Category Archives: Healthy Eating

In My Kitchen

I did some baking over the weekend, and it was the first time my kitchen has smelled like fall this year. After grocery shopping Sunday I decided to make use of the pumpkin I bought, so I attempted to make pumpkin scones like the ones I saw at Starbucks last week.

pumpkin scones

They’re not low calorie, but knowing how many calories are in each one helped me stay on track. It also urged me to give most of them away! Ha..

They were so delicious that I promptly invited neighbors over to share them, so I could bake without being tempted to over eat my delicious treats. And they were a hit!

corn and beans

This simple dish is packed with protein and healthy fats, and it keeps me feeling full for hours.

I’ve been spending more time at home over the last month or so, and I’ve cooked a lot of healthy meals. I’ve also been doing meal prep, so that I can reach the little goals I’ve set.  It seems to be working well, and I’m rediscovering foods that I used to love. 

Breakfast is simple because I’m at home. I eat oatmeal, and lately I’ve been adding an egg and half a cup of milk before I cook it. It’s easy, delicious and filled with protein, which makes it my go-to meal in the mornings.

egg and oatmeal

I topped it with almonds and a tablespoon of brown sugar. It wasn’t low calorie, but it kept me satisfied all morning!

For lunch I typically make sandwiches on whole grain bread for the significant man that I vaguely mention here sometimes. We usually eat them with fruit and veggies, and sometimes we share a serving of chips too. (He knows that I don’t like eating sandwiches without chips. Am I the only one who feels this way?)

I’ve also made a few meals that aren’t as healthy, but I eat reasonable portions of those too. Last week I made BBQ Shrimp, which isn’t BBQ-ed at all. I impressed myself with this dish because it tasted like an authentic New Orleans meal, which it was.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

I made it again over the weekend for my family, and they loved it too.

I also made a killer, lightened up grilled cheese sandwich last week and paired it with tomato soup and an ounce of kettle chips. (Seriously, is there any other way to eat a grilled cheese?)

grilled cheese

Sometimes you just need to make a gooey grilled cheese…

This week has consisted of roasted chicken, beef, chicken and broccoli stir-fry and other delicious things. I’ve skipped the calorie-laden lattes (for the most part) and enjoyed unsweet tea and iced coffee. (I love sugar, but not in my tea or coffee. Weird, I know.)

I have healthy snacks like mixed nuts, Laughing Cow Babybel wedges and more. I’m feeling good about the things that are happening in my kitchen, and I like seeing the the numbers on the scale as they go down.

What are you cooking up this week?


Are Cankles A Job Hazard?

I feel like I’m adjusting well to life at the office, but I’m having one issue that I wasn’t expecting. My feet and ankles are swelling.

Is it safe to assume that it’s because I’m sitting a lot more than normal? Several people have said that, but why would sitting make your feet swell? What should I be doing to combat it?

I’ve been taking my lunch to work each day, and I’ve made packed healthy and well-balanced meals. I’m also drinking a lot of water. I bring it by the gallon, so I can refill my pretty Starbucks tumbler all day.

I’m not incorporating exercise into my daily routine yet, but I know that will help the swelling too. Won’t it?

It’s amazing to realize how much I move around on an average day. Coming here has definitely made me much more sedentary than I was, so I need to figure out how to be active during the days that I’m here too.

I walk to the far restroom when I need to go, and I spend my little breaks walking around the building. I just need to do more, and I’m not sure where to start. I’m only here Monday through Thursday of most weeks, but that’s a big chunk of time.

I’m eating healthier things, and I’m going to bed earlier. I’m drinking water, and I need to exercise.

Does anyone have ideas to help reduce the swelling? If so, I’d love to hear them.



Meal Planning

It’s been a long time since I did meal planning, but I’m working on a list for things that I can make and take to work with me next week. I typically work from the comfort of my home (or Starbucks,) but I’ll have to be more proactive with planning if I want my transition to go smoothly. 

I don’t know if I’ll have access to a refrigerator and/or microwave, but I’m assuming that I will. I want to prepare healthy snacks and lunches that won’t bother others. (I will not be the woman who makes popcorn at the office. It seems invasive to me.)

I know I could bring things like almonds, but the fact is that they don’t do much for me. I need to come up with some ideas that will be healthy, yet appealing. 

