With only a few days before we’re Wesward bound, I decided it was time to re-activate my brain cells. One of the best ways of doing that apparently, is to eat “brain food”, so I hid the cookies on the highest shelf of my pantry, bought some vegetables, and embarked on “operation health”. I would eliminate most carbs, and eat a diet focused on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. As you may imagine without carbs was a bit of a challenge for me. (Have you read about my obsession with granola or love affair with quick breads?) But I was committed. And when I commit to something, there’s no turning backback.

To my surprise, a day with minimal carbs was easier than I thought. It didn’t affect my fitness level, and I was unusually chipper (whether that was the diet or my astonishment and pride that I was able to maintain those eating habits for more than a meal is debatable.) I also woke up today totally clear headed and peppy. It was so great that I decided to do it again!

As far as meals were concerned, I knew that unless I was eating things I genuinely enjoyed, I wouldn’t be able to stick with it. So, with lettuce in one hand and cookbook in the other, I embarked on my adventure in healthy eating.

Breakfast- Berry Banana Smoothie

Photo by Jordan Rudess

I’ve found that when I eat a lot of carbs for breakfast, I have ridiculous cravings for them throughout the rest of the day (and not healthy carbs, bad ones…like cookies), which inevitably results in me crashing around 4:00 pm. Also, I’m a huge breakfast dairy eater. My typical go-to is yogurt or cereal with milk, so as an experiment, I decided to eat a dairy-free breakfast. Based on the suggestion of my friend, I made a smoothie with almond milk instead of cow milk or yogurt. And the results?! DELICIOUS! It was super thick (because I didn’t add a lot of liquid), and the almond milk gave it delightful nutty overtones, as well as a hint of a dairy-like consistency. In order to increase the cream factor, I added a banana. Once finished, the drink towered over my 16 ounce cup, and kept me satisfied for hours!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:(serves 1)

  1. 1 banana
  2. 2 cups of frozen berries (whatever kind you want. I used strawberries and blueberries)
  3. half a cup of almond milk
  4.  half a cup of water (optional)

Directions:

  1. put all the ingredients in a blender
  2. blend them


Lunch- Salad of Champions

salad

I LOVE salad. There’s nothing like the crisp, refreshing taste of lettuce to fill you up after a good, long workout. Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t really think lettuce tastes like anything, and since I exercise in the morning, I usually need some protein in the afternoon. That being said, I really do like salads. Anything that’s a vehicle for feta and olives is delicious in my book. I especially like this salad. The juices from the tomato, hearts of palm, and artichokes, as well as the strong flavors of the feta and olives add so much flavor that you don’t even need dressing. Also, the apple adds a nice crunch, and the sweetness of the fruit is a nice contrast to the saltier vegetables and cheese.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  1. A head of lettuce- chopped finely
  2. 12 sliced pittless olives
  3. 5 tablespoons of feta
  4. 2 slices of pepperjack cheese (I used rumiano based on Rina’s recommendation)
  5. 1 shredded carrot
  6. 1 diced cucumber
  7. 1 diced tomato
  8. half a can of diced hearts of palm
  9. half a can of diced artichoke hearts
  10. 4 tablespoons of capers
  11. 2 sliced peppers
  12. 1 chopped apple (optional)
  13. half a can of diced beets
  14. 6 oz grilled chicken (I used leftover chicken parmesan that didn’t have any cheese on it. The tomato sauce added some great flavor)
  15. a tiny shake of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. chop everything
  2. put it in a bowl
  3. mix it

Dinner- Salmon Teriyaki from Canyon Ranch

salmon

I’ve told you about Canyon Ranch in another post. Their website offers tons of delicious, healthy recipes for every meal of the day. The salmon teriyaki is super flavorful and tender. I ate it with roasted vegeatables, but I also love their orzo risotto as a side. Here are the recipes!!

Salmon Teriyaki 

Orzo Risotto

Let me know what you guys think of these recipes! What do you eat when you’re trying to be healthy?!

See you soon!!

-Ari