The Funny Thing About Calorie Tracking…

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I’ve been reading this book called Intuitive Eating, which, if you’ve read other “healthy living” blogs, you’ve probably heard of. It’s a great book about why dieting doesn’t work, and has tips and encouragement on listening to your body. It’s about allowing yourself to eat anything you want when you want it, and not restricting your diet.

And that’s such a cool concept… except when it doesn’t work.

I was surprised with all the comments on Wednesday’s post, to hear how many other people track their calories/food. Honestly, it made me feel a little less crazy for being so into this calorie tracking thing. It’s something I’ve done on and off. I’ve tried the whole “intuitive eating” thing… and I love the concept. I think it can work for a lot of people. But some of us just love food a little too much, healthy food or not.

So now that I’m back on the calorie tracking, I can already identify where some not-so-great-habits slipped in. Those multiple glasses of wine while watching tv, the endless handfuls of granola as I walked into the kitchen, the extra snacks I eat at my desk, because they’re there, not because I’m hungry… it all starts to add up.

Maybe one day I’ll fall into that intuitive eating thing. I honestly do think it’s a great idea, and I think it’s fantastic that there are so many people that can actually be trusted around a giant bag of granola, I just have to accept that I’m not one of them. And that’s ok.

As part of the Get Well Challenge, we had a “Goal Setting” session last night, and I outlined a few goals.

Get Well Challenge Goals

  • Get back to my “fighting weight” 😉 (I’d rather not talk numbers on here!)
  • Take at least one group fitness class each week (I push myself way more in those classes!)
  • Track my calories/protein/etc. every day and learn what foods give me the most energy

We have weekly weigh-ins at the Advanced Wellness Center, so that should help keep me motivated! I plan on using the Livestrong/Daily Plate App to track my calories. I’ve played around with SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal (which I know a lot of you love!) but for some reason, I always end up going back to The Daily Plate!

Phew. Now enough of that heavy stuff. What are some of the calories I’ve been counting loving?

These pickles that I picked up at the Carytown Farmer’s Market on Sunday. Not only were the guys selling them super nice, these pickles are freaking amazing. Maybe as good as the ones I had from the Magna Carta Food Truck. Maybe.

Oh yeah and this pizza was amazing. Be proud that I stopped myself after one slice.

Flames 231 deserves a whole restaurant review. But I’ll save that for another time…

What are some of your goals, fitness or otherwise?

Food Journaling- The Details

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Fair warning: This might be an annoying detailed post. On Wednesdays I normally show you a round up of what I’ve been eating, but today I’m going to get a little more detailed. Why? Because yesterday was my first official day of food journaling.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I was accepted into the Get Well Challenge sponsored by Ellwood Thompson’s (the local natural food store). I’m really excited. We check-in with a wellness expert every week, meet with a dietician every month, and get tons of help from local fitness centers, including Hot House Yoga, Om On YogaCrossFIT RVA and FIT Richmond.

To kick things off yesterday, I had a body assessment at The Advanced Wellness Center, where I weighed in, and they used these electrode things to measure my body fat percentage. It was pretty cool, and pretty simple! We have a meeting on Thursday to officially set our goals, so I’m thinking of what those should be.

Now back to the food journaling…

Breakfast was eaten in the car, since I had to fast before the body assessment.

1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 2 cups raw kale, stevia, 1/2 tbsp raw cacao coconut butter.

~300 calories, 15g protein

Lunch was my current favorite salad:

Romaine, carrots, tomatoes, onions, peppers, chickpeas, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

I’d estimate this to be about 350 calories (mostly from the chickpeas and cheese) and 12g protein.

Snack

Apple & low fat string cheese – 100 calories, 7g protein

Dinner

Lindsay and I were going to the Content Strategy Meet Up in the West End, which meant dinner had to be on the go. We decided to meet at Moe’s which is the kind of place that can be healthy, or a total disaster. I tried to go healthy!

We don’t need to talk about the fact that Chipotle is way better than Moe’s, do we? I didn’t think so. But still, this wasn’t bad. I got a “naked” burrito, and used the nutritional calculator they provide online to check the stats before I went.

