My Sista Friends,
I don’t know about you, but I am the ultimate fan of bread. Like, eat an entire loaf of bread at Pappadeaux type fan (don’t judge me). However, as Lent approached and I did some self-reflection, one area I wanted to challenge myself in was my diet. I enjoy cooking tremendously, but nearly everything I experiment with has some form of unhealthy richness to it. So for Lent I decided to give up one thing…BREAD (then that turned into rice, potatoes, pasta, cereal, and other starchy goodness).
Honestly, it hasn’t been that difficult (besides the fact I’m going to run and get a pizza, hamburger and bread pudding on March 24th) and has made me realize how much bread I eat. In just a month I’ve been able to make simple bread substitutions and see a fabulous result in my body and energy levels, so much that I’m going to continue a minimal bread diet after Lent.
Sista friends, I know we are all busy, but making the commitment towards a healthy lifestyle is worth it. Taking care of your body by fueling it with the proper food pays dividends in terms of energy, physicality and well-being. I urge you to take some time for yourself and invest in making small changes to make YOU an even better sista friend.
Keep reading for some healthy meal and snack inspiration! Also don’t forget, weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I’ll touch on the exercise portion in another post 🙂
Protein over bread
When doing my grocery shopping I used to always pick up some form of bread for breakfast: waffles, whole wheat bread, English muffins, cereal, but I’ve stopped that and gone straight for protein. Turkey sausage. Greek yogurt. Nuts.
- Greek yogurt: GET THE PLAIN FLAVOR AND CHECK THE NUTRITION FACTS. I used to buy Greek Gods yogurt which had 15 GRAMS OF SUGAR and only 9 grams of protein. I now opt for Chobani which has just 4 sugars and 15 grams of protein or Fage which has 8 grams of sugar and 18 grams of protein.
- Instead of picking up the flavored yogurts which have unnecessary sugar, add your own fruit! Natural sugars from the fruit are way more fresh and better for you.
- Veggie chips and hummus
- Instead of opting for pita chips and hummus (because we all know we keep dipping, and dipping, and dippin), make cucumber chips! I divide a whole cucumber into thirds for portion control and whenever I’m hungry I’ll grab a third of the cucumber, cut off the skin and then cut the cucumber into little discs. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on those bad boys and you are good to go and eliminating over 100 calories and 10 grams of carbs!
- Tip: Don’t limit yourself to just cucumber. Feel free to use bell peppers, broccoli, any veggie!
- This has been my go-to whenever I want something savory. My favorite are blue-cheese stuffed and Kalamata. So delicious
- Tip: If your local grocery store doesn’t have an olive bar, grab some jarred olives
- Acai/Pitaya Bowls
- I’m over smoothies and my recent addiction has been acai/pitaya bowls, which can run anywhere from $7-$10 for one. I’ve been making them at home and feeling so accomplished! Between them being a fraction of the normal cost and tasting amazing, this will be my “thing” for awhile. I buy the acai berry mix in the freezer section, add a tad bit of apple juice, almond milk, flax/chica seeds, frozen strawberries and mix them in the blender for the base of the bowl. Then on top I add a gluten-free granola, honey and bananas and then I eat that thing like I just stole something from the bank. Did I mention how much money I’m saving (budgeting and saving money makes me so happy)!
Simple Meal Prep
Meal prep is your best friend and totally worth it. I used to do one protein, a veggie and a pasta/potato of some kind. Now I just include two veggies. To save time I throw some sweet potatoes in the oven and some veggies in a pot of boiling water. I keep the protein simple with no store bought marinade. Some simple olive oil and seasoning will do. Once I pop those in the oven I just wait and then assemble my meals. Tah dah!
Lettuce substitutions –
Lettuce has become one of my favorite ingredients during Lent, and not for salads (which don’t fill me up mentally). Want some tacos? Put them in lettuce (think of PF Chang’s lettuce wraps) or craving a hamburger? Hit up In-N-Out and get a burger protein style (lettuce instead of a bun) and they are so fulfilling!
- Tip: Use a lettuce like romaine, butter or iceberg that can hold up to the meat and toppings
Leave your healthy snack and meal ideas below so we can all look and feel snatched!
Your Sista Friend,
Amie Kromis O’Riley
Amie Kromis O’Riley is from and currently resides in the two states most known for country music, Tennessee and Texas, but she’ll take old school soul music any day. AKO works in the unexpected career of construction as a diversity and inclusion manager for one of the top construction and development firms in the world. In her spare time she loves to earn points with loyalty programs, listen to NPR and chill with her husband/best friend.