I get asked often what I eat on a daily basis. I tend to eat in ruts…the same thing over and over until I get sick of it, and then I move on to the next thing. I’m not the ultra cleanest eater in the world….I did THAT for a while. A diet of plain chicken, butter-less broccoli or dry tuna was NOT something I could maintain. Sure, I lost weight. I got ripped. But I was miserable. I was cranky. I was not a very nice mommy. So instead of just going to a moderate way of eating, I totally rebelled. I wanted NOTHING to do with anything “diet” related. And it was a good 18 months before I finally said ENOUGH. I was uncomfortable in my own skin and embarrassed of my body. I remember vividly telling my husband that I was sick of the diet rat race…to lose the weight, only to gain it right back once I was sick of restrictive dieting. I did not want to restrict my carbs or my calories so that I wouldn’t ultimately just gain it all back.
So what exactly do I eat? Even though I like to eat the same types of foods often, I do add a bit of variety to that rotation. I try to eat 4-5 times per day, as my body will show hunger signs every 3 hours or so.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, more often than not we hear of mamas skipping this important appointment with ourselves. Breakfast is the meal that “breaks the fast” we’ve had since our last meal, typically dinner that was served 12 hours ago. Breakfast is a meal that provides our bodies and minds with important nutrients to get our cells pumping and our brain firing on all cylinders. Some studies suggest that people tend to add more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. So what are some good breakfast choices, especially for busy mamas on the go?
- Protein shake with a ton of frozen berries (I tend to eat this 4-5 days per week) My two favorites are chocolate vegan Shakeology or Cafe Au Lait from Drink Iconic
- Pre-made egg cups (make these in muffin tins) with lots of veggies such as broccoli, spinach, pepper, etc.
- Protein pancakes and top these with SF syrup or if more of a purist, puree fruit and add a touch of stevia/honey/agave. These can be made ahead of time and then either reheated in the microwave or popped into the toaster!
- Muffin in a mug (check out my Pinterest page for some recipes)
- Oatmeal with some protein powder with peanut butter or fruit
- Poached eggs over rye toast with 1/3 avocado smear
I like to fix big salads for lunch and include some type of protein (often left overs from the previous night’s dinner; chicken, beef, pork or fish). One of the key ingredients for me to a great salad is a good mixture of cold and hot. I love, love, love cooked onions in my salad along with a tablespoon of feta or blue cheese. It takes it from a boring salad to a gourmet salad with the addition of those two simple ingredients. A few of my other favorites include:
- Deli meat or previous night’s protein sliced atop Wasa Crackers with Laughing Cow Cheese along with some fruit!
- Hamburger wrapped in a lettuce bun with all the fixings or you can also make this into a hamburger salad with ketchup and mustard as your dressing OR low on carbs for the day? Enjoy it with a whole wheat bun….yummmm!
- One of my favorites is ground turkey taco meat (leftover from Taco Tuesday Dinner) with quinoa and fresh chopped romaine lettuce. Mix it with Paul Newman’s Red Vinegar and Oil salad dressing. Perfect blend of carbs and proteins!
- Smoothie – so many yummy varieties to choose from…get creative!
- Sweet potato fries with grilled chicken and chopped raw veggies
- Tuna patties (tuna, egg white, oats, parsley, salt and pepper pattied and cooked on the stove) with a small side salad
I love snacks…who doesn’t? Snack time can be something quick and easy, or something elaborate, but either way….should be totally yummy! YOLO right?
Some of my favorite snacks are:
- Protein bars (be sure to look for bars with high fiber and protein content with very low sugar)….my favorites are Peanut Butter Cup Combat Bars from Muscle Pharm and Peanut Butter Squarebars!
- Greek Yogurt (I’m particularly fond of Oikos Triple Zero which has zero artificial sweeteners, zero sugar- sweetened with stevia and zero fat) with PB2 mixed in and sliced granny smith apples for dipping! YUMMMMM
- My current favorite OBSESSION happens to be Vanilla Chia Pudding. It’s all the yummy toppings that make it decadent! I always add fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries and
blackberries are on sale now so I go for the trifecta of berry yumminess), shredded & dried unsweetened coconut, a tablespoon of pecans and a small handful of Lily’s Chocolate Chips that are sweetened with stevia…no sugar!
- Boiled eggs, sliced in half, a bit of salt n’ pepper with some orange slices
I will say, I go in phases with dinner. Sometimes I’m in the kitchen a lot coming up with creative meals, but most of the time, I just want easy…and fast…and filling. These are a few of the dinners we have on rotation quite often:
- Taco night. I use lean ground turkey meat. The kids get hard taco shells and I use all the trimmings to make a big taco salad or use high fiber soft taco shells!
- Italian night. I make a big pot of turkey meatballs in marinara sauce. I like to get marinara that
is sweetened with less than 5g of sugar. The kids get theirs with pasta and I make zucchini noodles! I usually use an entire zucchini for myself. I spiralize it and then put it in a sauté pan with a scoop of the marinara sauce and heat it long enough to make the zoodles warm, not soggy! Then top with the meatball sauce. Delish!
- Hamburgers. Kids get theirs with whole wheat buns and sometimes I eat mine on a whole wheat bun too when I’m feeling wild and crazy. But for the most part, I either wrap it in lettuce or make a huge hamburger salad topped with chopped pickles, grilled onions, cheese, jalapeños, low sugar ketchup and mustard! Yum.
- Salmon. My kids love salmon and I do too! I will sometimes make a pot of quinoa to go with it and some type of green veggie. Broccoli, asparagus or fresh spinach are some of my favorite choices. I also typically fix a small side salad with every dinner. My mom would serve salad with every dinner meal and I do the same for my family.
- Pot Roast….set it and forget it! LOL I put a bunch of fresh green beans in the bottom of my crockpot, add the roast, a can of cream of mushroom (the heart healthy version), several raw/peeled onions and roasting potatoes. Allow that to cook on low all day. Not only will your home smell divine, you’ll have a really good home cooked meal waiting on you after work!
What are some of your FAVORITES? I’m also looking for tried and true recipes and ideas!