I don’t always use recipes to create my healthy meals. Sometimes it’s so much easier to put together the foods I enjoy into a dish. Sometimes I have eaten out and really liked that meal. One of my all time favorites is the Tequila Lime Chicken from Applebees. We would sub out the rice for broccoli and ask for no chips on top. This meal also became a staple to make at home. There is no recipe. In general we would grill up a chicken breast then melt cheddar cheese on top. We would create a pico de gallo with tomatoes, onions and cilantro and a squeeze of lime and a mixture of salsa & sour cream for the sauce. On top of the grilled chicken melt the cheese, top with the salsa mix and scoop on the pico. The side was of course steamed broccoli. It’s so simple and easy and usually pretty inexpensive.
Now since I had quite a lot of the cilantro left over from this meal, I was trying to come up with another dish that would use that herb. I decided on shrimp tacos. At Meijer salad shrimp were $4.99. I cooked those up in some butter and garlic. I splurged with 2 corn shells. I cooked the shells on a skillet, melted some cheese on top of that, scooped out the shrimp then I added pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, and a squeeze of lime. These were so good we made them again tonight for dinner. This time I used romaine lettuce shells instead of the corn shells, saving about 12 carbohydrates. It was still delicious.
It doesn’t always take an extravagant meal to eat healthy. Pick out the foods you like, sub out the no-no foods with healthier choices and enjoy!
On Monday I officially went back to consciously watching what I eat. I had been disappointed that by throwing all caution away I gained 8 pounds from Christmas day to January 4. I didn’t even think that was possible! I kept thinking when I wake up one of these days I’ll have lost 6 pounds in water weight and be much closer to my goal. That didn’t happen though. But after watching what I ate and even adding in some exercise, including a 40 minute kettle bell work out I have already lost 2.8 pounds in 4 days. I feel really good! Thankfully I had no cravings and it was really easy to get back to healthy eating again. I think my body was just really done with junk food.
Firstly, I want to go back to that first dinner I made on Monday, which was all really delicious. You can find the recipe here. One of the parts to it was cauliflower rice. I have been wanting to work with cauliflower for a while but haven’t yet. For this meal I had to put pieces of it into a food processor to finely chop it up. This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. You can also shred it on a grater. Once it was all pieced out, I then saute it in a pan with some olive oil and salt until it softened and turned brown. Then I added fresh lime juice and cilantro. This was so good I couldn’t stop eating it. I was trying to cook the chicken while eating large spoonfuls of the cauliflower. The kids didn’t like it but I LOVED IT!
My first suggestion about eating healthy is don’t be afraid to try something new. This entire recipe took longer than I thought it would but we ended up having a chicken that my son would finally eat and a new side dish that is phenomenal.
Next I want to mention a few of my tricks.
- Drink lots of water. I also really like to add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon to my water. This makes me feel like I’m drinking something fancy and it gives me a boost of vitamins.
- Figure out your tricky foods and see if there’s something to sub in instead. Like my family loves chips and salsa but chips are not allowed right now. I use celery sticks to eat these snack foods. They are also really great for guacamole.
- I think one thing I do that most don’t is I don’t swap in fake foods. Many times I hear folks eat disguised treat foods and say things like, “it’s low fat”, “it’s low carbs”, when in fact it’s just really loaded up with fake stuff. Read the labels, if most of the ingredients aren’t whole foods, I tend to not eat it.
- I eat eggs. I eat a lot of eggs. It’s sort of my staple food. There’s a report from the Department of Health and Human Services that the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans will not include a caution about cholesterol. This is pretty good news since I eat avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs and butter.
- This year, I will be adding in exercise. I didn’t do that last time and still lost 18 pounds. I’m excited to see how this will effect my over all health. As a photographer I really need to be able to stand for long periods, as well as squat often, run, lay down, maybe even climb a tree.
- Don’t think you need to eat regular foods. Sometimes I like a spinach salad for breakfast. Yesterday I was thinking, well, what food do I think of as a fun food and guacamole came to mind. So I decided to incorporate that into my breakfast.
Finally one of my hardest things is just keeping the food I don’t want to eat, out of the house completely. I know how hard that is though! I have twin 10 year olds and they love snacks. But I think it’s good practice to have them try some of these new foods and eat healthier. They may not like them all but it’s worth a try!