Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

On Track

After a not-so-great week last week, I am back on track.  At first, I was pretty frustrated with myself for last week.  However, with terrible driving conditions and not feeling well (plus some craziness at work that threw off my WHOLE schedule), I was easily able to get back on track over the weekend.  Yesterday was a low day, and today is a lowER day, and I’m handling it well.  The way my cycling program works, I can go as low as I want on these two days.  Yesterday, I was under my calorie range by 175-300 calories ( 🙂 ).  It was tough, but manageable.  Today, I’m going for less.  When I feel hungry, I try to remember that tomorrow is a maintenance day.  I think I’m going to make a really yummy chicken sandwich or homemade pizza – with PopChips!

 

Training is also back on track.  Since we had some really bad storms, I had to miss a couple structured workouts.  I think I made up for them with shoveling and treacherous walking conditions while at work.  I just couldn’t justify the extra driving when the conditions were so bad.

 

My recipe for this week is from Ask Georgie – Creamed Spinach. Not only is this recipe a low-ish calorie side dish, it also makes an amazing substitute for Spinach Dip!  My husband and I enjoyed this with some PopChips (can you tell I **heart** PopChips??) while watching a football game this weekend.  Jeb’s not much of a veggie person, but he loves this recipe, and I love anything that gets some greens into his body!  I follow the recipe pretty exactly, though I sometimes add a bit more garlic.  Since discovering this, I’ve made it 3 times!  Yum!

Update on progress

I’m a couple days late on my “Update” post, but I had a bit of a family situation and a very sick husband to deal with this weekend! (Goals described here)

Progress in Cycle 2:

  • Lost a total of 8.2 pounds.  Not a dramatic loss this cycle, but I’m also suffering the effects of my TOM, so I’m not sweating it.
  • Had a much more successful maintenance day on Friday (and high day on Saturday).  I planned my meals with some good, healthy foods and only had a small treat – rather than filling my calorie allotment with junk.  I felt much better too.  I was also better with pre- and post-workout nutrition, which I described in more detail in this post.
  • My sleep has been good.  I’ve been making it a priority and shutting off electronics about a half-hour before I settle into bed.  I’ve been falling asleep fairly easily and waking up on my own most days.  This week will be a challenge, though, since my work schedule will be all over the place.
  • Still working on the emotional attachments with food.  I think this one will require a LOT of repetition.  I caught myself grabbing some unhealthy food this weekend when I became overwhelmed.
  • Self-care is a work in progress, but I’m getting better.  I had some really lazy moments this weekend, which would normally make me feel guilty, but I was careful not to judge myself and just understand that sometimes I need to slow down and rest.

Objectives:

  • I’m still following the cycling program accurately.  I did accidentally mix up a couple of the days, but it resulted in an increased deficit, so I didn’t really worry about it.
  • I still have 100% compliance with training.  One of my cardio workouts became snow-shoveling instead of my planned KB workout, but I still got the desired result.
  • I prepared a new recipe – Kale Chips – and it was HORRIBLE.  I didn’t even bother blogging about them.  There are about a million blog posts about them out there, so if you’re interested in them, hit up google.  (Why do people love these so much, by the way??  I’m a total veggie person and I could barely get them down!)  I will NOT be making them again, which is sad – Kale is so healthy!  I actually made an amazing new recipe yesterday, which will be part of my Cycle 3 check in, so stay tuned! 🙂  I’m not feeling bored with the diet – with the cycling, I’m actually able to eat a variety of foods – I just have to pay attention.  This isn’t like other diets I’ve followed that have required me to have a bunch of pre-planned meals that I just repeat every. single. day.
  • For fun, Jeb and I went to the movies.  We saw “The King’s Speech” which was really good.  We also watched some football.  Low key, but nice.

