Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Diet Friendly "To go" lunches

Lately I've been horrible at packing a lunch for work but luckily I work near a lot of restaurants so I can find a quick fix that follows all the rules. Here are my go-to lunches in hopes that they help you!

Whole Foods
Hello Salad and hot bar! Typically I have to stay near the salad bar to follow the rules, but I have been known to pull some veggies from the hot bar to mix into my salad. My key ingredients here are greens, great northern beans or edamame, tuna or chicken from the salad bar (because there is nothing else on it), and those cucumbers and red onions tossed in vinegar. If they have asparagus, I'll toss that in too.

Mexican fast food is a must on the 4 hour diet. My treat here - a taco salad served in a bowl, not a shell, pinto beans, everything that comes on it with the one exception of taking out the sour cream and adding in guac instead. To prevent cheating, request to NOT have chips.

You may have to be a bit crafty here. Pick up a salad from the produce section or buy a bag of mixed greens. I then get a packet of single serving tuna and a can of beans that I can add into the salad. Want to get a bit more crazy? Add in some raw veggies by getting a bag of the stir-fry mix or a similar mix from the produce section. For dressing, either buy a bottle to keep in the office or snag a single serving packet by the pre-made lunches (fat-free Italian may be your best bet). 

I'm definitely bending the rules while I here, but it's hard to get everyone to eat at Moe's for all of our lunches. I try to keep in the guidelines by ordering a 3 tender basket, grilled, tossed in a mild buffalo sauce. For a side I go with baked beans (high in sugar, but it's a bean!) or cole slaw. Get a water or unsweet tea for your drink.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lettuce Wraps - 2x receipe bonus!

I love wraps and carbs. I wanted to find a way to still make "sandwiches" but not cheat and it hit me - lettuce wraps! Get ready to see a lot of these now that I know. Here's two to start you out

Mexican wraps (you shouldn't be surprised at this point)


Bibb Lettuce or Boston lettuce (Romaine can also do, it's just falls apart a bit more)
Beans (pinto or black bean)
Chili Pepper seasoning
Lime juice
Adobo Seasoning
Personal Cheat item: greek yogurt 

I mixed the guac and salsa together on a 2 salsa to 1 guac ratio; not necessary but it made for one less bowl. To season the chicken, I put it in a plastic bag with the seasonings above, around a teaspoon of each, and some lime juice then shake it up! If you want more of a kick, add some hot sauce to the bag.

I like to stack everything, including the beans, on a lettuce leaf and enjoy. Remember those personal cheats we talked about? In this recipe I choose to have a bit of greek yogurt on the top. Also makes it look pretty.

Bonus Recipe - Caesar wraps!
Similar principle here, but here are the ingredients

Northern Beans
Bibb Lettuce
Olives if you've got them (I didn't)
Abs Diet Caesar Dressing (see below)
Personal Cheat: a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese 

To make the dressing - combine olive oil (1 tablespoon), anchovy paste, 1/2 a clove minced garlic, and a shake or two of salt and pepper. Shake it up and then either pour over or season the chicken with it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From a diet to a lifestyle

After following this diet for a month I was very pleased with my results. However I was facing some problems. For one, I don't really enjoy the taste of beans. Can't explain it - I'm just not a big fan. I also don't really like eggs unless you add so much cheese and/or sour cream in them they stop being healthy. While this had been a breeze for my husband, I find myself forcing my way through. 

But I wanted to continue on! So from here on out you'll still have a great recipe that will follow the rules but you may notice a side note where I took a personal cheat. Most likely, it will be me adding a spoonful of greek yogurt (an excellent substitute for sour cream!) or a pinch of cheese. Nothing big, just enough to keep me going.

If you're on track - stay strong! If you're like me and need to learn how to shift this from a diet to a lifestyle change, I hope these small cheats help. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mexi night!

Mexican food has been my savior on this diet! Also helps that I live in a very hispanic part of town so I have lots of ingredients that I can take advantage of, though I often don't. I've already posted about Fiesta Bowl in a previous post, but here's some more variations on a theme. My husband and I like different ingredients but have similar results:

Serena's Bowl

Salsa, chicken, green peppers, plenty of corn, pinto beans

 Ricky's Bowl

Salsa, chicken, green peppers, corn, black beans, chipotle peppers

Friday, March 4, 2011

Keepin' in simple - beans and franks

Some days, you just got to keep it simple. There's nothing fancy about this meal  - I just combine 1/4 to a 1/2 can of beans (depending on my level of hunger) with some Turkey Kielbasa. I love it because it's fast and simple, all you have to do is heat it up.

I guess you could make it fancy with some kale chips with some garlic sprinkled on the it. You could also make the beans delicious (and a bit bad for you) by sprinkling them with a bit of bouillon cube and olive oil. 

Simple or complex, I hope you enjoy!

Diet update

Really it's a moment to brag but I'm really happy about this! I'm a pretty fit person to start, or so I like to think so. I work out 3 to 4 days a week, I have a job that keeps me pretty active and I hike on the weekends. It has been a struggle for me to break my weight loss plateau without a "starve myself" diet plan (which, btw, I suck at because I love food).

I followed the 4 hour Body diet plan for the month of February as true as possible. I may have had a cookie here and missed a breakfast there, but I was 95% true to the plan. My husband joined me, which made cooking a heck of a lot easier and was a great support to lean on.

My results? I'm 5 lbs lighter and have lost 2 1/2 inches on my hips and 2 inches off my waist. I get consistent results (1 pound a week and about 1/2 an inch a week) without suffering. It's easy not to cheat when you know you have a whole day of cheating coming up. If I stay on track, I'll hit my "I'll never reach it" goal weight right in time to slip into a bathing suit.

It's not blockbuster results, but it's results that keep me happy, motivated and on track. I hope you're having the same!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Italian dinner remixed

After I posted that first Italian 4 hour body recipe I ended up cooking in the following week but changed things up a bit. I like this version way better!

Italian Sausage Bowl
serves 2
-- Turkey Sausage (or Kielbasa, which ever one is on sale that week)

-- 2 to 3 large garlic cloves
-- olive oil 
-- 1 can of diced tomatoes, preferably the italian style ones
-- 1 beef bouillon cube
-- italian seasoning (either premixed or your own combination from the pantry)
-- Cannelloni Beans

Start by preheating a large pan (or pot!) and add in oil olive (I circle the pan twice very fast with the oil).
- Add in two cloves of garlic, minced
- Give the garlic 1 minute or so to "flavor" the oil, then add in the whole can of diced tomatoes, liquid as well
- Bring the liquid up to a simmer before adding in the cube of Bouillon and your seasoning
- Let your pan continue to simmer for around 5 minutes before adding in the turkey sausage and beans. I used only 1/2 a turkey sausage, sliced very thin and half a cans of bean in this one
- The meal can sit on the stove top for up to another 30 minutes - but let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Then all that's left is to serve and enjoy!