My plan is to pack fresh fruit in one container and fresh veggies in another. I also have olive oil popcorn from Trader Joe’s, which will be easy to portion out. I purchased some KIND bars earlier this week, and they’ll definitely make their way into my rotation as well. Maybe I’ll do almonds and string cheese. I have a stash of rosemary and balsamic chicken breast from Trader Joe’s as well. Greek yogurt should probably go on my list too.

I want to lose weight. I want to get my habits under control, and I think that this could be a good way to do it. Today I am making chicken and spinach soup, which shouldn’t have a strong scent if it’s reheated. It’s easy and delicious, and adding a little tortellini thickens it up nicely too. ( I think tortellini is fine since it will be portioned out.)

I haven’t been doing what a person needs to do to lose weight, but I’m going to give it another go. I think that with some planning, I can see success again. What do I have to lose (except weight?) 

Facing the Fat

I’ve experienced some ups and downs since my last post, but I recognize what I have to do in order to be happy with myself. I’m still lacking motivation to exercise, but I’m doing it anyway. I know that if I keep trudging through that I’ll be glad I did.

I spent most of the weekend at Mom’s house, and I saw family and friends that I don’t get to see everyday, and it highlighted how different I look and feel than I did last year.

Mom has dropped over 50 pounds since February, and our family friend, Linda, has dropped 50 pounds as well. I gained about that much, but they weren’t judgmental because they understand how tough it is.

I know that I have an opportunity to change what I don’t like about myself. I know that I don’t have to choose between being physically healthy and emotionally healthy, and I’m working on improving physically right now because I’ve come so far emotionally over the last couple of years.

I’m eating more vegetables, drinking fewer sugary drinks and dragging myself to the gym. I know that eventually I’ll get back to the place in which I crave the endorphin rush, and I hope it happens soon because I’m tired of feeling like this.

As we close out 2014, I’m holding onto hope that I’ll feel different by this time next year…




Adding More Goals to the List

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already December? It feels as though this year has flown by, but I’m okay with it being over. I’ve had some great moments, but this year has also come with some stress and disappointment (in love and within myself.)

I didn’t gain all of my weight back, but I’ve gained enough back that I no longer feel confident in my abilities. I’ve already shared that I feel like a failure in this area, and it’s still true.

I remember a time when I felt like a weight-loss champion. I also remember a time when fruits and veggies were a priority in my daily life, but they have once again been replaced by unhealthy, sugary alternatives.

When I was experiencing success before I was doing some key things that I’m not doing now: exercise and food journaling, and I was doing both consistently. (I’m sure that none of us are surprised that I saw good results.)

I’ve grown a lot spiritually, and I’m a much better person than I was several years ago. Life is better than it has been in a very long time (even when stressors pop up.) I’m happy with my life right now, but I’m not happy with my weight. It’s hard to explain that, but I’ve tried in numerous blog posts.

After having success recently when I eliminated sugary drinks and doughnuts, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue refraining from doughnuts. I haven’t had one since mid-September, and after months of overindulgence, it feels good to say no. I’ve been more careless with sugary drinks at Starbucks, but that ends now too. I can enjoy regular coffee, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall back into a routine of daily hot chocolates or caramel macchiatos.

I’ve also added tracking back into my routine, and I’m going to do it daily for the next 30 days. It’s an effective way to make sure that I’m eating what I should be eating, and I’m going to let go of the regret that I have due to my lack of faithful tracking until now. I’m going to focus on cardio 4 days a week too.

I’m completely different than I was when I tried this before. I barely even remember the person that I was. I’ve spent so much time looking at the way I lost in the past that I’ve overlooked who I am now. I’m going to start telling myself that I can do this and challenge myself to take steps in the right direction.



Dinner For One?

I’ve been a bit of a homebody this week, which isn’t typical for me.  I’ve been eating at home more because I’m here, and it makes me think that I should take time to stay in more often.

I live alone, and I don’t always take time to cook for myself because it feels like so much effort to cook for one.  I enjoy cooking when I’m having company, but on the rare evenings when I’m at home, I find myself more interested in doing other things than cooking (like knitting, watching New Girl or Scandal, painting my nails, blogging, baking something to share with friends, homework, etc.)

I’m going to work on changing the way I think about cooking for myself because if it’s worth the effort to cook for someone else, it’s worth it to cook for myself.  It saves money and calories to make the extra effort, and I’ve always known that I should do it.  I

don’t think of myself as lazy because I’m almost always on the move, but it’s probably a good idea to spend more time at home preparing meals that are healthy for myself.

