Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tuna & Taboule Salad

Always looking for mayonnaise substitutes; here's a yummy one for tuna!

One can of tuna
Juice from half of a lemon
3T taboule salad

Mix all together & enjoy. Makes for a juicy, flavorful lunch :) I served ours with brown rice pilaf and a green veggie...yum!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Small Changes, Big Difference

My diet has been tweaked again and again over the last several months - both for breast feeding Hannah and balancing my own body's needs. Primarily, I stick to a pretty clean-eating diet plan; lots of fruits a veggies, lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds. However, even eating as healthy as I was, I still developed some pretty bad eating habits, like over indulging and late night snacking (or a deadly combo).

With all the running I was doing while training for the half marathon, I was forced to count my calories to secure my milk production. Knowing how much I loved to sit down and relax with some snacks and a glass of wine at night after the girls were asleep, I would try to "save" my calories for after dinner. I kept to the 5-6 small meal plan that I was already in a routine with from pregnancy. But I quickly learned that this no longer worked for me; I was never really "full" after a "meal" during the day, so when it came to my nighttime snacking, I went a little crazy. And even though my choices were fairly healthy (homemade popcorn, pretzels, carrots, nuts...) I would eat enough to fill half a days worth of calories. I went to bed feeling gross and woke up feeling guilty. Not to mention those last 2 or 3 pounds of baby weight was not going anywhere with eating habits like that. I had to make a change.

I started experimenting with cutting out (even more) foods - especially those I seemed to have no self control over, like almonds and peanut butter. I lost 4 pounds in 3 days doing this - too much. So I added them back, but with moderation in mind. After all, nuts are where I get my main source of fat and calories.

I know milk production thrives with hydration, so I upped my water intake. This helped tremendously, even though I was once again peeing like a pregnant woman. I start and end my day with a large glass of water, and go to bed/wake up feeling great.

I also started drinking my morning coffee BEFORE breakfast instead of after. This is because I researched that coffee boosts your metabolism, and just like eating after a work out, your body digests more efficiently with an already amped up metab. Also, because I try to make breakfast my largest, most carb-filled meal of the day to fuel up. The coffee switched seemed to really help. I feel full sooner and feel a difference in smoother digestion.

I usually have 1/2 a cup of coffee in the afternoon for a little extra caffeine boost, which I just switched to green tea. It gave me the bit of caffeine I needed without the jitters or stomach ache that I always seem to get with coffee cup number two.

My last and (for me) most drastic change was to knock off the nighttime snacking. I'm like an alcoholic when it comes to this - I can't do it in moderation. So it was the most important change I needed to make. I accomplished this by eating 3 complete (nearly 500 calorie, protein/carb/veggie balanced) meals throughout the day, with one protein packed snack between lunch and dinner (when I "allow" myself to fill my almond or nut-butter cravings, moderately). I love this change. My energy throughout the day is better, I actually feel and stay full until my next meal, and best of all, I am not starving come bedtime. Now my nighttime routine is some herbal tea with some vanilla almond milk, and maybe a handful of carrots.

Of course, everyone needs cheat days, which I am a huge supporter of. If its all or nothing, you'll find yourself either miserable or binging. I save my cheat days for my hubby :) a nice glass of wine and some snacks after the girls are in bed on the weekend is just what we need after a week of barely seeing each other. The calorie counter gets turned off and I just eat as I please. As long as you don't turn "cheat day" into "cheat days", you are totally entitled to them. One quote I read always sticks in my mind: "what you eat in private you wear in public."Cheat away! But be sure to get back on track once the day is over - that's the key! Unlike me who would wind up "cheating" every night and feeling like death the next morning.

It took a while but I seemed to have finally found a meal plan that fits my needs as well as filling the ones I need for Hannah and her sensitive belly. Clean eating is amazing, I've never felt better!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Favorite Wrap


-One soft tortilla (I use Mayan low-carb whole wheat because they are soy & dairy free)
-2T hummus
-Few red onion slices
-Baby spinach
-chicken sausage (I used sun dried tomato)

Spread hummus on tortilla, add onions, spinach & chicken sausage (cut in half the long way). Wrap up & enjoy! I paired mine with some sugar snap peas for a yummy lunch at only 350 calories! Delish :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Avocado Chicken Salad

Boiling chicken is the healthiest way you can go, but it's not the tastiest, most flavorful way. I grew tired of substituting mayo with hummus, and was looking for something new. I am totally in love with my homemade guacamole, and decided to combine the two. I loved it so much I think I've had it for lunch or dinner everyday for the last week. It's a must-try!

Ingredients (for single serving):

1 Chicken breast (I use Nature's Promise; 4oz, 110 calories)
1/2 ripe Hass avocado
1-2T mild salsa

Boil the chicken until fully cooked. Mash avocado and salsa together until well combined. Cut chicken into chunks, add to guacamole, and mix. Juicy, flavorful, with a protein and good-fat boost. 245 calories, filled with a protein boost that will keep you full! Eat as a snack or pair with a baked sweet potato and green veggie for a filling meal that's still under 500 calories!

Date Truffles

Personally, I find these delicious. However, I think that months of clean-eating and a well adjusted pallet plays a major role. In other words, these "truffles" are healthy, and if you're expecting rich and creamy, these aren't for you. However, if you're a health nut like me and are craving a little something sweet and chocolately, these are perfect!


14 pitted dates
2-4T peanut butter (I used Teddy, smooth and unsalted)
1T rolled oats
3T unsweetened cocoa powder
unsweetened finely shredded coconut, for rolling

Now, if my toddler had not burned out the motor on our food processor, I would have used it. But since it's out of commission for now, I mixed all ingredients by hand. I added a bit of hot water to the dates to soften, then mashed with a fork until a paste was formed. I then mashed in the peanut butter, rolled oats, and cocoa powder (you can add more water, or even a bit of melted coconut oil to add moisture). Once all ingredients are well mixed, I scooped 1/2T full, rolled into a ball, and rolled in the coconut. Serve right away, or keep in the fridge for later snacking!

Makes about 20 truffles, at only 25 calories each (if you use 2T PB)

Additional options:
crushed almonds
maple syrup, for added sweetness