Eating Yourself Skinny

Losing weight can be a boring, challenging, tasteless task and I'm probably one of the world's worst dieters there is. I get bored of eating the same old thing day in and day out just to drop a pound or two within a week. Really, eating terribly bland food for just one pound a week just isn't worth it to me.

It wasn't until I at the point of throwing out every bucket of cabbage soup, every frozen fillet of steamed chicken and every individualized package of steamed vegetables that I decided to switch things up and get a little sassy with my meal choices.

I still wanted to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle but I didn't want to hate every meal I ate. I wanted to enjoy the food I was eating while still slimming down.

I began to shift my thinking from one of deprivation to one of abundance. I realized my meals could be full of flavor while also being nutritious, and that's where it got interesting.

Within the first 2 months of my new sexy, tasty diet I lost 7 pounds. Now while that may not sound like a whole lot, I enjoyed every single meal I ate! How many dieters can truthfully say that?

So how did I do it? Well, read on fellow dieters as I share three of my favorite recipes that helped kick my butt, well mostly my stomach, into shape while enjoying every single bite.

Start Your Day Off Right…And White!

It's a well-known fact amongst all who are trying to live a healthier life that eating breakfast is one of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism and get the fat-burning' juices flowin'. What I love most about breakfast is that it should be your biggest meal of the day, and well, eating big meals just makes me happy.

Now I know that some of us may not be hungry in the morning and that's fine, but it is worth noting that studies show that people who do not eat a good breakfast cannot focus as well, have less strength throughout the day, and usually make more convenience-based food choices, which we all know usually leads to weight loss. Pretty much, the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

And while you might not be hungry as soon as you wake up, you should consider going through your daily morning routine and hold off on eating your breakfast until you are almost ready to leave for work.

That way you are allowing your body and appetite to wake up gradually as you move through your morning. One little slick trick that has really worked for me is to have a big glass of ice water as soon as I wake up. Because you are downing a big glass of freezing cold water, your body is forced to work harder to keep your body temperature regulated, ultimately kickstarting your metabolism which in turn will kickstart your appetite.

Speaking of appetite, do you know what foods you should be focusing on in the morning? Most people like to think fruit and cereal but really all you are eating there is hard-to-process sugars and bad carbs.

I have found the best food to really ramp up my metabolism has been egg whites. Now while I'm sure most of you are groaning, because really egg whites taste like nothing, there is a way to jazz up those whites and turn them into a tasty little meal that will keep you full until your lunch break.

An Eggscellent Kickstart To The Day:

  • Crack 3 eggs and separate the yolk from 2 of them, beat the 3 egg whites and 1 yolk together
  • Heat up a non-stick pan, throw in a handful of fresh spinach, and cover for about a minute which will cause the spinach to wilt almost immediately, making it easier to cook with
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and scramble
  • While that is cooking, take half an avocado, mash it up, sprinkle in some garlic (if you like garlic), a small pinch of sea salt, and some finely chopped tomato
  • Mix that all together, creating a single serving of healthy guacamole and place on the side of your egg white scramble

Not only is recipe delicious but it is also low in calories and high in iron, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and most importantly, protein. What's best is this one little meal will help to lower your bad cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.

Not bad for a simple breakfast.

The Mid-Day Metabolism Boost

Most of us start to feel the mid-day yawns coming on around lunchtime. Usually, it is because we haven't eaten in a while, our body is lacking nutrients and it's usually this time that we start dreaming of all the yummy yet totally bad for us foods we could indulge in….if we were weak.

Instead of giving in to those cravings, which has been the hardest part for me, I try to go prepared.

Luckily, salads are one of the cheapest and healthiest ways to keep your weight down and cravings at bay. So instead of the guilt-ridden food coma that comes after eating bad-for-you food, why not sit down to a salad that will leave you feeling sweaty and rejuvenated!

There are a few salads that I rotate through but one of my absolute favorites is a sexy little number my friend introduced me to called…

The Killer Kale Salad:

  • Take 1/2 bunch of freshly washed kale and throw it into a non-stick pan that is on medium heat
  • Toss the kale around until it becomes bright green, signaling it is cooked which usually takes about 5 minutes then remove from the heat and place on a plate
  • Open a can of black beans, rinse them out, let them drain, and pour 1/2 the can into your salad container
  • Place the cooked kale on top of the beans
  • Chop or grate a carrot over your mixture, adding not only flavor but a nice splash of color
  • Take your already heated pan and throw in a few healthy nuts – either walnuts, pecans, or even sunflower seeds. Each of these is super healthy and rich in good-for-you fats. Roast the nuts for a few minutes and then sprinkle over your salad
  • Now here is where it gets interesting. For a tasty dressing, mix 1 tablespoon of tahini paste, 1 tablespoon of umeboshi plum vinegar, as well as a tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Mix the dressing well until fully combined and place in a separate container so your salad doesn't get soggy throughout the day

The best part about this salad, apart from its taste, is that it is chocked full of vitamins, healthy fats, protein, and fiber which will help carry you through the rest of your day without feeling tired or bloated or craving any convenience—based snacks.

Get Lean and Mean By Eating More Protein

While many dieters can dread supper time as it is a time where they usually have to eat a different meal to the rest of their family, it can also be a time where you can get creative with different meal ideas that center around lean proteins and vegetables.

One of the easiest and tastiest meals I have been cooking up lately have been shish kabobs. They are grilled which gets rid of any excess fat on top of being high in protein and taste. A dieter's dream!

Usually, when eating dinner you want to keep portion control in mind. As stated above, experts tend to suggest eating a big breakfast, however, they also suggest that you should keep your dinner meals on the smaller side. This is so your body can fully digest and absorb the calories you consume throughout the night, therefore cutting down the chance of any residual calories that you haven't burned being turned into excess fat.

I find shish kabobs to be extremely useful to keeping track of portion sizes as you can see how much you are eating. I tend to try and only eat 2 kabobs, with an emphasis on vegetables over meat as well as small quinoa, or even bean, salad on the side.

I guess you could call me a…

Shish Kabob Snob:

  • Begin by cutting your meat of choice into cubes. I try to stick to fish, calamari, or shrimp as it tends to be full of healthy fats and just a bit more lean than other white meats. Toss your cubes into your marinade of choice and let it marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • Then chop up your favorite vegetables, I like anything hearty such as broccoli, peppers, zucchini, or even sweet potatoes
  • As you are putting your kabobs together make sure you add 2 vegetable cubes for every cube of meat, it's always a good rule of thumb to make sure you have 2/3 vegetables to 1/3 meat
  • Once your kabobs are all put together, throw them on a barbecue or toss them in the oven on 400F

The beauty of these kabobs are they are simple and easy to make, yet you aren't skimping on taste or the health benefits! And best yet, when paired with a little side salad they should keep you full for the rest of the night, helping to cut down on late night snacking which ultimately does nothing but make you gain weight.

And who said dieting had to be tasteless and boring? Simply mix these 3 recipes into your weekly routine, use your imagination, and eat yourself skinny! What more could a girl ask for?

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

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