Maintenance vs. “Cheat Days”

Over the weekend, I had some higher calorie days, including one day of eating at maintenance.  This was REALLY tough – much more difficult than I had anticipated.  On Saturday, the maintenance day, I had done some planning and we had a delicious, healthy, and calorie dense meal early in the day with the option of leftovers later.  I was able to get within 200 calories of maintenance (I was under), but it was vastly better than my efforts yesterday.  Yesterday, I was in a small deficit, but still had to eat at a higher calorie level.  I tried to eat consistently throughout the day, but ended up still scrambling at the end of the day to get all my calories.  Because of this, my choices weren’t all nutritious foods and my protein was low.  Clearly this is poor planning on my part, and a big part of the work I need to do to meet my goal of really understanding what maintenance feels like.

 

About a year ago, I tried a nutrition plan that cycled carbs and included one cheat day every week.  On this cheat day, I had carte blanche to eat whatever I wanted, with the only restriction being that I couldn’t stuff myself.  I probably don’t have to even say this, but my results sucked because I undid my deficit on every cheat day.

 

When I went to bed last night, I felt like I had on those cheat days – bloated, sluggish, etc.  I had eaten carb-rich junk foods late in the day and I definitely paid for it.  So, how do I make the distinction?  I get full fairly quickly (a blessing on a “low” day), so it’s hard for me to eat large quantities of “healthy” food to make my calories.  Maybe I need to eat more cashews or something?  Calorie dense, but with nutritional value?

 

This is really important for me to sort out, since someday I hope to live in maintenance and not worry constantly about what I’m eating!

Another good day

I won’t post specifics now, but suffice to say that I am making progress.  My workout was good, and I’m finding that the healthful choices I am making with my food are making the deficit easier.  Today was my first test of compliance, I think – I had a bunch of meetings and to teach a CPR re-cert so I wasn’t able to eat at my usual times.  I work in a quiet building, essentially alone, so I have a lot of flexibility with meals.  Today, though, I was at our main campus, where staff are offered a yummy hot lunch.  I got hungry, and the food smelled great – but I stuck to the plan. 🙂

 

Plugging along…

New Recipe

Keeping with one of my action steps for my goals, I made a new recipe last night.  It is Garlicky Chicken Satay from one of my favorite food blogs – Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.  The seasoning paste for the chicken is flavorful, but not overpowering, and the peanut sauce is a nice balance of sweet, salty, and fresh.  Plus, since most of the calories from the sauce come from unsweetened coconut milk and peanut butter, I feel like I’m getting some good nutrition for my calories.

Delicious and Nutritious!

This will definitely make it’s way into the regular rotation.  Served with Wild and Brown rice and some green beans, the meal breaks down like this (assuming 4 ounces of chicken and 1 serving of rice):

Calories:  520

Carbohydrates:  50g

Protein:  43g

Fat:  17g

The bulk of the carbs come from the rice, which I will likely cut down in future meals.  It was a good, satisfying dinner for a higher calorie day, though.

 

I did much better hitting my calories and macros over the last two days.  I think I will need to do some careful planning to be sure to hit my maintenance calories accurately, but I’m up for the challenge.  I’m really grateful that Jeb is so invested in this – it helps to not feel like I’m “cramping his style” when I make certain decisions.  He’ s also being AWESOME about going to the store and buying ingredients every.single.day.  Poor guy.  But, at least he’s eating well! 🙂

 

Workouts continue to go well – still at 100% compliance. 🙂

I Resisted!

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Boston Cream donuts are one of my favorite treats. One of my staff brought some in just when I was trying to figure out how to fit in all my calories today. I remembered, though, to keep moving toward my goals and have resisted the temptation!  I will eat something wholesome for 200 calories instead.  Food is fuel, not an outlet for a stressful day, right? (I think I can, I think I can…)

Challenge Goals

As indicated in my previous post, I am participating in a transformation challenge on the leighpeele.com membership site.  Here are my goals:

Full Challenge Goals:

  • Lose between 15 and 30 pounds.  I will be satisfied with 15, and thrilled with more.
  • Get a feel for true maintenance.  Know what my body feels like at maintenance and approximately how many calories are my maintenance (right now).
  • Improve my sleep, both in quantity and quality.  Incorporate effective strategies to help me wind down at the end of the night.
  • Become more aware of the emotional attachments I have to food (and eventually eliminate them).
  • Devote 30-45 minutes each night to self-care.

