Thursday, January 31, 2013

Salads Are For Suckers

Ok, I actually do like a lot of salads, and I don't think you're a sucker if you do either. But I am a sucker for alliteration.

However, salads day after day get so incredibly dull. Getting in those veggie GHG's doesn't have to be painful or hard, NOR SHOULD IT BE!

If you plan to change your lifestyle, you have to PLAN to maintain it. You have to make lifelong changes.  Eating salad day in and day out is great if that doesn't bore you and works, but for me, I immediately start rebelling. Or bargaining.

"I ate a salad, now I can have bunches of cookies cause I've paid my dues"
"I ate a salad now I don't need to work out"
"I ate a then I ate a quarter pounder with a large fries after"

I could go on and on. Obviously a good salad is a good salad. I think it is important to explore components of a "good" salad.

Below is a list of things that I think make a salad worth eating:

-Cheese- in particular a good distinct cheese, goat cheese, bleu cheese, feta, etc. I find that these cheeses add the most flavor in a small punch (although they do no count towards the dairy GHG because they are soft cheese, very sad)

-Protein- be it some bacon, chicken, egg, chickpeas, or pecans protein packs a healthy powerful punch. It adds diversity of taste and texture.

-Fruits- Fruit adds right to that GHG check and its 0 points (mostly!) what could be better? Adding apples to a salad can replace the crunch that croutons usually give you. Plus they add sweetness to help curb those "I ate a salad so now I need dessert" feelings.

-Avocado- This should really be under fruit, but I love it so much it gets its own category- Avocado is basically a dressing. Full of healthy fat. Avocado aren't a power food (which is silly, but thats a whole different post) however that doesn't mean they don't count to your GHG's. They are also so creamy and flavorful, sure to beef up any salad.

-Anything with crunch- a FEW croutons, a FEW tortilla strips are always good as long as you keep the amount within reason, because crunchy carbs are delicious.

The habit of salads though- I am still not into. And I don't think anyone can rely on salads as the only way of checking off all those boxes for the fruit/veggie GHG. Also for me eating that salad, fruit and all, doesn't stop that bargaining.

I've stopped this bargaining with myself by working fruits and veggies into meals I love. At meetings we have been aiming to eat a fruit or veggie with every meal and I have done so well with this and it made me get creative.

See below!

Avocado on toast gives you a healthy fat to replace the  "bad" fat in butter,  its creaminess can rival that of the best cream cheeses. 
Salsa verde and tomatos add loads of flavor to a scrambled egg, make it colorful and fun and spicy. Its more filling, diverse and delicious. 
The pizza sauce here is homemade and adds a serving of veggies as well.
There is a half a cup of blueberries in these low fat oatmeal pancakes. 
These homemade beef empanadas are sitting pretty on top of a bed of lettuce, some homemade guacamole and some pico de gallo
and lastly, but not leastly, this is a frozen homemade smoothie/pudding pop. It has half a cup of strawberries in it, and  a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt. This wonderful idea is another from (seriously you should go over there). You can get these silicone molds (which for cute are they?) from Amazon. 
All these solutions have stopped the bargaining and really incorporated veggies and fruit into my diet in a way that I love. I don't feel I am just paying my dues or forcing it on myself anymore. I feel like I'm really eating and achieving a healthy well balanced diet (I mean look even my dessert has fruit). The days of forcing a boring salad down my throat just to get in those GHG's. And by doing this I've identified what makes a salad a worthwhile meal to me, and I've had so much fun doing it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bento Box Bonaza!

So I got this from groupon a few weeks ago.

Bento Lunch! Peanut Butter sandwich on an Arnolds Sandwich Thin, pretzel sticks, horseradish cheddar cheese, and an apple!

It is my new favorite tool.
I love having a "lunchbox" again.
I love not wasting and spending money on Ziploc bags.
I love not carrying six huge containers.

