Next up, all your helpful ingredients for delicious lunches every time. Whether you eat it at home or brown-bag it these items will hold up and keep your lunches healthy and will provide lots of variety.
|Artichoke Hearts||Dijon Mustard||Vegetables: baby carrots, grape tomatoes, celery sticks||Microwave Popcorn|
|Broccoli Florets||FF/LF Cheese||Canned Tomatoes||Mixed Nuts|
|Chopped Onion||FF/LF Yogurt||Couscous||Low fat & low calorie treats|
|Grilled chicken or steak||Lettuce, variety||Dried Fruit – variety||Rice|
|Lean Cuisine or Smart One Meals||LF Mayonnaise||Dry Whole Wheat Pasta||Roasted Red Peppers|
|Veggie Burgers||Low-fat deli meats||Garlic||Salsa|
|Pickles||Olives||Vinegar – variety||Spaghetti Sauce|
Aside from the blog update I did yesterday and some cleaning, I spent several hours in front of the computer studying for that infamous exam. A task which is equally important and boring… and possibly the reason I found myself anxiously awaiting Chinese food at 12:40am and not sleeping after our bowling adventure.
Dinner was fantastic: roasted vegetables, filet with a garlic cheese sauce and fake-fredo noodles. Bowling was a blast as well, it was desperately needed.
This was a combination of 3 recipes, well four actually. Our favorite way to eat broccoli is roasted with nuts and parmesan cheese. Instead of doing just broccoli, we did a mix of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I also added some grated garlic in with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped nuts. The noodles are tofu shirataki noodles, alfredo style from Hungry Girl. The filet is courtesy of my Just 5 cookbook. I patted 2 9oz filets dry and coated with salt, pepper and a bit of Mrs. Dash. Then I heated the pan with about 2t olive oil and some nonstick cooking spray. Once the pan was adequately heated I browned the beef on each side (a couple of minutes each) and then set it on a plate to rest- covered with tin foil. I returned the pan to the heat and added 1/2c chicken broth and scraped up the brown bits. I then added in 2 wedges of laughing cow and melted them into the liquid. The beef was topped with this sauce and served alongside the vegetables and noodles. It was a very good dinner and took care of my beef craving. The whole dish had a Points Plus value of 8.
How is it two whole days can pass by so fast? I am amazed… both at how quickly the time passed and at how productive I was. I completed 90% of my reading for the upcoming week, transferred over notes from 2 lectures, answered several emails, made some soup (potato leek), cookies (chocolate chip) and a delish surf and turf dinner. Recipes/photos to follow.
With the first full week of classes ahead I wanted to be sure and remind myself of the basics. I know when I get stressed these are what go out the window. For me the basics are eating well, sleeping, exercising and staying on top of projects (work/school/personal). It is inevitable that certain items take priority from time to time, but I want to have a sense of balance and not feel like I am shifting from one issue to another. One piece is the ‘Good Health Guidelines’ per Weight Watchers, for my specific needs. These items are pretty standard, agreed upon norms in the nutrition world. The other piece is a personal note- getting myself into a morning and evening routine that is productive. I don’t ever remember a time when I had a morning/evening routine – maybe when I was a kid… but again not that I remember. I feel these are the times of day that set the tone and I want to be at my best.
So here are my ‘guidelines’
Good Health Guidelines (Daily)
- Fruits & Veggies: 5 servings
- Lean Protein: 1-2 servings
- Non/Low- Fat Dairy: 2 servings
- Whole grains: whenever possible
- Liquids: 6 cups
- Healthy Oils: 2 teaspoons (pp:2)
- Multivitamin: 1
- Be Active: 30 minutes
- Watch Sodium & Sugar – don’t worry about a specific amount
I am going to check in each day about my progress with these items and hopefully build a lasting routine of it. I will include a photo of my planner of the next day and then in the evening I will rank my day and show how many of my guidelines I met.
Planner for 1/24
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast 2c old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 1/2 cup nuts (I used almonds and soy nuts), 1/2c wheat germ and 5T coconut for 15 minutes – stirring every 5 minutes to ensure equal browning. In the meantime, combine1/2c honey, 2T brown sugar, 1oz butter, 2t vanilla extract and 1/2 t salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add 6 1/2 oz dried fruit (I used dates and cranberries) and 1/2c chocolate chips, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week. Serves 16. Points Plus: 6.
** I often have problems with granola bar recipes because they don’t stay as bars. I end up getting half of them to stay in the desired shape, the other half of the batch will become granola clusters. In that case I just use 1/4c as a serving size.
Leek and Potato Soup
Chop 3c leeks (cleaned), 3c baking potatoes (cleaned). Combine chopped vegetables with 3c chicken broth and 3c water and 1 1/2t salt– bring to a boil in a 3-qt sauce pan. Cover partially and simmer 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Correct Seasoning. Serve as is, or puree. Top each portion with 1T ff sour cream if desired. Serves 6. Points Plus: 2
Surf & Turf Dinner
Roast 4oz shellfish with 2t olive oil, 1/2t salt, 1/4t pepper for 8 minutes at 375 – Shrimp should be pink and opaque. Broil one 8oz flank steak topped with 2t olive oil, 1/2t salt, 1/4t pepper for 10-12 minutes for medium rare. Serve with 1 large sweet potato (baked) or two small,1 serving packaged salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Serves 2. Points Plus: 8