January 30, 2023 – Easy, tasty, healthy lunch at work

One of my big challenges is figuring out what to have for lunch on days that I work. Today I tried something new and it was TASTY!!!

Life Cuisine – Cauliflower Crust Chicken Mozzarella Piada. It took 3 minutes to cook. It was very flavorful and the macros were good. It kept me satisfied until dinner. I found this one in the freezer section at Publix. I plan to look for more from this brand.

Thanks for reading.

January 28, 2023 – Healthy (and tasty) food substitutes.

Are you looking to make some healthy changes in your life but don’t want to give up your favorite foods? If so, then you’re in luck! There are many healthy food substitutes that can help you lose weight and eat healthier without sacrificing flavor.

From zucchini noodles to cauliflower rice, there are a number of options that are both healthy and delicious. In this article, we’ll give you a list of 10 healthy food substitutes that you can use to make your favorite meals healthier. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your journey to better health today!

Eating healthier is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, a lot of the traditional comfort foods we associate with our childhoods are high in fat, sugar, and calories. Therefore, finding healthy food substitutes is an important step in making sure we eat a balanced diet. Not only can swapping out unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones help maintain a healthy weight, it can also reduce the risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Moreover, many of the healthy substitutes taste just as good, if not better, than the traditional ingredients.

When looking for healthy food substitutes, it’s important to consider the health benefits of the swap. The best substitutes should contain fewer calories, less fat and sugar, and more fiber and nutrition. Therefore, it’s important to look at the nutrition labels and compare the ingredients of the two products. When it comes to swapping out unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones, it’s important to look for substitutes that have fewer processed ingredients and more natural ones, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, you should avoid any substitutes that contain added sugar or fat.

When it comes to making healthy swaps, there are a lot of options that can help you make healthier meals. Here are some of the most popular healthy food substitutes:

1. Zucchini noodles – swap out traditional pasta for zucchini noodles for a healthier and lower-calorie option.

Photo by Jacqueline Spotto on Pexels.com

2. Cauliflower rice – swap out white rice for cauliflower rice for a lower-calorie and nutrient-packed option.

3. Avocado spread – swap out mayonnaise for an avocado spread for a healthier option that still packs a creamy punch.

4. Greek yogurt – swap out sour cream for plain Greek yogurt for a healthier and lower-calorie option.

5. Almond milk – swap out regular milk for almond milk for a dairy-free and lower-calorie option.

6. Lettuce wraps – swap out a hamburger bun for a lettuce wrap for a healthier and lower-calorie option.

7. Baked sweet potato fries – swap out regular fries for baked sweet potato fries for a healthier and lower-calorie option. You can even make sweet potato “toast” by cutting the sweet potatoes into planks, baking/toasting them, and serving with toppings.

8. Coconut flakes – swap out breadcrumbs for shredded coconut flakes for a higher-fiber and lower-calorie option.

9. Nut butters – swap out butter for nut butters such as almond butter or peanut butter for a healthier and lower-calorie option.

10. Applesauce – swap out oil for applesauce for a lower-calorie and dairy-free option.

Making healthy food substitutes can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re used to your old habits. Here are some tips to help make sure these substitutes become a staple in your diet:

1. Start Small – Start by replacing one ingredient at a time. Make gradual changes that you can stick with over time.

2. Give Yourself Time – Making healthy swaps takes time and patience. Don’t get frustrated if you have a few missteps – it’s part of the process.

3. Plan Ahead – Meal planning is a great way to make sure you have healthy ingredients on hand and that you’re prepared for the week ahead.

4. Mix it Up – Don’t get stuck in a rut. Try new healthy alternatives and recipes to keep food interesting.

Eating out can be a challenge for anyone trying to make healthier choices. Here are some tips for eating out and still making healthy choices:

1. Look for vegetable sides – Most restaurants offer a variety of vegetable sides like steamed vegetables, salads, and roasted vegetables. Look for items that are cooked or grilled without added fat or salt.

