Bacon Fig Breakfast Sandwich, and how to deal with that unwanted Holiday Weight Gain
Holiday Weight Gain. When I say it happens to all of us, trust me. It happens to all of us. Here’s my most recent story.
2 years ago, I was fresh into my new body. Relative to any other time in my life, I was hyper fit, and excited to take on new challenges. As a 30+ year old man, I figured it would be an exciting new challenge to train toward completing a 5 minute mile for the first time in my life! Until then, my best mile time was a 5:26 in High School, and most recently a 5:41 indoor mile. These are respectable times, and nothing to be ashamed of. But breaking that 5 minute barrier is AWESOME!
I trained hard, and shared nearly every step of the way with you. My food, my training, my successes and failures. All of it went here on this blog. And while I didn’t make the 5 minute mile, my 5:28 was still a 13 second PR as an adult! That’s admirable under any circumstances. That was a year and a half ago. 18 months. It’s nothing, right? In addition to the 5:28 mile that fall (2013), I weighed 182 pounds, and ran my PR in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon. All while only training for the mile. I was fit. Not quite 6-pack fit; I think I need to leave my desk job for that. Or at least get one with different expectations… But I was definitely fit. Strong. Fast. And Healthy.
I’ve had a tough 18 months since then. Not a bad 18 months; by most measures they’ve been great! But they’ve been tough. My wife and I bought a house, I’ve changed jobs, and we went through a 2 – month experiment with getting a dog (didn’t work out this time; may be a while before next time). We’re still happy and healthy. But neither of us is fit anymore. I now weigh 205 lbs. I don’t fit into half of my clothes, and I can’t help but notice that I now have trouble with a 6:30 mile, and simply can’t imagine managing a 5:30. Yesterday I went to the gym and did 20 minutes at an 8 – minute pace. It felt like I was racing. I probably couldn’t have made it to 30 minutes if a tiger was chasing me! Ok, maybe a tiger. But nothing else! It just wouldn’t happen.
It’s not doughnuts, beer, pizza and pasta. At least, not this time, and not for me. For me, it’s stress, poor sleep and workout habits, and dried fruit, nuts, and wine.
I’m sharing all of this with you so that you can know that it happens to me too. Me, other fitness bloggers, fitness professionals, and other people to whom you turn for lifestyle advice. Without going through the exhaustive list of factors that influence weight gain, I mentioned above what it was that did it to me this time. Stress was listed first for a reason. If I had less stress, I would have slept better, worked out more, and I would have been less likely to turn to comfort foods (dried fruit and wine) to help ease the day for me. It’s a bad habit, I know. And a tough habit to break; particularly when you’re stuck in the rut of the holiday parties! But I can break out of that rut, and so can you!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to go it alone. You can get friends, family, and a host of online support people to help. Also, I will share my progress with you every step of the way. Maybe it will help you to see a food and fitness blogger going through this? I hope so. As I post this winter and spring, I’ll give an overview of my workouts, my eating schedule and micronutrients breakdowns (where it’s intentional), and why.
For starters, I’ve made some changes to my working situation to help deal with the stress, and I’ve cut back my sugar intake (even from natural sources). Dried fruits are delicious, but they’re not a typical food found in nature. I’m not suggesting that they’re unhealthy; merely that they’re not ideal calorie sources when you’re looking to lose weight. As I continue my progress, I will share the steps that I take along the way. Cutting back on the stress and dried fruit is a solid first step.
Bacon Fig Breakfast Sandwich
- 4 Portobello Mushroom Caps
- 1 lb Bacon (only use premium bacon brands; see my Bacon Project for suggestions)
- Favorite Sandwich Greens (I used sliced Cucumbers and Mesclun Greens)
- 6 large Black Mission Figs, squashed and fried
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 450. When it reaches temperature, put the mushroom caps in on a Silicone baking pad, or a broiling pan. Allow to cook for 10 minutes per side.
- After about 10 minutes cook time for the mushrooms, start to cook the bacon. I recommend cooking it to a more chewy level over crispy bacon. This can be achieved by cooking it on medium heat, covered, and stirring regularly.
- While the bacon and mushroom caps are cooking, heat up a pan with the coconut oil for a minute or so, until the oil is hot.
- Once the oil is hot, drop the squashed figs into the pan and fry them for about 1 minute per side.
- Take the mushroom caps out of the oven and let them cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble the sandwich, and serve and enjoy!