Here are some of my go-to foods that help me achieve my healthy eating goals:
Simple Truth Organic Digestive Herbal Team. I am absolutely in LOVE with this tea. It is not a detox tea. It supports a healthy digestive tract and reduces bloating. If you suffer from bloating (whether regularly or occasionally), this is the tea for you. I drink about 3-4 cups of my “tummy tea” throughout the day. I have a very temperamental digestive tract and most foods make me very bloated and distended. This tea is amazing at significantly reducing bloating and keeping you regular.
Uncle Matt’s Orange Turmeric Probiotic Juice. A fantastic way to get 1 Billion probiotics and 500 mg of turmeric. Probiotics are extremely important to your digestive health and losing weight. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; including lowering your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression. I drink one cup of the orange juice with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many benefits including healing acid reflux and ulcers, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, super-charge your metabolism, stabilize blood sugars, and assist with weight loss. I have personally noticed more stable blood sugar levels, more weight loss (than before when I did not use ACV), more energy, and my ulcers do not bother me anymore. I have at least two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar per day and I typically start my day with this drink.
Better Oats Oatmeal. The oatmeal that I purchase is the 100 calories, sugar free, and contains 24 grams of whole grain. This is a heart healthy option that contains flax seeds and whole grain rolled oats. The healthy fats help lower cholesterol. Also, the oatmeal is filling and keeps me full until lunch.
Tuna and Dill Triscuits. My favorite lunch is tuna with Dill Triscuits. Tuna is packed with protein and the Triscuits are a whole grain healthy alternative to chips. I season my tuna with pepper, mustard, and about a teaspoon of Light Miracle Whip. Fast lunch that goes great with vegetables or salad.
H2O. Never forget about water! Your body needs water to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning at its best. I use a water bottle that is clearly marked to make sure I get at least 80 ounces of water each day. For me, this makes everything easier and it doesn’t feel as daunting to get my daily water intake.
Here is a sampling of favorite meals these past few weeks:
This is homemade guacamole (two avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). I paired the guacamole with chicken tacos (chicken breast, leafy romaine lettuce, salsa) on corn tortillas.
This is Saj. Only the best Mediterranean food ever! This is vegetarian and packed with all the good healthy fats you need to lower cholesterol or just eat healthy. I get the falafels, green beans, tabouli, and hummus with wheat Saj bread.
This is a yummy Italian Bean Soup. Another low cholesterol food, packed with fiber. Cannelli beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, oregano. I added smoked turkey sausage too.
A great snack! Strawberries, kiwi, and a light string cheese.
Shakeology by Beachbody Vanilla. This is the only way I will eat my blueberries.
If you need a light lunch packed with protein; quinoa, salsa, black beans.
I love quinoa and salmon on my leafy greens. I use a heart healthy dressing by Litehouse; Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.
Oh my goodness! This Chicken Green Chili soup is amazing! Low calorie, low sodium, super easy to make. I had my Healthy Chicken Empanadas and beans with my soup.
This is the most delicious dinner. I made salmon served over a bed of sauteed spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes. On top of the salmon are garbanzo beans, tomato, and capers.
One Day at a Time
My first week was really great! It wasn’t always easy but I stayed strong and kept at it. I lost 1.4 pounds and 2.5 inches throughout my body (one inch of that was belly fat!).
Food: I had no intense cravings, headaches, or other issues related to decreasing my calorie intake and eating more healthful foods. I had to remind myself to eat breakfast, which has always been a struggle for me. My favorite breakfasts are:
- One piece of whole grain toast, 2 ounces turkey sausage, one egg, and half of an avocado cup (only 300 calories for this breakfast);
- Sometimes I substitute the toast for one serving of Kashi Waffles;
- I like to add a Yoplait low-fat yogurt or fruit.
My favorite lunches are:
- Romaine (2 cups) and baby spinach (1 cup) salad with one can of tuna, 1/2 cup of quinoa, and two tablespoons of Italian dressing; OR
- 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup baby spinach sauteed with a splash of hot sauce and 4 ounces of salmon (baked with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper).
I made sure to have a light snack between meals and I think this really helped with my cravings and headaches I normally go through when transitioning back to healthy eating. My favorite snacks are:
- Townhouse Pita Chips or carrots and Sabra Hummus or Greek Yogurt Spinach Dip;
- Pumpkin seeds;
- One Kashi Waffle;
- One tostado with half of an avocado cup;
- Two turkey breast slices.
One item that I cannot live without is Simple Truth Digestive Herbal Tea. I have at least three cups of this tea per day. I haven’t had any tummy issues, bloating, and I feel more “regular” since drinking this tea.
