Creamy Cucumber Salad | Keeping Track to Stay on Track

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy FoodieIt’s already been 3 weeks since I dared step on the scale again.

Like I said back then, it’s the best thing I could’ve done and I’m really happy I finally worked up the courage to do it.

Realizing that I had gained that much weight really gave me the push that I needed to get back on track and get serious with my food choices again.

This is a lifestyle that I chose for myself, NOT a temporary diet. I had let things slip a little too much. No. Make that WAY too much.

Since I started tracking my food intake religiously, using My Fitness Pal, I managed to lose 5 pounds. I’m real happy with that!!! I feel so much better in my clothes AND in my body already.

Tracking my food intake has also helped me realize again that calories tend to add up really FAST!

No matter how healthy the food that you eat, it’s still possible to eat too much of it and to gain weight as a result. It’s imperative to keep portion size in check… and remain aware of what food goes in your mouth, but more specifically, how often and how much of said food goes in your mouth!

I’ve always had a tendency to munch mindlessly, particularly while cooking, and I think that I’d let that bad habit of mine get a little bit out of hand in the recent months. I especially like to munch on dried fruits, nuts and nut butter, you see… not bad for my health, really, but not the lowest in fat and calories either.

A handful of walnuts here, a teaspoon two tablespoons of almond butter there,  grab a bite of this and a taste of that while cooking, add a few dried apricots or dates after dinner… all those calories quickly add up! I’m guessing I must’ve been adding a good 600 – 800 calories to my daily intake from that alone! Week-ends were probably a lot worse, as I usually spend all day cooking…

So no more eating in between meals. Period. If I really HAVE to munch on something, it’s celery or baby carrots. I always have several bags of baby carrots in the fridge anyway, as I happen to genuinely love them and they also are my dogs’ favorite treat! ;)

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I’m now back to eating 5 smaller meals per day and I log EVERYTHING I eat, down to the last blueberry!

If I can’t log it, I don’t eat it. – Period -

Needless to say I am putting a lot of emphasis on filling up on lower calorie foods, such as fresh cucumber, while still including my precious nuts, although in more modest quantities and as an official component of a meal…

Lucky for me, it should be the time of the year when the markets are exploding with TONS of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, most of which are locally grown and so super tasty! Whenever I set foot in a food market, I feel like a kid in a candy store. I want to buy EVERYTHING!

It makes it that much easier for me to create low calorie meals that still leave me entirely satisfied.

Another thing that I started doing is adding a whole bunch of yummy fruits, veggies or even herbs to my water. I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge at all times with slices of lemon or lime or cucumber in it, or even pieces of watermelon, young sprouts or even basil leaves… It really helps me get some water inside me.

Seriously, could you resist that refreshing looking glass of water?

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And this super light and fresh salad right here is one that I’ve been enjoying quite a lot. It’s so easy to make, you don’t really need a recipe. It only calls for a handful of ingredients, namely a cucumber, a few walnuts, a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, some leafy greens and a little bit of seasoning. I used Za’atar, but if you don’t have that on hand, feel free to use any herbs; Thyme, oregano, dill, marjoram, fennel.., any of then would work beautifully.

I chose to peel the cucumber for this one but don’t worry… I didn’t let all the precious nutrients in the peel go to waste. Remember how I said I love to munch while cooking? Well, this is one occasion when I got to munch my heart out: I got to munch on cucumber peel galore. Those calories were already accounted for. WIN!!!

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Quite frankly, I love salads such as this one and it makes me feel so good inside when I eat that. I’m really, sincerely happy to be back on track and I look forward to shedding even more of that extra weight. I’m glad to have started weighing myself weekly too. I always look forward to stepping on that scale again.

And knowing that I will be stepping on that scale every Saturday morning is an incredible incentive for me to eat good, exercise hard and stay on track.

I love to see that number go down!

I know that this number isn’t everything, but it still is very important to me and is a fairly good indicator of where I stand fitness wise.

In short, I feel extremely good about myself and extremely proud to be back on track.

If you too feel you need to step on that scale but have been dreading it, I strongly encourage you to work up the courage and take the plunge. It might very well be the little push that you need to get you started, to get you on the right track.

And you’ll thank you for it! 

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Yield: Serves 1

Calories per serving: 348

Macros per serving: Carbs 23g | Fat 18g | Protein 14g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ¼ cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 30g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp za'atar (or other herbs of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mâche or other leafy greens of your choice
  • Young sprouts to garnish (I used Daikon)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengtwise, then in half again, then cut into slices of desired thickness. (by all means, don't throw away those peels, munch on 'em while fixing this salad!)
  2. Add cucumber, yogurt, half the walnuts, za'atar, salt and pepper to a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Arrange the leafy greens at the bottom of a plate and add cucumber salad on top.
  4. Garnish with the rest of the walnuts and young sprouts if desired
http://thehealthyfoodie.com/creamy-cucumber-salad/

 

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Daikon Sprouts | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Creamy Cucumber Walnut Salad | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Refreshing Cucumber Water | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Eha says

    The photos are beautiful and the salad one I hope all of us are eating by the bowlful! Am envying you your summer produce but am aware will be putting my spring seeds and seedlings in the pots in about 5 weeks! I too am on a ‘health jag’ as 12-14 hour days in the Office over the past two years have added a horrendous kilo/month!! I approach it slighty differently: I NEVER count calories, just plan my meals about a week ahead balancing proteins/carbs and good fats and eat off a smaller plate, limiting the number of glasses of wine I enjoy during the day. Have 3-4 short walks a day and one meditation session of some 40 minutes. Began 1 July: weigh myself when I have time – this morning I had lost 5.5 Kg this month – almost too much, because the liver and kidneys have a hard time metabolizing the waste. Also, I love water, plain water – just have a Brita filter jug always filled [have about 2 litres room temperature a day] and glasses of it around my movement areas. The moment I get up or go to another room: an automatic few sips! BUT, I have never ever had between meals snacks! Don’t even think about food in between meals. My story :) ! :) !