2. Choose lean proteins – Look for lean proteins like grilled chicken and fish that are cooked without added fat. Avoid deep-fried items or batter-crusted items.

3. Ask for substitutions – Most restaurants are happy to accommodate requests for substitutions. Ask for things like salad instead of fries or grilled vegetables instead of French fries.

4. Load up on greens – Start your meal with a salad or side of steamed vegetables to help fill you up and keep you from overeating.

Making healthy food swaps doesn’t have to be hard. With a little bit of planning and research, you can easily find healthy food substitutes for your favorite dishes. Remember, look for substitutes that are lower in calories and have more natural ingredients. Also, don’t forget to plan ahead and mix up your choices to keep things interesting. Finally, when dining out, look for lean proteins, vegetable sides, and ask for substitutions. Following these tips can help make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. So don’t wait any longer – get started on your journey to better health today!

January 16, 2023 – Food prepped and ready to go!

It’s been a few days since my last post. Work and home have been busy. It’s been hard to eat healthy when so busy so we came up with a plan to get our weeks food ready to go on the weekend. Today was our food prep day. We are trying the mix and match type of lunch food prep. We cooked:

  • 2 large chicken breasts cubed and sautéed in a pan. Let cool and put in container in the fridge.
  • 2 cups broccoli florets and 2 cups cauliflower sprayed with olive oil spray and seasoned with salt and pepper. Roasted in the oven 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool and put in container in the fridge.
  • 1 sweet potato cut up, sprayed with olive oils, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then put in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool and put in a container in the fridge.
  • 2 cups butternut squash, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted in the over at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool and put in container in the fridge.
  • 2 cups of small potatoes cut up, sprayed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cooked in the airfryer at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool and put in a container in the fridge.
  • 2 bags of boil in bag brown rice, cooked, cooled and put in a container in the fridge.
  • 2 bags of boil in bag quinoa, cooked, cooked, cooled and put in a container in the fridge.

Mike and I will be mixing and matching these foods for our lunches. He can come home and throw his in the microwave. I will pack mine in a container to bring to work.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

If you have any suggestions for easy mix n match food prep lunches, we’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading.

January 7, 2023 – Small victories!

How to not go on a binge? Find ways to treat yourself that won’t break the calorie bank. Today we went to Krispy Kreme donuts. They all looked delicious. However, they were 280 calories for one donut. YIKES! Then I spotted the mini donuts. At 90 calories each, I was able to have two minis for less than the calorie “price” of one regular size. Small victories!

New Years Eve day treats

Peppermint mocha espresso from Norman Love chocolates
Raspberry Dome Santa hat from Norman Love Chocolates
Key Lime Tart from Norman Love Chocolates

To celebrate the end of 2022, Mike and I decided to have a treat day. First a healthy breakfast from First Watch and then a morning snack at Norman Love Chocolates.

Der Dutchman
Broasted chicken, cheesy mashed taters, sweet potatoes and creamed corn at Der Dutchman

Such a great day gallivanting around Sarasota. Home my 3 pm. Napped until the neighborhood sounded like armageddon (fireworks) and now going to relax, watch Ironman and get our healthy eating and exercise plan ready!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Photo by Anna-Louise on Pexels.com

How is everyone?

So, it has been a while since my last blog post. I guess you could say things have been a little busy here in Southwest Florida. I hope you all are well.

It has been 49 days since Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida causing major damage and 114 deaths from Lee County north into Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Because the storm was so huge, it caused problems all over the state and then headed to the Carolinas for some more havoc.

Mike and I were very lucky. Although there is damage to the house, we can live in it. There are many people in our surrounding communities that weren’t so lucky.

Just when we thought hurricane season was about over – here comes Nicole. Oy! We had a rainy, breezy day. Those on the East coast of Florida weren’t so lucky. Did you all see the pictures of the homes washed into the Atlantic Ocean. So sad.

So, now that things are back to “normal” (really – you CAN see the normal if you look over the giant piles of debris everywhere) I plan to get back to reading and reviewing good books and talking about eating healthy and being good to your body.

