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Curly Nikki

While We’re on the Subject…

By February 17th, 202148 Comments

of healthy insides and outsides, let’s post healthy lunch ideas for curlies on the go. This is an incredibly selfish post, because I’m the one that needs help!!! I’m revamping (for the umpteenth time) my diet for several reasons–

1. I have high cholesterol! The doc didn’t tell me that I needed to fast prior to him drawing my blood, so my results may be a bit tainted. But whatever the case, my cholesterol is like 70 points over what it should be! Ummm….heart attacks are not sexy. I need to get this in check.

2. I hate to exercise, so I need to maintain my shape by making healthy food choices. I loved the book French Women Don’t Get Fat. I’ve read it three times and will probably read it again soon. The basic tenants are– eat reasonable proportions, make wise decisions (pick a glass of wine, or a few squares of dark chocolate, but not both!), and walk for your health. They don’t buy into the ‘sweat your butt off at the gym’ mentality, which is perfect, because I hate sweating, and I hate the gym, lol.

3. The once thin and petite women in my fam have weight control issues after bearing children. I’d like to learn healthy eating habits before starting my family so that I can concentrate on things more important than restoring my figure. Plus, I’ll be better equipped to teach my children how to eat right.

I do pretty well for months at a time–oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, yogurt for a snack, salads for lunch, and lean meat, veggies, and brown rice for dinner. But after about 3 weeks of this, I begin to crave fried, cheesy, greasy things (cakes, cookies, and pies, if you will) and not only fall off the wagon, but get run over by it! I’m presently off the wagon…having just ate left over Chinese food for breakfast, and pizza for dinner last night.

I hope to start the following menu on Monday:

Breakfast (one of the following)
-oatmeal, fruit
-whole grain English muffin/egg/ham sandwich

Snack (1 or 2 of the following)
-Yogurt, almonds, fruit

Lunch
??

Snack
-hummus and carrot sticks

Dinner
-lean meat, mix green salad, brown rice, sweet potato
-stir fry (homemade)

Did I mention that I’m not a huge fan of the kitchen? Also, at lunchtime, I’m usually in my car, and need something that is totally portable. I’d like to expand my repertoire so I don’t become bored. I’m addicted to all things fried and/or dipped in cheese, and will need to make an allowance for that at least once a week πŸ˜‰ Ideas?!

Thanks chicas!
Nik

48 Comments

  • Naturi Beauty says:

    I'm a little late with my comment, however I see while most ppl have commented on food, a select few have offered exercise advice. I am with them 100%! You have to move so that all your healthy eating won't be in vain. While I do have a membership, I am not a fan of the gym so dance is my way out. Salsa and Belly Dancing ROCK!!! It's a great way to break a sweat, be cute, meet people AND look absolutely fabulous. Check for classes in your area πŸ™‚

  • Neta, NYC says:

    Hey Nikki, Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not easy but its worth the change. In Feburary of 2009, I began my healthy lifestyle with a 21 days detox. It had changed my life, I was able to loose the weight I've gained within 3 years in 21 days. Now its July 2009, although I problably gained 3 lbs but its great to know how I'm able to maintain my ideal weight without making myself a nervous wreck.
    I read 21 pounds in 21 days; The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox by Roni Deluz & James Hester. It informed me how detox is beneficial and a cure for certain ailments a body has accumulated over the years of poor diet.
    Today I occasionally have soul foods but instead of mac/cheese, rice and fried chicken all in one serving. I would have the fried chicken with vegatables or salad. Or mac/cheese only. I eliminated sugar, milk, coffee and starbuck tazo chai from my diet. I drink lots of water, herb teas and more fruits and vegetables.

    Love your blog! Keep up with providing great advise and products.

    Neta from Harlem,NYC
    http://neta-detoxjourney.blogspot.com/

  • Suburbanbushbabe says:

    For me, eating clean 100% of the time is impossible. If I can eat clean 80% of the time that great. The other 20% is for greasy burgers and fries from Five Guys, Chinese spare ribs and scallion pancakes πŸ˜€ Luckily I don't eat pizza (I would never stop). My current downfall is pernil cachapas from the Venezuelan takeout – a fried sweet corn omelet shaped thing filled with pork and cheese – OMG this is good! Gotta be 700 calories easy!

