What I’m eating right now

Happy Thursday! I have been having overall success with my weight loss goals so today I thought I would share the things that have been working for me and one major challenge.

While I am definitely down on the scale, I was in a rut for the past month or so, gaining and losing the same 2-3 pounds over and over again. It was very disheartening. To get over this and start making progress again, I decided to try my best to stay within my calorie limits every day and not overcompensate on weekends, like I had been doing. I also started waking up early on weekday mornings and doing yoga which was a challenge but felt really good. I did it all five days last week. This Monday, I hit a snag in that I wanted to nap instead 🙂 but it’s all about getting back on that horse so I started again on Tuesday morning.

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Tofu, butternut squash and bok choy

So now to what I have been eating! It’s basically a whole lot of vegetables, whole grains and protein. A lot of protein, in fact. I made a goal on the Lose It app to get 25% of my calories from protein and I think it has made a difference. If I am hungry at night, I have noticed the best thing for me to eat is some sort of protein (like a leftover chicken cutlet or some deli roast beef). It always seems to do the trick. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I haven’t had too much trouble avoiding things like cake and candy. If I eat sweets it’s usually chocolate of some kind. That’s not to say I don’t love a good dessert, I just don’t find myself craving it most of the time.

In terms of meal planning, I have had a lot of success choosing nearly identical meals to eat for breakfast and lunch in a given week. I just buy or make a bunch of the same ingredients on Sunday and bring them to work for the week. I often eat similar dinners too, but sometimes I go out, so dinner changes depending on my plans. You can see below what a typical weekday of eating looks like in my life.

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You will note that I have included wine and/or whiskey 🙂 I often stop for a drink at the local bar after work. Which brings me to my major challenge. I love to go out with my friends and have a few (or more) cocktails. It always starts out innocently enough, but can quickly snowball into a calorie bomb of old-fashioneds and rosé. Knowing this, I’m trying to be more aware of how much I am drinking and drink water in between cocktails as well. I am also trying to be realistic and work drinking into my eating plan, hence why it shows up in my “snacks” section.

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Scrambled eggs with jasmine rice and cucumber salad

On the weekends, I am more flexible. I recently recreated one of my favorite restaurant breakfasts which included jasmine rice, scrambled eggs and cucumber salad (with sesame oil, vinegar, chili paste). It was delicious! The restaurant includes steak but I didn’t have any and the dish was fine without it. I try not to eat eggs except on the weekends, because I suspect they may upset my stomach, but they are a favorite of mine. I have also been avoiding dairy during the week for the same reason.

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Chickpea pasta with beans and broccoli

I also recently tried chickpea pasta, which I really liked. I combined it with black beans and broccoli and a little basil oil and it was delish! I like trying new products and different fruits and vegetables. It breaks up the monotony of watching what you eat and makes it feel like a fun experiment. I am obviously obsessed with toast and the combo of beet hummus (store bought) and cucumbers shown in the featured photo for this post is one of my new favorites. I have also made my own zucchini hummus which is great on toast as well. I think vegetable hummus is a sneaky way to incorporate more veggies into your diet and it is delicious. In general, I don’t like to follow recipes except for special occasions. I typically just wing it, which I find much less exhausting and much more fun than staring at a recipe on my phone. Still, taking a little extra time to make things look pretty has made a world of difference in how I think about the food that I eat. I highly recommend it!

How about you? What does your typical week look like food-wise? Have you tried any fun new foods recently?

Happy eating, xoxo

Anna

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Homemade zucchini hummus on sprouted toast

A salad to brighten winter days

February and early March are always a little difficult to get through in New York, with the lingering storms and grey days. You can feel spring right around the corner but it hasn’t materialized yet. But, this salad is so fresh and light that it made me immediately think of warmer, sunnier times to come.

