HEALTHY COOKING – Week 7 – GET FIT and GET HEALTHY

1. If you haven’t yet, join the challenge here: GET FIT and GET HEALTHY
2. Every Saturday come back to The Art of Making a Baby and ShutterMama to read the tips on how to be fitter, healthier and more confident.
3. Weekly write a post about your progress, following the questionnaire below, take a self-portrait (optional) and link up with us.
4. Don’t forget to grab the GET FIT challenge button on the sidebar and display it proudly on your blog or GET FIT post.
5.  Link your post with
Selfie Saturdays if you took your week’s self-portrait.

Today i want to share with you some of tasty, fast and low calorie vegetarian and vegan recipes that I use  at home. Most of the time I come up with my own dishes utilizing anything that we have in our fridge and cupboards, because it’s faster that way, other times I’ll actually adopt a recipe, making a few modifications. {sorry for horrible iphone pictures}

1. Roasted Vegetables
My most favorite and easiest meal to make is roasted vegetables. What I love about it is how little thinking it requires and you can use any vegetables you have at home.
I usually use zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow squash, baby potatoes and onion. All you have to do is cut a bunch of vegetables up into chunks, dice lots and lots of garlic, use 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast it at 450F for about 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are done. Garlic is a very important part of the meal
The meal is easy to pack away for left overs and tastes GREAT the next day.  If you want to use it as a vegetable side for whole grain pasta or rice, or a meat dish, simply skip the potatoes.

 2. Chickpeas Salad

I came up with this one in a totally random way. We had nothing good left to eat and I needed to make something healthy quick. I pulled out romaine lettuce, canned chickpeas, hot pickles and a low cal garlic dressing.
YUM! It’s one of our favorite salads now! Has plenty of anti-inflammatory lettuce and chickpeas high in fiber and protein. Hot pickles are a mus since they add the spice to the salad.

3. Black Beans 

Again, one of those “throw together anything that you have” deal.
Saute onion in 1 tb of canola oil, add red/green pepper, 10 minutes later canned black beans (drained) and tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes.  Salt and spice. You’re done. 

 My absolute favorite:

4. Tuscan Panzanella Salad

Super healthy, tasty and easy to make. Recipe here

I would like to encourage you to try out new things on your own. Be creative, mix things that you have for amazing new tastes. Stay healthy and low calories by choosing vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in everything you make. Use canola oil for sauteing and salads, and olive oil for salads. Never overheat olive oil to the point of smoking. You’re making a good thing extremely harmful that way.

Finally, for some of you who are struggling with removing meats from your diet and those who have already gone meatless, here’s a post I wrote about MEAT  that might help you eat more vegetables and fruits rather than meat products.

HOW MEAT IS SILENTLY KILLING YOU

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Now, my entry for week 7

1.  Height: 5’11′, weight: 131. lb  

2. Your  fitness challenge(s) for this week:  30 minutes of pilates every other day + 30 minutes of cardio ( rollerblading, running, swimming or treadmill) every other day. Special exercises designed for pregnancy to increase flexibility (daily) + Kegels (twice daily). A total of about an hour of physical activity a day.

3. Your health challenge(s) for this week: My eating habits are close to perfect,  however I could improve on my water intake. My goal will be 8 glasses of water daily + continue eating the way I do now.

4. How well did it go:
  • Fitness: Oh yeah! I got my mojo back this week! I was concerned when for two weeks following my surgery I was far from doing well on the fitness challenge. This week I am back and LOVING it! How do we forget how awesome it feels to fulfill your exercise goals? It’s just the best feeling in the world!
  • Water: Ok, i was so focused on exercise and coming up with meals using whatever was left in the fridge, that I completely forgot about water. I still probably got around 6 glasses a day, but need to pay closer attention to that.
  • Food: This week I had to tap into creative cooking. Our fridge was nearly empty and my husband and I were both too busy/lazy to go grocery shopping. we did have our farmer guy deliver us veggies that we’ve been eating all week. The kind of meals I cooked up with seemingly nothing usable were honestly amazing! I’m very impressed with myself. Nutritious is of utmost importance to me, even more than exercise and I have to say it worked out great even with limited ingredients.
  • On a separate note, I’ve been trying to gain the weight I lost after the surgery, but I haven’t really been able to do that. I eat way too healthy to be gaining weight and I cannot increase the amount, because I simply can’t eat any more when I am full. I also refuse to eat unhealthy just to gain weight. I need to gain some weight, because when we start TTCing, I want to make sure I have enough body fat to conceive.
    I also haven’t been able to eat nuts which is both high in calories and healthy, due to my wisdom teeth surgery. If you have any suggestions as to what I could be eating to gain weight that is extremely  healthy, I’m all ears.

