Like most people, where I got into trouble was with small "treats" that added up and became habit. Um, hello lady, "treats" are supposed to be treats, not a daily habit! I know, I know. But I'm sure we're all guilty of making the occasional bad choice and then making that choice over and over. I got busy with work and the first thing to go was homemade food. Again, I wasn't eating big macs or anything, but still, I wasn't doing my best and was hardly cooking real food for myself at home.
|life changing bread from my new roots|
I love the line, "these special occasion foods become every day foods, when we let industry cook for us." So true. I think there's an interesting conversation to be had here about nutrition and that's what I'm focusing on for my own health. Not dieting, not sacrificing, but rather filling my body with good nutrients to maximize its potential and to help me feel my best.
So, what have I been eating? Below are my favorites, but of course there are many variations on this because otherwise I'd be super bored and wouldn't be able to properly celebrate birthdays and vacations. And do I still have what I call "snack nights" where I eat hummus, cereal, and popcorn for dinner from time to time? Yes, of course I do. Okay, that being said, here's what I've been eating…
|my new addiction - oatmeal|
I pretty much stick to three main things for breakfast: eggs, oatmeal, and smoothies. I have learned to love oatmeal and it is a really convenient item to bring to work to eat while I'm opening up the shop. I can turn on the kettle when I arrive, pour in the water, and eat it quickly while getting things set up.
If I'm eating eggs I usually have them hard boiled with a piece of toast. For toast, while I love a nice piece of French bread, I've also learned to love bread that gives more back in terms of protein and nutrition. I either eat Milton's Healthy Bread, Ezekiel Bread, or I make my own bread using the Life Changing Bread from the blog My New Roots, (which is a blog I highly recommend by the way).
Smoothies are usually bananas, soy milk (I like a low-fat unsweetened variety), and the Trader Joe's vanilla soy power, plus whatever other fruits I have on hand, like strawberries and pineapple.
|lentil loaf - fruit smoothie|
I love having a salad for lunch because I hate having salad for dinner, so it's my opportunity to fit it into the day. Some days I don't have a salad and that's okay, I don't beat myself up about it, but I try most days to make it happen.
The things I usually use for my salad are greens (this varies based on what I have at home), tofu, beets, a cheese I have on hand (usually feta or Romano), cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and some sort of nut, usually sunflower seeds or walnuts. Sometimes if I didn't have an egg that day for breakfast I might toss one on my salad, and sometimes I'll use a spoonful of hummus on top or a handful of beans too. The key is keeping it fresh and easy to make so it's interesting to eat and not too time consuming in the morning. An easy place to save calories is in the dressing. Since I really don't like most dressings and actually like the taste of the food, I don't use any and save myself those calories.
|life changing bread with jam and a banana|
One of my favorite things to have for dinner is lentil loaf. I usually make it every other week since it makes 6 servings and well, if I made it weekly, that's all I'd eat! I pair loaf, or some other "meat" with potatoes and a steamed vegetable. I like a real dinner with "meat" and potatoes but as I wrote above, sometimes I make a dinner of healthy snacks. It all depends on my mood!
If you're into lentils or faux loaf, below this post is the recipe that I use! It's quick, easy, nutritious, and oh so yummy!
I don't like "diet" food and I refuse to call what I'm doing a diet. Things like pre-packaged processed food that feel indulgent really aren't as good for you as just a really great well-chosen treat. For example, if I'm desperate for something sweet, I eat a small piece of dark chocolate, which has fewer fat, calories, and cholesterol than those overly processed packets of 100 calorie treats. I mean really, wouldn't you rather have a nice piece of chocolate?! Of course, the trick is to only eat one and not everyday, but rather save them for moments of desperation. Or at least that's what I'm doing!
Thanks for letting me hijack the blog for some non-sewing chatter and for all the words of encouragement along the way! You all are such a great support! And while all of this change is amazing, I must say that my body is so different now that I'm going to have to start from scratch with muslins and such because everything is in a different place! So weird for someone who really knows their body, for better or worse!
Do you have a favorite food that's also good for you? Or a how about a tip? Please share because I think we all need help in this department! Thanks!
Lentil Loaf (Source unknown - I got this on-line ages ago)
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup quick oats
1 t dried basil
1 t dried parsley
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
8-oz can tomato paste
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
Cook the lentils
Bring the water to a boil, add the lentils, cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Prepare the onions
Sauté the onion in the oil until tender. About half way from being fully cooked, toss in the basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and sauté with the onions.
Empty the pan of onions into the bowl with the lentils. Add the oats, tomato paste, and egg and mix by hand until well blended.
Place the mixture into a 9" x 5" loaf pan. If not non-stick, pre-treat the pan with oil or spray. Flatten the loaf mixture into the pan and top the loaf with the BBQ sauce. Spread it around evenly. Bake the loaf at 350-degrees for 45 minutes. Let cook for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Makes 6 servings.