It is also super simple and delicious. You can use any lettuce you like. I chose butter lettuce because it is my absolute favorite. Lately I have been eating a salad almost every day for dinner with the basil oil vinaigrette below, a handful of pumpkin seeds and sometimes an avocado. If you haven’t tried basil oil, I highly recommend it. For today’s salad, I decided to add a blood orange and a little crumbled queso fresco. I really liked the results. It also fits nicely into my current healthy eating plan. I am not usually a fan of fruit in salads, but the blood orange paired nicely with the other components and it certainly is photogenic 🙂 Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Butter lettuce salad with blood orange, avocado and basil dressing

(makes one to two servings)

Ingredients

Butter lettuce

1 blood orange

Queso fresco (crumbled, about a 1/3 cup)

1/2 an avocado (sliced)

Handful of sprouted pumpkin seeds (I use these)

Vinaigrette

1 part white wine vinegar

2 parts olive oil

2 parts basil oil (I use this)

salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation

Wash and dry your lettuce and set aside or use a packaged variety to save time (which is what I did). Peel the blood orange and cut horizontally into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside. Crumble the queso fresco. Slice avocado. Layer salad starting with lettuce base then adding blood oranges, avocado, cheese and pumpkin seeds. Dress with desired amount of vinaigrette. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you like.

Enjoy!

xoxo Anna

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Fitness update

Hi everyone. It’s been about a month since my first fitness post and I thought it was a good time for an update.

My fitness plan has changed in a few ways since this post in January. I noticed that I was working out and eating healthfully but I wasn’t losing weight so I switched things up a bit.

Eating

To begin with, I stopped getting Hungry Root deliveries. I enjoyed the food for a few weeks but found that it was starting to get repetitive and I didn’t feel like it was helping me lose weight, especially since I felt compelled to finish all the food before the next week. I also didn’t like the amount of waste generated by food delivery packaging especially in terms of the freezer bags, which are difficult to recycle. That is not specific to Hungry Root. I felt the same way with Blue Apron. In the end, I decided that I could do a better job selecting and preparing my own food and I have been happy with that decision. I have been loosely following the weekday/weekend plan outlined here with a few exceptions. The most notable is that I allow myself to drink alcohol during the week. Even though I haven’t been very precise about following the plan, I have noticed is that just having the guidelines in mind has had an impact. I don’t have much of a craving for sugar anymore. I also don’t consume nearly as much dairy, especially cheese, as I used to. I used to reach for cheese all the time as a snack or quick dinner. Now it is a sometimes food and I don’t even feel deprived. The same goes for white bread and rice.

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Lose It app interface

The one thing that has made the most difference is tracking everything I eat on the Lose It app. After I started to do this about two weeks ago, I noticed weight loss immediately. I’m not going to lie; I find it incredibly hard to track everything I eat. It’s not so much that I hate the tracking because the app is fun and easy to use. I just hate doing anything consistently, it makes me twitchy lol. It also requires that you be uncomfortably honest about your choices. Despite this, I am making the commitment to track for the next 3 months, starting today, no matter what I am eating or doing and see what happens. That takes me right up to my birthday, so it feels convenient. I also recently discovered the social aspect of Lose It and started posting on a group message board. I have never done this before and it felt great to get support and helpful tips from other users.

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Cod and Mediterranean salad with a Turkish spice blend

In general, my eating has been pretty simple lately. A lot of fresh and cooked veggies, some sort of egg dish for breakfast (either hardboiled or a vegetable omelette), and lean protein like chicken, fish or occasionally steak. I make it interesting by adding fun spices and sauces. It sounds boring, but I really enjoy it. My only complaint is that I sometimes get very hungry after dinner. I am going to try drinking more water and tea and having an afternoon snack with protein. I relax a little on the weekends. My favorite splurges are take out Chinese food and egg sandwiches. I plan on doing a post soon to share everything I eat in a week, so stay tuned.

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A galaxy of possibilities

Exercise

I have been running consistently 3 to 4 times a week for a few weeks now for about 30-40 minutes a workout. On weekdays, I go to the gym and on weekends, I run in my neighborhood. I would like to increase it to 5 times but I have been feeling fatigued so I am going to keep it to 4 for now and see if I can maintain that. I would also like to start doing yoga in the mornings using the Gaia app. I am obsessed with the idea of working out in the morning… that is until the alarm rings. I have a terrible time getting up even 30 minutes early to make it happen. So that is a work in progress 🙂

How about you? How are you doing with your 2018 fitness goals?

xoxo Anna