I. Love. Food. Like, a lot. My girlfriends know if they call me for a food date, it’s highly unlikely I will decline the invitation. Which leads me to my next proclamation: I HATE DIETING! Dieting for me has always been very difficult. Like most, I have tried all sorts of restrictive diet plans, only to end up inhaling pizza in the midst of a weak moment. Sure, the diet plans work for a few months, but I ALWAYS ended up failing. I would justify my cheating by thinking, “life is short.” Cinnabons, pizza, subs, empanadas, and cookies (stuffed with nutella, of course) are among my favorite indulgences. Once I failed, the whole diet was ruined in my head. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t stop. Eat whatever I want for 3 months, diet/workout for 3 months, repeat, repeat. I knew this Seesaw method of dieting wasn’t healthy but I was so stressed with trying to get pregnant and undergoing IVF that I just didn’t care about my weight.
It wasn’t until I was researching whether a correlation existed between food and fertility that I discovered the Paleo Diet Plan. Many women had gotten pregnant while eating Paleo and swore by the positive changes they saw in their physique. I was just about to start my injections for my SECOND IVF protocol and I thought, let me give this a shot. I went 100% ALL IN. I even gave up wine! Well, like 6/7 days anyway. If any of you readers were following my Instagram stories last year, do you remember all of my Paleo talks? I would make bulletproof coffee in the morning, drink an apple cider vinegar shot, make Pete’s Paleo meals for dinner, etc. It was intense! Guess who got pregnant that month? I couldn’t tell you if it was my diet change that did the trick, but it definitely didn’t hurt!
I continued on the Paleo diet until my pregnancy hormones made the thought of eating chicken make me want to vomit. Unfortunately, the hormones got the best of me and I reverted back to unhealthy eating. I was basically living off of bagels, cereal, and fruit bowls. I gained roughly 35 lbs during my pregnancy and 25 came from the first 2 months. Yes, you read that correctly! I was motivated to lose the weight once Teddy was born. Here is how I did it!
*I CHANGED MY MINDSET*
Obviously the first week or two after my c-section, I ate whatever I wanted. Friends and family were bringing over all sorts of goodies, and I was just so happy to have Teddy home and safe that I kept eating. I was lucky enough to lose 20 lbs within the first week without doing anything other than breastfeeding. I was also admitted into the hospital with massive blood clots a week postpartum. Looking back, I think stress had a lot to do with my initial weight loss. At around 3 weeks old, without my understanding why, Teddy started to become fairly cranky after feedings. Since I am breastfeeding, my doctor mentioned that he may be sensitive to the dairy in my diet. For Teddy’s poor belly’s sake, I decided to cut back (not completely cut out) on my dairy intake. I could see some improvements with Teddy’s behavior so I stuck with it. From that point on, I consistently started thinking about what I was putting into my body simply because it was going into Teddy’s. If I had an unhealthy meal or treat, the next day I would start fresh again, and NOT QUIT. This idea of starting fresh (even after a bad day) is what made the biggest change. I changed my mindset!
“I WAIT AS LONG AS I CAN TO EAT DINNER”
Everyone has a time of day when they are most likely to snack. Mine happens to be between 6-9 pm. I get home from teaching at around 4:30 and normally, I start cooking dinner right away because I’m pretty hungry after a long day. By 6:00, I’m finished with dinner looking around like, “Ok now what am I supposed to eat?” I would have about 4 hours of idle “no food” time before bed. Before I know it, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules eating chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, or gummy bears simply because I’m bored, not because I’m hungry. Why not just eat a healthy snack? I find that after dinner, my cravings are for something sweet and sugary. Typically I try to eat fruit when I crave sugar but after dinner I want nothing to do with fruit because I’m generally full. Therefore, I head to the candy. And yes, it’s ALWAYS in the house thanks to my husband! To avoid a long stretch of “no eating” I wait as long as I can to eat dinner. I will never eat later than 7 pm. This has been so successful with me! By the time I’m done eating/cleaning up, it’s time for me to get my lunch packed for the next day, get a shower, etc. I outlined what an average day of eating looks like for me below.
