Healthy snacks, moderated

Favorite healthy snacks: almonds, cheese, cucumber slices, bananas, and oranges!

I've been posting about my healthier eating goals, but I should backtrack just a little. During my recent (4th) pregnancy, I ate fairly well, but I also ate a lot of food, since I was always hungry (and I love to eat and I love my cooking... which is not always a good thing!).

By the time little Moshe was born, I weighed a good 50 pounds heavier than my ideal weight. Even though I lost about 15 pounds in the first 3 weeks after Moshe's birth, I still only had a couple skirts that fit (the stretchy ones; not the size 16s!).

I also hit that point where as a breastfeeding mom, I was always hungry, always eating and always reaching for the "quick" and "easy" snack -- a granola bar, some homemade bread, a bowl of granola, or a big handful of nuts.

Eliyahu builds a "log cabin"
Eliyahu (4) builds log cabins with the cheese sticks I cut

The weight loss stopped... and then the numbers on the scale started going back up. With the thought of needing to lose 30+ pounds, the task of eating responsibly seemed too enormous. After spending all day tending to my four children (and varying degrees of disasters and emergencies!) the only thing I wanted to do each evening was to sit down with a bowl of ice cream or eat the last two (or three) pieces of cake!

My heart cried out to Yahweh. I can't do this. I need Your strength! Help me be a good mom to my precious children... and please, help me to eat enough but not too much!!

God sent lots of encouragement my way. The most significant encouragement was that Joshua hopped right on board with me (even though he was already eating in moderation) and got us into eating lots of salads. He's been doing the grocery shopping and has been bringing home loads of fresh vegetables and fruits! I am so blessed with a husband who cares and is willing to help make my life as easy as possible.

Along with eating a huge salad for lunch on weekdays, I've been enjoying a variety of healthy snacks -- again, in moderation. My food scale makes this very easy, and I can know just how much I'm eating. I want to eat enough to lose weight in a healthy way and counting calories makes it easier for me. No more "I'm hungry. I guess I'll eat a cup of almonds!"

Here's a breakdown of the snacks pictured:

Banana: 121 calories
Cucumber slices: 15 calories
Orange: 87 calories
Roasted almonds: 170 calories
Cheddar cheese: 110 calories

I've been eating 3-4 protein snacks (like almonds, peanuts, cheese, or cottage cheese) and 3-4 fruit servings throughout the day, which seems to be a good balance.

My sweet friend Ashleigh is co-hosting a healthy 10-week weight loss challenge, and if the Number on the Scale is something you struggle with, you'll want to read her heartfelt confessions and ponderings.

I also recommend Ashleigh's post about self-sufficiency (or not). Praise God for His strength, His love, His people!

Comments

I am in the same boat. While I didn't gain a ton of weight (about 25-30 pounds), and I lost all of it in the first week (crazy, I know!), I have noticed that the scale is slowly creeping up again, and I don't like it! Part of my problem is that my daughter can get a little fussy when I eat the wrong things, and fruit really bothers her. Makes it challenging to eat a healthy diet that way!

Hi Tammy,

I am starting to go down the same road as you are. My 4th child is now 13 months old and I still have about 8 pounds to lose and a lot of toning to do. I also suffer from a chronic health condition. I have cried out many times because I want to be healthy. We eat home cooked meals, and as much organic as possible, however...even our organic healthy meals consisted of a lot of carbs and sugars and not enough veggies etc.

Then one day I was reading the blog of a friend of mine and she recommended this book "Health According to the Scriptures." http://www.rawlife.com/store/product.php?productid=16267&cat=636&page=1 Paul Nison is Messianic and I LOVED this book. It really inspired me to change things, and he made some very good points using scripture. He also offers an ebook for a cheaper price, I just prefer to have a book available to use anywhere.

I was thinking of starting a blog dedicated to the changes I'll be making, but I'm not sure. I just wanted to let you know about this book. I think that you would really like it. :)

Thanks for the book recommendation! :)

Those snacks look amazing! Wow!! About how many calories do you aim for on a given day?

Martha, right now (with very minimal exercise) I've been eating about 2,000 calories per day. I think that in another month or so when I add in a daily walk (up and down all the big hills we have here!) I will be able to eat even more. :) Some days I do eat more than 2,000 calories but have been able to maintain about a 1-pound per week loss, which is considered safe while breastfeeding. :) Yay! I still have a ways to go, but this week I wrote my goals on my calendar to help keep me motivated to keep plugging along for the next... 6-7 months! heehee

I really appreciate your honestly and openess with your weight. I was a size 16 a year ago and am now a size 6! I count calories and exercise (walking) daily. I use Spark People for accountability and it's been a great tool! The key really is consistency - slow and steady wins the race! I give all the praise and glory to our Lord as He has given me the strength to be diligent with my diet and exercise and I've cried out to Him many times to help me face the daily temptations. (wanting to eat foods that aren't nutritious and to skip exercising) Keep up the good work and continue to keep us posted on your progress!

The post about the book was from me. I didn't realize I was posting anonymously!

I am almost 6 months along with our 4th child and, although I've been eating very healthy and trying to stay active during this pregnancy, I've gained so much more than I did with my other 3. Did you notice additional weight gain with your last baby vs. your other pregnancies? It's been a little frustrating-- I know the more I gain, the more I'll have to lose once our baby arrives!

I really appreciate this post-- the encouragement was timely!

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Let's see... I gained 35 lbs with my first baby, then 27, then 25 (but had the biggest baby that time! haha), and last time 40 (but started out heavier). I felt fairly healthy weight-wise with all of my pregnancies; the hard part comes when, ~3 weeks post-partum, the weight loss stops (after losing about 15 pounds) and then I have to exercise self-control! It's so much easier to gain than to lose. :P :) I'm sure age, number of pregnancies, activity level, etc. all play into how easy it is to gain or lose weight related to pregnancy...

We've been trying to up our fruits and vegetables and salads here, too! Tonight I'm making sesame chicken for dinner, and I'm putting twice as much broccoli in it than I normally would. I looooove stir-fried broccoli. (I just make sure to go easy on the oil and soy sauce, of course!)

Did you ever see how some parents serve their little kids lunch in muffin tins? (Maybe you've already blogged about it yourself!) I was thinking that a regular sized muffin cup holds about a half cup, right? If you were to fill the six cups with something you could munch on through the day, you'd get all your fruits and vegetables and nuts in, and it would be fun, too. You could even cut most of it up ahead of time so it's ready. I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to reach for the easiest thing!

Good luck with your weigh loss and exercising. Try aiming for 'healthy' rather than 'thin' and I bet you'll do great!

PS...Eliyahu is very clever making cheese log cabins!

Thanks for the encouragement!!

I can totally relate to ALWAYS being hungry. I get tired of diet advice "eat sensibly" or "only eat when really hungry." I was just born with a ferocious appetite! I'm always hungry!

Anyway, I'm about 18lbs into a 60lb weight loss goal. Like you, I am weighing and measuring everything. I'm still hungry, but I've realized it's just part of my make-up. Being healthy is more important than feeling full.

That is neat....i know I read about nursing moms who try to lose the weight too fast and lose their milk. It is hard to have the extra pounds, but slow and steady wins the race!

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