Photo Credits: Olivia Smith and Photo Pin
The New Year is upon us and serves as a time to reflect on the changes we want to make in our future, as well as the previous changes in the years gone by. For some people, the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” holds true. For others, it’s about making a fresh start with goals that have never been thought of. Despite the obstacles we may encounter on a daily basis as military spouses, we are exceptional at achieving our goals. Thinking outside the box when it comes to working towards our resolutions is a trait we grow to master as the years go by.
The goal of losing weight and eating healthier is probably the number one resolution on everyone’s list year after year. As spouses, it is one that requires patience mixed in with determination. We scour all the department stores for some new work out gear. We call the base/post gym and ask about the classes they offer. We even go as far as to correlate our new found exercise schedule with our spouse’s off duty hours (for those of us who have children). On that first day, we are so pumped up and ready to go. We put on our brand new exercise outfit, prepare our water bottles, ipods, and gym bag, make sure dinner or breakfast is prepared for our loved ones, and that all the household chores are finished before we go.
Then it happens. The baby starts running a 101 degree fever, our spouse calls to tell us that they are going to be working a few extra hours, and the neighbor comes over unexpectedly to borrow a cup of sugar for some cookies she is making for her husband’s shop. You give the baby some medicine and text your spouse to let them know dinner will be in the fridge…all the the while carrying on a conversation with said neighbor about said cookies. You begrudgingly come to terms with the fact that starting that new workout schedule is going to be harder then you thought. It will not be impossible; however, it will be tough to find the time.
The above scenario has happened to me more times then I can count. One thing I have learned from it all is that even though the ‘exercise’ part of things didn’t always work out, the ‘healthy eating’ part still needed attention. I may not be able to always control the availability of my workouts, however, I can control how and what types of foods I eat from day to day.
Once I came to this realization, I started acquiring a few tips and tricks to help achieve my weight loss goals. To get your healthy resolutions started, I have included six of these tips and tricks, as well as an outstanding recipe for a salad that my family and I enjoy making. It is only 250 calories per plate and comes very close to the Mexican salads you can purchase at most restaurants. Happy cooking J!
1) If you are out running errands, carry a cooler filled with healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, and chopped veggies. Going through the drive-thru will be less likely to happen if you have a cooler full of healthy snacks ready and available.
2) Attending to a gathering where food is involved? Make sure to eat a little something before going, preferably foods that contain protein. They will fill you up so you won’t be as hungry when you arrive.
3) Practice portion control while eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Use a salad plates vs. your regular dinner plate and only fill it up one time. Your portions will be smaller and your stomach will be satisfied.
4) Drink plenty of water daily. The average is around 8-10 cups per day. Water helps to cleanse out your system and at the same time, gives you energy. It also helps keep you full.
5) Be adventurous in the kitchen by testing out healthy, new recipes. Chances are, if you are excited about attempting that new fruit salad, your taste buds will be excited as well.
6) Take your time while eating your meals. Chewing your food slowly will make your body feel like it is full and will prevent overeating.
Cool Lime Chicken Fajita Salad
?1/2 cup low fat sour cream
2 and 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. each chili powder and ground cumin
2 tbsp. of olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
1 cup each sliced green and red bell peppers
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/2 cup salsa (hot or mild)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
8 cups chopped or shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded, reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (or a Mexican mixture)
1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, 1 and 1/2 tbsps. of the lime juice, sugar, chili powder, and cumin. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.
3. Continue to cook until chicken is lightly brown. Add the peppers and onions and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the salsa and cook for 2 more minutes.
4. Stir in remaining 1 tbsp. lime juice and cilantro. Mix well and remove from heat.
5. To assemble salad, divide lettuce among 4 serving plates. Top with warm chicken mixture. Spoon dressing over salad. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes: To jazz it up a bit, add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to taste. For a real treat, you can also add tortilla strips, guacamole, or pico de gallo.