Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rut-terless Meals While Trying to Drop a Few Pounds

The portion I should have stopped at.

Let's face it. Dieting healthy eating, can be tedious. I struggle with meal planning in general, but add that a) my go to meals have historically been carb and fat laden comfort foods, and b) I don't want to make separate meals for myself and the other members of my family, and I can easily get in a low cal rut. I've partially combatted this by starting my meal first with the bulk of the meal being steamed vegetables, and filling in the sides with the main meal. But that has me feeling unfulfilled. 

I've been scoping my recipe's and trying to reinvent them as healthier options. Last night's option was my mom's Rice Hotdish. This is a simple dish of just rice, water, soy sauce, hamburger, and onion baked in the oven. I decreased the soy by 1/2 to just 1/4 cup, added ginger and garlic, used a whole large, onion, four carrots, three stocks of celery, and only 1/2 pound of hamburger. I had a zucchini lurking in the crisper so that went in as well. With this, I've cut the sodium, cut the fat, and upped the vegetables. It has sort of a stir fry taste. I ate too much though and the scale showed it this morning-comfort food after a tedious, but stressful day. I might have been the extra snack last night of hummus on bread with cheese, again, when not hungry. I guess that's the point of daily weigh ins.

My go to lunch last week was a big batch of black bean, corn,and tomato salad. I had bell peppers and onion left from the pizza so those went in as well. It made a big batch, and by Friday, I was at my last bowlful. To help with the boredom, I ate it slightly different each of the four days, adding the last of a jar of green olives one day, broken multi grain chips (left in the bottom of the bag) another, and served with a side of cottage cheese on the other two days. I'll take a break but will revisit it in another week as I have all the ingredients on hand.. 

I love steamed vegetables, but even something I enjoy gets dull. I've tried to perk them up with using different herbs and spices. Oregano, basil an parsley  elevated the simple California blend a couple times last week. A little ginger with some steamed carrots I did to go with the rice hot dish boosted the flavor a touch. 

I've been having a bit of peanut butter with banana slices or a clementine with a eight almonds (a mere 50 calories) for an afternoon snack. The nuttiness, even though I'm using a small amount of PB, helps my snack feel more substantial. Friday on a work break, I sliced an apple with an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese-just about an ounce. 

Historically, my weight loss down fall is over eating and eating too much of the wrong kinds of food. While I am feeling more successful, hitting the three week mark, I am worried about my boredom level and getting in a rut, that then gets me mindless eating.(second portions when I'm not even still hungry.) If you have hints that work well for you, please share. If there are any good healthy food bloggers, real people with crazy busy lives, please recommend them in the comments.

12 comments:

  1. We are eating 2 veggies rather than one as a side instead of a starch ie salad and steamed broccoli with meat. Also, my salads are full of things like dried cranberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds and a mild feta cheese just to make them taste better. You are right though, it gets boring!

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    1. If I had access to already prepped vegetables and assorted salad toppings, I might never get bored-these are really good ideas to help shake up my routine.

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  2. I too struggle with the mindless eating. One strategy that works for me is when reaching for the extra portion or nice snack asking myself am i hungry for an apple/other piece of fruit. If answer is no, then im not hungry. If im still struggling then i eat the apple anyway. better calories at least.

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    1. Clever solution. I've intentionally reserved part of my lunch for a mid afternoon snack. Nothing much-a clementine with a few nuts, a yogurt, and it helps so far to not mindless snack, but intentionally snack.

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  3. We eat our main meal in the afternoon and start it with a salad. I have to watch carbs because I'd live on bread and potatoes if I could.

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    1. I hear you. I love the carbs, but have cut back so much, but not completely.

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  4. Feeling your pain. Yesterday I googled "can a person eat too many vegetables" and found this site -http://www.whfoods.com/recipestoc.php. It's not a blog but there's a spot (scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see "recipes" which explains the values of the world's healthiest foods and has lots of good recipes; I liked the spot where you can choose a food, like aspargus, and it will bring up many recipes using asparagus.
    Like you I try different ways to make the same things palatable. But there are tons of vegetables out there - maybe try some new ones. At Farmboy I found a huge back of kale, washed and chopped, and it stayed good for quite a while. I use it as a base for stir fries etc (no rice/pasta/etc). You can eat a ton and ingest very few calories.

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    1. I wish I could force myself to like Kale, but just do not. I will try that website out for sure though.

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  5. Let's see. . . I try to have a salad at lunch (as my meal). I do typically add rice, and then mix in hummus. That way, it has protein, & keeps me full long enough to last until dinner. For snacks, I try to have fruit or veggies. Dinner is harder for me, but I try to just have smaller portions of what everyone else is having. Then, if I'm still hungry, the only snack I allow myself after dinner is fruit (typically watermelon). I also try & get outside & do small chores (sweeping the patio, etc) as a distraction if I'm in a snacky mood. Getting out of the house helps, as does brushing my teeth after dinner.

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    1. When watermelons start coming, I will keep them ready to eat-so bulky they help with the hunger. I am still just plain hungry after some of my smallish meals, but I need to just wait a bit, then add more fruit or veg.

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  6. I am finding that having things ready to eat is my biggest benefit. I am trying to shop and prep veggies right then and there, so things are always ready to eat in the fridge. I am also experimenting with fermenting some veggies and pickling some in leftover dill pickle juice just to kick the flavor up a little. (Some successful, some not so much)

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    1. Do share what worked well. I love pickled vegetables, and saving the juice from pickles sounds like an easy way to give them a try.

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