    Healthier stuff that's really tasty: Fruit sandwiches, peae (or apple) havarti, avocado and tomato sandwich for lunch on the best bread ever – Nashoba Brook Harvest Bread — from a local company. When Pigs Fly also makes a harvest bread, but not as good as this one. Also, summertime fruit/whey protein smoothies for breakfast made with frozen tropical fruit purees like soursop and tamarindo, yumm!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki,
    have u ever tried dhal? this indian/ayurvedic dish is made from lentils, mung beans or chick peas( don`t worry, if you cook them right they won`t give you gas;-)). And it is a great "homemade take away". Treat yourself with some fancy take away pots and mini table linnen (perhaps you can find some at etsy??) and you are good to go. I prepare a biiig protion, which last for two days or two hungry eaters. you just need those lentils( or beans)and some spices (i prefer the ayurvedic mixes matching my constitution or as the ayurvedic teaching say "doshas"). If you want, you can use coconut milk instead of water for cooking. If you add some rice while cooking the dhal becomes a dish called kitchery which goes as a complete meal (i add whatever veggies i have on hand also).
    it is low fat, super easy to prepare, has tons of proteins and is my healthy choice. The art is the seasoning. If done right (just google dhal and ayurveda and/or kitchery) it is a perfect meal, which leaves me satisfied but not stuffed. and it is said that vegetable proteins are very nourishing hair food….
    I also like mango lassi: joghurt mixed with fresh, very ripe mangoes (prerferrably organic, most better wild grown (the absolut best quality is from cameroon)into a shake. If you take high quality ingredients,this can go as a full meal for me. as you see, i heart the ayurvedic kitchen because it is awesome delicious and a very haelthy choice. I also believe in intuitive eating. If my body sense is not completety corrupted and "lied to" by a sugar-and fat based and big meals- diet she tells me exactly what she needs ;-). but for me this works only when i stay away from the junk. It leaves me in a condidition in which my senses are irritated and I cannot give myself some real soul food. …Love from berlin, Monika

  • Anonymous says:

    You mentioned that women in your family become larger after having children. Do they all have high cholesterol? I ask because my mother and her side of the family remain thin but all of them have high cholesterol and high blood pressure even those that are in their early twenties. As I am obese and she is constantly worried that I will develop one or the other as I inch closer to 40(a few years left to go). Although I have neither, one thing I have noticed about a lot of food, even in the grocery store is the amount of salt in prepared foods. Next time you think about buying a can of soup, look at the salt content. You might faint.

  • Megan says:

    Nik,

    You don't need a diet so don't think I'm suggesting one but Dr. Ian's books extreme/fat smash diet have healthy meal plans that are reasonable w/ good suggestions. I also like the meal plan in Skinny Bitch. There were some things I thought of but never put together…

  • Anonymous says:

    Good Luck Nikki

  • KyaDiva says:

    A sandwich makes a good portable meal however with anything you choose to do it is about trade offs. If you love mayo, switch to the olive oil mayo. If you love cheese, get the low fat cheese (name brand is not that bad, generics can be a waste). If you have to hit fast food, everyone has a lower fat option, even Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy's. If you need to have the cheese on your salad, get the vinegar based dressing instead of the cream based and skip the croutons. To lower cholesterol, you actually need to eat more healthy fats(from plants)- it softens the plaque and cholesterol avoid the bad fats (animal), eat more fiber (sweeps out the junk from your system). The only way to raise your good cholesterol is get active. Whatever you want to do for about 30 minutes 2-3 times a week that gets your heart going. Ask you husband for some ideas πŸ™‚
    I'm down 50 pounds over the past 9 months by making a lot of little changes that added up!

  • Simona says:

    Nicki,
    I have been following your blog for the last six week. Since then my hair has taken off in thickness and in length. You mentioned your cholesterol and I wanted to share something that I started using. I started a new probiotic, herbal and detox system called Qivana. It is a natural herbs that have amazing benefits. One benefit is better cholesterol, blood pressure and better energy and more. Here is a web site to get more info: www.myqivana.com/Simona. Let me know if you are interested in a free sample.

  • DulceDiva says:

    Haven't read the book about French women, but also keep in mind most French women eat foods that haven't been processed, genetically modified, or adulterated the way our food supply in the states is. They're eating mostly whole foods that were purchased from the market the day fresh. Definitely hard to do in this society where we value fast-paced, always on the go attitudes and high production. I have very few short cut ideas other than to advise putting as much energy into cutting up veggies (while you're DT your hair) as you do into your natural hair and body routine πŸ™‚

    Re: high cholesterol. HDL or healthy cholesterol over 50-60 can push your overall number higher. My cholesterol has always been on the higher side of normal (180's – 190's), but my HDL is over 60, and my LDL (lousy cholesterol) is normal (less than 130 for non-diabetics), so I don't worry about it as much.

