Category Archives: diet

Too Much Good Food is Still Too Much

Yesterday was a glorious day. We inched our way into the 80’s for the first time in so long. Immediately after work, I took Hadley to the dog park. He ran around in the heat for a good hour and played up a storm. When we left the park, he lied down and refused to get up. I tried to get him to move, but to no avail. Finally, I just carried the lazy bum inside. He’s not spoiled or anything.

Hadley passed out on the hardwood floor fully exhausted while I got out of my play clothes and into nicer duds for dinner with my parents. Chris joined us and we headed out to a brick oven pizza place. My parents brought a cake for me to the restaurant, and I drew a lot of attention. A woman insisted I cut her in the bathroom line as my birthday gift. I actually thought this was a pretty awesome gift.

My dad, Chris, and I split a well done pie with extra cheese and mushroom. Asking for a pizza pie well-done is my pizza ordering trick. It makes the pizza so much better when they do it right. Last night, they did it right and the three of us polished off the whole pie, while my mom munched healthily on her salad. The meal was ended with my yummy birthday cake.

To make up for the extravagance of the past few days, today I am eating healthy all the way. Breakfast was greek yogurt mixed with Honey Bunches of Oats. This is my favorite breakfast ever. Lunch was also pretty great: white rice, broccoli, and a Morningstar Chick Patty all mixed together with a pear. Of course, I’ve been snacking on baby carrots throughout the day. My goal of the weekend is to eat healthy every meal with the potential exception for Saturday night when I’m going out with friends for my birthday. It will be a bit of a challenge, since I’ve been off the healthy eating wagon this past week. Also, my best friend from college, Kelley, is visiting this long weekend, and one of our favorite things to do together is try out different foods and bake. We will just have to focus on eating healthy!

Now I ask you a question. Warmer months means more visitors. We had visitors last weekend, and I ate horribly (wonderfully, but horribly). We are having the lovely Miss Kelley this weekend. We are sure to have more visitors in the near future. When people come to visit, you want to take to your favorite places to eat. Often, those aren’t the healthiest places – they are often your “treat” places. This past weekend, we went with our guests to a great pub, Good Restaurant, Grom gelato, our favorite Indian, place, our favorite Italian place, etc. All were so so yummy, but  I know that my body isn’t the best for it now. What are your suggestions for eating healthy when you still want to show off your favorites to your guest? Hopefully, I’ll have some recs for you after this weekend!

Oh happy day

April has not only brought lots of showers (let’s hope for lots of May flowers!), but it’s also brought with it a lot of stress-inducing events. I seemed to have stumbled into a run of mishaps and little annoyances that were really starting to take their toll. But yesterday, my April began to turn around. Yesterday was a great day. Why was yesterday so happy? Let me bullet-point it for you (because to me, a good list is happy):

  • Work was very productive. I enjoy a day where I keep busy and achieve my work-day goals.
  • It was supposed to rain all day, but the afternoon was warm and sunny. I got to venture outside for lunch without my winter jacket.
  • Hadley went to the groomer. I dropped him off before work and picked him up afterwards. The groomer said he did so well hanging out with her all day that from now on she’s going to charge us less because he is such a pleasure. Also, Hadley doesn’t smell like wet dog anymore.
  • I weighed myself for the first time in a month, so I could know how much weight I have to lose to reach my cruise-time goal. I lost a pound in March will aiming to maintain my current weight, so this was a happy surprise.
  • My run on the treadmill yesterday was a great one. I had lots of energy and my two miler felt good. I was able to rock out a sub-8 minute mile for my second mile, and I could have gone faster if I knew I would have so much left at the end. It feels good to be getting back into a running groove.
  • Chris got out of work before midnight!!! In fact he got out of work in time for a late dinner. This only happens once in a while, since he is mid trial and is absolutely slammed at work. We went out to dinner at a local pub-style restaurant where we kicked back, enjoyed a beer, and I polished off a delicious ahi tuna salad.
  • We caught up on bad TV together. Nothing is more fun that watching truly bad TV with the man you love.

Let’s hope April is now on the up and up!

