Friday, January 9, 2015

Foodie on a Diet

I love food. If you really think about it, the significant occasions in our lives are usually centred around a meal. As I pack M's lunch every day, I have realized that food is my love language. But here's the thing... I'm on a quest to find optimal health, and losing weight is one piece of the puzzle. Where I have failed in the past, and indeed where a lot of us probably fail, is in trying to cut out the things we love completely. That makes life really boring, especially for the foodies among us.

For example, I simply *adore* this recipe for Dragon Noodles from Budget Bytes. I literally salivate while I'm making it. Gross, but true. I feel like a real grown up when I'm eating it because it's WAY too spicy for my kids and I like it like that. However, it's not remotely compatible with the Insanity Max:30 nutrition plan. I could go eight weeks without my spicy fix, or I could come up with an alternative.

Now, because I am, well, me, there are a few things I always have on hand like cooked chicken and sliced bell peppers. Here are the ingredients I used for my version:

Instead of the recipe directions for noodles
1/2 cup thinly sliced bell peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, cut in to small, thin strips
1/3 cup cooked chow mein noodles

Sauce (See original recipe for directions, HELLO copyright. Also, I am lazy!)
1 large egg
2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

First, I started the onions and peppers in a non-stick pan. Then I started the sauce in a separate non-stick pan. I added the chicken and the noodles just long enough to heat them up and mixed it all together for something truly delightful. According to the FitBit food tracker, here's the difference:

The Original
Calories Fat Fiber Carbs Sodium Protein
555 14.5 3.7 93.5 700.3 9.9

My Version
Calories Fat Fiber Carbs Sodium Protein
466 19.2 2.8 33.5 1315.4 38.9

So, the sodium goes up quite a bit, but a lot of that is naturally occurring in the food. For example, the chicken brings 435mg to the party. And look what happens to the protein and the carbs. Anyway, I'm not suggesting this as an every day food, more like an indulgence here and there. If you're following the Insanity Max:30 or 21 Day Fix meal plans, this works out to 1.5 red, 1 green, 1 yellow and 2 tsps. 

When all is said and done, it looks like this:
My version of Budget Bytes' Dragon Noodles


And it tastes like this:

And it makes my belly feel like this:


Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by any of the sites linked. I receive no compensation if you click a link or buy a product. I have provided links so you know the actual products that I use.