Dinner time is all about portion control, moderation, and creating healthy alternatives. I don’t make the entire family eat what I eat. I try to find recipes everyone would like (we have four children) and with four children it can be difficult to make something everyone will eat so sometimes I will cook a separate meal for myself.
I did well this past week; I only went over my calories once this week (I really wanted Qdoba LOL). I had a few indulgences but made sure to manage my food intake properly to allow for some Milk Duds and a glass of wine this week. Overall, food was a success!
Exercise: I was able to walk without crutches this past week. I started off slow and used two crutches, then went to one crutch. Now I’m walking without crutches, just in my boot. I started off walking for 20 minutes at a time. I walked for three hours straight yesterday and about died, so I will tone it down to an hour per day. I am just so proud of myself that I am finally moving around and getting a little exercise in my life. One step at a time (literally).
Hello ladies and gents! Wow, a whole lot has happened in five months. Let me give you the run down; I gave up on exercise and continued to eat healthy after the adrenal fatigue fun and then I started to feel better and gave up on eating healthy. When May came around, I told myself “who cares? I am going to LIVE!” Well, I lived it up and never stopped eating junk for months. On July 2, I broke my leg (fibula right above my ankle) which required surgery. I have been 100% non-weight bearing and laying/sitting for two whole months while continuing to eat junk all. day. long.
Results of these “fabulous” decisions? My GI tract is miserable, constant headaches and fighting days of migraines, a LOT of extra weight gain which makes it very difficult to move around on my crutches and knee scooter, sluggish, fatigued, acne, moody, cranky, nothing in my closet fits (yes, that includes my fat sweatpants), and pretty much an overall sense of ickyness and misery.
When I weighed and measured myself I realized how out of control I have allowed things to get and I say “NO MORE”. I am getting back on track starting immediately. I have updated my Resources page with new information and my Progress page with new goals and measurements, so be sure to check out those pages.
I am going back through this blog, day-by-day, to get motivation and more ideas for shopping lists and creating weekly meal plans. I’m going back to the basics because I know that everything I have done previously has worked, so I am going to start at the beginning and create a new life for myself. My nutrition is going to be the biggest component of this journey since my exercise plan will have to be highly modified.
Since I have a broken right leg, I will use a foundation of push-ups and sit-ups as well as my stress relieving yoga video to get things started. I have Googled “exercises to do when you have a broken leg” and there are dozens of videos for me to use including CARDIO! No way, so cool! Cardio for crutches. So happy that I have options.
If you find yourself in a situation like mine, stop making excuses (this was so hard for me but I did it) and get yourself in a positive mindset. You’ve got this! Let’s do this!
Lentils are a Great Substitute for Carbs
As you navigate your weight loss and/or healthy living, sometimes reducing carbohydrates is necessary (even for a short while) to improve weight loss and eat more healthful. If you’re like me, my body thinks it cannot live without an over-abundance of carbs. I love chips, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pasta, bread…oh my goodness, so yummy! BUT when you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, and/or stick to a more diabetic friendly diet, carbohydrates (in excess) are not good for your body. Please note: Your body requires carbohydrates to function but in reasonable amounts, so please do not go “carb free” unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
A great alternative to carbs (and it tricks my body into thinking I’m getting a lot of food) is lentils. Lentils are a superfood and very rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate, and iron. Also, lentils contain potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, and vitamin K. One cup of lentils contain 63% (16 grams) of your daily fiber as well as 18 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat.
Lentils are very easy to cook (only 15-20 minutes boiling/simmer). You can add them to soups, have them as a main dish, or prepare them as a side dish. Lentils are versatile and you can add your favorite spices and flavors to compliment any protein or prepare as a meal. Here is a Lentil Superfood Soup that is absolutely delicious and contains additional powerful superfood.
I made Curried Lentils yesterday where I added ginger, curry, onion, and carrots to the lentils. Warning: Cook curry in a well ventilated space or open a window prior to making these lentils (trust me, my house had a strong curry smell for hours LOL).
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- Black pepper (flavor to your preference)
- Lime juice (flavor to your preference, I squeezed a half lime into the pot)
- Place the EVOO into a pot and bring heat to medium.
- Add garlic and onion to pot. Cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground ginger and curry powder. Mix well.
- Add carrots, lentils, and broth. Stir.
- Add black pepper and lime juice. Stir.
- Bring to boil.
- Cover, lower heat to strong simmer.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes.
I made a double batch in order to eat a cup at a time throughout the week. I ate a cup of the Curried Lentils yesterday with tilapia. I am going to eat a cup of the lentils today as a main dish.