Veggiversary Week: Monday’s Meals

Monday’s Veggiversary Lunch: Whole Foods Chick Salad

For lunch yesterday, I indulged in a favorite of mine: Chick Salad from Whole Foods. This stuff is seriously good. It also is seriously well priced at only $2.50 a container. I love its texture, and unlike some veggie meat products, it keeps me full for a long time. In my opinion, it tastes of chicken, but not so much as to freak me out. When a veggie meat tastes exactly like a meat product, I tend not to like it. The Chick Salad is mixed with mayo and celery to bring it all together. I enjoyed it on a toasted English Muffin. Super yum.

Monday’s Veggiversary Dinner: Whole Foods Butternut Squash Ravioli with Peppers and Onions

For dinner last night, I tried Whole Foods ravioli for the first time. They were priced at $3.99, so I decided I picked them up on my Sunday shopping trip. The ravioli were super simple to make. All I had to do was boil water, bring it to a low boil, and pop the ravioli in for 8 mintues. While it cooked, I chopped up onions and pepper and sautéed them in a little bit of butter with salt and pepper. I combined it all in the bowl to add an extra something to the ravioli. I really enjoyed the meal. The ravioli where sweet and the vegetables mixed in gave it a fresh edge. I enjoyed finding a ravioli option without any cheese, because that’s where extra calories come in. I would recommend this dish all year-round, but I am especially excited to continue to enjoy its fresh appeal during the warmer months.

Marie Claire

I’ve never been on the Marie Claire website before now, and I must admit some things on it kind of scare me. They seem very into weight loss.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this:

Source

The tool located here just seems to make the model wider or narrower depending on the weight you choose. The top of the page reads You … But Better. Does this seem wrong to and odd to anyone else? Or do you feel this is a helpful tool?

Fat Cat

I’m having one of those days. You’ve all had them before, I’m sure. It’s the kind of day when you wake up and just feel yuck. I pulled on my clothes and continued to feel yuck. Lately, I have been having higher self-esteem about my body image, but today I felt meh. Even though admittedly my dress looks fine on me – and I am probably smaller and more toned than the last time I wore it since its been in my warm season section of my closet – I still feel like a look something like this:

Source

It probably has to do with a mix of things:

 1) I went to a diner last night with friends. The food was great, because I grew up in Jersey and have a soft spot for diner food. I ordered a veggie burger, and was given the largest veggie burger I have ever seen in my whole life. It was like eating an entire cow – if that cow was made out of beans and veggies. Really, it was roughly the size of my head. I ate nearly the whole thing. And some fries. Damn you diner food and your deliciousness.

2) I didn’t get to run yesterday. I was really looking forward to taking a run yesterday, but Hadley was having so much fun at the dog park that I let him stay for an entire hour. Hadley got an awesome workout in, but alas, I had to skip mine so I could make it to dinner. At least my ball-throwing arm is getting jacked.

3) I woke up expecting spring, but weather.com lied to me. So instead of wearing my spring dress ala carte, I had to pair it with leggings and a cardi. I took off the leggings when I got to work because the extra bulk was driving me nuts.

Today is going to be a healthy mind – healthy body kind of day to kick this veggie-cow feeling. Breakfast was a yummy homemade Chocolate Coconut Cream instant oatmeal pack. Lunch is lined up to be a Chick Patty on an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin paired with Carmel Soy Crisps. This evening, in addition to throwing a ball for my ball-loving Welshie, I am going to Pilates. After Pilates, I plan on cooking dinner with Lauren. We are looking to make a yummy couscous dish, preferably with some fresh veggies. Couscous dinner suggestions welcomed.

What do you when you wake up feeling off?

Getting Back on Track

I was doing very well in my new healthy lifestyle, but lately life has been so hectic that I feel myself failing to keep on track. It’s hard to eat healthy when going out to eat a lot, having celebrations, being away from home, or flat out being stressed. So I feel that though my exercise has been great and my intentions good, I have been failing over the past few weeks to eat a truly healthy lifestyle.

I am challenging myself TODAY to make changes.

