Detoxing Dinner

18 10 2010

We went to Atlanta this weekend to celebrate the birthday of my now 3 year old niece and to visit with family, let the kids play, go to the zoo, and just all around have a good time. It turned out to be a really great trip and everyone enjoyed themselves.

What didn’t work so well, however, was how we chose to eat over those days and I’ll confess to being one of the worst when it comes to situations like this. I’ll sit and drink beer regardless, but I’m normally pretty fine with just going hog wild on the fast food and running with that since we’re really there to do something else. It’s for convenience, we’ll say, as we humorlessly consume pizza on Friday night, McDonald’s on the way there, party food (which was the healthiest the whole weekend), high-calorie, fat and sodium-laden bar/restaurant food, more McDonald’s, Krystals for lunch and then KFC for dinner.

Typing that out really hurt. You don’t realize it so much at the time, because you’re just going with the flow, but that’s really not a good way to look at food. I generally don’t allow fast food but once a week at most for me or the kids, but considering that I had taken my son out to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal on Friday for lunch as a treat, we racked up at least 6 fast food meals, plus the restaurant meal which is probably even worse. I can practically feel the arteries clogging up.

So, we’re entering Detox mode for this week. There’ll be no fried food and the focus is going to be on eating clean, high-fiber, low fat, lower calorie foods emphasizing vegetables (especially the green leafy kind) and, if we use meat at all, it’ll be lean chicken. No beef, no pork. Also, hey, lots and lots of water. The kids and, I suspect, the adults will hate it.

Tonight’s plan is to make chicken spinach caesar wraps with whole wheat tortillas. Just going to bake a few chicken breasts, shred them up and mix them in with baby spinach leaves, green onion, celery and a little Jarlsberg cheese (very little, since I’m trying to keep the sodium and fat low) with some low-fat caesar dressing.

Tomorrow will probably be a barley and vegetable soup if I can figure out a good way to do it without going too high on the sodium.

By the time Wednesday comes along, I’m a little more unsure, but my thought at the moment is tilapia and couscous with broccoli and cauliflower.

After that, I have no idea yet. The goal, though, is to get at least at least a good 4 nights in a row of high-quality food through everyone’s system. This isn’t always easy to manage in the current environment and I suspect that Friday will be a harder sell if I try to push it that far, but I’m only doing it because I don’t want anyone to have a heart attack on me.

And next time, it’s a good reminder that while traveling, I should be more aware of the allure of the convenience factor in food choices. Without a plan, circumstances tend towards the less healthy choices.

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3 responses

18 10 2010
hollyfriedrice

Try Mrs. dash seasonings for your barley/veggie soup and just a pinch of sea salt. The “Mrs.” products are extremely low in sodium and I find when cooking with sea salt, I use much less.

I’ll have to send you my kale chip recipe. Great alternative to chips!

18 10 2010
robdougherty

That is an awesome tip. I’ll be getting that today. Thanks, Holly.

18 10 2010
Anthea

Ouch… that’s a rough weekend. Hopefully the children and adults can both enjoy the healthy food, though. 🙂

We’ve been struggling with this too, so I figured I’d share some of our ideas:

Salsa as a dressing for salad and vegetables is a nice way to get flavor without many calories.

Chili can be an exceptionally healthy meal, either meatless or with lean meat. I usually brown the meat in a saucepan, then add a can of kidney beans, seasoning and either salsa or tomato sauce. I sometimes chop up fresh bell peppers and tomatoes too, though I don’t add them til right before I take it off the heat, so they’re still crispy. I like adding black beans as well as kidney beans if I’m planning a meal for more than the two of us.

I’ve found that burritos can be surprisingly healthy too, if you bulk out the filling with beans and chopped peppers and tomatoes, maybe corn if you’re feeling adventurous.

Burgers, if you decide to indulge, are still delicious with a mix of ground meat and finely chopped peppers and tomatoes with seasonings to taste.

We’ve been eating a lot of green beans lately, steamed just enough to be cooked but still crisp and then tossed with lemon juice and a little salt. I really like broccoli with lemon juice too.

Good luck!

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