Bento Breakfast and Lunch-2 Eggs scrambled with Cabot reduced fat cheddar cheese, brown n serve turkey sausage links, and an english muffin with olive oil on it (instead of butter), and an apple with Cabot horseradish cheddar cheese, peanut butter and pretzel sticks for lunch. ALL IN ONE CONTAINER!

At first I thought the compartments might be too small and annoy me, but instead they rock! You can tailor it to your wants and needs each day, everything stays nice and fresh and separate. I love that I can have breakfast and lunch in one container, rather than fifty ziplock bags. I love planning my lunch before hand and then TRACKING it that night, and being ready for the next day.

You can pick up your OWN bento box from Amazon: click here!
And the company has a blog: 
There are  A LOT of options. Look around and see what works for you. I love this one because it is BPA free, easy to microwave and wash (the lid can't go in the microwave, and top rack only!) But seriously, it has helped with portions, planning, and tracking so much. I can not recommend getting a real lunch box anymore!

FURTHERMORE (I also made this):

I follow a blog called 100 Days of Real Food. They are awesome and you should follow them too! They have inspired me to start eating more whole real food again and reading those labels!

Having grown up with parents and family who create awesome whole food products, I really love cooking myself and eating things that come from real wholesome ingredients. I am certainly not to the point where I am eliminating ALL processed foods, just cutting down a great down deal. 

In an effort to eat less processed (a little) I made my own whole wheat english muffins! and my own tomato sauce. Then I portioned them out with cheese, and boom, fake lunchables. I get all fun of being a kid and making my pizza at lunch, but its less calories, more filling, and with way less preservatives! I just did cheese, but you could add whatever you wanted! I also love the measuring cups I got with my Weight Watchers success kit to keep my sauce and cheese portioned out nicely. They even stayed upright in the bento box (amazing right?). Although I did work to keep the box level so as not to spill all the sauce.

Overall using this the last two weeks has really ramped up my planning and motivation. I again, can not recommend getting a real lunch box enough.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Hey Everyone!
It has been a while.

Its a new year, and the struggles of last year have come and gone. Over the last year I realized the struggle is inevitable. There is no "right" time that is going to come. Perfection is unrealistic and a flawed way of thinking. The good times will ebb and flow, so will the bad.

As a horseback rider I know you always have to get back in the saddle no matter how many times you fall off, so here I am. Why do I allow the bad to control me so much more than the good? Why is the good so easily dismissed and the bad so devastating?

I've learned a lot over the years here at weight watchers. I've been through so many versions of the system, momentum, points plus, 360. However, it always rings true and always works, and when I do my best, I lose weight and am at my best health. I've found what I have to keep in mind is that there is no failure, just feedback. If I don't ever completely give up, I have not failed. Eating a few meals and going into the red and gaining one week are all just things that will inevitably happen, these are not failures. These are markers that I need to reassess what I am eating, drinking, and where I am physically and emotionally. This feedback means I need to remember the goal, remember what I can control in my life and what I can't. I need to remember that I have all the tools, I just need to dust off that tool box and start working on repairs again.

I've found that I need to learn that progress comes in many forms. Lessons learned sometimes need to be learned again and again. In the grand scheme of things, one night of weakness at a restaurant or bar will not, and should not, dictate the next few months, weeks, days or even the next meal I have that day. My successes weigh as much as my slip ups, each pound lost is as great a success. If I'm going to learn to live this way, I can not expect each bite to be perfect, the next bite will not dictate my entire future.

My successes are also a form of feedback, and I need to hear and see that feedback as much as I need to hear the feedback from faltering. I need to listen carefully to what my body is trying to tell me it needs and doesn't need, and adjust from there. Rather than giving up at the first sign of failure, I need to face that failure head on. Instead of ignoring the success as routine, I need to celebrate it as much as I need to face the failure, I need to face the success. It IS great that I lost .4 this week, it IS wonderful these pants fit again. I need to feel pride in those moments and they matter as much as the moments that I am not so proud of.

So here's to a new year filled with meetings, lessons, and feedback.