staying motivated

Light Carb Snacks and Lunches

The hard part of any diet is being creative. It’s so easy to get into a rut and eat the same thing for days and days…Before you know it, you’re completely burned out on eating salads every day and all you want is a big burrito or slice of pizza!

When I decided to try limiting my carb intake, I struggled to find quick and easy lunches I could take to work. When I’m home it’s easy to figure out something but I needed stuff that was easily packed ahead of time.

I bought some containers that have compartments to make it easier to transport several different things without a big mess. I love this and this! So far they work great! No leaks, no mess. The dual compartment ones I have are fabulous. In one side I put some roasted veggies, the other side hummus or tuna salad.

So here are a few of my lunches and snacks I’ve been enjoying lately:

Lunches

Lunch #1

I do these “rollup” things. I take some sliced deli meat (it varies, ham, roast beef, turkey or pastrami, and sometimes I mix and match them together) with a slice of cheese and a little mustard and roll it up. I usually pack 2 for lunch. Sometimes I have pickles and olives with it.

Then I had some roasted veggies on the side. I love roasted veggies! And they are surprisingly filling. I usually do broccoli, onion, Brussels Sprouts, and carrots. (Sometimes I’ll add some sweet potatoes or butternut squash but I’m trying not do that right now.)

 

Lunch #2

I made some tuna salad. I took a can of tuna, added some mayo and mustard, diced carrots, diced onion, diced pickles and some seasoning. Instead of crackers I took cucumber slices. One day I had some cheddar slices with it and another day I had string cheese.

Lunch #3

I got some chile lime chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s that are super low in carbs and calories. I have a patty with cheese and some roasted veggies.

I also got butternut squash to add to my roasted veggies.

Also, some riced cauliflower and turkey meatballs. Yum! (Although the above photo is more for dinner than lunch.)

Lunch #4

Big salad with lettuce, carrots, avocado, Chipotle dressing and the pre-cooked chicken fajita strips (bought on a whim because they were marked down and they were actually pretty good!).

 

Lunch #5

Kind of of a hodge-podge of things. A hardboiled egg, some chopped ham, and roasted veggies.

Snacks

Snack #1

Plain Greek Yogurt with sliced strawberries.

Snack #2

Sliced apple with string cheese.

Snack #3

Pickles, black olives, jalapeno stuffed olives and some pistachios.

Snack #4

Cheese, Salami, olives.

Snack #5

I got a package of the Sargento Balanced Breaks–cheese, nuts and dried fruit. I could have easily made my own, but they were on sale so I picked up a package. They are a little higher in carbs than I’m looking for (12grams) but they are good for workout days.

I also had some celery and peanut butter that day.

Thoughts

I’ve gotten some pretty good ideas for more lunches and snacks that I’m going to try in the coming weeks. I think it’s important to switch things up each week so it doesn’t get monotonous and boring. When I was trying to lose 100 pounds 10 years ago I ate the same damn lunch every single day. Every day. No deviation–a turkey and cheese sandwich on low calorie bread with a serving of wheat thins. Man was I sick of that!!!

So I will do another post in a few weeks with other ideas I’ve tried!

QUESTION: What are your favorite snacks and lunches right now?

Light Carb Update #2

My “cheat” meal this week was a little different. I decided to split it between lunch and dinner.

I took Friday off as a me day. I went to physical therapy, then to the gym, ran a few errands and spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch cuddling with Bella and Yggdrasil and catching up on TV shows. (Currently LOVING Feud!!) I decided I wanted a burrito for lunch (I used leftover shredded chicken in my tortilla) and had some chips and salsa. Then for dinner Michael and I had pork tenderloin and some Trader Joe’s garlic fries. I really wanted mashed potatoes but the fries were a good substitute.

The last few weeks my cheat meals were pizza or a burger on a bun with a beer. Those were very satisfying.

New To Us This Week

After our hike on Saturday, Michael made cauliflower pizza for the first time. I’ve never had it before. Here is the recipe Michael used:

The Ultimate Cauliflower Pizza Crust

From: http://annavocino.com/the-ultimate-cauliflower-pizza-crust/

Ingredients

  • 2 12 oz bags of cauliflower florets, stems removed
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

  1. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles the texture of couscous. It will have a very snowy appearance.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, cook on high for 3-4 minutes. Let cool. Using cheesecloth, squeeze any and all excess water out of the cauliflower, then do one final squeeze wrapping a towel around the cheesecloth to make sure all excess water has been removed.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix cauliflower, parmesan, mozzarella, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and egg very evenly and form a dough ball.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray a light coating of olive or coconut oil. Place dough ball into center, and press into a circle, about 10-11 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.
  5. Bake in oven for 11-14 minutes until golden brown spots start to cover the surface of the crust. Remove from oven, add your toppings, and place back in oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese topping is melted and bubbly.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51932

Picking up cauliflower already riced (Trader Joe’s) was a smart move!

I opened a bottle of wine that we bought for my birthday in January:

It was a small pizza, perfect for two people. It turned out pretty good! The downside? It was very time consuming. Michael worked really hard on the pizza and the second downside was the crust stuck to the parchment paper after it was cooked, so that was difficult. We eventually figure out how to salvage the pizza and the paper off the bottom.

How did it taste? Pretty darn good. It was really tasty, much better than I was expecting, but was it as good as a bread pizza? Not quite. Michael thinks we should try again and maybe make the cauliflower a little smaller, and make sure ALL the water was out. I didn’t help much, I was on Logan duty, so I’m not sure how the process went but I think for a first attempt, this was pretty good.

You definitely can’t eat the pizza like normal pizza–all fork eating here! But it tasted really good.

Challenges This Week

The first challenge was cravings. I was feeling a bit run-down for some reason and even though I haven’t been having cravings since those first few days of quitting bread, I started to crave bread. No idea why! I was doing really well, not missing it too much. Then boom. I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup (which is surprisingly high in carbs! Why?! I don’t understand how tomato soup is almost as high as a sandwich) and then I craved pancakes and French toast! I resisted but I was seriously craving it.

The second challenge was Easter. We went to Michael’s mom’s house for brunch and I knew there would be lots of carbs for breakfast (it’s the same delicious meal every year). Michael did let her know we were doing low-carb and she made a carb-free egg casserole that was really good, so that was nice! I had salad, fruit, many deviled eggs, then the ham and egg casserole.

I skipped the delicious potato, sausage, cheese casserole and went with the egg casserole instead. I did “cheat” and have 1 mini cinnamon roll. It tasted really good, too. 🙁

Victories This Week

Several shirts and a pair of jeans (that have been slightly too tight for months) were suddenly very loose. YAY for NSV!

I’m up 1 pound this week. (Wine, ice cream, Easter candy…) I’m slightly disappointed, but am back on track and we’ll see how it goes next week.