Posts filed under ‘Nutrition’
I am a tired lady. My sleeping schedule is seriously out of whack at the moment…I’m finding myself staying up as late as I used to in college! Not that I’m too far out of college now or anything (I graduated in 2009), but since I’m now an “adult” and have an “adult job,” I have to be more responsible about getting a good night’s sleep so I can work hard. Last night I was up until at least 3…It wasn’t intentional, but I get such a burst of energy at night that I find it hard to imagine going to sleep when there are so many other things I could be doing!
Definitely drank a giant iced coffee this morning, made half and half with almond milk.
Part of the reason I was up so late is that I worked from home yesterday and got a late start. I focused and worked hard, but it was one of those days where nothing was going right and I couldn’t get the answers I needed to get things done. It was very frustrating, so I ended up working later than I planned to try and get more done. I worked most of the day at Caribou, but this time only bought a large iced tea and brought lunch from home — a small turkey, goat cheese and avocado sandwich on whole wheat and a few strawberries (not pictured).
I finally got home and made dinner around 9, and stuck to a simple combo of whole wheat rigatoni, marinara sauce, pecorino cheese, a Trader Joe’s chicken sausage and some asparagus on the side. It was simple, hearty and delicious.
So as much as I hate doing so, I have gotten back on the calorie tracking bandwagon. I am by no means obsessive about counting calories (I think those people who know the count of every single food offhand are a little neurotic), but I’ve realized that it’s really important to help keep portion sizes in check and to make sure I’m not unknowingly going completely overboard with my daily intake. I know that I need to set small goals for myself in order to make continuous and long-lasting changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
It’s one thing to eat three slices of pizza for dinner — anyone with an ounce of sense knows that this is a caloric meal and, if they’re trying to watch their intake, can compensate to a pretty close balance. That’s not an issue for me. My problem is all the really healthy, nutritious, but calorically dense food that I eat. I love healthy food — I love seeing how many superfoods and nutrient-dense things I can pack into my day, and seeing the benefits both in how I look and feel (hello, glowing skin!). But things like nut butter, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, olive oil, avocado….all these things are very calorically dense. I love all of them, so after tracking my portions and calories very closely, I’ve realized that I usually eat more of these things than I need. Sure, I can balance it out with fewer calories from other things throughout the day, but I doubt I would be satisfied or full if I wanted to stick to the same intake goals.
My point is, as much as I despise calorie counting and feel that it can border on obsessive or disordered in some ways if you’re not careful, I think it’s an important tool that can be used periodically to help make sure you’re sticking to the nutrient and calorie intake that your body needs, but not more than your body needs. My problem isn’t too many cookies or chips — it’s the freakin’ avocado!
On a similar note, I’ve noticed that while tracking on Livestrong.com/The Daily Plate that I almost always go over the fiber and protein “nutrient goals” they set. Fiber didn’t faze me at all — lots of fiber is awesome and most people don’t get nearly enough. But the too much protein thing really surprised me! They’re suggesting I need only 41g per day which I don’t think is anywhere near enough (for health, satiety, muscles, etc), so I decided to look up how much protein I (& women in general) really need per day.
As I suspected, I actually need more than twice as much protein as Livestrong initially told me. I’m guessing they just suggest the bare minimum since most people don’t get enough (or get far, far too much) protein, but I was still really surprised to see such a disparity. Interesting! Glad I have been making sure to get plenty and not listening to Mr. Armstrong ;)
One major accomplishment I made last night was finally setting up my wireless router. Even though I moved into my current apartment at the beginning of May, I neglected to set up a wireless connection for a variety of reasons, the main being laziness, but also because my apartment is very small. I could easily leave my laptop on my coffee table next to the modem I needed to plug it into, and it was never really a problem — just a slight annoyance, the biggest drawback being not being able to use my laptop in bed. I think overall that’s probably a good thing, but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough now that I have wireless!
Funnily enough, the only reason I couldn’t figure out how to set up the router was a faulty Ethernet cable! I thought I was going crazy or at the very least had lost my techie prowess because I couldn’t figure out this silly router for the life of me (it was used, but handed over by my parents so still in great condition). As it turned out though, the cord they included was just busted. As soon as I tried a new one (why didn’t I think of that sooner!) and followed the simple steps on the LinkSys website, I was up and running in no time! Hallelujah!
