Hello friends; me again! I've changed my mind about posting time because most of you find time to read on Saturday afternoons. It makes more sense to post then, so it's fresh off the presses (as if I'm not typing this on my Macbook) when you have a chance to read. I'm trying to schedule these posts ahead of time, so if I make some comments about something going on in my life, there's probably a little delay between then and when you're reading. Also, I put up yet another Instagram story (thank you guys for responding to those positively, you're all troopers) and you guys said that you'd like a post dedicated to easy, healthy recipes. This post is going to be some of that, but it's going to take me a little while to actually make all of those recipes because I have to eat what I make, and my recipes tend to make 4-5 meals each. So, one or two meals per week, that means I'll have a ton of recipes done in a couple of months. Stay tuned.
Today, I'm documenting what I eat in a day and the nutrition facts of each thing, each meal and of my overall day. My daily routine has evolved significantly over the last year, so this isn't what I've been eating to lose weight all along, but I am losing weight faster now than before. That could also be thanks to my exercising habits, but I took this week (last week, by the time you'll be reading this) off because working out with period cramps just really doesn't do it for me, so I'm going to give credit to my diet.
I usually eat breakfast as soon as I wake up. If Ben and I wait a little while and go out to breakfast instead of eating in, I'm usually cranky. Even more so if there's a wait at the restaurant. I'm definitely a person who needs to eat right away, which may come as a surprise to anyone who knew me as a teen. This is a new life development. I eat eggs every morning, and I was eating yogurt, but I found that it didn't do anything good for my stomach. Dairy agitates lactose intolerance! Who knew! No, I'm kidding, but I am cutting out yogurt. I was eating avocado in the morning, but I've found that I don't need too much to sustain me until lunch, especially since I've started having a smoothie mid-morning.
For breakfast today, I had half of a smoothie (the other half stored in the fridge for that mid-morning time I mentioned earlier), eggs and coffee.
My smoothie is super easy to make, and my dad found some great protein powder for me that I can actually stomach, which makes it that much better. I can't have any whey protein because whey is dairy, and a lot of substitute proteins either aren't pure protein or they have soy-- not a very good thing for women. Ladies, steer clear of soy as much as possible. It's a paleo protein from eggs, and it's totally flavorless, so it doesn't affect the integrity of the smoothie as a lot of protein powders tend to. I just put a scoop of that, one banana, a serving of frozen berries and a little less than a cup of unsweetened almond milk into a blender and let it do its job. I'm going to try out different types of smoothies in the coming weeks, but the only thing that'll change is the frozen fruit type. The banana gives it the texture I want without adding too much of an overpowering flavor, so I use that no matter what kind I make.
I end up splitting it in two. I've found that if I eat a whole one make me too full. Since I'm trying to replace my daily yogurt with a daily smoothie, half of a smoothie seems to do the trick. Half comes out to about 160 calories, which is not too many more than my usual yogurt, anyway. It has about 14 grams of protein and 14 grams of sugar, but it's all natural sugar--none added--which basically means that my body processes it better than it would with added sugar because the fruit has fiber and other things. It's a whole thing that I'm still learning about, but I promise just as soon as I'm an expert on that, I'll do a blog post. So, all of that is great news, and this smoothie is a new addition to my diet, so needless to say, I'm pretty excited about it. By the way, I store the other half in the fridge until later. Makes a great mid-morning snack.
I can only assume that everyone reading this (you're mostly adults, so if you can't do this by now, we should talk) can scramble some eggs. Personally, I like mine with a little brown. I like to make sure they're alllll the way done. Runny eggs are potentially the most disgusting thing in the world an nothing can change my mind. Anyway, I use olive oil Pam, which is 0 calories, two eggs and Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel seasoning. Oh, I also use the teeny tiny pan pictured, which I just happened to find in one of my dad's cabinets. It's so cute. It holds two eggs perfectly and makes them into a nice shape. The eggs come out to be about 145 calories. I use large eggs rather than jumbo, because obviously, the bigger the egg, the more the calories. The more the nutrients, too, but I feel full from two large ones. Works just fine for me.
My breakfast ends up looking something like this. I've been toasting a quarter of a whole wheat pita loaf, which is about 35 calories, give or take a few depending on my ripping capabilities, and less than a gram of protein. Since black coffee has less than 5 calories in a cup, I don't usually count it... maybe I should, who knows. So, in total, my breakfast ends up being 350 calories, 20 grams of protein and 15 grams of sugar. If you actually did the math, you might've caught that there's an extra 15 calories unaccounted for in that calculation. Those are my vitamins.
