Awesome Food Finds

There is nothing quite as exciting as a great bargain; whether its clothing you love at a low price or super yummy food that doesn’t blow your diet budget.  When  I find either one I want to share them with everyone I know.  This past week I found TWO food bargains!  

The first was on Panera’s hidden menu.  How did I find the hidden menu, you ask.  Well, there was a poster showing four totally yummy looking salads near the door.  The Power Steak and Lettuce Wrap caught my eye so I tried to find it on the menu board so I could find the price and calories.  It wasn’t there.  The counter girl was sweet and looked up the nutritional information for me.  It was a BEAUTIFUL 210 calories.  I was shocked in a good way because Panera’s salads can be way over the top on calories at times.  There are three other salads on the (now not so) hidden menu:   Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad (360 calories), Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad (320 calories), and the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl (330 calories).  

My Power Steak Lettuce Wrap was almost perfect.  I loved that it was healthy and filling with lots of protein and veggies.  However, I did swipe half a slice of my husband’s french bread to round out the deliciousness and get any leftover pesto out of the bowl (an additional 75 calories).  

My second awesome bargain of the week came from the fabulous Gina at   She used slices of zucchini to make mini pizzas.   I happened to have some zucchini left over from another recipe and I had just purchased some sundried tomato spread that I was dying to try.  I added a piece of string cheese and a little parmesean and voila, delicious, easy, and I was full on only 130 very nutritious calories.  YEA!! 


TFS Wednesday: The Human Trash Can

For my second Tip From the Scale Wednesday I want to look at mom weight.  There are so many reasons that mom’s tend to gain weight.  It’s harder to exercise with little ones around.  One of my favorite suggestions is “take a walk with your toddler.”  You mean three steps, look at a bug, three steps, pick up a rock, etc. Sure you walk for an hour, but you only make it around the block. 

The type of food your family will eat can be another hurdle.  I might be happy with all veggie meals sometimes, but my teenage boys would wither up and die.  I have to cook a lot of food using recipes that feature meat.  

But I think one of the least obvious ways that mom’s gain weight is that they become the human trash can.  Too often we don’t want to waste food, so we eat what our kids won’t.  When you order a kids meal for a preschooler, you get a lot of food, usually two to three times the amount of food they need or want.  So, you (or your spouse) end up finishing their meal, even when you have just finished your own.  

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to get used to the idea of wasting food sometimes.  I don’t like the idea, but it is a fact.  You can’t be the human trash can.  

In one of the many diet books I read the author held a get-started meeting at a buffet.  She had all the newbies go through the line and take what they wanted to eat.  As soon as they sat down she instructed them to get up and throw the entire tray of food away.  It was a dramatic, cringe-worthy way to let the dieters see how they felt about “wasting” food. 

The best way to avoid throwing away food is to plan ahead (which is an entire post for another TFS Wednesday).  Know exactly what you want to eat and stick to it.  When there is one last slice of pizza on Jr’s kiddie plate, leave it, or take it home (cause cold pizza is the breakfast of champions for my kids.)  When there is one serving left in the pot or one scoop of ice cream left in the tub, you have to make a conscious choice.  Do you want those point/calories?  Are you full already?  Can you pawn it off on someone else in the house who can afford the calories? (one big benefit to having a teenage son who plays football).  My last resort is throwing food away.  I hate to do it, but it’s better off in the trash can than in me.