I graduated college in May 2010. Ever since May 17th, I’ve been home in Staten Island, NY. Now, to some people coming back to their “parents” home is a drag and no fun. However, I still refer to my home as MY home, not my parents. According to my philosophy, it’s still my home until some man whisks me off my feet and I have a new last name. Plus, I’m pretty attached to my family and parents, so I really don’t see a reason to leave and waste my money on an apartment (until I start law school at least :-p).
Mommy and I at graduation..
I’m telling you all this for a reason. My eating habits at home have always been different from my eating habits whilst in college. My family is SUPER healthy and health conscious and not to mention we care a lot about appearances- it’s important to look your best regardless of age! My house is full of healthy snacks and all of our dairy products are generally reduced fat or fat-free. So, since May 17th, 2010 I’ve developed a daily meal regime, but it was all natural. I didn’t force myself to change anything or vow to remain on a diet. I just started making choices without even thinking twice about it! Plus, it really helps to have healthy family members around. If you’re wondering how you can start a healthy diet, then take a look at what my day looks like!
Ok, I NEVER skip breakfast now. I say now, because in college I wouldn’t even wake up in time for breakfast considering my “early” wake up time was 11am. But, now that’s all changed. I sleep earlier and wake up earlier and feel more refreshed and I love making breakfast and eating it, of course. Here’s what I generally have:
- Egg White & Cheese Sandwich– I use jumbo egg whites (17-21 calories each, no fat) & reduced fat cheddar/american (2.5-4 grams of fat per slice, 45-70 calories) & I cook everything in PAM. When I had to be on a 7AM bus to get to work, I would set everything up the night before (lay out the pan, spatula, foil wrap) & quickly make the sandwich before I left. This sandwich is very low in fat and a GREAT source of protein (especially for a vegetarian). It also keeps me full till about 12pm- just in time for lunch!
- Indian French Toast– Got a little extra time on hand? Then try this Indian take on French Toast. I combine jumbo egg whites, onions, cilantro and chilies. It can be made with white or wheat bread, and ends up being around 2-4 grams of fat and very low in calorie. Also a great source of protein and carbohydrates to energize you in the morning. Plus, you rather stock up on your carbs in the morning then later in the day.
- Harry & David Pancakes– Not an egg person? Then this pre-made Harry & David Pancake mixes are great! They come in a variety of flavors and are pretty low in fat and calories! Just add water and cook in PAM! My favorite is the chocolate chip flavor. I top mine with 1-2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and chomp down! (1 serving- 1/4 cup pancake mix is 125 calories and 2 grams of fat).
If you wake up early and work all day or if you just wake up early and have things to do, you’re going to get hungry for lunch. It’s really NEVER a good idea to skip meals. That slows down your metabolism and you end up getting tired, fatigue and just are less productive for the rest of the day! These are some things I usually like to bring to work/make at home. Plus, it’s cheaper to bring food from home then spend during your lunch break- I would spend on average $8-12 on a nasty salad. That’s definitely a NO.
- Buffalo “Chicken” Wrap– I combine buffalo flavored meatless tenders with lettuce, tomato, reduced fat cheddar & roasted peppers in a flour/wheat wrap. To make the dressing I add 1 tbsp reduced-fat mayo and 1/2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream with ranch powder and chili flakes. You can make over night and bring in a separate container to work so your wrap doesn’t get soggy. Otherwise, this wrap is HIGH on protein and fiber and LOW in fat and calories. Plus, these meatless tenders really keep me full!
- Zesty Pasta Salad– this is a great lunch option to make the night before. I combine mini bow-tie pasta with fresh mozzarella balls, sauteed peppers, onions and tomatoes with a homemade sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Of course you can use a store-bought dressing to cut time, but this dressing is great and healthy! Pasta salad keeps you full and the fresh mozzarella is generally low in fat/calories and is a healthy fat. Plus, it won’t kill you if you eat it once in a while!
- Kati Roll– You can use leftover tortilla, chappatis, nano, wraps- basically any thin bread form to make this. I usually fill it with leftover dishes like my Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”, Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu or some other random healthy stuff. Great on the go and full of spices and flavor!
There are a lot of different things I eat for dinner. And since my family likes to dine out a lot, we do! Here are some healthy and hearty options for a weeknight/weekend meal.
- Rustic Vegetarian Lasagna– filled with tons of healthy veggies, fat-free ricotta and a rustic sauce. Great to make as an impressive meal, for your significant other or family & friends! It’s a healthy and more flavorful take on a traditional dish, plus it’ll satisfy picky eaters and meat eaters! The fat and calories are cut by using PAM Olive Oil Flavor to cook all the veggies, fat-free ricotta cheese & reduced-fat mozzarella. It’s filling from the layers of lasagna pasta and chunky sauce.
- Creamy Maharashtrian Chole– a traditional Indian dish cooked in PAM and made with reduced fat sour cream and a minimal amount of vegetable oil. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients are chickpeas and spices! This dish is a great source of protein, fiber and nutrients, plus it tastes AWESOME. Can be eaten with chappathi, naan, basmati rice or even brown rice (to keep it healthier).
- Dining Out? I have plenty of tips on how to remain healthy while out, even at the most “unhealthiest” restaurants! There are always healthy options and requests you can make to keep it healthy. Such as asking to use less oil, cheese and bringing dressing on the side. Or no butter on your toast at diners and not pigging out on fried tortilla chips at mexican restaurants. There’s always a way to stay fit!
Some Extra Tips:
– Everyday I take a One-A-Day Active Metabolism Vitamin. This helps me feel energized and speeds up my metabolism. It also makes me hungry, which means I’m burning fat faster- a good sign! I buy it in bulk size at BJ’s or Costco, but really it’s available anywhere!
– Wii Fit. Probably the best invention EVER. I don’t have a gym membership- I hate the gym (especially on Staten Island). It’s filled with a bunch of meat head guidos that gawk at any female that walks through the door. Ever since my Wii Fit purchase, exercising has been SO MUCH FUN. I HIGHLY recommend it!!
If you’re healthy the whole week, then maybe some dessert: