Why I don’t drink.

I’ve been doing this whole awkward, “omg why don’t you drink” explanation for years. I can remember being in high school when it was “cool” to go to parties and drink, but I always just offered to be anyone’s DD instead. I didn’t even go to my own prom because I spent the night driving drunk teenagers around. Except back then, I truly don’t recall getting as much pushback from NOT drinking as I do now at 25. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? I’ve always wondered why my decision not to consume alcohol affected other people so much. It was almost like I OFFENDED them if I didn’t want to partake. As you can imagine, from 21-24 I was avoiding social drinking settings like the plague (still do) but it wasn’t until I went to therapy that I started to uncover why it still makes me so anxious and uncomfortable years later. It had just been one of those things that I “accepted” because I’d always done it. I had become the non-drinker. And even more so once I started having stomach problems, it gave me an easy out to reply to people when they started pressuring me at bars and such. Some people were worse than others, but they always wanted to know WHY. And truth is, I didnt even really know why that fear was there until recently. But it was still an excuse to tell someone who was incredibly persistent. I’ve even gone so far as to LIE about being pregnant because some guy on an airplane one time would not stop attempting to force me to drink.. fucked up right? Anyway. My relationship with my father was never good to begin with, however, when violence would occur in our household it was almost ALWAYS following drinking. I saw him become someone different. It made me wonder as a child, “why does drinking alcohol do this to my dad?” And so it birthed a negative association. My first boyfriend who drank alcohol around me became almost a different person. Not necessarily “bad” just different. And it scared me. Who was the real person? Was it intoxicated? Was the statement, “the truth comes out when you drink” true? I began to hear the phrase in highschool, “I didnt mean it I was drunk” or “I dont know what happened I was drunk” you WHAT? You lost consciousness and don’t know what happened? You cheated because you drank too much? Yup. That was my first boyfriend ever. Not that I’m trying to put blame on him, for god sakes we were only 16, but let me tell you something, you don’t forget that. My first serious relationship, I noticed similarities. Who he was when he was drinking was not who he was when he was sober. In this scenario, he wasn’t abusive or a cheater. In fact; he seemed to love me MORE when he was drunk which to be quite honest, I think fucked my mentality up even more. What was true? What changes when you drink? Again, terrifying to me. 

Now, I’m not sitting here saying that every single person changes when they drink..I’m just explaining my reasoning for not drinking and why it makes me uncomfortable. No matter what way I look at it- if you’re “having a few drinks with the guys” or literally out getting shitfaced, I can’t shake the images of my drunk father on the floor of the garage screaming at my mom. I cant shake the amount of times I’ve heard “I was drunk, I’m sorry” and the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get as people around me start to become intoxicated. I will never be okay in social drinking situations. I cant act “normal” because inside, my anxiety is screaming. The more someone drinks, the worse it gets and has even brought me to tears in some situations. I’m afraid. Plain and simple. I’m afraid of who someone will become. I’m afraid of my past. I’m afraid of what could be said, or what could be done. And sometimes I dont even know what exactly I’m afraid of, which is the worst part. So please. The next time you think about asking someone “why!!!???” when they say they don’t drink, please reconsider. When someone says they are “sober” no one replies with “well why were you addicted to drinking or drugs?” We just don’t do that. We respect their decision. And I wish that could be said for the people who just simply choose not to drink as well. 

The Key To MOIST Meatballs? A PANADE.

My friend Josh is a fantastic chef, and recently I asked him how I could get turkey meatballs to be not so dang dry! EVERY time I make turkey meatballs, I regret it because they NEVER come out resembling my moms old school Italian meatballs. Well, I suppose using regular pork and beef would help with that LOL but we’re talking TURKEY MEATBALLS HERE. You want a lean, moist, high protein dinner? I got you.

WHAT IS A PANADE?! That was my response when he told me that panade was the secret.
milk and bread paste.

