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We’ve been away from each other for awhile and I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Below are some of the more delectable dishes from the past few weeks.

BREAKFAST

I eat a lot of eggs because they’re zero points on Weight Watchers, nutritious and filling, and super versatile. Sometimes, I want something that’s not eggs for breakfast. I put together a yogurt bowl with non-fat plain greek yogurt, jazzed up with cinnamon and vanilla, 1/4 cup of granola and lots of berries.

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I often will make my own homemade waffles and pancakes so I know exactly what goes into them, but for days I need to have an efficient morning, I pull out kodiak cakes’ protein brand. (Not an ad, I just love their products). I topped this beautiful with sugar free syrup- not bad, just a little less sticky so it makes food soggier faster- fruit, and chopped walnuts.

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On mornings, such as on the weekend, when I do have time for a leisurely morning, I like to concoct more advanced dishes. This is two eggs with marinara sauce, veggies, and mozzarella baked together in a warm bowl of goodness.

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LUNCH/DINNER

Quick and simple, grilled shrimp, brown rice, spinach.

 

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I cooked some 99% ground turkey meat in teriyaki sauce and ate it throughout the week. One of my concoctions was lettuce wraps with an assortment of vegetables, served with brown rice.

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Another variety was in a bowl mixed with lots of veggies and rice, topped with a little drizzle of sweet chili sauce.

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I eat a lot of cod because it’s so easy to cook. Here, I just topped it with salt and pepper and enjoyed it over zoodles cooked in olive oil and garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes and parmesan.

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A blackened piece of swordfish paired well with frozen veggies. It was very easy to pop the vegetables into the microwave and throw some teriyaki on it for taste.

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Any go-to meals to share? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Now Serving…

I was busy towards the end of last week and didn’t have time to update with a collection of food pictures, so here we are!

Breakfasts

Whole wheat waffles with a red, white, and blue fruit medley. I tried these with sugar free syrup because it’s 1 point versus 11. Not too shabby.

Two eggs scrambled with a slice of muenster cheese and a cinnamon raisin bagel thin with a smear of cream cheese. Big bowl of pineapple and watermelon on the side.

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Oatmeal cooked in water with mashed banana, cinnamon, vanilla, powdered peanut butter, and berries.

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Simple english muffin topped with peanut butter and banana before a run.

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Lunches

I do love tacos. These ones are stuffed with a combination of leftover chicken and steak with veggies.

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Salads are a go-to lunch for me. This one is chock full of veggies and leftover steak.

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Salad with grilled chicken. So easy, yet, so good.

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Another salad with chopped up deli meat: chicken, ham, salami, and turkey pepperoni.

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Dinners

I love a good caesar salad, particularly with steak tips on top. Mashed cauliflower and roasted bell peppers and zucchini on the side.

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A whopping salad served italian style with deli meats.

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Very into the shrimp these days.

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A salmon salad out with friends.

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It’s been a fine week of dining. What’s on your plate?

 

The “Cheat Meal”

Another week, another 2 pounds down. Feeling strong!

One thing to keep in mind about Weight Watchers or healthy eating in general, is that it’s not so much a temporary fix. I know people like quick fixes to lose weight fast, but sustainable weight loss requires a lifetime of choices.

This weekend, I went to the beach with family and had an indulgent meal followed by an ice cream. I don’t eat that way every day, but once a week makes a big difference in my perspective.

Eating real food with few fake or shady ingredients is important, but if you enjoy something, it should never be off limits. You just have to learn how to eat them in moderation. Easier said then done, but do something long enough, it does become habit.

Just like I need a rest day once a week, I also need a meal or two where I’m not counting calories or points, or wondering the ratio between carbs, proteins, and fats. Sometimes that meal turns into a week of meals, but know it’s never too late to return to healthier ways. Being super restrictive leads to resentment, which blocks success.

I don’t know if we should label anything the “cheat meal” because ice cream for me is just as important to my diet as baby spinach. I eat a lot more baby spinach per week, but it keeps me determined and successful. Referring to something as cheating provides further negative connotation to food, which our society does not need. We need to stop shaming people based on their habits, but try to promote better habits. Eating, for me at least, is an enjoyable part of life, whether it’s breakfast in the middle of a hectic morning or Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy it now more than I did when I was obese and eating a lot more. Part of that is I’ve come to like cooking, but another part of it is coming to accept the fact that we need food to live.

I’m not a proponent of many diets, fasts, or cleanses (although different things work for different people). Learning to eat real food most of the time just has better lasting effects and makes you feel better inside, which is most important.

Keep being you!

Food for Friday

It’s Friday and it’s time for the Friday Food Round-up! How are you feeling? Eat well this week? Sleep enough? Fit in some exercise? Hopefully all those answers are yes, and now we get to enjoy the weekend!

Breakfast

I made bagels from Skinnytaste that were 3 points on Weight Watchers! 3! The base is Greek yogurt and though my mom didn’t love the texture, I thought they were tasty. I dipped the first one in some peanut butter.

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Because the way I assembled them were too thin to cut, I dipped them into two over-easy eggs.

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I need simple and satisfying breakfasts at work, so I’ve been on a huge peanut butter stuffed pita kick as of late. With banana or other fruits is particularly delicious.

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Sometimes a girl just wants some eggs and toast.

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Lunch

I started off the week with a huge salad full of fresh veggies, grilled chicken, and some nuts for crunch.

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One day I stuck with leftovers for lunch, but the next day, I made this tuna salad with greek yogurt and mustard. Red bell peppers, carrots, and celery rounded out the dish.

