Super Foods & Packing

13 days to go on Bikini Body Countdown!

One of my favorite views from Hawaii. I actually have a picture of my siblings and I in front of this lookout when I was 15.

Packing has commenced!  Yes, I don’t leave for 2 weeks, but I have a love-hate relationship with packing and thus it works best for me to start early.  I am an infamous under-packer and like to travel light, usually taking only a tiny duffel bag for weekend trips that I throw together the night before.  Our weekend trips are usually to visit family, and thus packing basic necessities such as toiletries and snacks is not necessary.  I usually don’t even pack a make-up bag for weekends, just make do with the few things I carry in my purse.  So long trips are a whole different animal.  I love travel, but for some reason, I always go into a packing funk a couple days before I leave and can’t seem to put a decent outfit together to save my life.  I think it’s probably a panic over running out of time and forgetting stuff, and also my obsessive organization.  So my guest room has been transformed into the Hawaii Packing Room, and over the next week, I’ll add things to the room.  Then the following week, I’ll go through everything, try on outfits and accessories to make sure they actually go together (haven’t we all made that mistake?), take inventory of toiletries, and add anything else that comes to mind.  Sound crazy?  It doesn’t take as much time as it sounds, it’s just my personal packing strategy and I’ll end up thinking of new things to add every day until I leave! 

OK, moving on.  I found this article in our AAA magazine, and thought it was worth posting.  It’s a list of the Top 10 Superfoods, and I’m happy to say that I incorporate most of these into my daily diet!  A couple that I don’t, but probably need to look into, is Garlic and Green Tea. 

Below is my meal plan for the day.  You’ll notice that I occasionally incorporate a little meat into my meals, but still eat a mostly vegetarian diet.  Although animal welfare is a major concern for me, I do not claim to be a committed vegetarian and think that simply cutting back on your meat consumption and getting protein from plant-based sources can offer a lot of health benefits, while also being more environmentally friendly (animals use more resources than plants).   The Cinch plan is very helpful in this regard – offering tons of vegetarian or vegan substitutes in the book and encouraging everyone to try eating vegetarian several days a week. 

Meal Plan Time
Grape Nuts cereal with berries, 1 cup carrot juice 7:30
Yogurt parfait, 5 crackers 11:30
1/2 ham & avocado sandwich on pumpernickel 2:30
Apple, pretzels (pre-bike snack) 6:00
 2 veggie soft tacos 8:00
   
Workout – Chest/Back, 30m cardio circuit yes
Vitamins yes

More Workouts + More SuperFoods

I’ve really stepped up my workouts lately and thus have encountered a new problem – increased hunger!  I’m not sure why the proper balance of food and exercise is so difficult for me, but I can’t seem to get it right.  Just when I was getting in a groove with the Cinch 4-meal / 5-ingredient philosophy, my caloric needs have changed as my workouts have increased, and I need to figure out when and how to add more healthy calories into my diet.  Seems easy right?  I’ve added a small snack before my morning workout, and eat a full breakfast and lunch, but am still famished by late afternoon and end up overeating at night in my rage of hunger.

Hmm, what to do.  I will start by trying to add more healthy fats and fiber to my earlier meals and see if that helps.  It will also help that the junk food in my house is now gone and there isn’t much left for me to “splurge” on.  My favorite healthy-fat & high-fiber foods are below, along with recipes.  All of these items are also considered “SuperFoods”!

AVOCADOS– chopped in a wrap, as a topping, or even use in smoothies (max 1/2 avocado per day)

Avocado Banana Berry Smoothie (1 serving, great post-workout / high-protein snack.  There are several other avocado smoothie recipes in the Cinch book.)

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and removed from the skin
  • 5-6 strawberries, fresh or frozen, stems removed
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup skim milk or almond / soy / coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 tsp Truvia
  • Handful crushed ice or 4 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
  • Nutrition: 300 calories, 17g healthy fat, 35g net carbs, 9g protein. 

 

BEANS– black, red, white, chickpeas… toss them on salads, in a wrap, in soups, or eat them plain.

Black Bean side dish (1 or 2 servings, depending on how you use it.  I make this often, sometimes as a side dish, to top a salad, or even throw in a wrap with avocado and shrimp.  You can also sub chunky salsa for the veggies)

  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (low-sodium) 
  • 1/4 cup corn, cooked but still slightly crisp
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Mix, chill, serve
  • (for an extra kick, add a little jalapeno or green chiles)

 

Black Bean & Mango Salad (6 servings)

  • 1 15-oz can black beans
  • 2 cups diced mango
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • Mix and servce.  Makes 6 Servings. 
  • Nutrition: 140 calories, 3g fat, 19g net carbs. 

 

 OATSOld-Fashioned or Steel Cut are best, as they are less processed and do not spike your blood sugar as much as the quick-cooking variety.  But if you prefer softer, more gooey, oat products, the quick-cooking variety is OK.

Grab & Go Homemade Oatmeal (1 serving, no microwave required!  I make several and store them in my pantry)

  • 1/2 cup dry oats
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit and nuts (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, almonds, walnuts…)
  • 1 tsp flax or pumpkin seeds
  • Place all ingredients in a tupperware container at least 3x larger than the dry mixture
  • When ready to eat, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very hot water (such as the kind from a coffee machine) to the dry mixture, seal the top, and wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Remove the top, stir, and enjoy.
  • Nutrition: 200 calories, 7g fat, 39g net carbs. 

 

Click here for a LIST OF SUPER FOODS and their benefits.