Let me start by saying, I am not a chef. I am a very busy mom of four who also works every spare second I get. Although I have tried to overhaul my whole family’s diet and create fancy meals from recipes, I have always given up out of frustration, exhaustion and lack of time. I have finally found what works for me and everything has clicked. My kids and my husband may not be eating everything that I eat, but their meals are balanced and we are all happy. Today I have created a breakdown of what I am eating (and losing weight eating). It is simple, fast and doesn’t involve recipes. Many of the meals that I eat are the same everyday for a few reasons: it cuts down on groceries, there is less planning involved and I know they agree with my sensitive gut. I hope to slowly work in some more variety, but this is a great way to start. I have also added a grocery list to the end, incase you want to give this a whirl!
Breakfast: Toasted Almond, Apple, Raisin Oatmeal with ground chia seeds. This is a breakfast I discovered years ago in a fitness magazine article. I have altered it a little and omitted the sugar. I eat this everyday. It is fast, easy, delicious, filling and super healthy.
What you need: 1 TSP sliced almonds, 1 apple skinned and chopped, 1 TSP raisins, 1 TSP cinnamon, 1/2 cup large flake oats, 1 cup skim milk, 1 TSP group chia seeds.
To prepare: toast almonds on a greased skillet (MED heat) until you can smell a nutty aroma, add the oats, toast for one more minute. Reduce the heat to LOW and add skim milk followed by remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat, stir, cover and let sit for three minute. Add cold milk to cool if desired and enjoy!
Lunch: Go Wild Pasta. Pasta is my “bring to a deserted island food.” I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. I love whole wheat and vegetable pasta. I find as long as I load my pasta with veggies I can still lose weight and enjoy my gluten heaven! I will often make a large quantity for lunch and store it in the fridge so that I have two or three meals that I can quickly grab. I have purchased a couple of basil plants and am constantly adding fresh basil to many of my meals for added flavour. I am also a sun dried tomato addict. There are always sundried tomatoes in my pasta.
Pasta 1: vegetable Fusilli pasta with sautéed red onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, sweet potato (which I cube and microwave first to speed up cooking) and sun dried tomatoes.
Pasta 2: whole what bow tie pasta with UNCOOKED cherry tomatoes, sundries tomatoes, spinach, red peppers and fresh basil.
Pasta 3: whole wheat rotini pasta with sautéed red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, sweet potato (which I cube and microwave first to speed up cooking), sun dried tomatoes and walnut pieces.
Note: I don’t add any additonal sauce or oil to my pasta. The oil that comes with the sundried tomatoes is enough and I top it with a little sea salt.
Lunch Option 2: The Easiest Salad In The World. When I am busy trekking kids to daycare and appointments while trying to complete blogging deadlines, this is the healthy lunch I reach for.
Grab a few handfuls of preached spring mix salad, rip up some turkey or chicken cold cuts and add some chopped red onion and red pepper. Squirt some lemon on top in place of calorie-packed salad dressing for a surprisingly satisfying salad.
Snack: For snacks (which I typically have two or three a day) I will either grab a piece of fruit and a handful of trail mix, or I will eat a bowl of uncooked oatmeal with apples. Anytime I have that carb or sweets craving, I will eat a bowl of chopped and peeled apple, uncooked large flake oatmeal, cinnamon and skim milk. This is super healthy and gives me so much energy. It simulates a cozy bowl of cereal which is my favourite.
Dinner: Embrace Fish Dinners. I had been getting really sick of having chicken all of the time and decided to start embracing more fish in my diet. Fish is already full of flavour so you don’t need to load it up with sauces. It is so simple to cook too!
Dinner 1: baked cod topped with salt, pepper and lemon slices. A side of mashed sweet potatoes (only a little skim milk and salt was added) and small garden salad dressed with lemon.
Dinner 2: baked tilapia with salt, pepper and lemon slices. A side of steamed broccoli, fresh basil and cherry tomato salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and a microwaved potato (no butter or sour cream). Tip: I highly recommend investing in an electric vegetable steamer. The steamed broccoli can be switched out for steamed asparagus, carrots, spinach, etc…
Take Out Dinner Option: Sometimes there are those days that our kids have all finally gone to bed, and I just don’t feel like pulling together a meal. I chose one of my favourite local takeout meals from The Works and cleaned it up. I went for their chicken breast hipster burger with a side salad. I switched out the cheese and lost the bun. What was left was a delicious chicken breast with sliced avocado and sauteed mushrooms and onions. Yum!
NOTE: Other than a little taste on the weekend, I have cut alcohol out of my diet, or at least until I hit my weightless goal. I have however kept my two cups of coffee a day. I would probably die without my coffee. I don’t add any sugar and I only put skim milk in it. I am also drinking A LOT of water!
All of these meals are so easy and fast to make. I have found ways to repeat the ingredients but add new twists each time. All of my digestion issues I used to suffer from with my IBS are gone. On the days that the kids have me up a lot at night, I am finding that my energy level is still pretty high. Despite life stresses and all that comes along with being a mom of four, I am feeling pretty fantastic these days!
Grocery List: sliced almonds, apples (I prefer royal gala), large flake oatmeal, skim milk, cinnamon, raisins, ground chia seeds, vegetable pasta, whole wheat pasta, spinach, fresh basil, lemons, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sun dried tomatoes (julienne cut in oil), red peppers, yellow peppers, red onions, walnut pieces, sweet potatoes, potatoes, spring mix pre-washed salad, turkey and chicken cold cut meat, sea salt, pepper, fruit for snacks (kiwi, bananas, plums), nuts, trail mix, fish (cod, tilapia, salmon etc…), vegetables for steaming (broccoli, asparagus, carrots etc…)