    • says

      I envy you, Eha! First off, I hate water, so really have to coax myself into drinking it. Second, I’m a big time muncher. Always have been, always will be I guess… I will forever have to keep that one under tight control. That and my sweet tooth… And I think about food like ALL THE TIME, but mind you, I’m not sure that it would still be the case if I weren’t a food blogger… I only wish that I loved exercising as much as I enjoy eating…

      And good job on the weightloss! That’s awesome! Keep up the good work! :)

      • Eha says

        Well, old sawbones could not say anything this morning! I had lost weight and he had gained some :) !!! Had a pile of blood tests done a few days back: a lot of the ‘reds’ of last time had turned to black! So, onwards . . . Too vain by now to let it all pile back :) !

  2. says

    O yes… I have already found that if I do not step on the scale things quickly get out of hand. Not because of the scale itself but the discipline I need to keep tracking and yes my fitness pall definitely helps! I’m loving this salad and will be making it for sure very soon. Probably on Thursday for lunch! My eating is back on track, now I just have to get moving again!

    • says

      Oh, but moving is soooo good for you, Simone! It goes hand in hand with the heatlhy eating! Give yourself a half hour of your time every day and get sweating! Your body (and the scale!) will thank you for it… ;)

      Good to see you back on MFP, too! I’m not understanding half of what constitutes your daily food intake, but I get some sort of an idea… ;)

  3. says

    I can very much relate. I know that some people just don’t get the whole calorie counting and would rather chew an arm off before logging a snack, but for me it’s definitely what works. Some of us just aren’t born to eat intuitively and need that extra reassurance. At least I know that when I’m tracking, I’m being completely honest with myself about whether I ate that handful of chocolate chips or not!

    • says

      I’m not planning on counting calories this religiously for the rest of my life, but as you put it, for the time being, it helps me stay completely honest with myself and extremely aware of every.single.thing that goes in my mouth. I’m really happy to have reconnected with that aspect of being heatlhy, i.e. controlling food intake! Too much of a good thing is still too much! ;)

      Are you also on MFP, Cara?

  4. says

    Good for you! That’s awesome! I should really start logging everything. Not even counting the calories – it’s amazing how just writing everything down helps! I don’t pay too much attention to my weight because I’ve only got about 6 more lbs to lose before I’m back to where I want to be/was before this baby, but my clothes still don’t fit right. I think my body fat % is much higher than it was so I’m focusing on building some more muscle for now, but that takes so much time :(
    Your salad looks delicious! I love the cucumber and yogurt – kind of reminds me of tzatziki(which I could eat by the spoonful :D)

    • says

      Right on, Heidi! I feel the same way about tzatziki and it’s funny you should say that, I had the same thought when eating that salad. It’s like tzatziki made into a salad, minus the garlic. Now that I think of it, I think a little bit of fresh mint would be absolutely glorious in this. Will have to try it next time!

      And you’re extremely lucky you only have 6 pounds to lose to be back to your before baby weight… I’m sure that weight will be gone in no time! :)

  5. says

    You are an inspiration! I would have never lost those five pounds without you. Seeing your food log totally guilted me into eating better so that I wouldn’t feel ashamed when you looked at mine. It’s awesome that you’re able to make all these salads and eat all these vegetables. If I could change one thing about myself, it’d be to change my vegetable hatred. Good up the good work!

    • says

      LOOL! You are so funny Erin. I have no credit, really, I love veggies! I probably love veggies as much as you like fruits! And the more I eat them, the more I realize I love ‘em! I’m so super happy to hear that I inspire you so much and that I’ve even helped you shed a few pounds. Wow. This is like music to my ear. I feel so honored, so proud! Well, proud of you, that is… And I saw that you ate quite a lot of veggies today too! I almost fell off my chair! ;) You keep up the good work, girlfriend, and keep getting then veggies inside of you. Maybe your brains will eventually get the message! ;)

      • says

        Sonia! I just roasted 610 grams of vegetables. :D Although I don’t know if roasting vegetables to death is really a good thing. Do you think it’s okay as long as they’re not burned? Hope so. It makes it so much easier to get them down! And don’t be silly… you should totally be proud of yourself!

      • says

        WOW!!! ALL THAT!!! *is impressed!*

        Not sure that it’s such a good thing to roast them so much, but hey, roasted to death veggies is better than no veggies. Maybe eventually, you’ll be able to leave a little bit of life into them… ;) Way to go girlfriend, I am super proud of you. Keep up the good work! :D

  6. says

    Wow! Counting calories is easy for me but carbs and protein too? That sounds like so much work! I’m looking to loose 11 pounds though so maybe I should give this a try. Congrats and good luck with everything. The salad looks delicious so this diet shouldn’t be too hard. :P

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