When I go to the trouble to cook and dice up all the chicken and ingredients that go into a chicken salad, I want it to last – so that means I make a LOT of it! Here is a MONSTER recipe to cook for the masses (or, in my case, to cook for Steve Pfiester). :) ENJOY!
Low-Calorie Waldorf Chicken Salad
8 Chicken Breasts Diced in Cubes
2 Medium Apples
7 Celery Sticks Diced (one bunch)
1/2 Cup of Diced Onions
1/3 Cup Craisins
1/3 Cup Nuts
1/2 Cup Chobani Yogurt
1/2 Cup Hellman’s Mayo Low Fat
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Lemon Juice
1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBS Stevia
Salt to taste
Dice your apples (the smaller the pieces the more apple you get in each bite!) and pour lemon juice over it. Combine the apple, chicken, Craisins, Onions and nuts together in one big bowl. In a separate bowl, blend Mayo, Yogurt, Orange Juice, Stevia, vinegar and salt. Slowly fold into the mix until the mixture is well coated. (NOTE: You don’t necessarily need to use ALL of the dressing if you want to save even more calories).
Today, I scooped 2 cups per tupperware so I could easily track calories throughout the day. That way, when I finish my container I know exactly how many servings I ate, instead of putting it all in one big container. Perfect for meals or snacks on the go!
OR put a cup on top of fresh greens and drizzle some straight balsamic vinegar over the top for a low-calorie salad. It only adds about 50 calories!
One major misconception is that dieting is boring, tasteless, unfulfilling and borderline torturous. Although we really don’t consider the way we eat “dieting”, but just “eating clean” – it’s more than satisfying and definitely not tasteless or boring. However, sometimes yummy healthy food can be too much for a dieter to handle. So, for some people bland may be better. Here’s why.
Bland is Better
When something tastes great, we want more of it – plain and simple. I don’t care how low-fat, low-cal, high-protein, organic, paleo, it is. If you are trying to lose weight, sometimes it’s best to keep foods a little boring so you don’t overeat. Does this mean you don’t enjoy your food? No. It means, that every single meal doesn’t have to be a celebration on your tongue.
I believe we think WAY too much about what we WANT to eat and what we WANT to taste, when we should be focusing on what kind of fuel our body needs. Since our body needs the same thing day after day, I venture to say there are some components to your eating habits that should remain the same too.
Sadly, when people go on a diet, it’s like they are so fixated on what they are going to be missing, that they spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out a way to still get what they want, and get the results they want too. Is it possible to eat yummy healthy food and lose weight? YES. Is it harder? YES. So why make it harder on yourself?
Keep It Simple Stupid
Of course, meals don’t have to be yucky, but they should be simple. It’s hard to mess up whole foods & simple meals, like a meat and green veggie. However, if you start getting too fancy with the cooking, before you know it you have not only added more calories, but you’ll likely eat more of it. That’s two unnecessary obstacles you don’t need if you are trying losing weight.
In addition to food being too yummy for you to resist seconds, adding too much variety can make tracking calories more difficult. Repetition is easier to manage. When you repeat meals and snacks, there is less chance of missing calories or messing up.
Lastly repetition frees our mind from thinking about food more than we already do. As soon as you start exploring new things, our mind goes WILD. If you want to spend less time thinking about food, stick to what you know so you don’t have to think about it at all.
More Diet Tips:
Check back this weekend for 7 Diet Tips to Help You Stay on Track or Subscribe to get more tips and motivation!
It starts at the grocery store, but that’s not where it ends. I know a lot of people who buy healthy food that ends up rotting in bottom of the refrigerator. So, you not only need to shop healthy, you need to buy stuff you know you will actually cook – not stuff you hope you will eat. Good intentions won’t help you lose weight. Follow through will. And once you cook up your food, it still doesn’t stop there. You need to make sure you have all the tupperware you need so it goes where you go. Plastic forks, spoons, lunch bag – you name it, if it helps you stick to your diet, it’s worth being properly stocked.
With that said, cooking is definitely the hardest part of the process. It takes time, but it is SO worth it. This why we set aside time to cook for the week – and Sundays are those days for us. It’s our chance to cook up all our meat for the week, and box up our meals so we stay on track, no matter what craziness comes our way.
Since many people ask me what we make, I thought I’d share our shopping list, as well as what we made for this week.
My Shopping List:
Ground Lean Turkey
Lean Cuisines (for emergency)
Egg Whites/Egg Beaters
Granola (for sprinkling o yogurt)
Light Balsamic Dressing
Kosher Dill Pickles
100 Calorie Popcorn
130 Calorie Packs of Pistachios
Sugar Free Creamer
Greek Yogurt Snack Packs
Low-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Anderson Pretzel Stix
4 Gallons of Water
Once I get my groceries, then I prepare the meat. My focus is to have a meat and one vegetable for each meal. I save my higher-carb items (like sweet potato) for lunches, and stick to leafy greens with a meat at night.
