Weight Loss Update & Good Eats!

Pictured above: Shrimp & Grits with Greens from the new Karat Bar & Bistro. I definitely didn’t make it myself, but it was fairly diet friendly and the portion was not too big. 😉

It finally happened.

I am finally. FINALLY. For the first time in about three years, back under 200 pounds!

To catch you up to speed, I’ve been eating better for two weeks, and lost 5.8 pounds. This is not exactly some startling, earth shattering, praise-worthy news. But it’s the first time I’ve made forward progress in SO long, and since it’s been quite a while since I made the big declaration I was going to do something, I felt like I owed it to you guys to share.

What have I been doing?

In short, cutting added sugar and simple carbs wherever I can, and trying to keep a 750 calorie-a-day deficit (thank you, FitBit). That generally means eating around 30% of my calories in carbs, and staying within 1,200 – 1,500 calories a day, because of my (cough) rather sedentary lifestyle.

I did also rejoin the YMCA, but have only gone twice so far.

The biggest thing I really wanted to share is that I’ve been eating some things I really enjoy. I grew up in the Houston area – the best FOOD city in the USA (in my opinion, although statistically and undeniably one of the fattest). Then returned there after college to blog about food for Houston Press (okay, technically I only had that job four months before I realized that going to all those restaurants, I was losing money on the deal). I love food with a deep passion that would take years of therapy and probably some hypnosis to reverse. Definitely rehab.

So I’ve been challenging myself to make this “diet” food feel anything but.

Here are some good results so far:

Grilled Chicken Pita

  • Pita or naan bread
  • Sliced grilled chicken breast (we grilled about 6 on Saturday and just ate them all week)
  • Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Feta (Tip: Always buy it in a block and chop it instead of buying crumbled. Tastes WAY better and less dry.)
  • Sprinkle with a tiny bit of red wine vinegar and a generous bit of dried oregano

Total Calories: 372

Inside-Out Chicken Philly

  • Same leftover grilled chicken breast, sliced and heated on a skillet
  • Sautéed mushrooms and onions with olive oil, add spinach at last minute to wilt
  • Sprinkle some mozzarella and mix up.

Total Calories: 430 (but 120 of those were olive oil!)

Berry “Milkshake”

Note: I always end up making WAY too much of this because I don’t measure what goes in, so coincidentally I don’t have any amounts for you. Just eyeball it and keep adding the unsweet almond milk until it’s the right consistency. Godspeed.

  • Frozen mixed berries with dark cherries (very important to get the ones with dark cherries!)
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • 1 Vanilla Premier Protein Drink
  • Unsweet vanilla almondmilk (I prefer Blue Diamond “Almond Breeze” brand)

Total Calories: 271

Taco Soup with Chicken

Note: I make this all the time with a pound of browned ground beef and it’s really good, but I was still trying to eat all that leftover chicken, soooo…

  • Add 1/2 chopped onion to a pot and sauté with small amount of oil
  • (Add browned beef here if you are doing that, if not wait until everything else is added to add chicken)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans (optional)
  • 1 can Rotelle
  • 1 pack of taco seasoning
  • 1 pack dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 breast chopped, grilled chicken
  • Add water to desirable level, bring to boil then simmer 5-10 minutes or until whenever you’re tired of waiting
  • Garnish with avocado and cilantro if you have it. Add cheese and sour cream if you’re really craving some. Just throw all the things in there.

Total Calories: 318 (with avocado, but no cheese or sour cream)

The “I Really Want Lox and Bagel” Cucumber Bites

  • Smoked salmon
  • Tzatziki sauce (I’ve also used just plain cream cheese, or sour-cream based veggie dip)
  • Sliced cucumber (Pro Tip: Get the fancy, wrapped in plastic “English” cucumbers instead of regular, because you don’t have to peel them or cut the seeds out of the middle, just slice them right up! I didn’t have those at the time, so regular peeled is shown.)

Total Calories: 172

The “I Miss Whataburger” Breakfast Taquito

  • Tortilla. But not just any tortilla. Of all things, THIS is one you need to read nutrition facts for, because they vary an insane amount between brands. My favorite is La Banderita sold at Walmart. They taste the best and the calories are not crazy. I highly recommend heating both sides over a skillet first though – it makes them puff up and cook a little more and the resulting texture is restaurant-quality.
  • Two scrambled eggs
  • 1 slice Kraft Singles – I know what you’re thinking. I used to think they were disgusting too. Then I started buying them for my toddler’s grilled cheese, and realized that THAT’S the cheese they’re using in Whataburger taquitos!!! Instantly makes you feel like you’re indulging in the real thing, minus all the grease and calories. (Sorry, Whataburger, I still love you.)

Total Calories: 265 (vs. 350 at Whataburger)

 

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