    Additionally, I know most people hate exercise–I'm one of them, but you can have a normal BMI, a normal waist to hip ratio, and a normal overall body fat percentage and still have an unhealthy amount of fat if that fast exists around your internal organs. Internal fat is just as dangerous as the fat that is visible to the naked eye. So the saying "it's what is on the inside that counts" is infinitely true in the context of your health.

    Check out just one of the many articles on how thin people can be unhealthy too:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18594089/

  • CallaLily says:

    Yes, I feel your pain. I too go through the same thing of falling off after doing good for a few weeks.

    I try to pack an assortment of 4 fresh fruits (whole or cut up), yogurt and a cereal bar. That usually takes me a couple hours to finish. Then I have a big salad for lunch, and some nuts and maybe crackers. Then my dinner is sensible but I feel I have a little wiggle room if I've been good during the day πŸ™‚

  • Alicia says:

    People have given you many food choices, so I'm not even going to bother listing any.

    Sorry to break your heart, but you need to exercise and sweat it out! Forget solely controlling your weight and cholesterol by food, that is not healthy. You must get that exercise in at least 4 to 5 days a week. Can you and your husband work out together? That is what we do. Everyday after work we hit the gym and have fun bonding and sweating while running, walking, lifting weights, etc… Plus, my husband is so sexy with that sweat glistening on his body! I'm sure you will enjoy working out more with your husband or someone else as a partner.

  • Anonymous says:

    You gotta start exercising! It's the only way to get it down. My dad has had high cholesterol, took the medicines for it, ate healthy..he never was a junk food eater, and he stills battle with it. So start working out

  • LovintheBlessin says:

    I also have a Jack Lalane juicer that is seriously AMAZING. I juice like five or six carrots (which are surprisingly good when juiced alone) and then mix in one sweet fruit like an apple or peach. The juice is delicious, all natural, no added anything, and if i drink a cup before a meal, i'm sneaking in a few extra veggies, and I eat less.

    Oprah also swear by a green drink that she has in the morning, good way to get in more vegetable as well as more fiber (juice some of the items that Breed08 mentioned and sweeten it with a handful of grapes or half an apple and life will be oh so good)!!

  • LovintheBlessin says:

    One of the things I learned when I started to reconsider my food choices was finding ingredients that make health food seem less like health food.
    Here are my recommendations:
    MUSTARD!!!!! people sleep on mustard. there are SO many tyoes with different tastes, you can go spicy or mild, yellow or Dijon, and the average one has less than 15 calories per serving. I use it to cut my mayo in things like tuna sald etc, because it saves calories and makes it taste better than health food.

    Also, look into Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. It tastes like Soy sauce but is SO much healthier, with a fraction of the sodium

    PANKO bread crumbs are SO good, you can bake fish or chicken with Panko, flavor it with some herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper, and it will taste fried. On the same vein, you can bake things and make them taste fried.

    You should also make an effort to buy fresh herbs to cut down on your salt.

    Basically, i think bland food is the devil and if it tastes good, I'm more likely to eat it and be mentally satisfied so I wont be tempted to eat more and worse.

    HORE THIS HELPS and god luck!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Thanks ladies!!! You guys are nutrition experts πŸ˜€ Breed08, I'm definitely going to up my fiber intake…I knew those things about fiber, but you really broke it down.

    Anon 8:12, you're right! I need to work out…I own a treadmill and was walking 4 times a week. I need to start this again. I actually convinced my father (who lives in STL) to do it with me from a distance– we can only chat with eachother when we're on the treadmill or bike πŸ™‚ I'll report back to share how it's going. I just really hate to sweat, and working out hurts, lol!

    Samantha, that's a great idea, and I've done it before. Do you eat it cold/room temp? I like my stuff hot– I may need to stop at a convenient gas station to borrow their microwave when I'm on the go.

    Chic Noir, you're right. They don't eat the junk that we consume on a daily basis. That's why the author gained like 30 pounds when she came over here to visit! We literally eat trash.

    Afrikurl, I'll check out that site! I need as many ideas as I can get. Oh, and I'm all over that soup bowl!!!! What's your favorite one??