Meat for the Week
Grilled Filleted Fajita Lime Chicken
Large Grilled Salmon with Ginger and Wasabi
Grilled Tilapia with Lemon & Mojo Mama Blacked Dry MOJO
Roasted Curry Chicken & Vegetables
Breadless Low-Calorie Turkey Meatloaf
Curry Chicken Salad
As always, I played in the kitchen and created meals based on what I was in the mood for. I rarely follow recipes, and I almost never measure anything, unless I am following a recipe. So, bare with me as I try to recall what I did, in hopes it at least gets you on the right track.
Cook Healthy to Eat Healthy
Roasted Curry Chicken
Chicken Breast (I cooked 8-10)
1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Onions Sliced Thick
2 Sweet Potato (peeled and diced in 2″ chunks)
3 Bell Peppers Sliced Thick
2 Cans Water Chestnuts
A Butt-Load of Curry Powder
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper to add zip
Sprinkle Stevia to sweeten (to taste)
Salt to taste
Put in a roaster or crock pot. After the food is done, I add more stevia, curry and salt until I get the taste I want, which is a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. If it’s too sweet, you may need more salt to balance it.
After the chicken was all done and absorbed the yummy flavors of the curry and vegetables, I took out 3 breasts and chopped them up in cubes for a curry chicken salad. Here is what I put in it.
Curry Chicken Salad
Mix it all up and pop it in the fridge to chill. Cut a cucumber in half, longways, and scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon until it makes a nice boat. Serve the chicken salad on the cucumber boat. Serve with wheat thins if you are serving guests. Dieters skip the chips and just enjoy it as is.
If you are like me and you miss your sweet breakfast when going Paleo or reducing carbs – then this is for you! My breakfasts have always consisted of oatmeal, greek yogurt, breakfast bread, bagel and peanut butter or a protein shake. Since we’ve been giving the Paleo diet a test run, I can’t have any of those things so I’ve been beside myself trying to find a breakfast that I really can enjoy. Many Paleo eaters are content with eating scrambled eggs, omelets, steak and eggs and anything else eggy. Not me. That is not my idea of yummy. Although I do eat eggs, they aren’t my favorite. So, I decided to scout out some breakfast ideas.
First, I found a recipe for protein bars at FastPaleo.com. I loved the idea it had a ton of eggs in it, but wouldn’t taste like traditional eggy meals. Also, the sweet potato idea intrigued me – especially since I was looking for ways to put more healthy, low-glycemic carbs in my meals. I loved that it was low in fat and didn’t have a ton of nuts, seeds or fruit in it too, like many other recipes I found. Then I played around with the ingredients I saw on one of their recipes, added in some of my own ideas, and came up with a great new way to eat eggs that I could enjoy. The end result was breakfast that tasted a lot like french toast without the bread, fat and extra sugary calories! (take note parents, this may be a great way to trick your kid into eating more eggs!)
Here’s what I did…
- 2 Large Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 6 Eggs, beaten (I used egg beaters)
- 2 Tbs Almond meal
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tbs honey to sweeten (non-paleo peeps can add stevia or more honey)
- 1 scoop of natural unsweetened whey protein
Mix all ingredients (I used a mixer to make it more of a french bread consistency). If you look at the original recipe, you can see I went off plan. I mashed my sweet potatoes instead of used shredded yams. I didn’t have coconut flour, so I used almond meal, and I added protein powder to beef up my protein content. I also added the honey to sweeten it up a bit.
Heat for 25 minutes on 350, let cool and cut into squares. I cut mine into 15 bars. 2 squares = 82 calories, 9.1gm protein, 8.7gm carbs, 1g fat. This is a great breakfast you can cook in advance for a quick microwaveable breakfast on the go! Eat alone or top with a drizzle of honey and a few berries for a really delicious low calorie breakfast!
I encourage you to play around with the ingredients yourself. Also, share with me your favorite Paleo breakfast ideas. I’d love to try them and I’m sure there are some really great recipes out there I’d love to add to my collection of yummy fun!
Why Paleo? Paleo eating is simply good healthy eating – it is low in carbs, high in protein, low in bad fats, and high healthy fats. It is gluten-free, free of processed foods and a lot of junk that causes health issues and inflammation in the body. It forces you to get more nutrients from whole foods and to not be so dependent on unhealthy quick fixes. I’m still a newbie, but I have to admit, despite the huge learning curve and having to make serious changes – I’m liking it so far. I feel healthy and strong!
My unofficial disclaimer: I must confess, I am not a chef. I LOVE to cook, but I make stuff up as I go and don’t follow the rules. I am a simple, creative cook who just enjoys playing in the kitchen and eating healthy. If you want a chef, go see Paula Dean. Don’t hate, appreciate! ha! :)
In this video, I share what food prep day is like at the Pfiesters, including this paleo meal I made for our food exchange at our club, which I found this recipe found at http://www.PaleOMG.com. Prepare to succeed.
Ropa Vieja & Cuban Cauliflower “Rice”
- 1.5-2lbs chuck roast
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and roughly chopped
- 3 thick sliced of bacon, diced (I skipped the bacon)
- 1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the cooking directions & get more healthy Paleo meals.
Are You Eating Backwards?
People who struggle with their weight often find their evening meal to be the most challenging. When it comes to dieting, most people don’t have much of a problem watching calories throughout the day. Then they come home and BAM! They eat more calories in one sitting than they did all day long.