Am I the only one who prefers to order in or eat cereal when dining alone?

Feelings, Calories and Another Fresh Start

This is an exciting time in my life because I’m surrounded by so many amazing people.  After the end of my not-quite-relationship, I needed some time to process my feelings, so I took the time I needed.  I was almost over the heartache by the time I posted about it, and now I can honestly tell you that after spending the day with that man today, I’m okay.  It feels good to see him and not feel like I’m falling apart.

As I was chatting with friends earlier, I realized that I’m not romantically interested in anyone.  There’s a guy that I would be interested in if I thought he’d be interested back, but there’s no one calling me every night before bed or texting me 20 times a day.  I like the feeling I get when I think about the possibilities of liking someone who might like me back, but I’m back to focusing on everything that I do have.

I possess a lot of characteristics that someone would be attracted to, but right now, I feel like those characteristics are hard to see because of the cloud of my obesity.  For a long, long time I’ve said that I don’t want to have to change to make someone want me, and it’s true.  I wish that there was a smart, talented, funny, handsome and interesting man in my life who would let me bake for him, sing for/with him, laugh with him and play Scrabble with him.  I wish that I could have that without feeling like I have to change first, but the truth is that I’d like to change regardless.

It’s no secret that I suck at losing weight, nor is it a secret that I need to lose it anyway.  I take responsibility for it, and I think it’s time to change my perspective.  I want a tall, honest, intelligent man who loves Jesus to think I’m beautiful, but I also want to think I’m beautiful.

My priorities haven’t been weight-loss related in a long time.  I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally, and I’ve made positive strides in so many areas.  I feel good about many areas of my life, but I’m still letting my weight affect me in ways that I wish it didn’t.

I’m going to try again…What else can I do?

Since moving to New Orleans I have visited several Weight Watchers meetings, but I haven’t found one that makes me want to go back.  I underestimated the chemistry of the meeting that I went to in New York, but I have to start somewhere.  I’m going to start counting calories today, and my goal will be to stay between 1500 and 1700 calories per day on days that I exercise.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll also be accountable to people in my everyday life about the numbers on the scale.

Time will pass whether I try to make changes again or not, and right now I don’t care about the numbers nearly as much as I care about creating healthy, controlled habits.

Am I the only one who has to start over again and again and again?


Reclaiming Healthy Habits

I’ve been trying to reestablish some healthy habits, and one of those habits is eating at home.  I don’t really enjoy food in the mornings so I’ve gotten back into the habit of starting each day with a smoothie.

Last week, I tried a few new flavors, and I liked the results.

I made a green smoothie (as I often do)  with apple, banana and spinach, and it was amazing!

apple banana spinach smoothie

I also mixed strawberries and blueberries, which might be my new favorite.

Bluberry Smoothie

I did orange, banana and a little pineapple too, and it tasted like dessert for breakfast.

Strawberry Orange Pineapple Smoothie

I’ve also been drinking homemade green juice a lot lately, and I’ve begun craving it, which was totally unexpected.  My favorite blend is kale, celery, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and lemon.

green juice

I like bringing it to class because I can drink it at room temperature, and there’s just something about it that satisfies my taste buds.

I still like to chew food, of course, and last week I finally attempted to make quinoa.  It was amazing, and it satisfied my hunger all afternoon.  I made dressing using strawberries and a mango, and it was pretty outstanding too.

Quinoa Salad


One thing I’ve noticed is that eating at home is much more exciting when I find new foods that I enjoy.  Mixing different ingredients in the blender to see how it tastes is fun for me, and I think as long as I’m eating protein packed meals with fruits and veggies, I’m doing pretty well.

I use Greek yogurt in my smoothies to add protein and bulk.  Does anyone have any smoothie suggestions for me?  I’m always ready to try something new!


Healthy Eating, Or Habits That Seem Nearly Impossible

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends this week, and I’m tired.  Some fantastic things have been happening in my life, but I find myself struggling with food choices…still.

The struggle isn’t new.  The desire to change it isn’t new.  The mental block that keeps me from making the changes I need to make isn’t new.

My struggles don’t actually pertain to food.  I know that.  They’re built up inside my mind, and changing the way I think will change the way I operate.  I know.  I know.  I know.

I’ve been crushing my 10,000 steps a day goal this month, and by the end of the week I will have exceeded 250,000 steps for the month of August.  I feel great about the cardio part, but I continue to feel crummy about the food part.

