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Break the Boredom of Dieting

Okay, let’s face it, diets suck. Looking awesome and having killer abs is great, but not when it comes at the cost of hating life. Thankfully, there are things out there we can do to make “diet” foods tastier and in some cases better than their high sugar/high fat counterparts. You would not believe what spices and other tricks can do to the food that you normally dread to eat. If you enjoy eating plain baked chicken and green beans then kudos to you, but for the rest with working taste buds there are other alternatives.

First meal of the day is breakfast. If you are anything like me, mornings are not your forte; you end up leaving the house choking down a protein shake and oats on the go. There are better solutions, I promise. Sweet potato pancakes, surprisingly enough they are better cold, so you can make them the night before. You will need 4 ounces of sweet potato, 4 egg whites, and one scoop of vanilla protein.  Also, add in as much cinnamon as you want as well as some Splenda or Splenda brown sugar. Note that the Splenda brown sugar does contain some actual sugar, so you may want to use it sparingly depending on the level of your diet. Add all your contents in a blender and blend until smooth.  After you have sprayed your pan with some no stick spray, you are ready to go. Cook them like you would normal pancakes. These set ingredients should make 2 large pancakes or 4 small ones. After your done if you can stand not to eat them right away, put them in a container and into the fridge. The next morning when you get up in a rush, you can grab your sweet potato pancakes for a delicious and diet worthy breakfast. For you morning people who would like to make them in the morning and eat them hot, they are great with sugar free syrup, again depending on the level of your diet.

As for lunch, baked chicken and plain veggies are not the only way to go. You could prepare a stir fry type of dish. Start by making your brown rice, my preferred way is in a rice cooker. It is extremely convenient; I throw in about 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. Then all you do is wait thirty minutes for perfectly prepared rice. Another great feature in the rice cooker is a steaming section at the top; so I have my veggies taken care of as well.  I recommend broccoli for this dish, about 2-3 stalks, but you could really use any vegetables that you like. While your rice and veggies are cooking, get to work on your chicken. After cutting off any excess fat, cut your chicken into small cube size pieces; go ahead and cut up about 1 pound so you have enough for a few servings. Depending on if you are cutting out salt or not you could let the chicken soak in your favorite marinate. Whether you used marinate or not, you should add lots of spices. Cayenne pepper makes anything better, also use oregano, basil, garlic powder, or any other of your favorite spices. Let your chicken set in the fridge until your brown rice is close to being done. When you’re ready to cook your chicken, add 1 tsp of olive oil to your pan, followed by the chicken you prepared. After your chicken is fully cooked you can add your other ingredients. Depending on how big your pan is, you may have to transfer to a bigger pot to add your rice and broccoli. When you have all your ingredients on the stove, it is time to add more of your seasonings. After you have added more seasonings, I would taste the overall dish to see what you think. You may be totally satisfied, if not other things can be added for taste, I personally use an 8oz can of tomato sauce; the no salt added is great if you’re watching sodium intake. Stir and add more spices to your liking, let sit on the stove on low to medium heat for about 15 min, stirring occasionally.  When you’re done, portion out into containers, and your lunches for the week are ready to go. If you don’t like the idea of everything cooking together on the stove, you can cook everything separate. If you cook your tomato sauce separate, make sure you add lots of oregano, basil and garlic powder, especially if you use the no salt added.

For dinner, it is best to do something light and try to leave out the carbohydrates. I am sure most of you are coming home and eating the same thing you had for lunch, plain baked chicken and green veggies. Day after day the same plain meal gets so boring, which is why dieting sucks so badly. Sometimes it takes trying new things to get you out of that same old routine. For those of you that do not like fish, you should try tilapia. It is very light and easy to eat, and it does not have a strong fishy taste. Tilapia is great because it is protein dense, so you get the most amount of protein in the least amount of food all in an entree that is low in saturated fat.  Tilapia is also rich in Omega 3’s which is essential for heart health. A great thing to make for dinner is lemon pepper tilapia with spinach and tomatoes. Take your raw piece of fish and sprinkle with lemon pepper, basil, oregano, garlic, paprika, and a little cayenne pepper. After spraying your pan with no stick, add your seasoned tilapia. Cook your tilapia for about 5 minutes on both sides. Scoot your fish over in the pan and add a about a ½ tsp. of olive oil on the side, to this olive oil add about 3/4 cup of fresh spinach leaves. When I am not completely cutting out dinner carbs, I also like to add about 4 cherry tomatoes cut in half.  Let the spinach and tomatoes sauté for about 5 minutes on a lower heat while still letting your tilapia simmer there as well. After a few minutes, put your tilapia on top of your spinach and your tomatoes on top of you tilapia. After that has simmered there for a few minutes you are ready to eat and enjoy.

These recipes are just a few of the ways you can spice up your dieting life. Diets become plain because people don’t try to find different ways to prepare their food to make it better. Most people just accept the myth that diets have to suck. People assume that to lose weight and look great they have to hate what they are eating. This way of thinking is just not true. At times it does take extra effort to make your “diet” foods taste better and be more enjoyable; but if you’re going to take the effort to diet, why not take the effort to enjoy life in the process.

Recipes in this article:

Sweet Potato Pancakes
4 ounces peeled, cooked sweet potato. (Peel potato, wrap in paper towel and cook in microwave for about 4 minutes prior to making pancakes)
4 Egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein
Cinnamon and Splenda  to your liking

Stir Fry

1 pound fresh thawed chicken
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
2-3 stalks broccoli
Cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic powder
8 oz can tomato sauce

Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Spinach and Tomatoes
4-5 oz piece of Tilapia
Lemon pepper (You can use Mrs. Dash Lemon pepper to cut out salt)
Oregano, basil, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper
¾  cup of spinach
4 cherry tomatoes cut in half

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