How To Get “Re-Healthy”:

  1. Clean the darn apartment. When my apartment is neat and organized, I feel neat and organized. Right now, my apartment is in post apocalyptic mood, so you can imagine my mindset. It makes me not want to be in the house, or if I am in the house, on the couch or in bed away from the laundry that needs to be put away or the whatnots that need to be tidied up. When the kitchen is messy, it is especially hard for me to motivate myself to cook – I’ll only add to the mess. So today, I will clean and organize my apartment. It’s small, so it only really needs about 2 hours of my time to be truly shiny.
  2. Plan out my meals. When I don’t plan what to eat, I tend to either just take-in or eat poorly. I was doing really well bringing lunch to work every day, but stopped randomly last week. This is because I am not thinking what I want to have for lunch the next day until it is bedtime. Then I think, I’ll just figure it out in the morning. Then I’m a sleepy monster in the morning and forget. I need to make lunches for the next day when I am making dinner. I also need to plan dinners during the day, so when I come home I know what to make. I need a plan people!
  3. Try out new recipes. This has been the most successful part of my healthy living transition. Since I enjoy cooking new things, new recipes keep me motivated to eat healthy. Since the kitchen is messy, and I have no plans, I haven’t been finding new recipes to get excited over.
  4. Check the menu before I go. Tomorrow I know that I am going out to eat with a friend. I need to have a game-plan before going hungry to the restaurant. That way, I know all day what I’ll eat, and I won’t hungrily order the most horrid thing on the menu. Cheese sticks does not good decisions make.

So that’s my plan. Step 1: Clean the darn kitchen TONIGHT. Step 2: Make lunch for tomorrow right after dinner. Step 3: Think of some recipes I want to try out next week and buy the ingredients this weekend. Step 4: Plan where I am eating tomorrow evening and decide on my meal.

What do you do when you have a healthy lifestyle hiccup?

The Thrill is Back

Before living in Upstate NY I didn’t even know who Alan Jackson was, and now I’m quoting him in post titles. Oh, how I wish NYC had a country music station. Thankfully, there is Pandora.

But, the thrill is back. What thrill? The thrill of wearing your old clothes. The thrill of losing enough weight that you get to go shopping in your closet. It’s been a while since I could fit into some of my clothes, but I refused to give them up in the event that someday I would actually lose weight. Well, some day is here. Today, I am wearing my favorite jeans circa 1L year. They were a little tight then, but now they are more than comfortable. And they make my bum look good. There is nothing more fun that getting new-ish clothes without actually having to pay for them. I am having lots of fun realizing that I can wear things that I haven’t worn in a few years. I still am scared every time I go to zipper a pair of jeans that wouldn’t even button in September. Every time they zip up, and I realize they are comfortable, I get so thrilled. I also have started wearing some shirts that were too small earlier in the year. I am officially a Medium top again!

What milestones have you achieved lately?

I am still in need of losing my final 8lbs, though. Here are some things I am munching on to help me achieve that goal:

Lunch yesterday was half a container of Whole Foods mock-chicken salad mixed with dried cranberries  served on a low-fat English muffin with tomato and lettuce. I paired it with Garlic and Onion Soy Crisps. The mock-chicken salad is one of my favorite things to eat, and I got a container this past week for only $2.50. Score!

Dinner last night, I was all set to ravage through my bare cupboards and create a random meal. Then, I got the idea of salmon in my head, and just couldn’t shake it. So I went to the local supermarket and picked up a piece for under $4. I love well priced fish. I also tried this out as it was on Manager’s Special:

I mixed the spinach pasta with the salmon and added diced tomatoes and steamed broccoli. Of course I topped the whole thing off with some lemon juice, garlic powder, and feta. A yummy, satisfying meal. I’m happy I tried out a new type of pasta. I will be purchasing it again.

What new foods have you enjoyed trying out?

Weighing In

The new scale I ordered off of Amazon seems to be broke. Either I gained two pounds by putting on my makeup today or it doesn’t work properly. Thankfully, I used their free shipping, so at least there’s that in my favor.

What reliable scale do you recommend? I don’t want to keep ordering and returning products!