I know that I need to change my eating habits.  I also know that it’s not cool to munch on near an entire bag of chips and salsa on my sofa while I watch a movie with friends. (Yes, I did that.  No, I don’t usually do that.)

It’s hard.  I know. I get it.  I need help with this, but the help has to come from within me.  Making small changes has led to big results for me in the past so I’m going to incorporate some small changes starting now.  Here’s what I plan to do:

– Track my food intake – it’s such a simple way to help myself succeed.  Why did I stop doing it?

– Replace one meal a day with a salad for the next few weeks.

– Drink more water.

It’s a struggle.  People try and fail and succeed and fail and try again at this all the time.  I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with the food they eat, but it’s my responsibility to fix me.  Trying again…



Ideas for Tackling Food Cravings?

As I was reading blogs this morning I came across a post about strategies to tackle food demons, and I started thinking about what I can do to control my own cravings.

I often crave food when I’m not hungry.  In my mind it doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, stressed, lonely, bored, etc.  My mind automatically assumes that situations will be more gratifying if food is involved, and I’ve been attempting to change that mindset for years.  I still have a lot of work to do.

I did a little research (thank you, Google) and came up with a few ways to beat cravings that I can imagine working, and I am going to start implementing them right now.

Brush your teeth – I can see this working because I don’t like to eat anything for a while after I brush my teeth.  I can also whiten them because that means no eating for at least two hours, but I certainly can’t do that every time I have a craving.  i don’t want my teeth to be so white that they glow in the dark. 😉

Avoid your triggers – Jeez.  This one is tough because so many things make me want to eat junk, but I get the point.  Last week I picked up my old friend, Clint ( aka The Suit) at the airport, and his flight didn’t come in until after midnight.  I had some time to kill so as I was driving past Krispy Kreme, I decided to order a doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Metairie

I avoid this place most of the time because it’s so easy to convince myself that I need to buy more than one doughnut, but that night I reminded myself that the gratification of the doughnut would make me feel good for about 30 seconds before it made me feel bloated, lethargic and regretful.  I left the parking lot…doughnut-less, and I felt like I had won a battle within myself.

Drink  water – I drink a lot of water, but it’s hot in New Orleans so I won’t hurt myself if I drink more than that.  I keep a few 32 oz. bottles filled at all times, and it’s fairly easy to drink one quickly.  I usually feel full for a while after that, but I also feel like I did something good for myself, thus making it a little bit easier to pass on the junk food.

Keep it out of your environment – I cleaned out my fridge last week and got rid of most of the things that aren’t good for me.  I have a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but it’s not a trigger for me.  I have a serving from time to time, but I’m usually okay with that.  I don’t keep chips or candy in my place most of the time, and when I bake, I get it out of my house quickly too.

It’s easier for me to succeed when I have healthy choices available instead of unhealthy ones which leads me to my next strategy…

Plan – When I chop veggies for stir fry or roasting, I eat them.   When I boil eggs so I have a quick snack, I eat them.  When I come up with new, delicious ideas like a banana + 1 tbps of freshly ground almond butter, I eat that.

Exercise – I don’t mean that you should hit the gym every single time you crave a cupcake (although that may not be a bad idea for me.)  I mean, if you’ve made time to exercise, it’s a little easier to remind yourself that you’re doing good things for your body.  Maybe it’s a good idea to do three sets of jumping jacks, planks or something similar instead of eating, but that won’t always be a realistic option.  I mean, the folks at Starbucks might look at me like I’m crazy if I start doing lunges when I’m craving baked goods.  (I just ten avoid them there.)

Having healthy options that I like allows me to eat food that tastes good which reminds me that I’m doing this because I can, not because I have to.

Eat regularly – I know that when I eat breakfast and exercise that I will likely have a healthy day.  I also know that when  I avoid eating until late afternoon, I’ll eat too much at that point so it’s important to eat in a timely way.

I realize that there must be a zillion other ways to fight cravings so I’d like to ask YOU to offer some advice on this.  My question is…

What strategies do you use to avoid cravings?

Or is there something that you think might work that we should try?

Many of you have learned how to deal with this successfully, but I’d like to think that I’m not the only one who still fights with myself to say no to overeating.

I’m working on this, and I’d like to know if you are too.  I’d also like to hear your ideas too so please take a moment to share them.