Vegetables for weight loss

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Have you ever tried to lose weight? I mean really tried? I’m in my 30s and this is the first time in my life that I’m truly making a conscious and physical effort to shed some pounds- and it’s hard as heck! In my previous post I talked about slowing down and taking care of myself. A large part of ‘keeping it light’ in 2016 is taking care of the physical body: eating more vegetables, being more active and reinvigorating my yoga practice. Ultimately with the intention to physically ‘keep it light.’

Luckily, time is on my side. Often I speak to people who are trying to lose weight in order to fit into an outfit, go on vacation, or be ready for summer. All of those external time constraints might be a motivating factor for some people, but for me they’re a hindrance. I prefer to wholeheartedly incorporate some changes into my lifestyle, slowly adding ones that feel good and subtracting ones that don’t work.

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Some of the bounty from my weekly vegetable delivery.

One effective way to lighten the load is to incorporate more vegetables into the daily mix. Now some of you might be saying “Hey Shilpa, you have a blog called ‘Salad for Breakfast.’ Don’t you eat enough vegetables as it is?” To which I would say “My friend, you can never eat enough vegetables…” Okay scratch that. I would actually probably just say “No!”

So, more vegetables it is! In particular, for weight loss, I use the following as a rule of thumb when choosing vegetables for my plate: either leafys (not really a word so don’t google it), greens, or water-filled. Here are examples of some of these varieties:

  • Leafys (the bunches or layers of leafy-like vegetables): Spinach, Chard, Kale, Cabbage (green or red), beetroot greens, bok choy (or other Asian greens), lettuce
  • Greens (this one is self explanatory): Broccoli, edamame, avocado, peas (blah okay I don’t really ever choose peas), pea snaps (I like these)
  • Water-filled (these are the ones that will keep you hydrated and/or shed lots of water when cooked): Peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, garlic, onions, celery, tomatoes (are they a fruit? Are they a vegetable?)

So basically, the things that haven’t made it on the list are the vegetables that are high in starch and/or sugar (carrots, beets, potatoes, squashes etc.) That doesn’t mean that I don’t eat these vegetables- I sure do! I’m just more mindful of the portions, don’t eat them daily and try not to eat them all in one meal. Again, this is my own rule of thumb for weight loss. I’m not a nutritionist so this might all sound like mumbo jumbo to you! And that’s okay 🙂

This system is particularly hard to follow in the winter, when most of the seasonal produce in Toronto is made up of starches and root vegetables. So it’s been a fun learning process and I’ve had to figure out ways to balance my need for locally grown food, with my need for leafys, greens and water-filled vegetables.

What about you? What rules do you follow for weight loss? I’d love to hear what works for you. In the next post I’ll share some tips on how I’ve been using the vegetables.

Until then, keep it light!

 

Day 17: Charred Beet Burger on Lettuce

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Beets have really been my friend these past few weeks. For me, the key to eating salads or anything vegetable-centric, is sticking to what’s in season. In Toronto that means beets, cabbage and carrots; my CSA box has been brimming with these goodies.

Whenever I have a bunch of beets I always save one to make a batch of these amazing beet burgers. This is another Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe. She is my food h-e-r-o!

For my frenzied palate, these burgers are perfectly seasoned and taste like a lot of goodness.

I ate this on a bed of crisp lettuce. That’s all!

#21daysofsaladforbreakfast

21 day

Day 9: Nothing for breakfast?

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This morning I packed some quinoa, parsley and roasted carrot into my fun reusable sandwich bag. Another vibrant way to start the day, say you? I wish; it was a bit of a busy morning and I was too sidetracked to eat the whole thing.

Last week I did so well because I ate my breakfast at home before flying off to work. Once I get to work there’s no time to think about food in the morning; it’s a helpful observation to keep in mind to stay on track the next few days.

So you know what’ll be on the menu tomorrow! No guessing involved… #21daysofsaladforbreakfast

21 day

Day 8: Warm roasted carrot & beet salad

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Monday morning my friends! Today I had to just give myself some space to breathe and take it easy. Jamming to Lauryn Hill felt just about right as I ate this salad at work.

For breakfast, I used some of the roasted carrots and candy-striped beets from yesterday, and placed them on some plain lovely lettuce. No need for dressing. The roasted vegetables release their juices and taste lovely with each bite.

Welcome week 2! #21daysofsaladforbreakfast.

21 day

Day 6: Red Cabbage & Apple Salad with spicy honey mustard

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Anyone else have to work today? Eek! It’s Saturday so my mind & body are telling me it’s a day off, but my inbox is contradicting that. But first…it was breakfast time!

I woke up with some major hunger pangs this morning. I knew that breakfast needed to be substantial. I started on some chai, since that’s the common denominator to all mornings. I was panged with indecision, but finally settled on this salad. I also made a grilled cheese sandwich because it felt right.

But oh this salad. After much coaxing my husband tried it and replied with a ‘wow.’

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Now I’ve got to say that I am not often a fan of combining fruits with vegetables. I think for the sake of time, I will need to explain why later.

But for now, I will say that I don’t often put fruit in my salad. Today however, the apple & red cabbage were talking to me. The tart apple works well with the alkaline cabbage. Paired with a honey mustard and a handful of pecans, it’s a winning combination. For the dressing I just combined a 1/2 t of honey, a 1/2 t of Dijon mustard, a dash of cayenne, and a 1/2 tsp of water. Perfect and very easy to veganize- just replace the honey with some agave or brown rice syrup, and use less water to combine.

And the rest of the morning/afternoon was work…. #21daysofsaladforbreakfast

21 day

 

Day 5: Deconstructed green salad with porcini crusted tofu

photo3Happy Friday friends!

This morning I actually busted out with a full on green salad. However, the carrots I had were so adorable that I didn’t have the heart to chop them up. And so I decided that this salad was going to be a “deconstructed” salad plate. The components I had in it today were chopped green lettuce, some fresh torn parsley, carrots, and some wine-spiked porcini crusted tofu.

Wine for breakfast?! For the marinade I used this recipe and for the breading I used Isa’s porcini recipe.

Great way to start out my Friday.

#21daysofsaladforbreakfast

21 day