Where the heck have I been for the last 7 months? Well, I jumped back on the healthy eating bandwagon and joined some weight loss and exercise accountability groups on Facebook. I really needed to simplify the way I had been eating. It’s so easy to get excited about all things food (festivals/events, new restaurants, holiday parties and shared/found recipes) and next thing you know the pounds come creeping back on and at this age it takes more than a half-assed effort to get them back off. I had to go on auto pilot with meals and exercise until I met my first weight loss goal. I’m feeling positive about it and my brain has accepted the changes that I needed to make. You can’t get results without putting in the work and it was time for me to stop making excuses. One thing that happened over the holidays, my cookbook collection grew thanks to generous gifts and I’ve been obsessed and flipping through the pages for inspiration.
Working a full time job, collaborating on a side business with a girlfriend, helping Dan with our lighting business and taking care of a special needs pup, leaves me with little time for things like blogging. I’m still snapping photos like a crazy blogger would, they just tend to live on my phone or make their way to my personal social media pages. I’m still super passionate about food and now that I’ve learned that one of my friends literally has a FARM full of bees, fruit and veg in his backyard, I’m excited to try out and create some new, healthy, recipes in the coming months with whatever he decides to throw my way.
I do NOT do well in the winter months and yes I realize CA winters are nothing compared to some of the winters you east coast readers endure. My BFF lives in Maine, I know me complaining is ridiculous. But the extra (much needed) rain and very little sunshine really effects my mood. I am an outside CA girl through and through. I’d much rather be in my yard working or out on the trails than stuck indoors.This winter I really focused on getting my eating all dialed in and spending lots of time on my trusty treadmill to kick my seasonal depression and it worked. I had a much easier go of it and for once, I didn’t pack on the winter pounds. I’m calling that a huge victory.
I started doing weekly food prep and the concept has definitely changed how I eat. I’m the girl that can eat the same breakfast every single day – Green tea, 2 hard boiled eggs, cut up veggies and some sort of fruit. Not creative, but easy to pack and take to work. I use my Sunday meal prep time to create options for my weekly lunches and dinners. Friday night is usually a cheat meal out with friends.
I’m really into bowls. I got hooked on Poke bowls and fell into the Bibimbap craze with lots of local dining out and to-go options here in Sacramento. One of my new favorite bowl restaurants is Mixed Rice and Noodle Bar located at 7501 W. Stockton Blvd., Suite #110, Sacramento, CA. Bibimbap – the aesthetic of mixing colors, textures and flavors. Yes please, let me just run with that.
While my versions aren’t Korean inspired, they are definitely full of color and texture. I’ve been using a few Pinterest/Instagram finds to help guide me in balancing out my bowl ingredients. My options vary each week depending on my mood. I’ve got some of my favorites listed below by category.
- Base – Lettuce, baby spinach, arugula, kale, soba noodles
- Veggies – Carrots, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, leeks, cucumbers, zucchini
- Protein – Eggs, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, edamame, black beans, tofu, veggie patties, chicken, ahi
- Complex Carbs – Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, barley, brown rice
- Sweet – Apples, berries, figs, dates
- Extras – Sauces, lemon/lime juice, flavored oils, avocado, Greek yogurt, sour cream, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts
I prep a bunch of ingredients on Sundays so I can mix and match things throughout the week. The hubs does his own thing, so it’s easy for me to get super creative with ingredients I like. Bowls of Goodness, One Part Plant, Half Baked Harvest and Damn Delicious were a great starting point for inspiration. Besides thumbing through their cookbooks and drooling, I do also follow all of them on the gram and have for years.
All mix-ins are served on beds of arugula, baby lettuce or spinach in a big bowl. I usually heat up the grains, potatoes, beans and the cubed veggie burgers, but the rest of my items are served cold.
I will also go with multiples of the same dish some weeks. Greek Couscous Salad has become a favorite for sure.
Chickpeas, roasted garlic and olive oil pearled couscous (I used Near East brand) orange, red & yellow bell peppers, red onion, grape tomatoes, English cucumber, feta cheese, Meyer lemon and flat leaf parsley. The dressing was made with the following ingredients:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
This past week was taco fixings. Butternut squash, black beans, red cabbage slaw, salsa verde, cotija cheese, cilantro and mini corn tortillas.
I steamed the butternut squash and then seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper. I then sautéed the cubes with some avocado oil in my cast iron skillet. The cabbage slaw was made with olive oil, cider vinegar, honey and smoked bourbon pepper and salt to taste.
I’ve had a lot of fun and really notice when I meal prep on weekends that it does set me up for success during the week. Are there times when I say say, “screw it” and head out with friends or stop and grab something from a favorite restaurant? Absolutely. Consistency over perfection is the only way to succeed at making this a lifestyle and not a quick fix. It’s only taken me 18 years of “dieting” to grasp this concept. It’s finding what works for you and that takes a lot of trial and error. I’m very much a work in progress.
If you’ve stuck around this long, you deserve a shout out. Thank you for all of the years of support you’ve shown me, even with my sporadic blogging you still keep reading and I’m grateful for that. I do love my blog and I use my recipes and revisit posts often and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. I’ll hop on when I can to share new things. Until next time, Cheers!