There are mornings where I don’t have time to assemble my lunch. Normally lunch consists of chicken that we grilled on the weekend, veggies and quinoa. Here lately though, we haven’t even had time to even grill the chicken. When this happens I need something quick to grab out of the fridge or freezer to stuff into my lunch bag. I’ve eaten Lean Cuisine’s before in desperate times, but usually end up hungry in an hour. The sodium in these are also sky high. I’ve even tried the Perfect Fit meals that are refrigerated and vacuum sealed. They were just ok and many times the chicken was so dry I could barely get it down.
I had all but given up on finding something healthy, and already prepared, until one day I walked down the frozen aisle looking for something else and found a bunch of meals from a company called EatingWell. They are also vacuum sealed and have a cut out in the box so you can see the ingredients, which looked really fresh and yummy. Intrigued, I took one out of the freezer and turned it over to see what the calories were and was pleasantly surprised to find it was just 300 calories. I blinked a couple of times to make sure I was seeing it right -I’ve had some trouble with my contacts lately- and read the same 300 calories. The sodium was also half of what the Lean Cuisine meals were. Convinced this was just luck of the draw I checked out three more and the highest calorie count was 350. This was perfect for my calorie limit for lunch so I grabbed two different ones.
Now, yes they checked out on nutrition and calories, and they looked great in the box, but what would they actually taste like? The first one I tried was Korean Inspired Beef and it was fantastic. I hesitated on writing a blog post because again this could be luck of the draw. Excitedly I pulled out the Creamy Pesto Chicken meal from my freezer, stuffed it into my amazing lunch kit, and ran off to work. I have to say this meal was just as good as the first one I ate. Lunch was a blissful 310 calories, 22 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar and 450 mg of sodium. The freshness of the food that shows through the little window of the box even remains fresh looking after heating up and tastes so fresh when eating it. Below are some pictures of what the meal looks in the box, out of the box before microwaving, and lastly after heating. I’m so excited to have found these. I encourage you to try them out.
Over the past couple of months I really haven’t been eating out in order to watch what I’m eating and to keep the calories down, and it has paid off. With Ten pounds gone and more to go, one of my next steps is to go out and eat responsibly. Now that I have my mission, where does one go to breakfast? Armed with my daughter in tow we were determined to make this happen.
Years back restaraunts started posting the calories in their food and posting them online, which helps a lot in making good decisions BEFORE you even get there. Of course you have to pay attention to the number of servings the posted calories are for. I’ve caught this a few times where I was excited that the meal would be just 300 calories but when I checked the servings it was for two. Not cool. To make our challenge even more challenging, my daughter eats gluten free.
We both set out the night before, checking restaurant near by that had the calories posted, and also had gluten free options. Lucky for us we live near an area called The Woodlands and there are a bunch of healthy options in that area. After about thirty minutes we decided on a restaurant called Another Broken Egg Cafe. They have a section called Sensible Selections. The first column is calories and the second one is fat calories. They had several other columns for nutrition as well.
The Skinny Omelette was a contestant, but I could’t get over the idea of having asparagus in my omelette so I chose the Monterey Omelette. This was pretty high on the calorie count. Breakfast is 300 calories for me, and morning snack is 200, so I could combine those two to get 500 calories, but I had to alter this breakfast to get there. This omelette, as posted on their website, comes with the following:
Egg white omelette filled with baked chicken, avocados, onions, green chilies and tomatoes. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese and green onions. Served with an English muffin, fresh fruit and salsa.
Putting my thinking cap on I requested that they omit the chicken (probably saved me 100 calories) and decided not to eat the english muffin (another 100 calories)and eat just some of the fruit. The waitress was more than happy to accommodate and even swapped out the english muffin for fruit for my daughter’s decadent Cajun Louisiana Crawfish Skillet meal. She was on a gluten free quest, not for calories. It was her free meal of the week.
The meal and service were amazing and we decided that this will be our breakfast place to go once a month where we can both enjoy meals that will be on our new eating plan. As it turns out I was only able to finish half of the omelet, didn’t eat the muffin and ate just a few pieces of fruit.
There were several wins here. I had a nice breakfast and was able to stop myself when I was full. From a very early age I had been programmed to eat everything on my plate otherwise I’d be wasting food. As an adult I hated wasting money on food not eaten and would eat it all for money sake. Peer pressure eating has always been an issue for me too. If my eating mate decides on a stack of pancakes with bacon and hash browns then dangit I wanted it too. I did not do this here either, and believe me when I say my daughter’s meal was decadent. I was also able to hit my calorie goal, focus more on the atmosphere and enjoy the company of my wonderful daughter.
Another Broken Egg Café is definitely a winner and will be repeated often. Great healthy-minded restaurants. who are willing to accommodate different people’s diet needs are out there, and if you live in The Woodland’s Texas, then you are really lucky!
While walking through the virtual aisles of the Amazon bookstore I found this title, This is Why You’re Fat (And how to get thin forever) by Jackie Warner. The title got my attention because… well… honestly it’s quite rude, but also speaks of tough sugarless love. I pulled it off the shelf and scrolled through the sample pages and decided to buy the book. Why not? I think I need some tough love.
I’ve read a lot of fitness and weight loss books, worked with a trainer and a nutritionist before, and as I read through some of the book it all rang true. She adds the science behind why you should or should not eat certain foods, and she has you follow a plan that has you eating more food that you can eat. After I went through the plan for two weeks I was eating healthy and had actually quit sugar! That’s huge for me because that’s one of my vices.
Each day you have to eat all of these healthy foods like veggies, protein, fruit, grains etc. She says you can eat all the bad food you normally eat but you have to add all of these foods as well. That’s a lot of food. For me I wanted to achieve the goal and found that it was hard to eat all of my bad food AND what she wanted me to eat. By the end of the second week I wasn’t craving sugar and actually wanted to eat the healthy stuff.
It’s been a while since I’ve read it and plan to go back and read it again soon. With any plan, it doesn’t work unless you actually do it. Reading, being told by others (trainers, nutritionists, healthy friends) doesn’t do a bit of good unless you DO it. That’s one of my problems. I’m armed with the knowledge but I have to CHOOSE to do it. So I choose YES!