    Samantha, I'll dust my Foreman off and get to cooking! You're right…I can fire it up one time and be good for the week…if I don't let temptation get the best of me πŸ™‚

    brwngirl901 your menu looks great! I wish I could give up meat, but I love bacon too much. I will incorporate your bfast and lunch ideas though!

    I'll be back in a little later to reply to the rest of you! Thanks again ladies and keep the suggestions coming. I'm loving this πŸ˜€

  • Anonymous says:

    I spent a year in France and all I have tos ay is the french live off of Cigs,Caffine laced drinks, and more cigs. When they decide to eat the portions are small. A typical meal is a side of fresh veggies and meat. Don't forget the wine and some bread. They also take time to enjoy their food. The smoking was super annoying, and most fench women do not exercise, they walk almost everywhere. The smoking was insane! They can smoke a pack in one day. My french roomate was a size 2 and she lived off of cigs and cofee. I lose 40 pounds while in france because I adapted some of their habits,not the caffine addiction!

    Eat a small ball of fruit and side of toasted bread with jam or maybe oatmeal with fruit! (whole what bread)

    For a snack I had apples,oranges, sliced pinapple, nuts, and any good fruit. I always made sure to have two pieces of fruit to keep me full.

    A handful of brown rice and steamed vegtables with sea food. heaviest meal should be eating during this time.

    At night I had a salad with some sea food. I love scallops and salmon,they became a common staple in my dinners.

    Walk and get a good cardio that includes weights to help you build muscle and burn fat.
    I went from a size 12 to 8

  • B. Reed says:

    It's some great ideas on here…so much we could write a cook book. LOL!!! Panini's, sandwiches on whole wheat bread (lean meat such as turkey), and salads are all wonderful ideas to get your diet in check.

    The main thing you want to do is eat foods that are high in fiber. Cholesterol binds to the fiber (other bad stuff also binds to the fiber) in your gut. Picture the fiber acting as a "broom" collecting all the bad stuff out your gut and then coming out in your stool (sorry for being graphic).
    Foods that are high in fiber include any type of fruit that has skin (apples, pears, peaches u must eat with the skin not canned), vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, aspergus even baked potatoes but you have to eat the skin to get the real benefits of the fiber) 100% whole wheat anything (breads, cereals, tortillas), and beans (black beans have the highest amount of fiber). Humans are supposed to get 30-35 grams of fiber a day. So pay attention to food labels and look for things that have AT LEAST 5 grams of fiber in a serving. I remember you mentioning fiber one bars during a previous post and they have lots of fiber in them (9grams to be exact). So they are excellent for snacking and giving you so much needed fiber.
    Also, it is important to drink plenty of water while increasing your fiber intake. Fiber soaks up water in your body and causes you to feel dehydrated and more importantly constipated (sorry for being graphic again). So add fiber slowly into your diet so your gut doesn't become "overwhelm" with the changes.

    I hope this help and good luck!!!
    Why I know all of this? I'm a Nutrition Peer Counselor so it's part of my job. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Internet down and no time to check all posts to make sure i am not writing what someone else has already. as mom says "don't wear out your welcome":) as we age our bodies become less and less efficient at burning calories from food, your metabolic rate decreases, and your muscles (which burn more calories than fat) atrophy. You have to work out!! our bodies are not designed for a sedontary lifestyle and there is a reason we sweat, IT IS HEALTHY. without going into cariorespritory disease and lymphatic drainage (fun for me, snore for most) I will just say sucessful people do what is UNCOMFORTABLE. I hate to work my legs, hate it, and wouldn't you know it's the area i need most improvement in. I have read your bio Nikki and you are a sucessfuland beautiful black woman. you have the food part down but this not working out thing is gonna bite you. Have you read the health stats on black Americans lately? I think you mentioned loving to dance, well do it 3xper week for 30min, yes you have to sweat, then consider your work done. Good Luck!
    -LanolinLover

  • Samantha says:

    I also meant to add that you can wrap up your chicken breast and veggies in a whole wheat wrap to make it portable. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Lately I have a small piece of salmon and brown rice for lunch. It get's boring, but the simplicity overrides that. I usually don't want anything else for dinner but fruit and fresh vegtable juice.

  • Chic Noir says:

    Excuse me while I get on a soapbox, but French women don't get fat because they smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, and are vain! Lol. The advice you gave from the book is good, but you guys also have to consider that soda and fried, greasy foods are not apart of a typical Frenchman's diet.