Another major accomplishment last night was making my first protein muffin, the ones that Gina is always raving about! I wanted a dose of protein (how appropriate!) but also something dessert-y. I know I’m always saying I’m not a sweets person, but for some reason lately I’ve been craving sweets much more than usual. Maybe I’m just not a junk food, processed sugary crap type of person? Even as a kid, I thought Sour Patch Kids and gummi worms were disgusting; they always gave me stomach aches!
I did a pumpkin-chocolate combo for the muffin and it turned out delicious! It was almost like a brownie, but it also wasn’t very low-cal either…I’ll post pictures and the recipe I used later, but I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting with this recipe quite a bit going forward, tweaking it to at least make it the ultimate brownie!
I’m off to finish some work and eat my lunch, then I’m having dinner in Little Italy with my parents for my dad’s birthday! I cant’ wait! Due to the freezing AC in my building, lunch is a steamy cup of lentil veggie soup (in my favorite mug!) and a cold, crunchy salad. I also brought a cup of tasty fruit that I cut up. Have a great day!
I made the beeeesttttt sandwich for work today. Lately I have been craving creamy, cheesy comfort food like nobody’s business (although watching Man vs. Food last night probably didn’t help), so I wanted something particularly tantalizing for lunch today, not to mention easy.
I took a Morningstar Farms chick’n pattie that I had hidden at the back of the freezer, two slices of whole wheat bread, half of a PERFECT avocado and some goat cheese. This bad boy made me weak in the knees.
Really though, is there nothing better than cutting into a perfectly ripe avocado? It rarely happens, so I always do a little dance when I get one. <—nerd
I’ve had the goat cheese/avocado combo many times in salads, but never together on a sandwich and all I say say is HOLY COW. Or rather, holy goat. <———bigger nerd
When I was in college and vulnerable to just about any “alternative” idea, I decided to go vegan for awhile. Like many women, I read “Skinny Bitch” thinking it was a diet book and, of course, was horrified to read what it was really about. That stuff is a big shock if you’ve never read about it before, and I had never really been exposed to veganism.
Disgusted, I immediately cut out all animal products in a dramatic cleansing of my cupboards, and found myself with next to nothing to eat immediately after. I did what many “starter vegans” do, buying meat substitutes of every food item you can imagine, as well as some vegan junk food. I tried soy milk for the first time (and hated it, but eventually grew to love it), switched to agave from honey — the whole 9 yards.
Long story short, I slowly began lapsing on my good choices because I found that this lifestyle was simply not practical for me. I am by no means saying that a vegan diet is bad (I think it’s awesome) or that is is impractical in general, but I did not feel my best when doing it and, especially being in college, had a very hard time keeping it up while maintaining the lifestyle that I wanted. (Hello, I lived in Wisconsin — beer and brats, anyone?)
BUT, going vegan for awhile had some very positive impacts on my life that I still keep up with today. After cutting out cow dairy for several months, I found that I had a really hard time digesting it when I tried it again. I now know that I (along with a huge portion of the population) am lactose intolerant, and while I can handle small amounts of yogurt (Greek mainly) and cheese (not ideal but tastes WAY too good to avoid), I absolutely cannot handle milk or ice cream. It makes me sick sick sick and very…er…unpleasant to be around. Heh. I now drink either soy milk or almond milk and don’t even miss milk! I still use half & half in my coffee, but use only a splash and almost always buy organic.
Being temporarily vegan also introduced me to an entirely new world of vegetables. Before that, I would maybe eat broccoli or salads once in awhile, and would occasionally get some vegetable soup. But having quickly realized that you can’t subsist on tofurkey slices and bread all day, I began trying vegetables that I either had never considered or hadn’t even heard of previously. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, jicama, you name it — to this day, I will eat just about any vegetable. Peas (regular, not snap) are my one exception, but I’ll still eat them sometimes anyway.
It was also a great way to learn how to introduce meatless meals into my diet, and I began to become more and more aware of how much better my body feels when I eat vegetable-heavy, low-dairy and nutritious meals.
Have you ever dabbled in veganism?