mahi mahi with tomato, basil, spinach & lime sauce

Guys.... I'm craving carbs. Bad. Images of bread and rice are dancing in my head.

I'm not used to cravings like this. I wasn't ready! My usual diet is well balanced -- protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and the occasional treats in moderation -- and I think that's why I'm able to stick with it and don't really deal with serious cravings. I enjoy eating the way I do! I eat foods that are whole, natural and delicious, and I don't deprive myself. I listen to my body -- when I want whole wheat pasta for dinner, I have whole wheat pasta for dinner. When I want to have a burger and a beer on the weekend, I have a burger and a beer.

I think that's why diets are so problematic for people. Depriving yourself of an entire food group (whole grains and nearly all carbs, in this case) naturally leads to cravings for those foods... and, for many people, this leads to binging. It's almost setting yourself up for failure.

Coming from the girl who suggested this 17 day diet, right?! :) Don't worry, I'm not backing down on you guys. Two weeks isn't long, and I AM feeling the benefits from this diet (and I've heard that a few others of you out there are, too!). It's nice to challenge yourself sometimes. We can do it! Only another week.

However... This terrible carb craving is not going away. So how am I going to handle it?

I'm not going to ignore it. More power to you if you can, but my body is telling me something.

I'm also not going to give in and binge on pasta and french fries. That wouldn't help anything, and isn't really what my body wants or needs.

I'm going to have a whole grain english muffin with some almond butter.

Is that on the 17 day diet? No. Am I going to feel bad about it? No way! I'm going to enjoy it then get right back to it.

I'm not sharing this with you to encourage "cheating." I'm sharing it with you to let you know that changing the way you eat IS difficult. And cravings are natural. Sometimes you push on.... and sometimes you listen to your body. It doesn't have to mean derailing your progress!

Side note....... these two weeks are going to make me appreciate my "normal" way of eating SO much more! :)

I do have another 17-day diet approved recipe to share with you guys! And it was pretty delicious, even in all its low-carbness.

Use good quality mahi mahi filets, or substitute another white fish. For the sauce, I just gathered a few items I had in my kitchen that sounded good, threm them into my food processor, pressed start, and hoped it turned out good -- and it did! Tomato, spinach, basil, garlic, olive oil... yum.

Here's how you make it:

Mahi Mahi with Tomato, Basil, Spinach, & Lime Sauce
For 2-4 servings

-2 to 4 fresh or thawed mahi mahi filets
-3-4 tbsp olive oil, split
-1 roma tomato, chopped
-1 handful basil, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)
-1 cup baby spinach
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 lime
-Salt and pepper

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe (e.g., cast iron) skillet over medium high heat. Let get very hot.
-Season mahi mahi with sea salt and course ground black pepper.
-Once oil is hot, add the fish. If needed, cook in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook until slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes/side.
-Meanwhile, prepare sauce: in a food processor, combine tomato, basil, spinach, garlic, and the juice of 1 lime. Pulse, adding in 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil slowly, until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Turn off skillet heat. Top the fish with the sauce. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

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