Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What I eat

I’ve got some serious heartburn because I talked E into going to Wings N Rings for about the third time in three weeks.  I am taking this heartburn as a DM from On High that fun eating needs to end, pronto.  It’s a little fun to go all willy-nilly with the calories around a big fat run, but too much of this and I’ll be back to typing long posts lamenting the muffin top and the glaring truth that stares back at me from the scale.

Let’s talk weight for a minute.  I’ve been deliberately not writing about it for a while, hopefully to give myself the benefit of time so I would have more to report.  (How exciting is it to read “I’ve lost .8 pounds!” anyway?) The weight thing was a big motivator when I started running, so the 12 pound weight gain that came in the first few months of this new fitness habit really chapped my hide.  To recap:  When I started running (out of weight-related frustration), I was at 150.  I then scootched up to above 160.  The day I decided to start getting serious about what I was eating, I was at 159.  Since then I’ve been tracking my calories in and out using the Lose It App for iPhone.

goals2I’ve talked about the Lose It App before—you enter your height, weight, daily food and exercise and it allots you a basic calorie budget for the day.  The more you exercise, the more you’re allotted.  I was frustrated with this at first because I find that my hunger trails my running by a day, but now I rely more on the overall calorie count for the week, as well as the percentages of nutrients and percentages of things like Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein.  You don’t have to do this, but I find that for me it lets me enjoy the good (read: bad for you) things I like to eat once in a while without feeling too bad about it.  If I have “leftover” calories, then I will sometimes indulge a craving.  You can also adjust your caloric “budget” for the day if necessary.  I’ve done this over time (and modified it as necessary) through some reading I’ve done on my BMI and body fat percentage and activity level, how much I think I can safely lose, plus how I feel.  I have learned a lot about myself and my eating habits and one of the major things I’ve learned is that I need to eat around 1300 calories a day, no matter what, if I want to feel full, healthy, energetic, and satisfied.  Any less than that and I start giving people the crazy eye.

weightThe news on the weight front is that I’m down to 147.  I count my loss from the highest point when I was tracking, because every single pound since then has been a struggle.  In mid-July, I was up to 159.  I’m now 147.  So basically, I’m calling it 12 pounds that I’ve lost so far.  Not too shabby.  Another thing that I like about the App is that it graphs your weight each day—you can also find programs to do this online.  I like to see my progress, and also see how much it fluctuates; I try not to let that get me down anymore.

Anyway, the App isn’t for everybody but I like it for me.  It’s easier to just have it on my phone than to keep it in a notebook, but you could accomplish the same goals that way.  There’s tons of information online about all this stuff too… Just start doing some Google searches.  The most important thing for me is that I feel like I’m getting enough to eat and I feel like I have energy.  Thinking about food as fuel for running has really helped.  I think the past six months or so have given me a better handle on what my dietary needs and tendencies are.  Of course as they say in blog land, YMMV (Your mileage may vary), so do what works for you.

So… I thought in order to jump start myself back to healthy eating, I’d do a post on what I’m eating.  Not right this minute.  I mean in general.  What’s been working for me.  You get it.