Yup! you heard that right. So here’s what I used:

  • 2 ounces of bread (I used sourdough)
  • 120 fluid ounces of almond milk (this might vary depending upon your type of bread)

Cut the bread up into small pieces, place in a bowl, and pour the milk over it. Let it soak for about 20 minutes (or until it becomes a paste). The other ingredients:

  • 1lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1oz (28g) parmesan-Reggiano

Combine everything by hand in a large bowl, then slowly add the panade to the mixture until well mixed. It’s okay if it’s a little wet! Just make sure that you can roll it into balls. I rolled mine into about 2 inch balls and then arranged on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, making sure the tops are browned. This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven:

Nice and browned! Yum.

While those were baking, I cooked some Banza rotini pasta on the stovetop, and grabbed some leftover broccoli that I had in the fridge from meal prep Monday. I tossed in some charred cherry tomatoes, a bit of sauce (Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash is my favorite), added the meatballs, and then tossed with some parmesan cheese.

All the meatballs in totality weighed 607g. So a 150 serving (which was 4 meatballs) was:
31g protein, 7g carbs, and 4.5g fat.



Have you ever heard someone say “Omg I can’t eat carbs after 7pm or I’m going to gain weight?” *raises hand*
Or what about.. “Pizza makes you fat, I can’t eat pizza”
How about the new celery juice cleanse that’s going around?!
Here’s what you need to know: your body can’t tell time, it doesn’t get to be 7pm and your body suddenly says, “oh guess I better store this oatmeal as fat now it’s past 6:59” nope. what can get stored as fat is any foods eaten in a caloric surplus. THAT INCLUDES HEALTHY FOODS! It’s 100% possible to bulk without ever eating a slice of pizza or anything else that people consider “junk food” and still gain weight. Eating 600 calories of avocado is still 600 calories. Sure, micronutrients will differ, but if you’re in a surplus – you will still gain weight.
Check out today’s video on my top 5 nutrition myths and let me know what you think!
Have you heard these myths before? have YOU believed them?

Simply Mander’s High Protein Lean Turkey Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe!

So one thing I honestly can’t deal with when searching for a recipe is reading through these food blog pages that are like, 200 paragraphs long and have 15 pictures with 37 specific ingredients. I’m like, “hello.. please just give me a simple recipe that tastes good and doesn’t take a where’s Waldo search to find the actual directions” LOL. I’ll be using word press to also share some of my favorite, easy, macro friendly recipes. So here you go!

– handful of chopped onions (I didn’t measure this, I just had some pre-chopped onions left over)
– 1 TBS of garlic paste (you can use one garlic clove in place of this)
– 1 cup of spinach
– 9oz 99% lean ground turkey
– 9oz mild Italian Turkey Sausage
– 3 servings (360g) Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash pasta sauce
– pasta of choice (I used Banza rigatoni)
In a saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic (the onions will be ready when they are translucent). I usually do this over medium heat and cover with a lid. Once the onions turn, add in your meat. For seasonings with this dish, I used salt, pepper, a tiny pinch of dried/rubbed sage, and some Italian seasoning blend (peppers, fennel, oregano, etc). Start cooking the meat, then add the spinach to start wilting down as well. Once the meat is just about done, add in the pasta sauce, mix thoroughly and bring to a boil.
Combine sauce with pasta and top with some grated parmesan cheese!
* I cooked the Banza pasta separately because I wanted to make this recipe in MFP for just the sauce, so I could add as much or as little pasta as I wanted to.
Macros: 37g Protein, 11g Fat, 45g Carb

A Fresh Beginning

I’ve learned over the years that one thing I’m NOT good at is writing. I take the time to create Youtube videos, Instagram posts, be “active” on social media, but I never actually WRITE about things and it’s something that I’d truly like to start doing. This blog is going to serve as a a way to navigate through my other social media platforms, but also to share new thoughts, ideas, start conversations that have their own place (not just jammed into an Instagram post or casually mentioned in a Youtube video)