One reason this happens is we’ve been conditioned to eat big meals for dinner. Normally that means a meat, a couple of sides, and sometimes bread or dessert – but who said a meal has to be a 7-course meal? It must have been the same person who invented the Pop Tart for breakfast – and they have it all backwards.
Let’s look at food as fuel. Do you need a lot of fuel to power you to sleep? No. Do you need fuel to power you to work? Yes. So why would we have a small breakfast and big dinner? It’s completely opposite from what our body needs.
5 Healthy Food Habits for Weight Loss
1. Eat a 300-400 calorie breakfast with a nice balance of fat, protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Stock up on breakfast foods like Egg Beaters, oatmeal, bagel thins, low-carb wraps, grits, Chobani greek yogurt, Designer Whey vanilla protein, peanut butter, granola and fruit. Plan ahead and be creative. Cooking breakfast in advance and utilizing leftovers (like spinach, asparagus and meats) can really help create fast fixings.
2. Splurge for lunch. Instead having your biggest meal at dinner, schedule cheat meals at lunch. At least you will have several hours to burn off what you ate, instead of eating at night and hitting the sack on a full stomach. Even if you are eating healthy, try to save your high-carb meals, like sandwiches, pastas and potatoes, for lunchtime.
3. Simplify dinner. Don’t over-think your evening menu. If you are trying to diet, limit meals to one white meat and one green side. Use a little olive oil or natural fats, like avocado, to help the meal stay with you longer. Green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, zucchini, collards, cabbage and salad greens are normally lower in calories. Be very sparing with beans, even the green kind. Peas, black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans and kidney beans are all higher in carbohydrates and calories. One green bean that’s an exception is the soy bean (edamame). Edamame has a excellent balance of carbs, fats and protein. YUM!
4. Just skip it. Sometimes people eat just because they think they are “supposed to”. Just because it’s meal time, you don’t always have to eat a traditional meal. If you come home late at night, or you really aren’t that hungry, sometimes it’s OK to just make a protein shake and call it a night – especially if you just left the gym. Or maybe you decide to just have a few almonds and a piece of fruit, or some yogurt to curb your appetite. Although you do need to keep a steady small amount of calories coming in to keep your metabolism revved, they don’t have to be anything fancy or complicated.
5. Choose only one 100-200 calorie evening snack. If you are like me, you can snack the entire night away if you let yourself. Instead, choose your snack wisely. Do you crave sweets? Then a sugar-free fudge pop, jello pudding or fruit may be the way to go. Do you crave salty snacks? Then you may prefer 100-calorie popcorn as your go-to snack. Whatever you choose, try to limit your calories to only one 100-200 calories, and only choose one item – that includes drinks. Even if you WANT to snack, you won’t die if you go without snacking – and those little after-dinner calories add up quick so be stingy with them.
I am not an egg eater, but sometimes I crave salty meals instead of my traditional fresh fruit and Chobani yogurt breakfast. Here is what I made today and it was YUMMY!
Tablespoon of Wickles Pepper Relish
1/2 Teaspoon of Low-Fat Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread
A Few Slices of Onion
1 Sweet Peppers
1 La Tortilla Low-Carb (High-Protein) Wrap
Top with a Dollop of Chobani Yogurt
Add some jalapenos to spice it up even more!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Spice up your meals for more exciting healthy eating!
When Chobani hit shelves here locally, the news quickly spread around the gym. This healthy snack was not only delicious, but it was higher in protein than regular yogurt. That’s why we literally have a whole drawer dedicated to it in our refrigerator. We actually eat so much of it, we have an overflow in our 2nd fridge in the garage.
There really aren’t a lot of snacks to choose from that are naturally high in protein. Before Chobani yogurt, the closest thing we could come to was cottage cheese. And, if you are like me, there is no way anyone is getting that lumpy mess down my throat. I just can’t get over the texture.
Then Chobani came and saved the day. Before Chobani I was eating regular yogurt, which can have double the carbs as greek yogurt, especially if you get the kind with fruit in it. It also had practically half the protein Chobani has. For a girl who’s not a big meat eater, the more protein I can get the better.
Why Eat Chobani? Well, for my fitness peeps, eating high-protein snacks, like Chobani (and Designer Whey bars, my other favorite high-protein snack), means preserving muscle and giving your body what it needs to repair muscle after hard workouts. For my non-workout folks, it means preventing muscle loss, which is even more important as we age.
This is why there was no surprise Chobani sponsored for the Olympics. What a perfect FIT! (pun intended!) They naturally power people every single day!
Way to go Chobani! Thank you for powering me – and Team USA!
- B -
I Am a Proud Chobaniac:
Yummy Low-Cal Bagel Thin Sandwich
1 Everything Bagel Thin (100 calories)
1 TBSP Light Veggie Cream Cheese (35 cal)
2 oz favorite meat (100 calories)
1 slice of light cheese (60 calories)
Top with thinly sliced cucumbers, tomato, onion and lettuce (5-10 calories) and a sprinkle balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Enjoy a very filling lunch for under 300 calories.