Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fresh Eats

Last week, I blogged about how much better I feel when I am eating real, whole foods as opposed to processed and packaged foods.  Not only do I continue to maintain my weight loss, I get a lot more variety in my diet and save some money at the grocery store.  I thought it might be a fun idea to give my readers a better picture of the types of food that I eat on a regular basis by taking you through a recent shopping trip.

This Sunday, I bought 4 sweet potatoes, 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, some baby spinach, a package of blue cheese, some English muffins, some Arnold's Thins and 2 packets of this stuff:

What I love about Justin's Nut Butters is that they come in these little one serving packs. A year ago, despite how much I absolutely love it, and despite that the fact that it's actually better for me than peanut butter, I had to stop buying Nutella.

Why, you may ask, if I love it so much?  Here's the long story:  I was recently having a conversation with my parents about willpower versus portion control.  My mom suffers from lack of willpower.  She will go to the store and see a decadent gooey brownie, absolutely have to have it even though she knows it's horrible for her, but then she'll take it home and only eat two bites of it each day for a week.  My dad's problem, on the other hand, is that while he can easily walk past the brownie aisle and opt for a much healthier jar of macademia nuts, he will then go home and consume the entire jar in one sitting.  Where he has willpower, he lacks portion control.  Like my dad, when it comes to certain foods, I lack portion control too. (I also sometimes lack willpower, as we all do, but not nearly as often.)  My lack of portion control was the sole reason for my break-up with Nutella.  I eat too much of it too quickly.  I don't trust myself to even have it around.  So, when I found these Justin's packs, I realized I could still enjoy chocolate hazelnut butter and have the portions controlled for me.  Problem solved!

One thing about eating fresher foods as opposed to processed foods is that you do have to do a little prep work.  So, when I got home from the store on Sunday, I got right to cooking.  I started by cutting up my sweet potatoes up into little squares, gave them a bath in a drizzle of olive oil, some salt, pepper and cajun spice, and baked them for 45 minutes.  After they were cooked and cooled, I put them in some Gladware:


Ah, I just love fall foods!  I think they are just as good cold as they are warm, so while they are great as a side with a sandwich or burger, they also make for a great snack right out of the fridge.

I also whipped up some more of my pesto and put that in some Gladware too:


Then, I made some barbeque chicken.  All I did was take the three boneless skinless chicken breasts I bought and threw them into the crockpot with store-bought barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and a hickory barbecue spice rub.  Three hours later, the chicken was so tender that it fell apart as I scooped it out of the crockpot, and into my Gladware went this delicious concoction:


For lunch today, I warmed-up some of the chicken and made a sandwich on 100-calorie Arnolds thins, and it was soooo sloppy and tasty:



When I came home after work last night, I was hungry but was heading back out to go play flag football.  So I whipped up what is quickly becoming one of my favorite snacky, light dinners.  I toasted an English muffin and dressed it with some leftover shaved turkey meat that I bought last week:



I sprinkled on some of this wonderful stuff, which was part of my Sunday shopping trip:

I broiled the whole mess in the oven until the cheese was melty and bubbly, then I sprinkled some basil and garlic salt on it, and...the best part...a drizzle of honey:

One word: Yum!  The sweetness of the honey really balances out the sharpness of the blue cheese.

~~

While we all know that eating healthy is essential to losing weight and maintaining weight loss, it doesn't have to be boring. You don't have to eat rubbery Lean Cuisine chicken and tasteless soggy vegetables for lunch every day.   I still enjoy cooking and eating, as well as watching my calorie intake and managing my portion control too (as long as there's not a jar of Nutella in the house).  It does take a little more time and effort to eat fresh foods, but the payoff is worth it!

2 comments:

Jane said...

I loved your food photos and ideas. You're right--eating whole foods does make you feel so much better. I enjoy eating in restaurants, but I'm weening myself off of the "eating out experience." I am trying to get in the groove of cooking more, and I'm doing better.

Gabrielle Dion said...

Thanks Jane! I still eat out often too, but when possible I try to choose non-chain restaurants where they prepare everything fresh. Unfortunately, those restaurants are usually more expensive! :-(