    You’re right. One of the major themes the author went over was how junk food laden the modern American diet is. Even our healthy foods have been degraded because of perservatives and other additives. The major difference between the American diet and the French diet are the portions. We eat too much of everything.

    Nikki, to bring that chlesterol down, cut of the junk foods that you eat but don’t truly enjoy. I truly enjoy ice cream so I can never let it go. I just eat smaller portions. I think chips are okay and will eat them if they are around but I don’t crave them. Therefore, I removed them from my diet.

  • afrikurl says:

    My favorite website for food ideas that taste great while fitting in my pants is hungrygirl.com. She has the nutrtionals for tons on places menu recomendations if your eating out, frozen meals that are reasonable calories and not gross. My biggest advice though is not to fear the kitchen. You can get the flavors you love and control what goes into it. Start small like making not so bad for you desserts.

    oooh and like the ladies said soup is great for you especially broth based ones loaded with veggies. it can stop you from over eating what ever follows eat. Target has a little bowl that you can use to keep it warm for to 11 hours. it's near the nalgene water bottles and only $10.

  • Samantha says:

    Nikki, I'm in law school and trying to make sure I keep myself healthy, so I feel your pain on all levels. First off, working out sucks and I absolutely understand why you don't like to do it. But with that said, in order to keep that girlish figure you're going to have to do something. Try parking farther from the door, taking the steps instead of the elevator, and taking multiple trips throughout your house when you could do it all in one trip (i.e. go back and forth between the laundry and the bedroom when washing clothes instead of bringing all the dirty clothes in the bedroom at one time). Every little bit counts! And maybe you can convince the hubby to go for a walk with you in the evening as a dual exercise/bonding time.

    For your food, invest in a George Forman! I throw an entire package of chicken tenderloins on there and voila, 10 minutes later I've got lunch for the week. You can also put fish, shrimp, etc. on it. Frozen veggies are great, and if you keep a package of spinach, green beans, broccoli, and greens in there, you can throw those on the stove quickly to accompany your chicken. I pack my entire lunch in one of those square, rather small/flat tupperware things, so I don't have to worry about portion control. Also, chocolate Boost protein drinks are pretty good and I usually down one of those with some fruit or yogurt for breakfast or add some pretzels and pack it as a snack in my bag. Good luck!

  • Ms. Silky Coils says:

    Nikki the key will be to get into "cooking". Lol. I don't consider myself a cooker, but I make better choices of foods now by stocking my kitchen with healthy snacks, frozen foods and lots of fresh (easy to make on the go) meals. This sounds like a great idea for a blog entry…TBC…lol

  • brwngirl901 says:

    Wow, you ladies have submitted some great ideas! I was not a "cook" either until I became a vegetarian. I have learned that my staples like brown rice, black beans, soup of the week…are generally cooked on Sunday and put in the fridge to go with my meal-of-the-day.

    My day today went like:

    Breakfast
    2 cups of Special K Red Berries w/Vanilla Silk
    1 serving of Dannon plain low-fat yogurt

    Mid Morning Snack
    1 granny smith apple

    Lunch
    1.5 cups of brown rice
    1.5 cups of soup-of-the-day (I usually pour this over my rice)

    Mid-Day Snack
    Granola bar (100 calorie) & piece of fruit

    Dinner
    Not sure yet-but I made 10 black bean burgers earlier this week. I will likely have one of those and 1/2 pound of steamed vegetables.

    It takes some getting used to, but it can be done! I believe you shouldn't deprive yourself also…but then I don't lie to myself either. Because of my love for bread, there is absolutely none in my house. If I get a piece w/a meal or something when I eat out…that's my potion control :~) I have limited willpower (I'm working on it) when it comes to bread, pasta, and cheese. If it's there, I will abuse it. Being healthy requires change but it is soooo worth it!

  • Mocha T says:

    Nikki. I know you don't like working out, but as you get older, you are going to have too. Maybe just walking for 30min X 3 times a week. High cholesterol and blood pressures just seem to run in our(black folks) jeans.
    Tuna ( w/no oil) is good for lowering it and salmon ( your can even eat it from a can). They are quick and healthy.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki, try sparkpeople.com there you can find menu for each day and workouts. I know you said you don't like to sweat, but that is healthy, it helps eliminate all the toxins in your body and you can always take a shower after. Try eating your rice before noon, that gives your body enough time to process. If you're craving for cheese or cookies, just have two cookies and a slice of cheese or a little bit of something cheesy, remember your mind controls your body is not the other way around. I know this is not easy, but is doable…

  • NewbieNaturalDiva says:

    The Special K Protein Shakes in Chocolate work for me when I don't have time for breakfast or lunch. I just drink one on my way to work or in my car at lunch and I'm satisfied for about 2 to 3 hours. I usually add a piece of fruit to that I can eat while driving like grapes or a peach.

