holiday food

Easter Bunny

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Happy Easter from my bunny!

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She looks super stoked to have bunny ears, huh? 😉

Easter Weekend started with Michael’s friend Jeremy and his girlfriend coming down to Portland from Seattle for the weekend (more on that tomorrow). I got off work early, went swimming and got home right when they arrived. The four of us decided to go out to dinner and because it was Friday night it was impossible to get in anywhere we wanted to go. The first place was an hour wait.

We were near Pok Pok and it was somewhere they’d wanted to try (I wasn’t hopeful but said let’s see if we can get in). We got to Pok Pok and it was a 2 hour wait for a table! This is something I hate about Portland restaurants. A bunch of them don’t take reservations and the wait time for a table is ridiculous. With so many great options, I will never wait that long to get into a restaurant. Like ever. I don’t care if Elvis and Madonna are the waiter/waitress there. I won’t wait 2 hours. 😛

Sooo plan C….we decided to get sushi at a new place on SE Clinton. A coworker had been there and recommended it and I recognized the name when we were driving by looking for something else. We got a table immediately in the super cute, stylish and modern decorated restaurant. Service was fantastic and the food was probably the best sushi I’ve had in Portland.

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It was so fresh it melted in your mouth. You know when you get sushi and bite into a roll and sometimes the seaweed is a little tough and you have gnaw at it a little bit? That was not the case at Yama Sushi. Seriously, so fresh everything just fell apart and melted (in a good way). The one downside–the specialty rolls were kind of ginormous and that made them a little difficult to eat. I prefer smaller bite-sized rolls.

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So that was Friday night. A good start to the weekend I think! Stay tuned for what happened on Saturday… 🙂

Fast forward to Sunday. Jeremy and his girlfriend were heading back to Seattle and Michael and I went over to his mom’s house for Easter brunch with the family. I’d slept in really late, skipped the gym, skipped breakfast and then we drove to his mom’s house for lunch.

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Michael’s sister made her absolutely amazing deviled eggs–some spicy and some not spicy. They were so tasty and I ate way too many of them…in my defense it was the first food I ate Sunday besides coffee. 😉

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Michael’s mom had gotten a giant ham and was cooking it (I think she said it was 19 pounds). It took a little bit longer than expected to so we munched on the deviled eggs, and drank Bloody Mary’s while it finished cooking. Lunch was served:

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Michael’s mom made her amazing crab and egg dish. There was the ham and the roasted asparagus, fruit and mini orange scones (that were delicious) and these little cinnamon sticks that were 30 calories each. We all ate way too much. But it was tasty (and basically the only meal I ended up eating on Sunday).

Check out this little guy:

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One of Michael’s second or third cousins…? I can’t keep it straight. 🙂 But he’s about a year and a half and just found his legs! He’s such a cutie and great little baby. Great smile and sweet personality. It was fun playing with this little man that had nothing but toothy grins for everyone as he showed off his moves on his bike!

After lunch we went home and I went to the gym. I think it was like 4pm at this time and the gym was almost entirely empty. There were about 4 people in the cardio room with me. I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and called it good. I was a little sore from Saturday’s gym session (weights and running on the treadmill). But I wanted to get something in to take the edge off the pastries and goodies I ate all day!

Setting a Skinny Table

Thanksgiving is approaching…One of the dieter’s worst nightmares. If you’re like me, Thanksgiving brings up feelings of stress, anxiety and dread. I don’t want to deny myself of the holiday, but I also don’t want to eat 2,500 calories in one meal.

Don’t go hungry! Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to save calories for the big spread isn’t the solution. You’ll be starving and make poor choices.

Use small spoons instead of large serving spoons. This is a good trick because you’ll dish up less portions than you would with a larger spoon. The trick is to just get one spoonful (not 5). 🙂

Set the table with small plates instead of large plates. It tricks your eyes (and hopefully your stomach) into thinking the smaller portions are just as filling.

Cover the dishes of food after people have dished up. Out of sight, out of mind.

Skip the roll (and the butter). Bread is the quickest way to add a bunch of calories.

Snack on a veggie tray with light dressing instead of chips. Honestly, I love me a veggie tray. There’s nothing better than fresh broccoli and cauliflower. If you don’t like “lite” dressing, try mixing half regular and half lite to save some calories.

Make steamed veggies instead of a veggie dish that’s loaded with cheese or butter. Fill half your plate with the vegetables.

Swap the potatoes with sweet potatoes. Lower in calories and just as yummy.

If you must have mashed potatoes, use chicken broth instead of butter. Or even better…try mashed cauliflower!

You don’t have to eat everything. Having just a taste of everything is perfectly fine…then get seconds of what you REALLY loved.

Instead of the Green Bean Casserole, sautee some green beans with onions. I’m not one of those people that feel like Green Bean Casserole is a must, so I wouldn’t miss it. But for those of you that would, search for a healthier version.

Include a green, leafy salad with lots of veggies in the feast–preferably before dinner is served.

Make a smaller pie. Only eat a small piece of the pie. Try low-calorie alternatives like Frozen Pumpkin Pie Mousse.

Remove the skin from turkey to save around 50 calories.

Make your own cranberry sauce, using half the sugar (or Splenda)  suggested in the recipe.

Don’t stuff yourself. Eating a serving of each dish that you like is plenty! But overdoing it means an angry stomach.

Don’t forget the water. There’s lots of goodies out there to drink…soda, eggnog…but check out how quickly they add up those calories:

  • 1 cup of eggnog – 340 calories
  • 1 pint of beer – 200 calories
  • 1 glass of wine – 120 calorie
  • 1 glass of sparkling grape juice – 120 calories
  • 1 glass of soda – 140 calories
  • 1 cup of tea or coffee with reduced fat milk – 15 calories

Some of the High Calorie Culprits:

Cranberries: 1/3 cup serving of the canned kind clocks in at 225 calories

Stuffing: 1/2 cup serving: 265 calories

Pumpkin Pie: For 1/8th pie: 340 calories

The Day After

Enjoy your Black Friday shopping the day after Thanksgiving, but at some point that next day…fit in some exercise. Turn your food guilt into a productive thing and move your body! And I don’t mean just walking from store to store. Try to get some kind of workout in.

And keep in mind this important fact: Thanksgiving is only ONE DAY. If you over-indulge, don’t beat yourself up about it. However, a slip up is NOT an excuse to just give up entirely.

Remember: Christmas is right around the corner!

QUESTION: What’s your battle plan for the holidays?