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Since I work late Thursdays, I made a significant lunch of whole wheat pasta, grilled shrimp, and veggies.
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Dinner

The first dinner of the week was this blackened salmon dish with spinach rice, roasted bell peppers, and broccoli.

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Blackened scallops on a bed of spinach, peppers, carrots, and nuts.

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Chicken cacciatore with whole wheat pasta, bell peppers, and asparagus.

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A beautiful salad with veggies and grilled chicken.

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Have a spectacular weekend!

Week 1 WW

I’m a week back into Weight Watchers and feeling strong! So far, I’m down 6 pounds!

I know that is a big number, but the first week or two will always jumpstart you. There were definitely some changes that needed to be made to my diet.

The biggest change I’ve undergone thus far is cutting back on the carbs. I still eat and enjoy whole wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice, but not as much and not for every meal. I grew accustomed to having two slices of toast at breakfast especially, but now I eat one piece or have a whole wheat pita or tortilla instead. I’m particularly careful to measure how much I’m eating to keep me honest. Carbs are comfort, but they are also necessary for the body to function, so I refuse to abandon them!

A specific carb I’ve cut down on using is butter. I love butter, particularly on top of carbs and inside dishes to make them taste so much better. Not using it as frequently has helped me become more creative with spices in dishes, but also helps me make better choices, for instance, peanut butter is a better alternative to butter on my toast in the morning because it has more nutrients and substance.

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The biggest benefit has been a lack of bloating. I would sometimes go to bed feeling gross or overly stuffed, not thinking that I’ve eaten too much more than I should until that point. I already eat a ton of veggies, but I’ve upped my in take, hello breakfast scrambles, and my tummy has improved overall.

My energy levels have also improved. I don’t feel as tired when the alarm rings at 4:30 in the morning and my workouts feel better fueled. I’m excited to see how much easier my running gets as I continue to shed pounds, including speed and endurance.

It’s also important for me to remember how far I’ve come from 7 years ago now when I was 100 pounds heavier to see how far I’ve come.

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Return to Weight Watchers

After a week of indulgent eating, I knew it was time to get serious about getting back on track, so I signed up for Weight Watchers. It’s what worked for me a few years ago and thankfully, I don’t quite have as much weight to lose, but I still am not feeling my best.

I like the idea of the new plan- many 0 point healthy food options- while carefully selecting the items that do have points. I do best when I’m not eating many processed foods and know when to stop. Sometimes the mind can go a bit blind when it comes to instant gratification, but following a plan definitely helps me to combat that urge!

Since I workout fairly hard 6-days a week, almost every week, eating is my big road-block preventing me from hitting my ultimate goal. Now that I’m back on Weight Watchers, I took some before pictures, something I regretted not doing specifically when I started my 100-pound weight loss journey! It’s not easy showing these pictures.

 

It’s summer, so I’m still going to have an ice cream cone or a beer, but I am going to learn to enjoy the splurge once in awhile, rather than every, or every few days even.

Even though there needs to be some changes made, I’m excited to get back to holding myself accountable and listening more to my body.

One fun thing about being back on the plan is trying and including new and different healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the blog.

Sunday was the first official day, so I enjoyed a veggie-filled (0) two-egg (0) scramble stuffed with red bell peppers, baby spinach, and grape tomatoes. I sprinkled on two tablespoons of low-fat cheddar (0!) and enjoyed a slice of whole wheat bread (1) with a teaspoon worth of butter (2) for a total meal of 3 points. I think one of the hardest changes I need to make is cutting back on butter.

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For lunch, I made an english muffin (4) pizza with a tablespoon of sauce on each side (1), two tablespoons of reduced fat mozzarella (1), and 5 slices of turkey pepperoni (0), for 6 points.

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Dinner came from the grill: scallops (0), steak (4), asparagus (0), and bell pepper (0) and a little olive oil (1), with a small serving of risotto (5).  All of that goodness for 10 points! Managing sauces and all those extras will also be a big change.

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Summer is a great time to get back on track eating-wise because of the option to grill food and not feel compelled to stuff yourself because of the cold and comfort. I hope you all enjoy joining me on this journey!

a day of eating

Everyone’s gotta eat, so might as well make meals healthy and delicious. Here’s what a day of eating looks like around here.

Breakfast

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have time to run before I head into work. With the nice weather, I’m able to go around the neighborhood and get ready for work at home, including making and eating a delicious breakfast! One egg and one-egg white scrambled with a Thomas’ English muffin bagel.

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Breakfast on these days is enough to sustain me until lunch, although I’ll usually eat some berries or other fruit in-between.

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Lunch

I work late on Thursday nights, so I always have a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner. Leftover cod tacos with a crisp veggie medley of red bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, and broccoli with salsa verde drizzled on top, brown rice on the side.

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Dinner

For a quick, but satisfying meal between training sessions, I opted for a caesar salad with buffalo chicken on top. I use a baby spinach and kale mixture for my base and add in chopped tomatoes for an extra dose of veggies (or is it fruits in this case?)

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Dessert

Because everyone needs a little sweetness in their life. Some days, when I want ice cream, I’ll have ice cream, but today all my sweet tooth needed was two of these milk chocolates to be satisfied.

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Conclusion

When trying to lose or maintain weight loss, it’s easy to think you have to labor through boring meals that have no flavor or excitement to them. Over the years, I’ve learned that food is always going to be exciting, for me at least, and I need to stop feeling guilty about enjoying good meals. I just need to learn how to make healthier versions of them!

Have a great weekend, everyone!