    Also, almond butter (Whole Foods) spread on a 100% whole wheat english muffin is really good too. I usually have one for breakfast with a glass of oj or I have one right before I hit the gym.

    As for great dinner or lunch meals, I am stuck like you. One of my favorite stand in meals is baked talapia with brown rice and some type of green vegetable such as sweet peas or spinach. It takes on 15 mins to prepare the entire meal and it will help you stay thin. I ate this meal everyday when I first had my braces put on because I could only chew soft food and I dropped 20 pounds in 3 months. I had also stopped eating buttered popcorn (which is sometimes my dinner choice) and I stopped drinking sodas. Needless to say, I have begun doing both again and this blog has helped me realize I have to stop once again. As for dessert, Weight Watchers Smart Ones makes different signature sundaes that taste great with less calories. Each serving is only 170 calories and 3g of fat. I like the chocolate chip sundae.

    I hope my ideas help! Good luck!

  • SoCalWavy says:

    Hey Nikki!

    You HAVE got to read Bethenny Frankel's "Naturally Thin". It's along the same idea as the book you mentioned, but she really stresses individuality, personal choice, portion control all that good stuff. She says the reason diets fail is because they try to tell you exactly what to eat, rather than your BODY/intuition telling you what you need. I highly recommend it!
    This is what I ate yesterday:
    *Ezekiel toast with real butter (just a bit) cottage cheese and nectarines/blueberries.
    *Lebni cheese/crackers
    *Dinner at work: Cuke/Tomato/Radish/Onion Salad with boca burger
    *Potluck night at Work: 2 bites baklava, small pc pepperoni pizza, 2 bites lebni cheese on pita, decaf tea

    The important thing is to not deprive yourself because that's when you'll go crazy and overindulge. If you love cheese (like I do!) and fried foods — eat them, just not a whole lot.

  • Anonymous says:

    One thing I have done for lunch is get a side salad from Wendy's and a 5 piece chicken nugget. Sometimes I get two salads. The salad dressing portions look small but are more than enough dressing to cover the salad. Some of the fat free versions are under 100 calories. You don't have to do this but I peel the fried part off the nuggets to reduce some of the calories. You have a decent lunch for under $4. You can't beat that.

  • Brandiss says:

    How about a tuna or chicken sandwich on wheat bread, or salmon (canned) and veggies? Thats what I have most of the time. I keep wheat crackers and rice cakes at my desk to snack on.

  • Reecie says:

    I'll have to try that panini trick! I am petite but I too think things will change once I have children (as also evidenced by women in my family) so I try to maintain healthy habits now. I do love to cook though, so I am always experimenting with ideas–have to come up with many ways to make chicken interesting! LOL. I get my recipes from allrecipes.com or epicurious.com.

    I am not a cake/sweets person really, but I have a weakness for milkshakes especially in the summer. I pretty much eat what I want, but in moderation. If I'm healthy most of the time I'll treat myself to something "bad" like fried fish or mac and cheese. I really don't look at food in terms of good and bad, though. I am good at not overindulging in anything and I work out so I've lost weight. I also drink water all day long at work, bring my own snacks–apple sauce, yogurt, fresh fruit, and a nuts/fruit trail mix. eating every couple of hours wards off hunger and deep dips in blood sugar.

    The bento box suggestion was a good one too! I just recently found out about those and I'm looking into getting one myself.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wanted to add to my previous comment that I eat dessert every day after dinner – either ice cream or cookies. Ok, sometimes both lol. If you want to eat healthily ( or healthfully?) Don't deprive yourself. Eventually when you keep eating high quality and low-processed food that greasy cheap processed junk will look less and less attractive.

