Eating better or going on a diet are such cliche New Year’s resolutions. But it actually hasn’t been on my list for a few years. However, in 2014 I developed a number of unhealthy food habits.
I started out the year eating crackers as my main food group. My first trimester was only just coming to an end, but my all day morning sickness lasted for almost all of January still. I was slowly starting to like food again during the second trimester, but stayed active and kept things healthy so I only gained back the weight I lost in the 3 months prior.
Once the third trimester started, baby Olivia compressed all of my inner organs, including the bladder and stomach. This resulted in very frequent peeing and and eating. I couldn’t fit in any normal-sized meals. Quite often I would leave my dinner plate half full, only to return to it an hour later. Also, I would never deny myself ice-cream or cookies, whenever the cravings for it hit. Despite all of this, I barely gained 20 pounds in my entire pregnancy.
I thought I was a lucky exception. But then another aspect of being an exception showed its face. Instead of helping me loose weight, nursing Olivia exclusively made me hungry ALL.THE.TIME. For the first while, I even had to eat during night feedings. Next to 2 large glasses of water, there was a little lunch box with fruit, cheese and cookies on my night stand. All I wanted were carbs, carbs, carbs!
The night snacking has ceased, but I am still snacking a LOT between meal times. Endless recipe testing (more on that soon) also has me eating/snacking when I am not even hungry.
Add to this, that despite keeping me more than busy 24/7, looking after Olivia just doesn’t include the same kind of activity level I used to have at my job. While the weather allowed we went for daily walks, but this bitter cold Canadian winter keeps us inside more than I like.
All of the above resulted in me gaining weight after being pregnant :/ I am not beating myself up too much about it, because I realize this is just another phase of my life that won’t last forever. But I do miss fitting into many of my pre-pregnancy clothes.
Olivia just had her half birthday (woahhh!!!) over the weekend and we are slowly starting to introduce solid foods. But I know my body still needs some extra calories while she is still nursing. So the new year doesn’t have me on any kind of diet, instead I am re-committing to eating better and healthier.
The 2014 top 10 list showed me, that healthy and nutritious food is what you – the readers of this blog – love as well. So I hope you’ll enjoy the lighter recipes I have planned at least for the month of January.
We are starting with this green salad paired with Green Goddess dressing. I know Christmas is over, but this salad reminds me of a Christmas tree actually.
The mixed greens, cucumber, snow peas and avocado built the green tree. The bright pomegranate jewels are like red ornaments decorating the tree and the crumbled feta cheese looks like sprinkles of fresh snow. Not sure where the dressing fits in; garlands maybe?
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut into smaller pieces
- ⅓ English cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 anchovy fillet, optional
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives or green onions
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- To make the dressing, if using anchovy fillet soak for 5 minutes in cold water. Then drain, pat dry and chop.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth. (Leftover dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week; flavor becomes more intense though).
- Toss mixed greens with snow pea pieces and cucumber slices. Place avocado slices on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and feta crumbles. Drizzle dressing over top.