How to Avoid Unhealthy Mid-day Snacks

My friend e-mailed me the other day with a suggestion for a post that I thought was a great topic. I present to you my totally non-authoritative advice on how to avoid unhealthy mid-day snacks.  We can also call this post, How Allie Stopped Snacking On Everything Just Um Because.

  1. Are you actually hungry? Or are you maybe thirsty? One of the best pieces of dieting advice I have ever gotten was one of the simplest. Often people’s bodies confuse hunger with thirst. If you feel hungry, but have eaten somewhat recently, try drinking a glass of water to see if you are actually thirsty. Turns out I’m a lot thirsty than I ever realized!
  2. Eat a filling lunch. We all know that you can eat more of some foods than others for the same amount of calories. But also, some foods are just more long-lasting than others. My current favorite long-lasting foods are beans and chickpeas (which I never can decide if they are beans or not). They are seriously filling and can bulk up many a meal. Eat beans in a salad, burrito, pasta, etc. or eat them on their own like my roasted chickpeas. The more filling your lunch is, the less likely you will be craving junk at 3PM.
  3. Have a plan. It’s absolutely fine to have an afternoon snack. I am of the late dinner eaters, so I tend to always have a snack between lunch and dinner. I have found, though, that it’s best to think about what that snack will be beforehand. If you plan on having a snack at work/school, bring it with you. If you plan on waiting until you get home, think about what you’ll have on your commute. Better yet, prep it the night before and have it waiting for you in the kitchen. This way, you won’t manically grab at whatever you find before you have to run to take the dog for a walk. Or maybe that’s just I problem I used to have …
  4. Pick out fun snacks. Once again, afternoon snacks are fine, as long as they aren’t empty calories in high quantity. When you plan, make sure you pick out snacks you actually like to eat. If not, one of three things will happen: 1) You will skip that snack all together, waste the food, and find something unhealthy to eat instead 2)You will eat that snack, be unsatisfied, and then go find another snack 3) You won’t eat at all even though you are hungry and will just be a cranky. No one likes a crank. I used to do this all the time, too. The night before I would say, “oh celery sticks would be great tomorrow.” Then tomorrow would come, and I would be totally confused why I ever thought plain old celery sticks were a good idea. Now, I think about what I really would like to eat. I will pair celery sticks with a tsp of crunchy peanut butter, or my current favorite, cream cheese. Right now, I have a 100 Cal brownie waiting for me for later.
  5. Stop and think. Sometimes you aren’t hungry and you aren’t thirsty. You are just plain old bored. This is a problem I have suffered from a lot in the past. My trick? If you find yourself going to the cupboard because you have nothing better to do, and um, eating can be fun, get unbored! Go exercise, call a friend, wrestle with your pup. Don’t eat just to past the time. This was my biggest pitfall, and I actively scold myself when I try to do it now.

What do you do to avoid munching on unhealthy mid-day snacks?

Siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt

Last Autumn, Chris and I were able to take a trip of a lifetime to Iceland. We had an amazing time. One of the ways we like to take in a culture while traveling is to take in the local cuisine. Though we weren’t brave enough to try the rancid shark delicacy, we did enjoy Skyr.

Me on top of a glacier in Iceland. We snowmobiled there.

Skyr is a thicker and tarter yogurt than traditional American yogurt from Iceland. When we were there, we were able to enjoy Skyr both on its own and used in other dishes.

Skyr Creme Brule

I haven’t had the chance to have Skyr since our trip. Yesterday in Whole Foods, Siggi’s Iceland-Style Skyr was on sale. I grabbed two and brought them back with me to NYC. This morning, I enjoyed one mixed with pumpkin granola.

Lunch was simple today: a Morningstar Chik Patty on an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin with spinach served with a side of Half Naked popcorn. Later, I beat the midday hunger with a banana.

Right now, I am making some bulked up mac n cheese. If it comes out good, I will share the recipe tomorrow. Also, I am currently baking these:

Kelley highly recommends them, and they are so easy to make – just add low-fat vanilla yogurt. I’ll let you know how they come out! I plan on enjoying one after my late-night PT with a glass of red wine. Perfect, no?