It’s February. Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions already? If your answer was, “I gave up on on January 3rd”, you are not alone. I’ve stopped making resolutions all together because they were always the same; eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, stop eating brownies (see how well that worked?). I can do it for a while, and then I fall off the wagon and it all goes to hell in a pastry-laden, couch-potato-fueled, hand basket. Sound familiar?
I wish I had the answer, but I’ll say up front, I don’t. All I can say is, keep trying. Fall off the wagon, and then get back on and keep going. Last year, as I moved one year closer to another milestone birthday, I realized I had to do something about my health and my weight. I’d gained enough on my trip to Italy over the summer that I was no longer comfortable in my work clothes and and as I get older it gets harder and harder to lose even a couple of pounds. Supposedly, the average American gains a pound a year after age 25, and let’s just say I’m right on target to be “average” and I’m not happy about it. So what’s a girl to do?
I’ve found that what works best for me is a balanced diet of whole foods (no fast food, little processed food, and not a lot of sugar) with an emphasis on low carb meals (which in Italy was my undoing). I recognize this isn’t for everyone, but it seems that I’m most successful at losing and/or maintaining my weight when I eat like that. The problem is, after a month or so (or truthfully, Every.Single.Day) I start to crave bread, pasta, and potatoes. My biggest weaknesses are French fries and anything chocolate. Again, I have no answer, except to eat those things in moderation and when it comes to bread, in the whole grain form as much as possible, which lowers the overall net carb intake.
So here I am, back on the wagon, galloping toward a trip to Paris next month. When I travel, I typically allow myself to eat whatever I want while I am there. Baguettes and pain au chocolat for breakfast? Why, of course! Calories don’t count when you are out of the country, right? So I need to be prepared.
This salad is one I made for myself regularly last year when I successfully lost about 7 lbs in 2 months. It’s packed with protein and satisfying because it has a ton of savory flavor. It’s also deliciously low carb, and fairly low fat if you leave out the mayo and only use nonfat yogurt. I’ve eaten it on top of a lettuce salad as shown in the photos, wrapped in big lettuce leaves like a burrito, and just by itself for a quick snack. It also makes an awesome sandwich on whole grain bread.
Feel free to switch out the type of olive; I use regular California black olives because they are mild and just a bit salty, but you could use green olives or a stronger dry cured black olive if you want (start with less and taste). Also, olives are pretty much carb-free. If you want to make the recipe more low fat, replace the mayonnaise with low fat mayo or all yogurt. If you want to make it more low carb, go with all mayonnaise.
I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know. What are some of your favorite low carb meals? Do you watch what you eat when you travel? Are you trying to eat healthier now, and if so, how?
Finally, some housekeeping notes:
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