  • TJ says:

    hey nik, i love that book too! i think the biggest trick i have is not stressing out over food by trying to eat 'healthy' all the time – no way i could stick to oatmeal for breakfast every day… i go through phases and mix it up – right now it's tea and toast and fruit for breakfast, but sometimes it's a poached egg on toast or yogurt or cereal… most important thing is to eat breakfast at all, as it speeds up the metabolism…

    lunch – i work from home so i'm spoiled, but love doing rice bowls (throw in veggies of your choice with brown rice, tofu or a poached egg for protein, and vietnamese hot sauce), miso soup with veggies thrown in, or noodle bowls. asian food choices usually seem healthy and yummy. the burrito idea is good too, as long as you leave out the sour cream! either way, i try to eat a big lunch and a light dinner. and i don't shy away from desert, i just do it in moderation – fruit, sorbet, and dark chocolate covered almonds are my friends!

  • Anonymous says:

    Excuse me while I get on a soapbox, but French women don't get fat because they smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, and are vain! Lol. The advice you gave from the book is good, but you guys also have to consider that soda and fried, greasy foods are not apart of a typical Frenchman's diet.

    Ok, enough soapboxing!

    I think my diet is pretty healthy and I am in good health. I don't drink soda – I drink water, tea, and the occasional juice (not fron concentrate) and alcoholic beverage (don't give me no gin! Lol)

    Breakfast – whole wheat bagel sandwich with a cheese slice, uncured turkey bacon, and salami. I drink a glass of water and a cup of yerba mate tea.

    Lunch – a small salad ( in a 2 cup rubbermaid container) with a splash of lemon juice, good olive oil, walnuts and feta. Also with a carb + meat combo, usually rice and chicken with no heavy sauces (usually). I usually opt for curry chicken or the chorizo chicken or lamb sausage Whole Foods carry.

    Dinner – basically the same set-up as lunch.

    I drink a lot of water and herbal tea during the day and snack on a variety of things.

  • Alicia says:

    I usually make enough Dinner so that I can have that for lunch the next day, however if unexpected guests arrive and there is no leftover, then the night before I precut my veg for a salad and cut into strip and season some chicken breast stir fry in some EO and throw in all together at lunch or prepare a sandwich in the morning. If I am lazy to so, then I usually keep a few Lean Cuisine or Weight watchers in the freezer for these rare occasions, I hate frozen meals, too much sodium and who knows what else. So my pick for lunch is usually Leftovers, a quick salad , a Sandwich or Frozen meals. I just had be some delish leftover potato salad, green beans and baked chicken breast with barbeque sauce, yum yum.

  • Anonymous says:

    My bad chol is 3 points over honey! I'm 5foot4 130 pounds! I didn't believe my doctor , so I took another blood test, and he was right! I need to drop 10 pounds and get my bad chol down. I couldn't believe it, I thought people with weight issues had high chol. It's the greasy foods that we eat that are killing us slowly. My sister who was obese droped over a hundred pounds in little over a year. She went on the RX diet! her chol is super low now. You just have to find a healthy diet that works for you.

  • E_v says:

    I'm right there with you Nikki. I'll do well for a few weeks at a time and look and feel great. Then some friend or family member will come to visit (I live in Miami) and I'll revert back to eating poorly.

    I started the regimen again today because I'm feeling like a blow fish. For breakfast, I had the exact serving of Special K with Fat Free Milk (I weight everything when I'm in this mode) and a fat free yogurt. Then for a mid morning snack I had 100 Calorie Pack of cookies. I'm about to go have lunch which is a pizza that I made at home (316 calories) and then I made Slimfast to curb that 3pm snack attack that I know is going to come. It's filling (when you drink it slowly) and it's sweet.

    Tonight when I go home, I'm treating myself to a burger made with a whole wheat bun and lean meat :o) We can do this ladies. It's unfortunate but I see soooo many women down here (I'm from NY, just moved) that are obese and I swear to myself that I don't want to be like that.

    Maybe one person can inspire another and another…so on and so forth. Happy eating!!

  • Moni says:

    Sushi is a quick, easy and healthy lunch, as long as you don't get the deep fried rolls. I've eaten it in the car with my fingers, so I know it can be done! Sandwiches are very portable and can be healthy if you load up on veggies and lean meat and avoid cheese. Many sandwich places allow you to add veggies like cucumbers, green peppers and avocado, which will help to fill you up and give you some nutrients, too.

    Tacos are pretty healthy (again without cheese), but burritos are full or calories (check out the nutrition info for chipotle sometime if you really want to be shocked). One way to minimize the calories is to get them without rice and with extra beans instead. Another suggestion is to get the server to cut the burrito in half before he gives it to you. You can eat one half for lunch, then have the other half for dinner or lunch the next day. If you're still hungry, you can have veggies or baked chips and salsa to fill you up.

