon (apple pie spice works, too, as an alternative to cinnamon), and chill.

It may sound crazy, but it’s delicious!

Dinner & Dessert Macro Breakdown: 465 cals, 25g carbs, 16g fat, 58g protein.

 

DAY TOTAL:

1550 calories, 100g carbs, 50g fat, 190g protein.

 

And how do I prepare all of my food each day in spite of working long hours at a stressful job? You’ll have to stay tuned for my next blog, where I’ll detail how I shop, cook, prep, and pack my food to prepare for the work week.

9 Comments

  1. ehessling@gmail.com'

    HeyRach, food looks AWESOME, thanks so much for sharing! Question though – is around 1600 cals norm for you?

  2. bpwriter47@yahoo.com'
    Bpwriter47

    yeah, finally got the breakfast recipe! thanks Rachel

  3. emma.ajani@gmail.com'

    Same question…is this for a lift day or rest day?

    • The only difference in my diet on lift days is my post-workout meal on days when I lift. That’s 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition whey and 30-50g carbs from fruit. If I work out in the afternoon, I’ll have my shake/fruit right after my workout, then add some slow-digesting carbs to dinner (like 1/4 c sweet potato). If I don’t lift (this includes days I do cardio, but don’t lift), no post-workout meal. Hope this helps!

  4. asktheguru@hotmail.com'
    Dave Wilson

    I just can’t dig the low-fat, grain-based recipes. Egg whites are the least nutritious part of the egg:

    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Egg_Yolk.html

    And Oats, although better for you than wheat, are still far inferior to vegetables as a food. I advocate avoiding them altogether.

    More fat! If you had more fat at breakfast, you might find that you don’t need the mid-morning snack at all.

    • Thanks for the input! This is a strict pre-competition diet so I’m going with what my coach says. But I’m always up for trying new things, and I think paleo is next on my list… once this competition is finished!

  5. Pingback: QUESTions With ... Rachel Mac | Quest Protein Blog

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