healthy snacks

Current Obsessions

Do you ever get obsessed with certain things? I go through weird phases where I will eat the same exact foods every day, and then I’ll get sick of it and change to something else. I tend to do the same thing with workouts, habits, everything! I don’t know why–maybe the comfort of routine? Well, here are some of my current obsession:

1. Frozen grapes.

Michael got some black grapes recently and froze a bag of them. Wow! I’ve been hearing about people eating frozen grapes as a sweet dessert for years but never really “got it.” If I’m going to eat dessert, I want chocolate or ice cream. Fruit for dessert kind of sounded lame to me. I know, I’m all into healthy eating! I should love fruit for dessert! But, I just don’t. I like fruit as snacks, instead.

The frozen black grapes are absolutely fantastic. I understand now! I’ve been eating them for snacks and dessert and I love them so much. This is definitely something I will have on hand whenever I can. What a treat.

2. Francoise Hardy.

I first discovered this gorgeous crooner in the darkly lit, velvet-walled Dot’s Cafe. I was so intrigued by the album they were playing I had to ask the waitress. Once I had a name, I went out and got a CD. Then I bought a bunch more. I loved them! The music and her voice were enchanting. Years later, one of her songs recently came onto a Pandora station I was listening to and I “rediscovered” her.

[Listen Here]

Since then I’ve been listening to her again and loving it!

3. Avocados.

I’ve actually been obsessively putting avocados on everything I can all summer long. I’m trying to limit it to just a few times a week. Even though avocados are packed with healthy fats and nutrients, they are still pretty high in calories. I eat half of one every few days or so. I seriously could eat an avocado every single day if I allowed myself.

I like eating avocados with crackers or tortilla chips. I also slice some for sandwiches, or top my eggs with them. I even had toast with avocado mashed on top for breakfast a few times.

4. Game of Thrones. 

I know, I’m late to the game. I started reading the books this summer. I loved the first two. Books three and four were…just ok. I’m about to start book five and I hope it’s really good. Michael and I started watching the TV show. We are finally caught up. The last scene in season 2 was crazy awesome! Can’t wait for it to start up again. Peter Dinklage is awesome. I loved him back when he was on Nip/Tuck.

5. Trader Joe’s Coastal Wines.

My favorite place to buy wine is Trader Joe’s because the prices are much lower than other grocery stores. Earlier this year I discovered the Trader Joe’s brand of wine called Coastal and I’ve been exploring all of them ever since. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you grab a bottle asap.

I firmly believe that you don’t have to spend $50 for a good bottle of wine and the TJ’s Coastal proves it. They cost less than $10 a bottle and are totally worth it. The Syrah is absolutely fantastic. Grab a bottle of one of the Coastal wines and you won’t be disappointed.

What about you? What are you currently obsessed with these days?

Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned

I’ve learned a lot of things during my journey to lose 100 pounds and keep it off. Some of the things I learned were a huge “duh” moment, but honestly sometimes the simplest stuff is the hardest to learn. I wanted to share a few things that worked for me. The biggest tip I can give anyone trying to lose weight: make it as easy as possible to make good choices. This means don’t keep tempting junk food in the house, don’t go too long without eating a meal, keep healthy options in the house so you don’t slip up, and so on.

Here are some more tips I’ve discovered along the way:

Keep a gym bag in car. This is a useful tip because you never know when your plans might change and you have the opportunity to workout. I keep some spare workout clothes at work and in my car just in case. It’s nice to have that option.

Go straight to the gym after work. I’m not a morning person so I usually head to the gym after work. This sometimes makes for a long day but I always feel better after I do it. I found that if I went to the gym or pool straight from work instead of stopping at home, I was more likely to actually DO it! Going home first just makes me tempted to stay home. It’s easy to get sucked into TV, computer stuff, chores around the house…Eliminate the option to be lazy!

Pick a gym close to your house or office. This is similar to the “go straight to the gym after work” tip. If you are like me, you don’t want to commute very far, especially after a long day at work. I have always known that if the gym was too far from my house I’d be less than motivated to go. Also, it should be easy to get to if you don’t have a car. There have been a few times where my car broke down, or something happened and I wanted to work out but didn’t have transportation. Luckily I was within walking or biking distance.

Get into the habit of eating fruits and veggies for snacks. This little tidbit really does work. Even when I was 250 pounds, I still loved fruit and ate it quite a bit (sugar tooth!). But getting into the habit of eating fruit and veggies as snacks made it so much easier to get used to healthy eating. It became such a habit that I didn’t even think about it–when hungry in between meals I would reached for an apple or strawberries. Eating fruit and veggies feels normal to me, and eating junk food feels weird.

Drink some water first. Sometimes I think I’m hungry when in reality I’m just thirsty. This trick also works well when I’m feeling “snacky” and just want junk food.

Pickles. This might seem like a weird tip but it works. If you crave salty and crunchy (i.e. potato chips), grab some pickles first. I am definitely a sugar person but once a month I get a mad craving for salty things. Pickles satisfy that craving for me and they are only about 5 calories!

Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is really easy to get stuck in that “woe is me” trap. I had some friends who also struggled with their weight and we would commiserate together–whine about how we weren’t losing weight, complain about the process, talk about the fatty foods we missed…and before you knew it, that resolve to do better was gone. Kind of like that “misery loves company” thing. It’s so much easier to lose the weight and stay on track when you have cheerleaders pushing you forward!

Be the change you want to see in other people. When I decided to get healthy and change my lifestyle, I never once told any of my friends who struggled with their weight that they should lose weight, exercise or eat differently. It wasn’t my place to say anything. But I was happily surprised when several friends started to follow suit after I lost some weight. It was cool to hear that my losses inspired them to make their own changes.

QUESTION: Have you learned any tips and tricks in your own journey?