After 46 days of erratic eating, I’m back to eating more fruits and veggies, lean protein, and fewer carbs. I’m looking for healthier recipes for Thanksgiving- including apple pie croissants!! Now that stores here have milk, eggs, butter, and fresh veggies – we no longer have to go on our evening grub crawl to find food trucks so we can eat. Next time you see a food truck, stop and buy something. If it weren’t for them a lot of people wouldn’t have eaten anything in the days after the storm. That is how bad things were.

So, hug your loved ones and enjoy every day with a smile on your face. Remember to be kind, especially to those who are in helping jobs. (Keep in mind, if you are dealing with storm aftermath, your local grocery checkout person, receptionist, public works staff are working to help YOU when they should be home getting their own situation fixed).

Be kind. Be patient. Be respectful.

Thanks for reading.

Prepping for a NEW YEAR

I haven’t stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve in years. Since 2020 has been such a dumpster fire, I have decided to stay up until midnight to make sure that 2020 actually ends. I’m sort of worried that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and see that the date is December 32, 2020. That would be so 2020!

During the month of December I have been working on plans for 2021.

  1. Health – I’ve started what, so far, is a helpful way to lose weight. NOOM. Someone I know lost 100 pounds using this service so I thought I’d try. So far I am down 6 pounds! It is a very different approach towards weight loss. More info to come in the new year as I chronicle my journey. Mike and I are also starting to exercise more and plan to make it a habit in 2021.
  2. Career – Since work has changed so much this year, I have been feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. I have decided to work on taking my passion for crafting to the next level. I’ve been listening to the “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast and have really been inspired to find how I can make the world a better place through my passion of crafting. Things currently in the works:
    • Craft videos on YouTube in the hopes of getting a good enough following to monetize my craft videos.
    • Creating a plan to sell my crafts on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, craft shows, etc. I am making a list of what to make in preparation for upcoming holidays and celebrations.
    • Planning a way to start doing at-home craft parties once we all get Covid-19 under control.
    • Collaborating with two friends on a really cool videography project.
  3. Reading – Increase my reading and book review blog posts by creating a calendar to remind myself to post reviews to my blog twice a month.
  4. Brainstorming on a podcast idea I have.

So, those are my big plans to make 2021 the best year ever.

What are your plans for 2021? Do you plan to stay up until midnight? Do you have a craft you would like me to create a video for? Do you have any book recommendations for me? How about a healthy recipe or an exercise for me to add to our getting healthy plan? Please drop me a note below and I promise to send you a great big thank you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Overwhelmed with your kindness and excited about the future.

Everyone has been so supportive of my weight loss journey. I’ve received so many tips and messages of encouragement the past few days. I love each and every one of you for joining my cheering squad! It was kind of overwhelming to get all the messages. You all lifted my spirits!

So far, things are going well. We’ve found some great recipes that use more Whole Foods and less processed foods. Our two favorites have been the crunchy chicken and black bean tacos and the glazed pork loin with cucumber radish salad.

Breakfast has always been hard for me because it is my favorite meal. I love everything about a good hearty breakfast. Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, pastries, and most of all – delicious coffee. I can have eggs on Weight Watchers. They are actually a zero points food. (Please don’t ask me to explain why. I don’t care why, I’m just glad they are). Two slices of bacon cooked crispy are 3 points. Pastries – I have to cut them out all together. They are delicious but they are like Pringles to me – I can’t just eat one. LOL.

Then comes coffee. I like mine light and sweet. That means a lot of cream and a lot of sugar. Yesterday I tried having my coffee with 1% milk and Swerve sweetener. BLECH!!!! Today I am using 1 TBSP of Natural Bliss Salted Caramel creamer. It is n to sugar free. It is 2 points for each tablespoon. I did not add any additional sweetener and it is ok.

I am already feeling improvements in how I feel. I slept really well last night after working hard around the house with food prep and laundry. My mood is better and I feel that I can accomplish this task and reach my goal.