I really like gummy vitamins. I have no other reasonable explanation as to why a fully functional adult, like myself, takes gummy vitamins in the morning. They get me what I need, so if you think it's funny that I take them, contact Ben, and the two of you can laugh about it together. I also take a few other supplements in the morning: some Vitamin C tablets, some dietary capsules, Claritin and Flonase. For clarification, I do not take 'diet pills' or anything of the sort. Basically, I take enzymes that help me digest things I normally would have trouble digesting. So, if I eat a ton of cheese, it won't kill me. For instance, the other night my dad and I went to the Pageant of the Masters (which, by the way, was amazing), and we went to dinner right before. They had a stuffed mushroom appetizer, which was just a pizza with a mushroom base. I'll be making that for sure. Anyway, it had a TON of cheese. I was really worried, because before I started taking these capsules, if I had dairy I had to keep a bathroom close by. Too much information? I don't care, it's my blog post, not yours. So naturally, I was thinking, oh no, I have a two hour event coming up, what if something happens with this cheese. I was totally fine the whole evening. And that is what the capsules are for. The Claritin and Flonase are to prevent my massive sneeze-attacks that are inevitable if I walk outside for more than 20 seconds.
Before my dad and I went to lunch, maybe around noon, I had the other half of my smoothie. Yum.
We go to Sweet Tomatoes pretty much everyday. My dad always has coupons, and it's our favorite. Sometimes we skip out on weekends or on days that kids eat free. I think Tuesdays? It gets pretty busy those days. I love love love salad bars. If I go to a restaurant, I always have to customize my salad order... no cheese, do you have light dressing? no? okay, well, dressing on the side, no croutons, etc. Salad bars give me total autonomy. I'm mad with power. No, but really, I love them. I'll deconstruct the salad you see pictured. I start with a base of spring mix (gotta get them greens), then I add broccoli, red onions, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, kidney beans, corn, peas, quinoa, tomatoes, eggs and a little one ounce container of light ranch. I think that's it... sometimes I get a small spoonful of their prepared avocado BLT salad. I have no idea what's in it, but it's good. I also get a piece of their cheesy, garlic focaccia. Lately, I've been getting their chili. I really didn't like chili until I tried theirs. It's so. damn. good. I think I calculated once that this meal (with a different soup) is 500 or so calories, but with chili it's 550 or so. I can do some real math if you guys are that concerned, but it's easiest to estimate. It's important to measure calorie-dense things like peanut butter and cheese more so than it is to measure things like lettuce and other veggies. My dad and I get some ice cream on the way out. They have the cutest 5-calorie cones that are maybe two inches tall. I think it turns out to be 90 calories or so with the ice cream. Now that I'm laying it all out, I should start tracking this meal more carefully... these blog posts are actually helping me now!
I've been experimenting with healthy meals that I can meal prep, and that's what I've been having every night for dinner. Earlier this week, I made some Italian-inspired food to the best of my abilities. Since I made them at home, it's easier to track how many calories it is, so I'll break that down here. The rice part--which is just rice, spinach, cherry tomatoes and some red pepper chunks--is just about 115-130 calories when all is said and done. I don't cook with any oil other than Pam, so no calories are added there. The chicken, again, cooked with Pam and spices, is about 190 calories. Two tablespoons of parmesan cheese to top it off makes the whole meal just about 350 calories. I take that from my cute little containers, toss it into a bowl then the microwave for a minute, and that's dinner.
My favorite part of the day. I was once eating a variation of this in the dorm and I asked Noelle and Lauryn if I exclusively ate this for the rest of my life, could I still lose weight? The answer was yes, so long as I was eating it in the right amounts. A calorie deficit is a calorie deficit, I suppose. Anyway, I've since changed the chocolate. I found a stevia-sweetened dark chocolate (no sugar added!) at Whole Foods, and it's what I'm all about now. That combined with a half-tablespoon of natural, organic peanut butter and maybe a small cup of decaf coffee is my favorite. I love it. I live for it. If man could marry food, I'd be saying 'I do.' I'm being dramatic again, but I do love it. That much chocolate (a whole half bar!) is 170 calories. To be fair, I've been eating a half bar this week rather than a third of a bar because it's period week and I really need that to get me through. I could turn to worse coping mechanisms, so I don't want to hear about it. So, in total, this dessert is 215 calories. Last time I visited Ben, I was getting some peanut butter, and I always measure it and just eat it from the measuring spoon, right? So I pulled my peanut butter (his family doesn't eat the organic stuff, so it's safe to say it's mine) from the fridge and measured and started eating, and Ben's dad just laughed. Oh, well!
This week I've been eating more than usual, which I literally just explained, so this was a pretty heavy day of eating for me. Next week I'm going to make my dinners a little lighter-- maybe even just a smoothie. Today was about 1,700 calories, which is a LOT for me, but pretty normal for my period week. (Sorry to all of the men reading this that are not secure enough in their masculinity and are offended or weirded out by me talking about my period. I hope you learn to do better.) In the coming weeks, I'll be trying to control my calorie deficit a little better and regulate my gym going more so than this week. Also, I'm trying to evolve my diet as much as possible until I'm a health god. I have a little ways to go yet.
Thank you guys for reading, yet again, and let me know if you want to read anything specific in my coming blog posts!