Saturday, February 5, 2011

Four Finds to Fit in Your Favorite Skinny Jeans

Looking at the food industry today -from restaurants to grocery stores- it can be difficult to decipher how exactly a well-rounded diet (and doesn’t that word mean that you’re going to be skinny!?!) is made and kept. I have struggled for many years figuring out how to balance flavor with calorie friendly. Weight-loss plans like the strict and expensive Nutrisystem Diet that doles out food that’s not nearly as stellar as advertised (this is what I’ve heard from friends and read online, but don’t really know myself) and the seems easier than it is Five Factor Diet lead to lots of frustration (at least for me) and some major confusion about what exactly I can and cannot be eating. Instead of suggesting another plan of how to do it, I have a different idea… It’s along the same lines as Sarah’s post “simple ways to light up any recipe” on her blog 20something cupcakes, but more big picture than just in the kitchen!

These are the four things I have found that help me when making meal decisions when I go out to eat and keep me thinking clearly when I’m figuring out my menu for the week:

1. Find the fruits and veggies.

Fresh produce never disappoints. I am a huge fan of a side of salad with most meals that I make, plus the fiber and other vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and veggies far exceeds anything that will come out of a can – or fast food bag. Plus, fresh produce always makes a good snack whether you chop it up into smaller pieces or take it as is when time runs short! Also, it helps to find a fruit or veggie that you can’t get enough of, like the Cara Cara orange with my taco above!

2. Find a way to incorporate protein AND carbohydrates.

Before I met my dear Jason  I was an all carbs girl and he was a protein heavy man… Our forces quickly meshed and transformed my meal making to a solid balance between protein and cards. The carbs provide the quick comfort and yummy taste while the protein ensures that you will stay fuller longer. It is the perfect combination and with the full feeling that comes from the protein you are likely not to eat quite as much! Although it looks like all noodles, there is lots of chicken in this delicious BLT Pasta.

3. Find a place in all of your healthy eating to have something purely for the taste.

24/7 diets are exhausting. It is no fun to crave something for weeks and finally cave only to binge on a dozen cupcakes when you truly only needed to eat one. Have your cheat foods, just keep it in moderation. Like one Terrificly Toffee Brownie!

4. Find fun recipes that are new to you to spice up your kitchen cooking experience.

No one likes a routine that you have to stick to every single day, night, week, month, etc. To keep from falling into a cooking funk keep it lively by trekking through some food blogs and recipe websites to find meals that you would love to try… Then, make them! I keep a To Cook section in my book marks that I check back to everyone once in a while to see if any of them are absolutely perfect for my making. After you make your experiment meal you can keep it as a success or delete to never be repeated… That’s how my Homemade Chicken Pot Pie started!

These are in no way going to keep you skinny, or make you skinnier, but I’ve found them to be helpful in my diet. And, of course, a solid exercise routine to erase some of the calories I cook and serve in my little pink kitchen!