Tag Archives: Breakfast

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Breakfast and Lunch

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Continuing on with this mini series on weight loss  I thought I’d share the changes I’ve made to breakfast and lunch.  Many of these changes are very subtle but they’ve certainly paid off.  I’ll also talk about carbs because I’ve definitely made some changes when it comes to those!

Breakfast has always been rather healthy for me.  I typically gravitate towards oatmeal, overnight oats, yogurt with fruit and smoothies.  I still enjoy all of those things but some more than others.  Smoothies have been a big component of our weight loss meal plan.  We started the year drinking detoxifying green smoothies everyday.  Michael really liked a combination of spinach, kale, celery, pear, cucumber, ginger, garlic and water.  I personally couldn’t deal with the garlic, it was just too much for me at 8am.  I liked a combo of spinach, kale, celery, pear, cucumber, pineapple, ginger and lemon.  It has just enough sweetness to it and it makes me feel really great.  I love playing around with different combos of smoothies and think they are a great way to use up veggies that are getting close to the end of their life.   Smoothies also did a great job of keeping me full but not stuffed.  By the time lunch came around I was ready for it!

Green Smoothie!

Green Smoothie!

Speaking of lunch, let’s discuss.  About a year and a half ago I gave my lunches a makeover.  I used to eat a sandwich, crackers, fruit and something sweet.  When I stopped training for marathons I started putting on some weight and I knew I was eating too much during the day.  Since then I’ve been eating soups, salads, or a sandwich on a wrap.  I no longer have crackers or chips, or sweets during the day.  I’ll be honest though I sometimes struggle with the sweets particularly when I’m really stressed out.  I’ve found the only cure is will power, so I just don’t eat it.  I do eat a lot of fruit.  So a typical lunch is soup or salad, a banana, and some berries.  I always have some almonds in my bag should I need a late afternoon snack but it’s very rare.  I love soup or salad because it’s just filling enough and since we make all our soups at home I know they are healthy!

Homemade Thai Noodle Soup

Homemade Thai Noodle Soup

The biggest change has really been how I view carbohydrates.  I LOVE bagels and muffins and paninis and subs.  There is nothing better than an everything bagel toasted with veggie cream cheese or a warm, cheese panini.  Clearly they aren’t the healthiest.  Here’s the thing though, I’m just not one to eliminate things.  In fact, once I eliminate it makes me want it EVEN more.  So I had to compromise.  Now I make my own muffins at home to be sure they are healthy and low-calorie, like these Banana Almond Muffins.  If I’m craving a bagel, I’ll have a half a bagel instead of a whole one.  Even then, I don’t eat bagels that often.  As for sandwiches, I really only try to have them once in a while.  If I said I had one once a week that would be exaggerating.  I make every effort to bring a healthy soup or salad from home to work so I’m not tempted to head out at lunch for Panera or the like.  We also don’t keep bread in our house.  The only bread you’ll find is a loaf of frozen ezekiel bread in the freezer which has been there for quite some time.  We do eat a lot of tortillas.  Michael loves egg sandwiches, so these days he’s been loving scrambled eggs on a tortilla.  I love waffles with almond butter and bananas, now I have a warm tortilla with bananas and almond butter.  They are delicious and I honestly don’t miss the bread or carbohydrates.

Like I said, small changes for these two meals that are really paying off.  Like I said in my last post, I’m feeling really good and definitely seeing the movement on the scale.  The most exciting part is that I’m seeing my muscles really tone up!

What do your breakfasts and lunches look like?  What changes have you made to help you lose weight?

Banana Almond Muffins

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If you are like me like, you love a good muffin to start your day BUT you hate all the sugar, carbohydrates and empty calories.  If you are like me you also put almond butter on almost everything but particularly love almond butter with bananas.  If you are like me, you’ll love these banana almond muffins!  I’ve swapped out regular flour for whole wheat flour, and said good-bye to sugar and hello to agave.  I’ve also added plain, raw almonds to combine two of my favorite flavors!

Banana Almond Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of agave syrup

3 large bananas mashed

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of chopped raw almonds

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

1.  Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Grease a muffin tin with oil.

