I decided to take a different approach for my post-holiday return to blogging. Despite my best efforts, I managed to gain two pounds between turkey day and New Year’s. Perhaps it was because I was getting rather disgusted tired of the limits of the food choices on www.bodybuilding.com . There’s only so much you can do with the ingredients I have since come to loathe. I spent the last week or so searching for new ideas on foods I could eat and still lose weight, while maintaining muscle for my lifting days. I thought that today I would share a couple of my new faves I’ve discovered. These are all healthy, low in fat, high in protein, and quite tasty!
New breakfast favorites: Top one half (sorry, you can’t have the whole thing!) of a whole wheat English muffin with a thin slice of tomato and a whole fried (in Pam) low cholesterol egg–I use Eggland’s best. Best open-face breakfast sandwich around. My other new favorite is to broil a half of a Florida grapefruit (for some reason, it brings out the sweetness!) and eat it with a half cup of lowfat yogurt. I first saw broiled grapefruit on Sanibel Island, but of course they topped it with brown sugar to carmelize it. This way is lots healthier, but still yummy!
New snack favorites: Okay, this one sounds awful (I thought “yuck” when I first read about it), but it’s actually one of the tastier things I’ve tried for a snack. You have to plan a little ahead, because you need a hard-boiled egg. There’s nothing worse than starving between meals after a workout, and having to wait or cook your snack! If you boil it ahead of time, you just have to assemble this. Take a large lettuce leaf (romaine or iceberg works best) and put 1/2 tsp of lowfat mayo and 1 tsp of mustard inside the lettuce. Put in the hardboiled egg and roll it up. Sounds nasty? Try it, you’ll be surprised at how pleasant the crunch of the lettuce is with the bite of the mustard, and creaminess of the yolk and mayo. My other new go-to snack is a light Laughing Cow wedge with a cup of green grapes.
Best new lunch: Most of my lunches, unfortunately, are still some version of a meat and veggie salad, which can start to get rather boring. I had this one, and my taste buds sat up and begged for more! Fill a bowl with your favorite prepared lettuce mix (God love those bags of salad). Top it with four ounces of grilled chicken–leftovers are fine, or those prepared cuts in the deli are okay as long as they’re not full of sodium. Sprinkle on one large tablespoon of chopped green onions, one tablespoon of sliced almonds, and one tablespoon of an orange/citrus oriental salad dressing (I used Drew’s All Natural Sesame Orange). Toss it, and goodbye boring salads. Another favorite is to top the greens with Mexican chicken (pre-prepared), one ounce lowfat shredded Mexican cheese, salsa, and 2 tsp of fat free sour cream. No salad dressing necessary when the salsa and sour cream mix!
New dinner favorite: I only have one new recipe to share for this. Most evenings, it is still broiled meat, brown rice, and some veggie, but I am learning to try different meat preparations. The other night I had some skewered shrimp kabobs that I basted with the above orange salad dressing, and it was great. This recipe for “Moroccan Stewed Chicken” came out of Women’s Fitness magazine….
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, not breasts, although they are o.k.; 1 med. can diced tomatoes; 1 med. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas); 1 large zucchini; fresh cilantro; couscous (prepared acc. to directions); 2 Tb. golden raisins, 2 Tb. toasted pine nuts (sunflower seeds work as well); olive oil; 1 cup chicken stock; 1/2 tsp cayenne (or according to your taste!); 1 tsp cumin; 1/2 tsp cinnamon (sounds weird in a chicken dish, but this is Morocco).
Saute the salted/peppered chicken on both sides in a little olive oil. Add the zucchini, chopped in 1/2 in. cubes. Stir often. When zucchini pieces have begun to brown, add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Turn to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the couscous and when done, fluff with a fork and add raisins, pine nuts, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Serve the couscous alongside the stewed chicken. (4 servings)
Hopefully, I will continue to find new and tasty recipes like these to keep me on track for the new year. My hope (Deanna B., this one’s for you) is that I will rid myself of those two pounds ultra fast and continue on to reach my goal in the next three months. Happy New Year to all!