Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

It’s the weekend, and like clockwork my willpower drops and my ability to justify poorer habits peaks. I had a long stressful week at the office (not really), and I’ve earned some pizza… Plus some ice cream… Plus some poutine… Plus, since I’ve already eaten all that, whatever else I want until Monday rolls around again. You get the picture.

To help combat this endless cycle of binging and restricting from weekend to weekday, I’ve started to reframe some of my weekend activities and meals in an effort to appreciate healthier choices more.

Pizza is a favourite of mine. When I’m not careful, it starts appearing in my diet more frequently than it should. And Friday evenings, when energy can be zapped from the work week, a large pepperoni and cheese pizza from Danby’s Roadhouse is just so damn tempting.

So I’ve flipped it. There’s plenty of healthy meals I love. Maybe they don’t elicit quite the level of salivation as pizza, but they come pretty close.

Let’s take a steak dinner, for example. In order to enjoy the experience more, my wife and I would plan to visit our local butcher, Christoper, and pick up two delicious looking ribeyes. We might also pop over to the grocery store to grab some fresh greens, and if we want more of a treat, perhaps some sweet potato fries for the side. When we get home, we immediately turn on some fun music, start the barbecue, and pour ourselves a drink. Personally I don’t stray far from a typical lager, but my wife will try and make slightly better alcoholic choices, perhaps a glass of red, or even just some white wine cut with carbonated water (a spritzer of sorts). When we package our Friday evening like this, it’s actually something we start getting excited about in the day’s leading up to it. Perfect!

Default thinking: Take out pizza is delicious, easy, and satisfying.

Reframed thinking: Eating out is more expensive than cooking at home. And at home we can dance to our favourite tunes while we prepare our steaks and salad. Moreover, we get to enjoy quality nutrition that will benefit our body, and we won’t feel bloated and regretful following the meal.

Now I’m not saying this meal is the healthiest choice we could make. Far from it. If it were, at the very least alcohol would be excluded. No, the idea is to create an experience that we look forward to, and that includes reasonably healthy choices that we won’t regret. This particular steak, salad, and sweet potato fries combo serves this purpose. It’s not a perfect choice, but it’s reasonable. The same can’t be said for the pepperoni pizza option.

Yesterday while grocery shopping, we noticed large beef tenderloin cuts were on sale again (roughly 40% off regular price). In the past we’ve generally avoided these massive, intimidating cuts of beef that can approach $100. This time around, however, we decided to finally give in and purchase this more economical cut (at least when compared to buying individual filet mignons, for example).

Giant cut of beef purchased. Now what?

After a quick YouTube video tutorial, I went to work trimming the fat from the cut, and proceeded to portion out the beef into a couple of small tenderloins, the chain (the side of the tenderloin removed in the trimming process, suitable for stewing), and most importantly, 14 fillet mignons.

Trimming the fat and silverskin from the beef tenderloin.
The resulting small tenderloins and chain.

The entire 3 kg (6.6 lb) cut cost just under $73 CAD before tax (about $55 USD)

Four filets will be kept refrigerated, to be grilled later this evening. Everything else was wrapped in parchment paper, sealed in Ziploc bags, and stored in our freezer. The entire process took me roughly thirty minutes, but I could likely shorten that time as I get more practice.

The pièce de résistance. Glorious filet mignon.

All-in-all, a relatively straightforward process that yielded a delicious looking bounty of meat. I’ll certainly try this again the future when I see a similar deal. For now, time to enjoy the fruits meats of my labour.