They enter your body when you least expect it.
They sneak in when you are most vulnerable and can cause a plague upon your body and wreck havoc on your appearance.
I’m talking about calories.
The more time I spend in the cardio areas of the gym (which had previously been areas I avoided like one avoids the sick person on the subway that keeps coughing everywhere) in preparation for my competition, the more I hear talk about calories. It’s like they have taken a life of their own-ready to attack and take over your body and bring on nothing but misery and fat. Even in spin classes I hear teachers say “Now let’s burn those calories” and students enthusiastically talking about the importance of caloric burn as if it was the only reason to work out.
Those pesky, dreaded calories that make you fat and cause you to gain weight. People know all about them and their harmful side-effects-these days- who hasn’t heard that 3500 cal equals a pound of fat?
We are obsessed and honestly, it drives me nuts! I’m tired of people treating food and calories like they’ve done something wrong. That they need to go to the gym as punishment just to work off that extra cookie they ate.
Calories are your friend!
They certainly are mine!
I’ll say it again-loud and proud:
I LOVE CALORIES! I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THEM-CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM!
You literally can’t live without calories. Calories give you fuel and energy. They help your body perform your daily tasks and functions and should be viewed as such.
Now maybe this seems ironic, coming from a girl who is now spending more time than ever doing cardio and is counting and tracking her calories daily, and, in many ways, it is. But I see my food and the calories associated with it as fuel for my body and my strenuous workouts. The more I work out, the more I eat. If I were starving my body of calories then I wouldn’t be able to perform to an optimum level in my workouts (or even in my daily life).
I don’t work out to burn the calories- I see it as the other way around- I eat more so that I can work more.
I am firmly of the belief that all calories are not the same. The “types” of calories you eat are so much more than the actual numbers themselves. I try to keep my meals clean, unprocessed and complete with a proper balance of carbs, fats and protein. The real reason I currently track my foods is to pay attention to my macros and to make sure that they are in proper ratios for my diet (it’s really easy for me to eat tons of carbs and fats and not get enough protein for the day if I’m not paying attention).
Does this mean I eat perfectly every day? Of course not! But I do my best to overall, eat in a way that will work for and nurture my body.
Now that that tangent done and over with, this is a perfect time to introduce some tempeh tacos that will fill you up with a nice balance of protein, carbs and delicious avocado-y fats.
I think that tacos have the potential to be a really healthy, perfect food if you do it right. You’ve got your corn tortillas for carbs, tempeh for lean protein, fresh leafy veggies and salsa, and of course, amazing creamy guacamole (I’m of the firm opinion that guac is one of the most perfect raw foods in existence) for healthy fats to bring it all together.
Ok yeah, here’s an unnecessary picture of me. I usually don’t pose with my food but this was just THAT GOOD that I wanted to show it!
This even gave me an excuse to use more of the delicious hot sauce I have by Secret Aardvark Trading Co. I’m not big into vinegar which is why I’m hesitant around most hot sauces but their Habanero Hot Sauce is the bomb! Spicy and super flavorful- just the way I like it! And of course went perfectly with these tacos. Yum!
Makes 4 Tacos
1 Package of Tempeh
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp Tomato Paste
2-3 Large Kale Leaves
4 Taco Shells
3/4 tsp Taco Seasoning
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
3-4 Dashes Liquid Smoke
1 tsp Molasses
1 TBSP EVOO
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
Crumble tempeh into a bowl and mix all marinade ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste (this can be done the night before). Heat a nonstick pan on medium and add EVOO and tomato paste, then add tempeh. Cook until tempeh is browned (you may need to add some more evoo or a little water) and heated through. Remove from stove.
Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and julienne. Place in a bowl and mix in with some guacamole.
Assemble tacos! Get your taco shells and put in tempeh on the bottom, then salsa and kale/guac mixture. Add more guac and hot sauce as desired.