WHAT I EAT (generally)
Breakfast—6:00 AM:
  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast, 1/2 tablespoon of raw almond butter, 1 tsp of homemade jam OR
  • small Dannon Light N Fit Yogurt
  • Big glass of water
At work—8:00 AM:
  • Hot Tea or black coffee
Morning snack—9:30 AM:
  • Wasa Multigrain Crispbread & Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese Wedge OR
  • a hard boiled egg OR
  • small Dannon Light N Fit yogurt
  • More water
Lunch 11:15 AM:
  • Taco salad: lettuce, black beans, 1 oz shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, chicken or ground beef, tomatoes, carrots, whatever veggies I have on hand, crumbled Wasa cracker on top OR
  • Wrap: La Tortilla Factory smartwap, small amount of rice or quinoa, black or garbanzo beans, 1 oz feta, chicken or ground beef, lettuce, veggies, salsa or mustard OR
  • Turkey sandwich—one piece of whole wheat bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato with fruit on the side
  • If I feel like I need soda, I’ll have a Diet Dr. Pepper, otherwise iced tea (Snapple Diet Peach) or more water
After lunch—1:00 PM:
  • 1 square of Hersheys or Giradhelli extra dark chocolate
Afternoon snack—between 2:00 and 4:00--
  • Wasa Multigrain Crispbread & Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese Wedge OR
  • Reduced fat Kettle Corn OR
  • Chips with salsa OR
  • a piece of cheese OR
  • a frozen banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter OR
  • half an apple with one tablespoon of peanut butter OR
  • two pieces of red licorice OR
  • a handful of almonds OR
  • a hard boiled egg AND
  • more water or iced tea
Dinner—6:00 PM
  • some kind of grilled meat (chicken, tri tip, salmon)—around 4 oz., steamed veggies (broccoli, asparagus, etc.), rice/whole wheat pasta/ quinoa (Lately if we have a side like rice or mashed potatoes, I’ll try to keep the portion pretty small), fresh fruit OR
  • Wrap: La Tortilla Factory smartwap, small amount of rice or quinoa, black or garbanzo beans, 1 oz feta, chicken or ground beef, salsa or mustard
  • Burrito bowl: rice or quinoa, beans, 1 oz feta or shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, veggies, 2 oz of chicken or beef, lettuce
  • water, iced tea (occasional beer or a glass of wine)
After dinner—8:30 PM
  • 1 square of Hersheys or Ghiradelli extra dark chocolate OR
  • handful of chocolate chips OR
  • handful of pretzels OR
  • sugar free jello and cool whip OR
  • Green Monster Smoothie—almond milk, handful of spinach, handful or frozen blueberries, half a frozen banana, 1 scoop of almond butter or protein powder OR
  • Creamsicle or Healthy Choice Fudge bar OR
  • froyo
Things I’ve learned about myself/ my eating on this crazy kick I’ve been on:
  • I have to eat ALL DAY LONG.  Basically every hour and a half to two hours.  If I don’t, bad things happen.  Like trips to Taco Bell.
  • If I really need Taco Bell, I can be smart about it.  Fresco tacos are not the same as Cheesy Gordita Crunches.
  • For a snack, I don’t really need to eat that much to feel full.  I used to think I needed a giant snack, but I only really need about 80-100 calories to get me through and to make me feel better.
  • I cannot go on without some kind of chocolate after lunch and something sweet after dinner.  Fortunately, one little teeny chocolate square does the trick.  If I don’t get something sweet, I don’t feel “done” so I’ll keep grazing.  The chocolate usually helps me feel like I’m sated.
  • I’d rather have chocolate than a boatload of rice, so I tend to choose my carbs wisely.  I think of it like a set amount for the day and I decide how much I’d like to eat fruit and/or sweets and adjust my starchy carb intake a little.
  • I know I’m going to eat sweets either way, so I try to make the rest of my diet about good nutrition.
  • Whole grains = good.  I need carbs for energy to run, so when I can I try to make them healthy ones.
  • A little sprinkle of feta makes everything taste better.  Also, I really like the cheddar cheese/salsa combo, even if it’s only a little cheese.  Life without cheese, for me, is not worth living, so I have to try to work it in without overdoing it.
  • I’m not tied to any of this, but when I make my own food (bring my lunch rather than going out, etc) I tend to eat these types of things.  If I go out, I try to find things that are similar.
  • Friday is usually the worst day of the week for me, but I rationalize it by telling myself I’m “using up” all the extra calories I didn’t “use” for the week.  Lose It’s weekly tracker is good for this.  Usually beer shows up on Friday nights.  Also, things like Chicken Wings.
  • I don’t let myself off the hook when I eat things that are bad.  I just move on.  I also know that some foods are just too good to cut from my life.  I just eat a very tiny portion of them, and I usually feel okay about it.
  • At dinner and lunch, I need to eat a large quantity of food to feel full.  I need to use a big plate, but it doesn’t seem to matter much what I fill it with, so I load up on fruits and veggies.  I drink a lot of water.  I need to spend a lot of time eating or I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a “real” meal.
  • This goes along with the filling the plate thing, but I drastically reduced the portion sizes I was eating of meat and starchy sides.  I can eat 3-4 oz of tri tip and I feel satisfied, and I also don’t have nearly as much tummy trouble later.
  • Popsicles, creamsicles, and fudgesicles are good.
  • Ease of preparation is key—having things on hand that I can use really helps:  lots of fruits, lettuce, spinach, fresh veggies.
  • In order to have fresh things on hand, I had to change my shopping habits.  I now try to go to the grocery store every 7-10 days, instead of once a month.  This means I have to resist the urge to do “big shopping.”  It’s hard.
  • I try to cook things like chicken, quinoa and rice once a week and keep them in my fridge.  Makes it much easier and quicker to make a lunch for school or make a salad.
Phew!  Another long post.  Peace out, nerds.  I need to go find some Tums.


  1. Aww heart burn, no smiles there!
    It sounds like you really know what you need and how to keep yourself from going over the edge.

    I made the mistake this month of doing a big trip this past weekend, and ate up basically my whole grocery budget. Oops. Smaller trips definitely work better for me as well.
    Have a great Wednesday!

  2. I'll have to tell my bf about that iphone app, he'll definitely appreciate it.

    I'm the same way with sweets, I have to have something sweet after lunch and/or dinner!