 

Objectives to Meet Goals:

  • Focus on following cycling program accurately to ensure compliance.
  • Aim for 100% compliance on training.  This will give me an emotional boost to help me – I always feel better when I train.  Plus, I will gain more confidence knowing I am sticking to the program.
  • Identify and prepare at least one new healthy recipe each week and blog about it to avoid diet boredom.
  • Identify one fun activity to do with Jeb each weekend that is NOT food related.

Need a better goal

I’m going to be 30 in just over 4 months.  Yikes.  I wanted to be down at least 100 pounds by then, but I’m not sure it’s realistic.  I would have to lose 10-15 pounds a month to get there.  I’ve really enjoyed the mental break of not weighing in every day.  Maybe I need more consistency with my thermometer jeans.  With photos.  Still thinking about this one.

 

In other news… My workouts are getting better, though my energy level is still low.  My nutrition hasn’t been great.  My meals have been healthy, but I haven’t been great about listening to my body and stopping before I’m full.  I started buckling down on that today.  I also need more rest, since I think that the typical holiday business is contributing to my low energy.

 

As always, plugging along…

I will NOT be needing these pants tomorrow…

…Or today, I suppose, since it’s technically Thanksgiving already.

 

Behold, the “Gluttony Pants!”

 

Chef Chris Cosentino designed pants with buttons (designated “Piglet,” “Sow,” and “Boar) that allow you to expand the waistband of your pants.  While I am sure there are people out there who will gladly pay $100 for these pants, I just don’t think most of us need them (or should want them) – especially since we could all go down to Target and pick up a pair of comfy sweats for $15 if we felt the need.  I remember Cosentino from both “Iron Chef America” and “The Next Iron Chef” (Season 1 – when Mike Simon won).  He wasn’t my favorite competitor, so maybe that’s part of the reason for my irritation over the existence (and cost!) of these pants!

I plan to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal with my family tomorrow.  I will sample some of everything (though maybe not all ten pies at my mom’s house!), but I’ll be wearing my jeans as a reminder not to overdo things.  A food baby will only make me feel sluggish and guilty the next day.  I will NOT be counting calories, though – I’ll just try to remember my new-ish identity as a healthy person, and see how things go!

What are your plans to keep holiday intake reasonable?

Intuitive Eating

I think I’ve alluded to this in the past, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about intuitive eating.  First of all, it’s strange to me that so few people are able to eat intuitively – but it’s something that should come naturally, right??  Hard to say…but it seems to me that a vast majority of the American public struggles to eat healthy foods intuitively.  We tend to undereat or overeat, obsessively eat “clean” foods or completely disregard the relative healthiness of foods, and our collective bodies and health seem to be paying the price.  Why?

 

There’s no simple answer to this.  The definition of intuition is:

The direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process.

 

So, basically, we should just know how to fuel our bodies according to this concept of “Intuitive Eating.”  I think, in a way, we do.  Unfortunately, our parents, our society, and our own personal biases affect every decision we make, and it takes some sort of breakthrough for many of us to realize how often we eat the wrong foods for the wrong reasons.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and a place for less healthy foods (Apple Pie on Thanksgiving – yes, please!), and I allow myself treats regularly.  However, I have to be careful or I will automatically overindulge.  That being said, I am trying to eat more intuitively, being mindful of what my body is actually telling me about what it really needs.  It’s a work in progress, probably a struggle I will have for the rest of my life.

 

Katie, over at “Health for the Whole Self” recently met the author of a popular book on intuitive eating (Evelyn Tribole) and is having a fantastic giveaway!  Head on over to her blog for some great information and a chance to win!