So… we’re eating healthy again.
But WAIT! Before you go thinking that that means this blog is going to get all boring and bland… think again. See, I enjoy food a bit too much to resign myself to months of celery sticks and bran flakes. I gotta have some flavor! My husband is the same way.
And after fully enjoying our holidays, Chris and I both agreed that the start of the New Year was the perfect opportunity to start afresh with a clean, healthy diet. Not a “diet”, but a diet… the kind that is a workable lifestyle! That’s the best way to get healthy anyway. (Crash diets are temporary and so are the results. Workable lifestyles are where success stories are made.)
Yummy salmon, cooked two ways!
And since I am the designated grocery shopper and chef of our household, the responsibility for creating these healthy but also flavorful and “un-boring” meals falls to me. Here are the goals I shoot for:
1) Both Chris and I are aiming for a daily intake of 2,000 calories apiece. Chris will likely need to increase that number once he has reached his goal weight, because 2,000 is pretty low for a large man who lifts weights regularly. But it is a great amount if said man is trying to drop some extra pounds! It also might surprise you that I, a woman who weighs almost 100 pounds less than Chris, would need the same amount. But I am not trying to lose significant weight, just maintain. Also I am breastfeeding, which expends a large amount of energy each day. So… my ideal number is actually somewhere in the neighborhood of 2015.
Want to calculate your own calorie needs? Hit up Freedieting.com!
2) I wake up with Chris each morning and prepare a healthful breakfast to get both of our metabolisms going. I make sure it includes protein & whole grains… and often I also include grapefruit and green tea, as both are proven fat-burners.
3) Lunches are planned ahead, packed at home, and calorie-controlled. They include protein, veggie, fruit, yogurt, etc.
4) Dinners center around lean protein and vegetables, with minimal carbs. Again, I count the calories I add to each dish, so I can be sure we are staying within our limit. I’ve learned that we are far too forgiving when we just “guesstimate” how many calories something has. For instance… I discovered that my nightly bowl of cereal (to which I add raisins, peanut butter, and lots of milk) is NOT the two or three hundred calorie bowl I thought it was… it contains a whopping 700! (But since I can’t live without it, I have to save up my calories for it throughout the day. Hehe.)
5) I try to make sure everything we eat is DELICIOUS! I am not one of those people who’s going to eat something I hate just because it is good for me. My food has to taste good or I don’t see the point. So I try to prepare a variety of different things, and add delicious flavor without adding tons of calories. Great flavor-boosters include: broth, spices, herbs, citrus, vinegar, healthy fats, and so much more!
6) I would say my biggest trick is to add “secret vegetables” to everything! Recipes like my chili, and this Sausage, Potato, & Kale soup stay low-cal while remaining very filling because so much of their bulk comes from veggies!
So I wanted to share with you a recipe I prepared for our dinner last night.
It was a HUGE hit!
It came to me while enjoying a walk outside with our daughter. I knew I was making steak for dinner, and suddenly I just knew that cauliflower, boiled in a bit of chicken broth, then mashed with just a touch of butter, would be the most perfect accompaniment!
It. Was. Divine.
And my entire family agreed… Baby included (and let me tell you, SHE IS PICKY.)
Here’s the recipe, along with the calorie-count! Hope it’s something you can enjoy with your family in the very near future
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
-1 T. olive oil
-1/2 small onion, chopped roughly
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-2 bags frozen cauliflower florettes, chopped roughly into smaller pieces
-1 small red potato, unpeeled and diced
-1 can low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
-1/2 can water
-1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. pepper
-2 T. butter or olive oil
In a medium/large soup pot or Dutch oven, sautee the onion in the olive oil over medium/high heat. Add the garlic, cauliflower, and potato and sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add the can of broth and add as much water as needed to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 20 minutes, gradually adding water to the pot as needed (you want the veggies to stay barely covered in liquid as it evaporates. Add as much water as you need.) When the potato and cauliflower are soft, use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a puree. (If you don’t have one, here’s a great one!) Last, stir in the salt, pepper, and butter and allow the butter to melt.
One cup contains 133 calories!