After writing a couple posts on how I’ve been splurging post diet, I thought it would be a good idea to go back to my overall objective – maintaining a healthy lifestyle. My goal wasn’t only to just lose weight for the wedding, but to get Chris and I into the habit of eating a healthy, balanced and still delicious diet. We are clearly not health ‘fanatics’ nor are we completely gluttonous. We enjoy food and don’t want to deprive ourselves. But we also don’t want to have to spend lots just to be healthy. This is always the challenge as fresh food just doesn’t come cheap. I also struggle with the huge difference in food prices from the US to the UK. Meat and fresh fruit in particular are much more expensive here. But it really helps to compare prices and to try and not skimp too much on quality without breaking the bank. Buying in bulk is always a good idea but it does mean poor Chris has a lot of dishes with cherry tomatoes, coriander, onion and sausages. I love my local market where I can get fruit, vegetables, ground beef (mince) and sausages for a lot cheaper than the supermarket. Just make sure you have a decent sized freezer (especially when you’re cooking for just the two of you!). Or make sure you have family near by who like your cooking
Right – so to my point – healthy eating. In my weekly Epicurious.com email, I noticed a link for Healthy Summer Eating. And to my delight, they have several menu ideas for an entire day adding up to 1,500 calories. The recipe ideas sound good and don’t have ingredients that are difficult to come by. There are some key ingredients that I love and swore by for my wedding weight loss : eggs (cooked all ways), avocados/guacamole, black beans, string cheese or Laughing Cow Low Fat Cheese, tortilla wraps, Asian rice cracker mix with wasabi peas, pita chips and of course fruit. Everyone has their preferences but I know that, for me at least, I can’t completely deprive myself or else I’ll end up stuffing myself even more! Hence why I had to replace the really good cheeses with low fat string cheeses or low fat cream cheese. I didn’t skimp on avocados because your body still needs fat and avocados are a ‘good fat’. Other good fats include nuts (unsalted) and olive oil (prefer extra virgin). By no means am I a nutritionist, nor a diet expert though. Here’s another good Epicurious.com article though comparing trendy diets. Here are a couple go to healthy snacks for me:
- Wheat toast with 1/2 avocado sliced, extra virgin olive oil drizzled, pinch sea/rock salt, red chilli flakes (previous post)
- Wheat tortilla, low fat garlic & herb cream cheese, turkey deli meat, alfalfa sprouts or lettuce
- Banana, ice, milk, vanilla protein smoothie
- Low fat greek yogurt, sunflower seeds, drizzle honey, blueberries
- Asian rice crackers, Triscuit Thin Crisps, hard boiled eggs (not all together of course!)
I’ve got to finish this up but thought I’d leave with a pretty healthy recipe – Asian Lettuce Wraps. This can be made healthier by using ground turkey or even ‘soy meat’, but I find the best flavor for this dish comes from ground pork. There are a ton of recipes out there for lettuce wraps. I looked through several of them but ultimately used whatever I could find in my cupboard. And I think they were pretty successful as Chris couldn’t stop moaning and made sure I could remember how I made it so we could have them again! For texture, roasted peanuts are always a great addition or canned water chestnuts. If you’re worried it might not be filling enough, you can serve some fried rice on the side (just rice, butter, shallots, garlic, soy sauce) or a cold rice noodle salad with red bell peppers and green/spring onion (with rice vinegar, fish sauce, chilli dressing).
Below is another version I’ve made before – lemongrass beef with rice noodles on the side in a chilli fish sauce dressing. Tasty but I definitely prefer using ground meat versus strips.
And if all else fails – grill, grill, grill! It is summer after all!