5. Failures and slip-ups: Most people would reach for easy foods or go to a restaurant or a fast food place when their fridge is empty, however i guess I am at the point where it is not an option for me. So even though I had plenty of excuses to fail on the nutrition front this week, I held strong. We did go to a restaurant on St Patty’s day only because we had a gift card burning a hole in our pocket, but we both chose extremely well (hummus, a side salad, a side of grilled mushrooms and a side of brown coconut jasmine rice). I also skipped my rollerblading yesterday because of lack of time, but I intend on making it up today.

6. Weekly challenge wisdom: After the rain, there’s always sun! If you really sucked this week, do better next week. Don’t just assume this is too hard and give up.

 
7. Advice to fellow GET FIT members
:  Cook more at home. Keep meal vegetarian or vegan if you’re trying to lose a lot of weight. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to maintain weight when you’re consistently eating mostly fruits and veggies.

8. Self Portrait: Model Eyes

Self Portrait



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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 19, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    No advice for gaining weight. I’m tempted to say I wish I had that problem but I know the grass is always greener…hope you get where you want to be soon.

    Love that you put the link to the meat killer 😉 post. That’s the one I read that inspired me to try going meatless. I was already doing two days a week. I’m really enjoying it and can’t thank you enough for the inspiration. Thanks for posting more meatless meals. They are hard come by…and I’ve noticed that a meatless recipe doesn’t always mean it’s healthy. There are a lot of buttery, fatty, high calorie vegetarian meals.

  • Reply
    Sonya
    March 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Elena…I drooled. I JUST finished writing all these recipes down! I can’t wait…eating the exact same salad everyday is killing me haha. But I love the energy I feel. And I don’t feel disgustingly full and unable to do anything like jump around hahaha. I read your new post over at Selfie Magic and wow, you nailed it. I’m just blown away. I think you hit a few spots for me. The selfie thing has been difficult for me because I worry about looking weird or dumb or what have you. And so yes. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Christina
    April 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I just started following your blog and I love your Health and Fitness posts! I do have question about your diet though….how do you get enough whole grains/carbs and still keep your calories low? I recently decided to lose about 10 pounds and I have really been struggling to eat enough carbs and still keep within my calorie restrictions. I am fairly short so I really don’t get that many calories per day so carbs have beens baffling me…I use http://www.loseit.com to track my diet and every day I am short in that one category (grains….6-11 servings is A TON!). I already cut meat out of my diet so that isn’t it, but I so eat about 1/3 cup of nuts per day to up my protein intake…

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      April 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      I never went by servings, but by the grams. You’re supposed to get 200-250 grams of carbs (I think, check that). And to be completely honest, I don’t think you need to stick to that. Just make sure your protein intake is sufficient (45 grams for a non lactation, non pregnant woman). There are carbs and proteins in every food (virtually), including fruits and vegetables, so just pay attention to calories and eat whole foods. In order to lose weight you really need to stick with low calorie healthy meals, like salads with no or low cal dressing, vegetables with a side of whole grains ( yes, you read that right 🙂 lol). That’s the only way to actually EAT and not go over your calorie limit. So I’d have salads (romaine with cucumbers, tomatoes and whatever other low cal vegetables I have) twice a day, a bigger dinner ( whole grain pasta with various sauteed vegetables), fruit for breakfast, low cal whole grain cereal with nuts and raisins for 2nd breakfast, and fruit and veggies as snacks during the day, and if I have some calories left a treat or two.

      So i guess my answer is don’t get bogged down by counting servings or carbs, just eat healthy low calorie food and carbs will be there.

      Another suggestion: go vegan for a bit. My husband lost 40 pounds in 4 months just by going vegan and watching his calories.

  • Reply
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