Let the countdown begin.
My bachelorette weekend was rightfully filled with cupcakes and champagne (among other, less than health-conscious meals). As a believer in moderation, I was fine with that. On celebratory weekends such as one’s bachelorette, it’s important to turn off your nutrition radar and to simply enjoy and indulge.
But after 3 days of over-the-top activities, it’s time to hit the reset button. As I’ve mentioned before, I bought a wedding dress that fits my shape — not a size smaller as many brides will do. And yet I still feel as though I should be aware of how I treat my body in the coming weeks. I’m not talking a juice cleanse or anything wacky like that. But with a holistic mindset, it’s time to buckle down.
Looking for a few ways to bulk up your salad so it’s filling, satisfy your craving for Chinese takeout (without the guilt), or find a similar sense of satisfaction as you would in a heaping bowl of froyo? Below are 7 quick, easy and most importantly real snacks, sides and meals I’ve been making as I approach the big day. Really though, they are delicious and appropriate for any day.
*Please keep in mind, I am not a nutritionist. Just a girl who loves great-tasting food that’s good for the body and soul.
Fake Froyo With Warm Raspberries, Coconut Shavings & Peanut Butter
I made this one night recently when I was in serious need of ice cream. It was just one of those days, and I was about to order from Pinkberry on Seamless when a wave of “should I do it?” came over me. No, it wasn’t the calories or fat content; I could care less about those. The guilt was around price. After stopping at the supermarket already that day, I felt as though I shouldn’t spend another $10 (plus tip) on frozen yogurt for myself. Especially when the temperature outside was still well below freezing.
From my fridge, I grabbed one of the Chobani plain yogurts I had purchased that day. To it, I added coconut shavings, a scoop of peanut butter and frozen raspberries. The fruit, I warmed up in the microwave, so the berries actually tasted like the inside of a pie. All in all, I’d say I was very satisfied — not only with my dessert, but with the fact that I had concocted what would become a new breakfast option. This is amazing right after a workout.
Whole Wheat Fusilli With Fresh Tomatoes and Asparagus
On Sundays, I like to pick up a big package of fresh whole wheat pasta. Typically, Noah and I can make several portions — enough to last us at least two nights. On night two this time around, I realized that we were out of Rao’s tomato sauce — my go-to — so I had to put together a last-minute pasta dish. This one was mixed with sautéed tomatoes, fresh asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. It turned out to be super tasty!
Brown Fried Rice
Confession: This happens to be a meal that Noah has been putting together lately. In fact, it’s become his little thing; he cooks it once a week, which yields enough for two or three meals. To make, Noah uses a basic fried rice recipe that he found online, but he replaces the white rice with brown rice. We also add extra veggies to bulk up the health factor.
Noah can usually eat an entire plate of this, but I usually require even more veggies to further increase the nutritional value. A few options: Serve your brown fried rice atop something like avocado and sweet potato, or try slicing a thick green, like endive, below.
Whole Wheat Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Quesadilla
Do you constantly find yourself with extra veggies in your fridge, and you have no idea how and when you’ll use them? Quesadillas go way beyond Mexican-inspired meals. The other day, to go with my salad, I threw fresh tomato and sautéed asparagus along with some leftover cheese we had laying around between a whole wheat wrap. Instead of melting the cheese on a frying pan with butter or olive oil, I simply threw it in the toaster oven. The cheese provided enough delicious molten grease to satisfy my craving for something heavier that evening.
Pan Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onions and Sautéed Spinach
Scallops are awesome because they are so incredibly easy to cook. Good ones don’t even need to be marinated for very long. I usually throw mine into a plastic bag about 15 minutes before I want to cook them, along with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest. To spruce up the dish, you can serve them on top or next to a veggie, like steamed spinach or caramelized onions. Me? I’ll take both, thank you very much.
Lean, Mean & Green Salad with Steamed Broccoli
This is a typical lunch for me — a nice big salad with whatever leftovers I have from the night before. Lately, I’ve been steaming broccoli and adding chickpeas. I also like to play around with different kinds of lettuce, like radicchio. It offers lots of healthy nutrients — not to mention a spicy and different kind of kick.
Portobello & Roasted Veggie Stack Attack
This is a great meal or side dish, depending on your appetite, to put together on days when you’re feeling especially lazy and don’t feel like slaving over a stove but want something gooey, filling and warm. All you have to do is slice the veggies that you want, stack ‘em up atop a portobello mushroom, slap on some cheese, and throw in the oven. A nice combination to try: peppers, asparagus and chives.
I’m always looking for suggestions! What healthy substitutions — like brown fried rice or risotto — do you make when preparing your snacks and meals?