Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6: Cheats, treats and assorted planned noshing

What is the best thing to call a meal that is off-plan? I was calling it a cheat meal, but I recently read that putting judgement on foods is not mentally very healthy. The person suggested the term "free" meal. I like that. "Treat" meal, by that definition, would also be a judgement. I also like the term "off-plan". That says it all - it is just a food you do not normally consume. Hmmm. I'll go with off-plan for now. What do you guys call the meals that are not your standard fare?

I had my off-plan meal last night. The girls and I went out for pizza. I find that Pizza Hut, despite being one of the most expensive places around, is one of the cleanest options around. I got thin crust, light on the cheese, grilled chicken and veggie pizza. It was delicious and it calmed my crazy pizza craving that I have been fighting off all week. I ate a little more than I really should have, but finished my day in the range of 1600 calories. Still a calorie deficit day! Hooray! The leftovers went right into the freezer in single serving portions for a smaller off-plan meal to combat future cravings and to deter munching on it today!

I strongly believe that an off-plan meal here and there ( no more frequently than once a week for most people) is vital to stave away feelings of deprivation. No one can change their tastes so completely that they never ever feel the urge to have a few chips, some pizza or a yummy dessert. It's important to note that off-plan does not mean unplanned. Unplanned meals are weight loss sabotage. An off-plan meal is something you work into your weekly food consumption. An unplanned meal means you caved, you did not plan ahead and you were unprepared. The unplanned meal will crop up now and again but be sure you don't let it happen too often. Remember, you are in control of your food, your food is not in control of you.

As for cravings, there are two ways to deal with them effectively. First, of course, is the off-plan meal. But what do you do if you have had your off-plan meal for the week? You move on to Option 2 - recreate the flavor in a healthy way.

Here's my new favorite food remake - Upside Down, Grilled Chicken Nachos! The next time I make them I'll take a photo to put on here!

Grilled chicken
Diced tomato, peppers, and onions
Clean salsa
A sprinkle of finely shredded all natural cheddar cheese
6-8 organic blue corn tortilla chips
Low fat plain yogurt (drained to thicken it)
On a microwave safe plate, place a serving of grilled chicken, cut into bite sized pieces. Top the chicken with veggies, salsa and cheese in that order. Microwave until ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top of the hot mixture and drizzle with plain yogurt if desired. Use a fork and dig in without guilt!

You can also use a lean ground meat seasoned with chili powder for your base instead of the chicken. Any healthy thing you might put on a nacho can go on this dish! Enjoy it!

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