    To satisfy my deep-fry cravings, I also get Wendys chicken nuggets. With a side salad, its a satisfying meal that isn't too bad for you. The protein also helps to fill you up. You can also get a small order of fries from McDonalds.

    For the cheese cravings, pita pizzas are really quick and easy to make. Take a whole wheat pita and top it with tomato sauce, toppings (heavy on the veggies) and low-fat cheese. Bake it until the cheese is melted and you have a quick, easy and (moderately) healthy meal. If you like a crisper crust you can toast the pita a little before adding the toppings. Another website I suggest you check out is hungry girl (hungry-girl.com). She offers ways to make your favorite foods with less calories and suggestions on what to eat at a variety of popular restaurants.

  • A. Spence says:

    Good option for lunch is a nice chicken finger wrap with lettuce and tomato…you get your fried intake for the week…i'm sure it's on the food pyramid. lol

  • Unknown says:

    i have to keep everything included in the meals else I die. so for lunch (leftovers) today I'm having about 1/4 of a cornish hen, steamed veggies and a small slice of macaroni (Bahamian style i.e. baked with plenty cheddar cheese, heavy milk and baked liked a casserole). this is probably about 350 calories but I get the grease/starch, veggies and protein which leaves me a happy camper. πŸ™‚ in leu of my sweet tooth, I incorporate hot chocolate or the Quaker chewy granolas as a snack rather than a pack of chips ahoy or oreos which I normally would have done. I'm still trying to work on how to get the fiber consistently in my diet though πŸ™
    IF I have to get 'fast food'…its usually Wendys' so i get a grill chicken wrap (or nuggets or a grill chicken sandwich without one of the breads), forgo the fries with water and fruits are always awesome snacks with the natural sugar. water has also been my saviour since I began this healthy eating challenge a couple months ago. the key for me, is not depriving myself of any particular food groups but cutting my portions down…(like consuming less than half of what I normally did)

  • micki says:

    you can try investing in a bento box. you can buy one on ebay. they are cute japanese lunch boxes that come in 2-3 tiers. it can help portion control and also help you from carrying too much around (tupperware etc)

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    Being that you are on the go, it will be hard to take things like soup, etc…how would you warm it up?

    A sandwich on wheat is always best..don't forget the lettuce/tomato to spice it up a bit if you eat those. Cold cuts have a lot of salt and additives, so you can bake and chop chicken breast in advance for a healthier option.

    I believe portion control is the biggest issue when it comes to lunch. A lot of people eat a full dinner-portion meal for lunch. Those are extra calories and you have the itis when you get done..LOL

    And lastly, when you do indulge in fast food opt for the kid's meal…They are usually enough food for lunch anyway AND you save money! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    At work I keep peanut butter and rice cakes in my drawer; protein-packed, filling and needs no fridge, but I keep bread in the fridge too. Pita, hummus and sliced cukes is my most simple lunch, but all my co-workers get food envy nonetheless. Most Sundays I make lunch for the week. I divided into individual bags and pop some in the freezer (I have a mental block for "leftovers" past three days and the freezer is a great solution). This lunch is usually fried rice, biryani, chili, or some other "one pot wonder" that freezes well. I try to make enough for 4 days and only eat out once a week. Et, voila!

  • . says:

    tacos and burritos, the ultimate portable food! you can stuff it with whatever you want – rice, meat, fish, veggies, cheese (myum!). I love 'em because you've had a filling meal and are less inclined to get a snack attack and eat crap;)

  • Anonymous says:

    Also keep a mini grocery bag at work. Bread, deli meat, cheese, pretzels and it's always there. Don't have to worry about where to go.

  • Mimi says:

    What i find that works are paninis. You dont even need the cheese! Just get some deli meat, whatever you like on your sandwich and toast it up on the George Forman, guaranteed a panini style sandwhich with lines!!!

    Also soup! I love black bean soup, homemade chicken soup is very easy. All you have to do is get some of your favorite chicken broth, some fresh veggies and seasoned chicken breast panfried to give it a crisp on the outside but raw on the inside. Add all ingredients to pot, slow cook till veggies are tender and chicken is done.

    I get my ideas from Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals.
    And Nik, I dont think i can make you love the kitchen, but i can make your time in it less than 60 minutes!!!!!
    I'll come up with more easy fun recipes for you, cause i'm cookin tomorrow for a picky 4 year old any way. :p

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