I’ve gained and lost 150 pounds, collectively. Having kids will do that to you. And I’ve had five, so trust me… I know. The interesting thing is that I gained exactly 30 pounds with each kid. It didn’t matter what I did throughout my pregnancies, my butt was determined to spread, my thighs were determined to rub together, and by body was determined to gain the exact same amount of weight each time. I tried to do everything “right” with the first one – lots of healthy protein, very little fried food, no caffeine, heaps of leafy greens (well, that was until a bout of “morning sickness” after having a big bowl of dark green salad cured me of ever wanting salad again). Thirty pounds. By the time my third came along, I gave up trying and ate anything and everything I could get my hands on. (Let’s just say that we actually got a “courtesy call” from the local grocer every time a case of Ben and Jerry’s Wavy Gravy ice cream came in). Still, 30 pounds (go figure). I don’t even remember the last two (sorry guys), but the end result was the same, which meant that each and every time, I had to lose 30 pounds!
It didn’t take me long after my first kid was born to realize that the “baby weight” wouldn’t just fall off! Something needed to be done. I came across a food court eatery in the mall that was dedicated exclusively to potatoes and all kinds of baked potato toppings! Yum! I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like, so when I saw a menu item claiming to be a “low cal” potato that was completely stuffed with all kinds of awesomeness, I thought I’d give it a shot. It was actually really good! The baked potato toppings were very filling and exceptionally flavorful. I became obsessed with this healthy, satisfying, “diet” potato. I must have had at least three or four per week in lieu of my regular meal.
After several weeks of dragging my newborn to the mall food court, I finally asked the assembly line cook what the heck was in this potato to make it so tasty. (And to see if it really was low cal). He gave me the lowdown – the perfectly baked potato was sliced, then fluffed, then drenched with a ladle-full of warm chicken broth to keep it moist (this replaced the typical use of butter). Then it was filled with a mixture of sauteed mushrooms and ground turkey that was seasoned with more broth, salt and pepper and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Add some steamed, fresh broccoli and chopped roasted red peppers for some smokiness (you can pretend it’s bacon..?), then top it off with a dollop of fat free yogurt and a few green onions, and you’ve got a masterpiece! I’m telling you… this thing STUFFED me! And I actually lost weight. All of it. I was never hungry, and I had tons of energy from all that healthiness!
Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds after a bit of holiday gorging, or still working on some of that baby weight, or simply want to feel like you’re doing something good for your body, these light baked potato toppings will do the trick! Give it a shot and let me know how it worked for you!