For breakfast, we tend to have an English muffin breakfast sandwich or a Greek yogurt with fruit. Even with just these two choices we have a lot of variety. I can vary the meats and cheeses on the English muffin and with the yogurt I can mix in a variety of fruit. So far we have tried strawberry and banana, mixed berries, pineapple chunks and unsweetened coconut, and my favorite is apple chunks with a little cinnamon.
While the HG plan offers a variety of ideas for lunches, I have found that sandwiches are the easiest to pack for our mid-day meals. We love the HG Tuna Melt, but more often we have sliced turkey or ham and cheese. Because I do not like the taste of fake cheese, I was really happy to discover that Tillamook has a line of Ultra Thin Sliced cheese that includes swiss, provolone, cheddar, and even pepper jack for only 40-45 calories a slice. I also usually pack a green salad or bag of carrots, celery, and cucumber with a small container of Pace salsa for dipping. For snacks we like fresh fruit, Yoplait yogurt, pudding cups, or a handful of nuts. Sean found some 200 calorie packs of almonds at Trader Joe's that are good snacks for the days we work out and have extra calories.
While our dinners tend to vary more than our other meals, my family loves the HG Crunchy Beef Tacos, HG Big Burger, and the HG Faux-Fried Chicken Strips best. I like to pair these with potato or sweet potato oven fries or HG Lord of the Onion Rings. We also have a green salad every night topped with chopped veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, or artichoke hearts (packed in water). As for salad dressing, I feel the same way I do about cheese. I do not like the non-fat or low-fat versions at all. I either use a smaller portion of a dressing I enjoy, or I make my own with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasonings. A little dressing can go a long way to flavor a salad so either poor a little on top, or dip your fork in the dressing before spearing the salad on your fork.
What I find most amazing about this little tweak in our eating is that we are never hungry--the portions are huge! We also love the taste of the meals, we have plenty of energy to exercise, and I have finally broken through my plateau. My family is benefitting from this as well. Sean really enjoys the food I am preparing and has lost almost 20 pounds in the process. Siobhan is eating healthier and consuming less fast food these days and Eoin is just enjoying it all because he tends to choose healthy food over junky choices all on his own.
I think what is making me happiest these days is that my family is is reaping the benefits of me making healthier choices. A healthy mother and wife makes a healthy family...and I think that is the best gift of all!