No matter the plan... we all Blog to Lose!
I posted "A few of my favorite things" in 2011, you can read about them here. I figured that I would update with more of my favorites things! This list is made up of things that help me with my weight loss and make losing just a little bit easier! I absolutely love when people do these sort of posts and I really hope that I inspire others to do posts of their favorite things because I'd love to know what you are loving right now! These posts help and inspire all of us!!! These are listed in no particular order....
1. My stainless steel Camelbak water bottle, holds 24 oz of water & it goes down quickly! I bought mine at Target. According to the packaging people that used these bottles drink 24% more water than people that use other bottles! I believe it! I have been consistently drinking more water than I have ever before! Available from Amazon as well. I have filled this up 3 times today (equivalent to 9 servings) and it is empty now and I will drink more with dinner.
2. Almond Milk: I love the unsweetened version, I've been using Silk Pure Almond, it has double the calcium of milk (it is calcium fortified) and only has 30 calories per serving! I love the taste and it doesn't upset my stomach like skim milk did. I use it in my oatmeal, smoothies, anywhere I'd use milk & I love it so much that I even drink it straight up! I have made my own homemade almond milk also. I like the taste of them both equally. I'm on the fence if I should exclusively make my own because I really don't love the list of ingredients on the packaged stuff. The only issue is when I make my own it lacks the added calcium, but I could replace it with additional calcium supplements. I like that the homemade stuff lacks the additives. I don't mind that I have to use up what I make in quicker as I make small enough batches. I will post at some point if I decide to start making it all the time. I might just do a little of both..
3. Farmer's Market: I have been going at least once a week and spending around $20-$30 on a plethora of fruits and veggies. Just going there has really sparked something within me. I urge you to make it a point to go and find one near you, visit with some cash in hand! I've been trying lots of new recipes and getting more creative with veggies! Eating local foods, and being more connected to the community is a really amazing feeling. I feel so good supporting local farms and at the same time eating foods that have not sat on a truck for too long. I have been really trying to get the majority of my produce from them! I used to feel like the prices weren't comparable to the grocery stores and I could save money by going to the stores instead. But this season I have not found that to be the case at all! There are a couple vendors in particular that always have at least a few things that the prices are much lower than I could find in the stores! Find out where your Farmer's Market meets and when then go and shop!!! This is a pic of what I came home with this week: a bag of gala apples, a bag of macon apples, a watermelon, a huge green cabbage, a red cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, tons of green beans, a jalapeno, a quart of strawberries and 2 eggplants. All for $30. The strawberries were expensive but, they are the best strawberries that my taste buds have ever tasted! I was sad that they didn't have any kale this week. Ever since I started making kale salads, I crave them!!! I'm hooked! Instead I've been making healthy coleslaw. I also used some of the green cabbage in the kids tacos, and used it as the base of my taco salad. I still have more than half of each cabbage left lots of the rest of the produce!
4. Fish: I rarely ate fish before I was never a huge fan, and I was always afraid it would make the house smell fishy! I have been cooking a variety of fish as of late. Some of my favorites, salmon prepared in a variety of ways! I will often eat salmon for lunch from the individually frozen pouches. It defrost quickly and cooks quickly! Pollock (frozen from BJ's) poached loosely following the recipe on the back of the bag. Mahi-mahi fish tacos using this recipe. She uses Tilapia, but any white fish will do and I've been using mahi-mahi with great success! I love that this recipe can be made on the grill with super quick & easy clean up! I also keep a couple individual sized tuna fish pouches in the fridge when there is not time to cook a protein to top my salad. Super quick and easy and if you store it in the fridge like I do it will be cold when you decide you want it.
5. Arizona Heat: My sister turned me on to this mustard. She is not a mustard fan and as far as sandwiches go she has been a mayo junkie her whole life! She lost over 30 lbs and has kept it off for just over a year now so now she uses Hellman's light or this mustard. I don't eat many sandwiches but over the summer we were on their boat and we shared lunch. She a turkey sandwich on an Arnold sandwich thin with Arizona Heat. It was spicy & sweet all at the same time, super good! The only store that I have found it at so far is Ocean State Job Lots. Like I said I don't eat many sandwiches so my favorite way to eat this mustard is I dip my salmon in it! It is so delicious that way! My husband who has a collection of hot sauces loves this mustard and has been dipping those big crunchy pretzels from Trader Joe's. I forget what they are called but they come in a box. Snyder's & Rold Gold also have their own versions.
6. Perfect Portions Chicken Breast: Like the fish I can make one at a time and put some in the freezer for later uses. This tends to be pricy so I stock up when they go on sale & put them in my freezer!
7. Misto: Olive oil sprayer. I got it from TJ Maxx for $7.99, it is a great way to get a light coating of oil without going overboard. No dilemma for me with worrying about propellents or if the can is recyclable. Available from Amazon
8. Almond butter: Sliced apples dipped into 1 Tbs of almond butter is one of my new favorite snacks. I get it from Trader Joe's for the best price. It is outrageously expensive at the health food store and Whole Foods!
9. Oats and oat bran: I have been mixing 1/4 cup oats with 1/4 cup of oat bran and boiling in 1 cup of water or almond milk. Cutting the outs with bran ups the fiber and lowers the carbs and is just as satisfying! I purchase both organic from the bulk bins at my local health food store.
10. Hemp powder: This is the only protein powder that I have found to be made of ONE ingredient! It contains nothing chemical. I bought this and it had been sitting in my freezer for way too long! The first couple times a tried it I didn't like it at all! But I have figured out a way to prepare it that makes it taste good! I use 1/2 frozen banana, 1 Cup almond milk, 1 packet stevia, 1 Tbs unsweetened Cocoa powder, 4 Tbs (nutiva) Hemp protein powder and a couple ice cubes...throw it all into the blender and blend until smooth. Great on the go snack!
11. SparkPeople: www.sparkpeople.com this is how I track all of my nutrition and exercise. It keeps me honest and making good choices. I love that I can track my calcium, cholesterol and sodium intake (among other things) which allows me to keep an eye on those things. I tend to net get enough calcium when I don't pay attention. My doctor mentioned my cholesterol at my last physical and said that I should be able to. keep it in check with diet and exercise! It runs high on my Dad's side of the family and I certainly don't want to be put on medication, I'd much rather control it with diet and exercise! My laptop is usually in the kitchen so it's easy to log whatever I eat. Often I will plug in my dinner in the am & build the rest of my day around that!