Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two of my favorite things... when I'm trying to be healthy

One thing I simply can NOT do without is comfort food. I LOVE the experience of eating! I love the flavors, colors, textures, and smells associated with food. I love the company and social atmosphere food can help to create. I love to eat when I'm sad, depressed, angry, happy, excited, lonely, and bored! Food is my friend, my filler, and my addiction.

Obviously, I need to tone down my codependency with all-things-tasty if I don't want to end up loosing my lifestyle to obesity, but that's easier said then done. You see, food is meant to taste WONDERFUL, and ofttimes when I'm trying to be "good" I just can't find any healthy food that satisfies my cravings. However, as I've tried to make better choices and increase my chances of a long and fulfilling life, I've also discovered a few things I can do to create a balance between delicious and sustaining foods. Here are two of my favorites (this week):

The Breakfast of Champions!

A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for oatmeal on the McDonald's breakfast menu. True to my nature, I immediately believed that I couldn't live without it. I didn't have money or a car at the time so I decided to make do with what I had at home and tried to recreate the oatmeal to match the advertisement. This is what I came up with: 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, two tablespoons of brown sugar, a half of an apple cut up, and 1/4 cup of Craisins. It tastes SO good and is really quite healthy. It even keeps me full long enough to make it through a 9 mile run without needing to stop and eat :)

The MAN Salad!

I actually really like salads (because I really like dressing) so its not like I'm compromising much when I eat one. That being said, I never get full enough when I eat salad, which usually results in me binging on less healthy food items later on. That was, until I created this little guy. I simply load up my plate with romaine lettuce of spinach (whatever I have around), and then dice up some tomatoes and any other vegetables I think will be good at the time. After that, I grill up some mushrooms and onions in a little olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Throw that on top of the salad and top it with 2 tablespoons of ranch (or your favorite dressing) and you're set! When I'm really hungry, I also add some grilled chicken and/or crumbled crispy bacon! YUMMO! (Kevin even likes the salad that way and can get full on it too!)

Obviously, both of these meal ideas have unhealthy parts to them (i.e. brown sugar or salad dressing) but the bones of the meals are mostly healthy and I find it is a fantastic compromise for my taste buds. So... what are your favorite semi-healthy meals? I'd LOVE to hear about them!


  1. Those look good! I'll have to try the oatmeal. No one in my family likes mushrooms except me :( I love sliced bananas or diced apples without the skin, cover with vanilla yogurt and sprinkle cornflakes on top. Love it! Got that recipe on my mission.

  2. Great meal ideas! I love Oatmeal and we eat a lot of salad as well. Here are some of our favorite healthy snacks too: Brinley and I are eating carrots sticks dipped in hummus right now. It's one of her favorite snacks and they sell hummus in individual serving size containers at Costco, great for school lunches or to snack on the go. My kids are also HUGE smoothie fans. We use frozen strawberries, half a banana, 4 oz of any flavor of yogurt (usually vanilla) and about a cup of milk. That makes two kid size smoothies. My girls usually have one a day! Another favorite are edamame beans. Again, they sell individual serving packs frozen at Costco and you can microwave them in less than 3 minutes, add a little salt and it keeps the kids busy popping the beans out of the pods.

  3. Don't worry, you're not missing anything with the McDonalds oatmeal. I got a coupon for a straight-up free oatmeal when it first came out, and I, too, was all excited to get it. Major letdown! It was watery and sugary and I was so glad it was free because it takes less than 5 minutes to make that at home. But I do make my own version at home that I'm sure is a lot healthier and it looks exactly like yours! Sometimes I throw some nuts in there, too.
    I'm always looking for new salad ideas, and that looks sooo good! A salad I've been making lately is a big ole pile of greens, 1/2 cup black beans and that fresh salsa from Costco I can't get enough of, and for dressing I mix 1 tsp. balsalmic vinegar, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. honey, and 1 tsp. dijon mustard. Kinda weird combination, but it gives the salad some punch.
    Okay one more idea is to get those Laughing Cow light swiss cheese wedges, take 2 slices of turkey, spread w/ the cheese and top with spinach. Roll it up and it makes a nice little protein snack.