Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making Healthy Choices!

I thought I would share a couple of sample menu’s of what I am eating on a regular basis to keep the baby weight off. Everyday people are asking me what my diet includes. What really helps is if I plan out my meals ahead of time so I’m not opening my cupboards and fridge repeatedly looking for something quick to make. I will write a couple of options for each mealtime and include some recipes that I love as well.

Breakfast: Always eat breakfast, always.
-          Plain Greek Yogurt with berries, (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
-          Special K Cereal with Milk and cut up banana
-           Egg wrap with light chedder cheese and spinach on a whole wheat tortilla and half grapefruit

Lunch: I mostly eat wraps for lunch so here’s a couple ideas for wraps using small whole wheat tortilla’s
-          Low Fat sliced turkey, light mayo, Dijon mustard, feta cheese, lettuce, spinach, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado. The good thing about wraps is that you can stuff as many veggies as you like in them.
-       Light Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil (just a drizzle)
-          Tuna, chicken or egg salad mixed with light mayo and loaded with all the veggies you love
This is where an indoor grill comes in handy! If you want a gourmet feel then grill it up, or stick it in the oven on broil for a couple minutes!

One thing I like to have as a side with my lunch is my Quinoa salad. I’m sure you have heard of Quinoa as it seems to be popping up all over as a loved superfood! Known as a great source of protein it packs lots of nutrition, including being high in iron (also makes a great food for babies).  Here is how I make my Chickpea Quinoa Salad. I make a whole cup so that I can use it all week.
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 can chickpeas
½ Cup of chopped Red Onions
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Juice from 1 lemon
¼ cup of olive oil
Just mix it all together and put it in the fridge for a bit. Feel free to throw in any chopped veggies you may have. I have used red pepper, carrots, cucumber, and black beans and it has always been delicious. If you don’t have Quinoa I have also substituted whole wheat Couscous.

I find myself making a love of stir fry’s because I find I can maximize the use of vegetables in my dishes, which in our house is important because Jon doubles on at every meal and is a huge fan of anything cheesy 
and fried. Below is a couple of Weight Watchers recipes I make religiously that are delish!

Vegetable Stir Fry 
2 tsp's of peanut oil
2 cup of chopped onion
2 cups of chopped bok choy
2 cups of chopped carrots
1 med green pepper
1 med sweet red pepper
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
2 cups of brocolli florets
2 cups of asparagus
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp of corn starch
1/4 cup chicken broth, low sodium
4 cups of brown rice

Heat oil in pan or wok, add vegetables still about 2 minutes, add soy sauce and cook untill veggies are crisp-tender. Whisk cornstarch into broth and add to pan. Simmer until sauce thinkens. Spoon stir fry onto rice and you can even sprinkle some peanuts on top for some more flavor. If you want to add chicken, shrimp or tofu for more protein, go for it! Don't worry if you don't have all the veggies it calls for, a lot of times I just throw in whatever I have in the fridge! That's the great thing about stir fry's, anything goes!

Cheese and Spinach Frittata
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup of fresh chopped spinach
2 tsp of scallion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of low fat chedder cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F, beat together eggs and egg whites in a bowl, stir in spinach, scallions, salt and pepper. Coat a pan with non stick skillet with cooking spray, heat over med heat, pour egg mixture into skillet and let partially cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake untill cheese softens and eggs firm up. What's great about this is that you can again throw in anything you have, and kids and babies love it!

I tend to skip dessert and I try not to eat fruit at night because of the sugar content, but if I really can't fight my sweet tooth I will break out my stash of dark chocolate, melt it, and drip fruit in it (only if I must...). It really doesn't take a whole lot to feel gourmet!

So that's about a typical day for me. Somedays I might forget or have to skip lunch, although I do try hard to include all meals. When I snack I try my best to make it count. Like veggies dipped in hummus, or a granola bar. If I do have to eat on the run I keep my choices healthy, which is easy these days because almost every restaurant has the options for you to do so! Happy Eating!

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