MY EATING SCHEDULE and FOODS THAT WORK FOR ME
5:30 am– COFFEE with dairy free creamer. If you guys follow my stories on Instagram, you know that I’m on the hunt for the best dairy free creamer. My favorite by far is NUTPODS. I like the Hazelnut flavor the best but they also carry French Vanilla and Original flavor.
9:00 am– BREAKFAST. I’ll rotate between: Hard boiled eggs, apple with peanut butter, or gluten free oatmeal (This is my favorite)
11:00 am– SNACK. My favorite gluten-free snack is THIS GRANOLA. Literally addicting. I’ve been known to crush the whole bag in a single day. To avoid this, I bring a zip-lock bag with a regular portion, lol. Other snacks I enjoy include carrots and hummus, banana, Glutino pretzels, crunchy chickpeas, and EPIC bars (my favorite is the Turkey Almond Cranberry).
1:00 pm– LUNCH. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with avocado anything. I’ll take a full avocado, mash it up with some salt, and spread it over a piece of Udi’s toast. The remaining avocado I will actually eat plain (I told you I’m obsessed!). This doesn’t seem like a lot, but with over 20 grams of fat in a whole avocado, it does the trick of keeping me full. Other times I will make lettuce wraps with turkey, avocado, bacon bits, and organic salsa. Another lunch I often make is salad topped with grilled chicken drizzled with honey and light honey mustard dressing. I have very little time to eat lunch because I have to pump at that time, so for me, anything fast to make/eat is key.
This is the time I will start drinking my second cup of coffee.
I find that coffee keeps me full longer while curbing my cravings for something sweet after lunch.
4:30 pm– SNACK. I’ll have something different from my earlier snack. Snacks include: Banana with peanut butter, apple, handful of granola, carrots and hummus, pretzels, or honey roasted crunchy chickpeas.
This is the stretch of time where I try and occupy myself to avoid having dinner too early!
Go for a walk, do a quick workout, play with Teddy, fold laundry, grade papers, etc.
6:30-7 pm– DINNER. I try to save the majority of my calories for dinner. I honestly look forward to dinner all day. It’s my reward for being good all day (food wise). Dinner in my house totally varies, especially now that we have Teddy. Some of our favorites are:
- BANZA pasta with organic chicken sausage, broccoli, EVOO, garlic, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Lettuce wraps with taco meat (we use ground turkey), avocado, organic salsa, sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
- Chicken Roast with diced sweet potatoes and asparagus.
- Cajun shrimp & diced avocado over couscous with mango salsa.
- Grilled chicken with mashed sweet potato and string beans.
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with a side salad.
I hope to get some of these recipes posted here for you guys to try yourself!
After dinner– SWEET TREAT! Ok, I’m guilty of a glass of wine a few days of the week. To me, it’s a reward and something to look forward to! Along with a glass of wine, I’ll allow myself a sweet treat. Some of my favorites are: a few pieces of Dove Dark Chocolate, Glutino Vanilla Cookies (2), Talenti’s Peanut Butter Frudge Sorbet (it’s dairy free!), or a small Paleo-friendly banana chocolate chip muffin.
That’s it friends! This is my routine for Monday through Friday during my workweek. The weekend is a different story. I will allow myself whatever I would like for ONE meal of each day (not the whole day). For example, on a Saturday I’ll be good for breakfast and lunch, but then go to an Italian restaurant for dinner and chow down! Or, on a Sunday I’ll get a crazy breakfast like Stuffed French Toast but then I’ll be good for lunch and dinner. Does that makes sense?
I’m by NO means a nutritionist or expert in dieting so please do what works for YOU. This is just what has worked for ME and I wanted to share it with those who were curious! Have a great healthy recipe? Leave me a link below!