Category Archives: What’s On My Menu

Homemade Energy Bars

My youngest son is super busy here lately. It’s his senior year of high school, he’s class president, treasurer for his TSA club,  plus he’s taking night classes at the college,  applying for scholarships, maintaining a 4 pt GPA (straight A student! Is this mom proud or what!) and now he’s gearing up for track season. I get tired just thinking about his busy schedule.  

The last couple of weeks he’s working double overtime to get a robot ready for a super competition coming up in less than a month. Late nights and early mornings leaves little to no time for breakfast. I bought some breakfast bars thinking at least he would have something to eat as he runs out the door. I know I should have read the label in the store. Big oops there. Not so healthy.

I’m now experimenting with my own homemade breakfast bars. I found a yummy recipe for homemade energy bars and I think my kiddo will love them. Here’s the easy recipe for homemade energy bars. Packed full of oats, bananas, dried fruit, eggs, juice, and a scoop of protein powder, they are low in calories, low in fat, and high in protein and carbs. Just what my active teenager needs to get his day going.

What Works For Me

I have been keeping a weight loss journal with me at all times. It’s small, and I can carry it in my purse. I write down everything, like I did when I was a kid writing in my diary.

  • I keep my goals and rewards on the first pages of my weight loss journal.
  • What I eat – every little bite and nibble.
  • Why I ate it.
    • meal time
    • tasting as I’m cooking
    • not thinking
    • super hungry
    • emotional eating
      • how was I feeling
  • Exercise – I write down anything more than 10 minutes of constant exercise or walking.
  • Measurements – and weight loss are near the back of my journal.
  • I keep a short list of restaurants with low calorie meals in the back of the journal.
  • I have a list of snacks I can eat.
  • I have a short list of tips and hints.

I haven’t been cutting back on the calories.

  • I have been eating a breakfast of high fiber instant oatmeal with an extra sprinkle of flax seeds.
  • Mid morning snack is generally an apple or an orange.
  • Lunch is a sandwich on whole wheat bread with a pile of fresh veggies, thin sliced turkey breast,  mustard and horse radish sauce instead of mayonnaise. I may add a few pickled okra or dill pickle, a  few green olives and sometimes an ounce of cheese on the side.
  • Mid afternoon snack is a piece of fruit.
  • Dinner is simple. I start with a big romaine and vegetable salad with a few shots of salad dressing spritzers and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese . I think they are Wishbone salad dressings.  Next I have one serving of meat or fish and a vegetable or two.  Once in awhile I add in a potato.  If I serve dessert, I will have a serving.  Not two servings and not a large serving. Moderation.
  • I’m trying to not eat anything heavy after 6:00 PM. I need ‘something’ in the evening, so I eat a little somthing a couple hours before bed. Something like…. a graham cracker, or a sliced apple. It depends on the day. Sometimes a cup of hot chocolate is my ‘something’.

After reading my food diary, I have found it is best to not cut out anything, but everything and I mean everything is on my menu. The key is to keep everything in moderation. If I skip eating a dessert when it is served, I feel like I missed out and then I am more likely to splurge. Oh my goodness! Really… I might hide in the kitchen after everyone has gone to bed and eat the whole dessert myself.

Another thing I know is working for me is drinking a lot of water. I have been keeping track of the amount of water I drink daily, and the days I drink the proper amount, I lose weight.

Increasing my daily fiber is on my list of what works for me and my healthy eating plan. I’ve added flax seed to my daily diet plan. It’s heart healthy and I feel full longer. I also eat several servings of beans each week. I like garbanzo and red beans on my salad. The beans add protein and extra fiber to a salad. I’ve increased my intake of whole, raw vegetables and fruit. No more fruit juice! After drinking a glass of fruit juice I am usually looking for something more. When I sit down and eat an apple, it takes longer to eat, and I have just increased my fiber intake. It makes sense to me to cut out the juice.

I have also been drinking a few cups of green tea daily. I didn’t start drinking the green tea to lose weight, but I think it has something to do with my gradual weight loss.

So there we have it… the few minor changes I made since November.

I’m not losing weight quickly. In fact, I have only lost 20 pounds since I started this weight loss journey.  I will be making changes to my plan soon, but for now I am happy with a slow weight loss.

A Bowl Full of Orgnanic Flax Omega-3 and Fiber

It’s Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran. Oh doesn’t that just sound yummy. Every time I see that box of cereal in my kitchen pantry, I wonder why… what on earth was I thinking when I bought that stuff. 

Let me tell ya, I didn’t want to open the package this morning… but then again… I was curious. Curiosity always gets me. 

After reading the nutrition label, I was a little surprised that I actually liked this cold cereal.  Eleven grams of fiber  and 650mg omega 3’s in one little 3/4 cup of cereal. I thought this is way too good to be true… it’s far too healthy to taste good. I figured it would taste like a bowl of shredded wood chips and powdered vitamins. But it’s pretty good. The bran flakes are thicker than the post bran flakes. There aren’t a whole lot of raisins, but just enough to add a little sweetness. It didn’t get all mushy in the milk. It’s a keeper in my breakfast menu.

I think it was actually the flax in the cereal that got me. So there ya go, add flax to anything and I’ll buy it.

Sticking With the Basics

I love to cook! However, I’m having a time finding yummy foods to cook that aren’t loaded with extra calories. I’ve decided I’m sticking with the basics for the next month. We’ll have basic fruits and vegies. I think I’ll serve a lot of raw vegies, possibly in a salad. I make a yummy low cal dressing for me. The family can stick to their favorite ranch dressing. Along with the basic vegies, I’m planning on serving fish, poultry, or meat. I’ll grill or bake the protein.

Foods I won’t be serving this next month:

  • white potatoes
  • rice
  • sugar or anything with sugar in it
  • flour or anything with flour in it… basically no gravy or sauces, nothing baked and no bread

I will eat oatmeal or bran cereal for breakfast. And I love squash and yams, so we’ll have squash and yams added to our menu.

I’m making these changes because my hubby has a high sugar count. Well, that’s not the only reason. I’m not enjoying cooking nearly as much since I have to look for low cal recipes. It’s become a chore. I don’t want to feel like cooking is a chore… then it’s just not worth it.