Sunday, January 8, 2012

Healthy lunch idea 1: Chicken salad

Lately I have been thinking a lot about health and fitness, seeing as how the wedding is in 13 weeks and it's a new year (and who DOESN'T resolve themselves to get healthier in the new year?!).  I've searched a lot online for diet plan ideas, recipes, health tips, etc in addition to the information my trainer and nutritionist have given me.  I've found a meal plan that I'm actually really enjoying and I wanted to share a few highlights (my versions) for people who are looking for healthy options and ideas.  Today's post is a healthy lunch of chicken salad with pear, veggies and dip, and some Triscuit crackers.  Yum, and only 463 calories!

My desk at lunchtime.  Yummy!!
The chicken salad consists of 4 ounces of roasted chicken, diced (I roasted it in the oven by rinsing and patting dry, then sprinkling a little salt and pepper on the boneless, skinless breast, and putting in 400 degree (F) oven for 30 minutes), 1/4 cup diced celery, 1/4 cup diced pear, 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp light mayo, 1/8 tsp ground ginger and 1/2 tbsp honey.  The result is a creamy, light, a little bit sweet chicken salad that is really tasty.  I put it on a bed of Romaine lettuce, but I didn't eat the lettuce, so next time I will forgo that part to not be wasteful.

I paired the salad with 5 rosemary & olive oil Triscuits, 1 cup of baby carrots, 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, and a 1/2 cup cucumber slices.  For dipping, I used 2 tbsp of yogurt-based ranch dressing (Bolthouse brand, I believe).  To drink, I mixed 5 ounces of calcium-fortified no-pulp Trop50 orange juice with about 8 ounces of lime LaCroix soda.  It tasted okay, but next time, I would just use plain LaCroix.  The result is like an Orangina soda!

I like this meal because I tend to be pretty hungry in the afternoon, and I'm finding that a nice well-rounded lunch tends to hold me over until dinner and keeps me from overdoing it on food later in the day.  I've been consistently under 1500 calories by eating meals like this one.  Dinners tend to be light and lower in carbs unless I am meeting my trainer after - in that case, I add some more carbs in the meal so that I have energy to really take advantage of my time with the weights.  I also find that having a lot of different flavors and smaller amounts of more foods (as opposed to just one thing and a ton of it) tends to satisfy my hunger a lot better for a lot longer.  I'm a flavor-hound, so lunches like this make me very happy!  This lunch is a LOT of food, but it's clean and healthy, so I actually feel really good and well-fueled after eating this.

If you try this out, let me know what you think in the comments below.