3.  Mix agave nectar, bananas, oil and eggs in a large bowl with wooden spoon.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into muffin tin.

4.  Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.   Let cool and loosed from tin.

Makes 12 muffins. 

I love these muffins.  They are so quick and easy to make and taste delicious every time.  We always have extra bananas lying around since I don’t eat them once they turn brown.  So I freeze them and use them for smoothies and these muffins.  The muffins are light and fluffy with just enough almonds in them.

My favorite way to enjoy them is toasted with almond butter or jam on top.  If I’m feeling really crazy I top it with cream cheese for an extra good treat.  They make the perfect breakfast or pre/post workout snack!

Enjoy!

What I Ate Wednesday #75

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I love spring, mostly because it brings with it grilling weather and changes up my taste buds.  Gone are the days of heavy stews, soups and roasts.  I’m digging salads, fresh veggies, grilled meats and so much more.  We’ve been focusing more on veggies, portion control, less sugars and more protein.  Michael is starting to lose weight and I’ve been feeling really good when it comes to food.  I’ve found that it’s easier to say no to the junk food because it just really doesn’t make me feel good since we’ve been eating so much good stuff!

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Breakfast.

I’ve been loving pancakes and waffles.  During the week I’ve been having waffles with peanut butter and bananas, or with maple syrup and fruit.  This weekend we made homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries on top.  I’ve been perking up my coffee with chocolate almond milk which makes it taste so good!

Homemade Pancakes, Fresh Strawberries and Coffee

Homemade Pancakes, Fresh Strawberries and Coffee

Lunch. 

Lunch has been filled with variety.  Last week I was loving turkey with American cheese and mustard on a sandwich thin.  This week I have chicken and a baked sweet potato topped with salsa and sour cream.  Also in the mix have been frozen burritos.  I even bought some fresh bread to have an old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly one day.  Snacks have been lots and lots of fruit…bananas, strawberries, grapes, and apples.  I’ve also been loving raw almonds or yogurt.

Snacks:  Red Grapes and Raw Almonds

Snacks: Red Grapes and Raw Almonds

Dinner.

Friday night we went to dinner at this italian restaurant near by.  There are only 7 tables in the restaurant and it always seems like there is a long wait for a table.  We got lucky and only waited 10 minutes to get a table.  The restaurant is famous for its fresh baked bread which is incredible!  I had fettucine with mushrooms and truffle oil which was so good!  Sunday we made grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob and salads for dinner…and margaritas (it was Cinco de Mayo)!  Also in the mix has been fish, salad and broccoli.  We also made a healthier version of steak sandwiches with peppers and onions and a little bit of cheese.  It’s so good!

Dinner

Dinner

Dessert.

I couldn’t resist the other night…I NEEDED a bowl of fro yo in my life.  Moose tracks frozen yogurt to the rescue and it was good!

Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

Waffles or Pancakes? What are your go to snacks? What new dinner ideas are you loving?  Favorite Fro Yo flavor?

What I Ate Wednesday #74

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I’m pretty excited to be talking about food today.  I seriously love food and it makes me happy.  My eating was really off last week.  It was incredibly busy at work, the days were flying by and I kept forgetting to eat.  I was also really stressed out and trying to stay focused which distracted me from lunch.  This week I’m making a better effort to stop and eat lunch at noon and eat my snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  It’s amazing how much better I feel when I stick to my normal eating schedule.

Breakfast.

I’ve had some long days and I love to start them off with a good breakfast full of fuel.  One of my goto’s has been waffles, a couple scrambled eggs with cheese and fresh fruit with coffee.  It’s so delicious and the perfect balance of carbs and protein!

Waffles, Eggs and Fruit

Waffles, Eggs and Fruit

Over the weekend Michael and I got a little bit creative with breakfast and made breakfast tacos.  We scrambled eggs with Morning Star Veggie Breakfast Sausage, black beans, tomatoes and cheese.  On top we put sliced avocado, salsa and sour cream.  It was so good and really filling!

Breakfast Tacos!

Breakfast Tacos!

Lunch.

