We head to Spain next week. An annual pilgrimage to the place of The Bae's work HQ. This time, we'll have two teens in tow and I'm positively bursting with excitement to show them old town in Bilbao, alleyways full of pinxtos restaurants in San Sebastian and the hidden digs of Bar Nestor.
I can't wait for the kids to layover in Paris. To walk down the river and drink Kalimotxos by the Gugg. To walk the silent, ancient graveyard outside Cathedral Santiago. The very inkling of every part of this trip send excited shivers up my soul.
All of it, except for the part where I have to slide into tight pants and keep tucking tank tops over burgeoning handles. Thanksbutnothanks. I refuse to let my poor wintertime eating habits become a distraction during this trip. Or during this summer.
Inspired by this 10-Day Eating Plan, I've pared down my calories, ramped up my protein. And dialed in my eating. Two days, two pounds down. I'll let you know how the rest of it goes.
If you're looking for your own dial-it-back eating plan, here's what's on our menu for the next 7 days. It's been really easy to follow and I love that all of the food is stuff I should be eating anyway. It's been nice to get off the processed ish and start eating righter.
- 1 glass fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup black coffee or tea
- 1 handful raw nuts
The original eating plan didn't have coffee in the mix. But I basically don't ever want to live a day without Joe. So enjoy a cup or two without cream. And start the day off with a huge drink of lemon water to kickstart my bellygut. Raw nuts of all kinds a-ok here: cashews, macadamias, pecans and almonds are my favorites. Since I'm not a big breakfast eater, I won't shove these straight into my mouth at sunrise. Kind of just wait until hunger pangs hit.
- 1`chicken breast
- 1 cup plain yogurt
Because I cook for a living and literally can't handle making another recipe, even if it is for myself, I've been purchasing pre-cooked chicken breasts from the deli section of Whole Foods. A quick microzap and they're ready in 30 seconds. But you can prep your own chicken however you want--garlic, herbs and spices are welcome in abundance. And a tablespoon or so of olive oil or coconut oil a-ok, too.
We nabbed some Bavarian Yogurt which is creamy and awesomeness. If you can't bear the bitter taste of plain yogurt, pop a few berries on top. They're naturally low in sugar and won't break your carb bank.
- 1 big green salad
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- salt & pepper
Drizzle a homemade lemon vinagrette on whatever greens you please and snack away. I'm always craving arugula and toss a few shredded carrots on top for variety. Microgreens are also a fun way to add nutrient boost. Or go spinach or kale or baby kale or watercress or whatever looks leafy and amazing. Sometimes I'm not hungry at snacktime so I'll just enjoy my salad at dinnertime.
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 cucumber, sliced and tossed with vinegar and salt
- 1 cup unsweetened green tea (caffeine-free preferred)
I much prefer a big lunch over a big dinner. Going to bed with an almost-empty stomach has been my single most successful way of losing weight. So, I love that this eating plan dials back the dinner plate. That said, if you love a big dinner, swap out lunch and dinner. Or add a green salad.
Let's get real, here. You can make and enjoy your eggs anyway you want. Again, feeling lazy in my heart, I've just been buying the 6-packs of premade devilled eggs from Whole Foods and calling it a day. They taste awesome and are ready for me to eat the very second I decide I'm hungry.
NOTE: Eat dinner before 6pm. Then stop eating.
For max results, sticking to the above is pretty crucial. However, weekends come and date nights happen. So if you're hankering for a drink, indulge in a vodka-lime-soda or gin-lime-soda or even a plain-old shot o' whiskey. Stick to one serving of hard liquors and avoid wine like the plague. Unless, of course, wine for you is like coffee for me. In which case a small glass of low-alcohol dry white, like Pinot Grigio is your best pick.
Dying for dessert? Go read a book and go to bed. The first three days without sugar and noshing is brutal, but it gets better as you wean yourself off. If you simply are DYING, a handful of fresh organic blueberries is a good-for-you option.
UPDATES & PROGRESS
Most of my updates happen via microblogging on Instagram. You can find me @brookelark and @cheekykitchen, where I'm telling stories, sharing the latest news and gathering fine humans together for good eats and pretty photos. Join me over there to discover how this eating plan went for me.