Back on track with healthy eating

This summer, I worked in the Florida Keys. Having a job where I would be constantly snorkeling, diving, sailing, and paddle boarding sounded glamorous– but ended up being an experience I try to forget. With the struggles of our job, my boyfriend and I looked to restaurants to alleviate the terrors of our jobs, and just to get out of the facility we were at for at least a couple of hours.

My eating looked a whole lot like

Getting THIS cake 4 nights in a row
Lots of french fries
Asking for more rounds of garlic bread than I would like to admit
And eating A LOT of fish

So, needless to say, my diet this summer wasn’t absolutely amazing (except for the grilled fish, that was pretty good). After six months of really cleaning up my diet, I found myself deep into my old food habits and needing to get back on track. Thankfully, getting back to my life in Fort Collins and finding a good routine has done wonders for my diet.

In the spirit of change and starting over, I wanted to share just what I’ve been eating! I’m finally getting into the groove of grocery shopping with a plan, eating lots of good veggies, and getting back in shape for a few upcoming races.

Pesto Chicken

As you will come to see, pesto is my staple. It’s flavorful, tasty, full of good stuff, and makes you feel pretty Italian! For this dinner, I made pesto chicken with sautéed cherry tomatos (with extra pesto), a spring salad, and a little treat-yo-self garlic bread. This is a filling meal with enough protein and carbs to keep you energized for a long run the next day! Lately, when I make this meal, I add bell pepper to my tomatoes to up the veggie content of the meal.

Tacos

Tacos are so fun! They’re customizable, filling, yet fresh, and so easy! Not to mention they fit in perfectly with the new salsa recipes I’ve been trying out (my first attempt at pico de gallo is pictured in the taco above). I love making some fajita peppers and onions to accompany my chicken, rice, greek yogurt (to sub out sour cream), guac, and green chiles to make a perfect lunch/dinner.
Here’s some #salsainspo for ya! My parents have been on a salsa kick for a few years now, and as you can see in the picture, they got it down! I’m planning on stepping up my game and doing some roasted salsa soon.

Smoothies

Lately, my “smoothie bowls” are truly just smoothies in a bowl. I haven’t gotten too fancy with toppings, mainly because I usually only have frozen fruit, but it’s all good. This bowl I got creative with some ancient grains, hemp, banana, peanut butter, and honey to top of my kale berry smoothie base. This smoothie is a great meal substitute and I’ve found myself leaning towards a smoothie for lunch when I’m not too hungry or know I will be having a nice snack later.

“Pizza”

As a college student studying health and exercise science, I feel like its my job to find the healthiest ways to eat unhealthy. SO, pictured here I have my caprese pizza. All thats on this pizza is pesto, olive oil, fresh mozerella, tomato, and basil. That’s it! All on lavash bread, which is super low calorie (120 cal for this whole square I used), tasty, and makes an amazing guilt-free thin crust pizza
Palisade Peach season in Colorado is coming to a close, so I’ve been trying all sorts of peach creations! Here I have a peach ricotta pizza/flatbread with a Basalmic peach salad (which I freshened up with some cucumber and bell pepper). This is a great fresh lunch to eat when its still a little toasty out!

“Pasta”

Once again, I am working hard to fit in my unhealthy faves into my veggie based diet. What do college students enjoy almost as much as drinking? Eating pizza and pasta! So, to fulfill my college student needs, I’ve been eating absurd amounts of spaghetti squash, and I am loving it! Pictured above, we have my go-to easy pasta dish with pesto and some cherry tomatos.
Zoodles! I just discovered zoodling and feel like I’ve found my passion! Zoodling (The act of turning zucchini into noodles) is super quick, taking minutes to spiralize a zucchini, then sauté, which is better for a quick dish than spaghetti squash, which takes at least 40 minutes to cook. This was one of my first zoodle dishes in which I sautéd my freshly spiraled zoodles with pesto, chicken, tomato, and mixed in with spring greens.
I pulled a rookie move and forgot to take a picture until I ate most of what was already in the dish. Pictured (poorly) above, is my spaghetti squash chow mein. I used my spaghetti squash I literally ate for a whole week, broccoli, cabbage, onion, bell pepper, and some of Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce to make a Panda Express worthy (yet healthier) noodle dish.

Snack lunches

For some reason, I get laziest when making food on the weekends. I’m tired, I worked last night, and I’m kind of studying but probably just on Pinterest. This brings me to my favorite quick lunches. Today, I used two of my Trader Joes black bean taquitos (chopped in half to be snackable), carrots (which I may have ate half of before taking this picture), bell pepper, and some guacamole to make a nice snack lunch. This is great for “studying” as it keeps me eating for a while I’m taking breaks.

Hopefully you’ve caught a good look at my journey back to reasonably healthy eating as I started classes this fall. Now that the semester is heating up and the weather is cooling down, I’ve been adding vegetables (cough cough SQUASH) into my diet and will have more material coming soon. Let me know if any of these meals are also your faves, or if you have any healthy foods you’ve been hooked on!

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