Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mama Mia!

I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before but I love Italian food.  And when I say love, I mean the kind of unconditional love that is rare and beautiful.

Seriously, I love it.

This month I've been on an Italian kick and while it is good for my soul it is NOT good for my waist.  I'll admit weeks 2 to 3 were a little difficult for me on the food front.  Lots of stresses and stuff and I didn't handle them too well.  I ate a little more than I should have and went up a tiny bit.  A pound to be exact, but no fear,  I am already on my way back down.

So not to deprive myself I have been trying to find ways to continue to love my Italian and eat it too!

First I went w/ a quinoa risotto.  I don't know if you've tried quinoa before but it's amazing.  It's very reminiscent of couscous in texture and taste but it's technically not a grain.  It's actually a complete protein which, forgive the science for a minute, means it has all the essential amino acids that humans need.  That's cool because usually your complete proteins come from animals, dairy and what you regularly think of as protein.

Anyway, that was my first foray into an edited Italian experience.  The second, was actually not much of a stretch but I always forget how much I love it.

Caprese Salad!

A chopped caprese salad to be exact.  I also added some seared beef and that's what I've been having for lunch this week.  And it's really, really good.  The fresh mozzarella helps to make it taste more decadent than it really is.   I mean, for 1 oz., it's only 70 calories.  Not bad right?

I've been trying to find workarounds for my precious Italian just due to how heavy in carbs they are.  Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a proponent of cutting out carbs to lose weight.  I know I had my South Beach experience last year and that proved almost detrimental to my GI tract so I know that I need them.  BUT, I am also aware that if I could have my way I'd eat 90% of my calories from pasta, pizza and more pasta.  No lie ;)  And that's not good for anybody.

I do have some really good whole wheat alternatives for pasta that I've found after much trial and error (although I will never be fully converted because I just love the white stuff way too much!)

In case anyone is wondering, Gia Russa makes a great whole wheat penne.  You need to cook it a few minutes longer than suggested but it really holds well.  Also, I found De Cecco - they make a great whole wheat spaghetti - again, cook a little longer.

Seriously, they both hold up pretty well.

Today's menu:

B:  Protein shake, coffee, string cheese
S:  PR Bar (pre-workout)
L:  Chopped Caprese w/ beef

I think for dinner tonight, I will have some tortilla pizza!  It's just some low carb, whole grain tortillas topped w/ veggies and cheese and broiled until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

It's cheap, tasty and most important, very filling!

Today's exercise:
65 minute walk

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.