1. First off, Trader Joe’s is known for their pre-packaged lunches. Try the spicy lentil wrap, grilled chicken and mango salad over pasta, and the santa fe chicken wrap (hot). You know what’s in there, you know how many calories, and you don’t have to prepare anything. Perfect!
2. If you have the time the night before work, gather up some whole grain bread, honey turkey and Jarlsberg (or, any turkey and cheese you like). If you are a mayo lover, OK—just keep the portion small, to one serving size. Or try mustard/honey mustard for your dressing. Add avocado and spices for a delicious and filling lunch! Top it off with some strawberries to kick the sweet craving.
3. Want a cleaner, lighter lunch? Here is a chopped salad idea. Take some leafy greens, yellow and red peppers, onions and cucumbers and chop them up. Add garbanzo beans, avocado and shredded mozzarella cheese on top. For protein, throw on some chunks of grilled or roasted chicken—either make it on a Sunday so you have it ready for the week, or buy it pre-made from Trader Joe’s.
Drizzle a tablespoon of red wine and olive oil vinaigrette, balsamic, or just olive oil and some lemon juice for taste.
1. IF you eat out, either tell the waiter to bring half of the portion out, or have them box half of the meal a.s.a.p. One of the biggest problems is the portion size, so tackle it from the beginning—plus, you will make two meals out of one, which doesn’t hurt your wallet.
2. When eating out, drink a full glass of water before putting any food in your mouth. If you can avoid the bread, do it. If not, have one piece with some olive oil, not butter. And lastly, if you want an appetizer, try to start with a salad to ensure that you fill up on the good stuff and don’t overeat during your main portion.
3. Does the menu have any fish on it? Chicken? Turkey? For red meat lovers, filet mignon? (Quite lean, actually). Can it be prepared with olive oil or non-fat cooking spray, instead of butter? Food for thought…
4. If you stay at home, the options are endless. I always say, if you can prepare something on a Sunday and use it throughout the week in different ways, go for it! Here is a great example: Bake an organic chicken at 350 degrees with light seasoning and lemon juice on top 20 minutes per pound plus another 20 minutes. Let it stand for 20 minutes before you do anything! Then, you have a crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken that you can do anything with. Maybe you have chicken with a side of sweet potato mash and sautéed brocollini on the first night, and then you take the chicken and have it over a whole wheat penne with marinara the next. Get it? Got it? Good.
1. Mini soy ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe’s: 90 calories each, with an ice cold glass of water (or non-fat milk)….delicious and guilt free!
2. Get out your favorite fruit, slice it up, and drizzle some dark chocolate on top. Add honey if you need to offset the bitter chocolate with something sweet! Bananas and strawberries are a great option.
3. If you need your ice cream but don’t want the fat, get your fro yo on! There are so many choices these days. Beware of making your own serving size—the calorie count is a mystery, especially when you add the toppings. For my California peeps—try the bigg chill for their carbolite and wow cow options (in a small, of course). All others, Ben and Jerry’s now makes frozen yogurt! Try the banana and peanut butter, one serving size only please. Blueberry graham cracker is pretty great too. Or, find your way back to your snack options and grab a cup of yogurt with some chopped fruit on top.
4. If you need a cupcake, have a mini, and down a glass of milk. Life is short, and we have to make time, occasionally, to splurge. Just splurge smart.
Food for Thought…
1. Ideally, you should eat anywhere from 3-5 small meals a day, along with 2-3 snacks. Calorie counts vary based on gender, height, weight, level of activity, fitness goals, and metabolic rates. Make sure the meals and snacks are high in protein, although you still need your low glycemic carbs (whole grains) and unsaturated fats (avocado).
2. Drink more water than you think you need, and have a glass before all of your meals. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger…
3. Watch out for those “other drinks”. Soda, juice, lattes…man do they add up. Try diet soda, juices that boost your immune system (one glass only), and coffee with skim milk (no calories!).
4. Enjoy yourself—and remember, everything in moderation. Making small changes to your diet can have big effects. Be nice to yourself every day, and be honest about where you’re at. Remember, we have to be more unhappy with our current situation than afraid of a new one in order to truly change.
Remember, we have to be more unhappy with our current situation than afraid of a new one in order to truly change.