450 calories, 15g protein (and a whopping 16g of fiber!)

Since I ate an relatively early dinner, I knew I’d want a little snack when I got home. I had a small bowl of plain greek yogurt, with some blueberries and a bit of granola.


That came in at 160 calories and 15g of protein.

We’re also tracking our workouts, which for me was a quick 30 minutes on the Stairclimber thing at the gym.

Total: 1,300 calories, 66g protein. This is less than I normally eat. I think just being aware of what I was taking in made me resist my normal snacking habits. I’ll also have to add in some extra calories on days that I’m running!

Disclaimer: Everyone’s body has different needs and requirements. What my body needs is different from what your body needs. I’m no medical expert, so don’t go crazy thinking you should be eating more or less or the exact same!

Have you ever used a food journal?

A New Challenge + Fall Shortcuts

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I love challenges. I’ve been working on my half marathon training, and it’s been fun literally running towards a goal. I knocked out 7 miles over the weekend, which is the farthest I’ve ever gone! My Brooks shoes seem to be working out really well, because my shin pain is basically gone. (Thank you to the sales staff at Roadrunner in Carytown for helping me pick those out!)

All this fun around challenges makes me even more excited to tell you about this new opportunity! I was selected to participate in the “Get Well Challenge” sponsored by Ellwood Thompson.

We have the kick off meeting (and a yoga class!) tonight, so I can’t wait to tell you more about it. I promise I’ll be passing along some healthy tips and tricks that I learn along the way.

Anyways, since it’s Monday, and everything seems harder on Monday, I’m going to share a fall short cut with you, because I’m super nice.

Ready for this?

You can instantly transform your everyday desserts into festival fall treats, with this one simple trick…

Pumpkin.

Don’t believe me? Check out these cupcakes that my roommate and I made last night:

[Festive] Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (prepared as directed)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 can prepared frosting (about 1 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Yep, it’s your traditional cupcakes… pumped up with pumpkin. You just prepare the cake mix as directed, but add in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Then take your standard frosting, and add a little pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice into the frosting and voila. You’re ready for a fall potluck.

As recipe suggestions are flooded with pumpkin, let me tell you, just take your favorite recipe, and add some pumpkin pie spice.

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Kale Addict

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Oh my gosh you guys. I have some exciting news.

And by news I mean recipe. And by exciting I mean easy.

Ok so I’m mostly just proud that I’m eating kale with something other than that tahini dressing. (Yes, I’ve eaten that pretty much every day, for the last month. ) I think I’m actually addicted to kale. It was starting to get awkward. This poor leafy green has so much more potential. I clearly needed to try something new.

Luckily, when I was swinging by my local Trader Joe’s, I came across this new bag in the frozen aisle- actually, by the sample stand. (Don’t worry, if you don’t have a TJ’s you could still make this, it would just be a little more work.)

Pumped Up Kale Salad

  • 2 cups raw kale
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup multigrain blend with veggies* (see note for non-TJ’s substitutions)
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded romano cheese (optional)

I sautéed the kale in the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic until just wilted (don’t cook it too much, you still want it a bit crunchy) and then I put that aside in a large salad bowl. In the same pan, I lightly warmed the multigrain mix. I sprinkled it with a little salt as well, but that’s up to you. Then I just tossed all that on top of the kale. It was delicious just like that, but later on I added a little Romano cheese, and that was also quite delicious. You could eat this hot or cold. I ate part of it right away while it was warm, and then I put it in the fridge and finished it a few hours later cold. Both delicious.

Note: If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, don’t fear. You can do this, you’ll just have to make your own mix. It’s really just a blend of rice, barley, corn, peas, etc. You could still use a bag of frozen veggies + rice.

Dinners don’t get much easier than that. Especially since it’s good warm or cold! I made enough to pack up for lunch tomorrow, as well.

As for the half marathon training, I have a 7 mile run on the plan for today! This will officially be the farthest I’ve ever run! Wish me luck 🙂

What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s product? (If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, what do you wish you could try?)