I’ve been keeping it simple with sandwiches and fruit.  I’m learning that I actually eat less at my new job and don’t need to bring as much food.  For months I’ve been bringing 3 pieces of fruit, nuts and yogurt in addition to my lunch.  I pretty much always eat 2 pieces and fruit and maybe some nuts.  I’ve been carrying extra food back and forth that I never eat.  So I’ve been trying to bring just enough food rather than too much.

Tuna Sandwich, Popcorn, Strawberries and Blackberries, Banana, Almonds

Tuna has been in the mix lately, it’s a nice change and so good!

Dinner.

The other night we kept it simple and had pasta with Mike’s Mom’s sauce and salads.  Usually we just dump about half a box of pasta into the pot and call it good but this time we weighed out pasta for our meal.  It didn’t look like much dried but cooked it proved to be plenty of food!  We definitely need to start weighing more of our food.

Pasta with Sauce and Meat, Salad

Pasta with Sauce and Meat, Salad

We also had our favorite haddock with Ritz crackers, salad and broccolini.  Michael made the broccolini with a soy and sesame sauce which was so good.  It made the veggies salty but sweet and gave them tons of flavor.  In the sauce was soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and garlic.  It was quick and easy to put together too!

Haddock, Broccolini with a Soy Sesame sauce and Salad.

Haddock, Broccolini with a Soy Sesame sauce and Salad.

I can’t wait to see what all of you have been eating! Many thanks to Jen for hosting the party.

What do you like to eat for breakfast on a long day? How many snacks do you eat during the day? What is one of your favorite veggie sides with dinner?

What I Ate Wednesday #73

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Last week was so busy which meant that my meals were quick and easy.  By Friday our fridge was empty and required serious creativity to piece together a lunch, I couldn’t deal so I headed to the Whole Foods hot bar.  I ate out dinner more times last week than I prefer.  This week I was motivated to eat good, healthy home cooked meals.  It’s only Wednesday and so far, I’ve been eating pretty darn good!

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Breakfast. 

Saturday morning I had to work, and by work I mean I had to meet my team running the Nike Women’s Marathon Half with Team In Training.  We chatted fundraising, training and all things D.C. while out running.  I got in a solid 6 miles.  By the time I got home I was starving and happy to be done for the week.  I took leftover ham and heated it up to have with scrambled eggs, strawberries and blackberries.  Breakfast and a cup of coffee was exactly what I needed to relax.

Ham and Eggs.  Banana Nut Muffins.

Ham and Eggs. Banana Nut Muffins.

In preparation for the week I made sugar-free banana nut muffins.  I love having a toasted muffin with cereal or yogurt and granola.  It’s always delicious.  Plus, it packs well when I have to eat breakfast at work because I teach in the morning.  So good!

Lunch. 

For lunches I made one of my favorite spring and summer meals, avocado chicken salad.  It’s a recipe from Cooking Light Magazine last April.  It comes together so quick thanks to a rotisserie chicken, the cilantro freshens it up and the avocado makes it creamy.  I like to eat it with tortilla chips, Michael likes it on a wrap…to each their own.  It’s definitely filling thanks to protein and good-for-you fats.

Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Chicken Salad

Along with it I had my go-to strawberries and blackberries, an apple, banana, and almonds.  I packed it all in my new bento box thanks to Michael.  It takes Tupperware to a new level! It’s so much more convenient and I love how it all bundles together!

Dinners.

I love being home for dinner, really I do.  I love meal planning, cooking and most of all eating.  Sunday we used the last of the lamb from Easter.  We turned it into lamb ragu and served it over polenta with a dollop of ricotta cheese on top.  It was so good, I love ending the weekend with a hearty warm meal.  On Monday we made something new!  Michael has always said he didn’t like salmon but he’s had a change of heart.  I’m psyched because I love salmon!  We made salmon cakes served over lettuce with broccoli on the side.  They were so delicious and light.  Definitely something we’ll be making again and not a bad way to start the week!

Lamb Ragu with Polenta.  Salomon Cakes over Lettuce.

Lamb Ragu with Polenta. Salomon Cakes over Lettuce.

Be sure to check out Jen’s blog, Peas and Crayons for other great What I Wednesday posts!

What type of muffins are your favorite? Have you made an untraditional chicken salad before?  What are your new-to-you dinners?