Calorie Counting Update

Hi everybody! Happy Friday! I wanted to give you an update on my new “plan”, which is calorie counting with the MyFitnessPal app. Ok, first of all – how is this app free? It’s freaking awesome, and way more functional, interactive and efficient than the Weight Watchers app. No offense to Weight Watchers, but as somebody in the digital industry, MyFitnessPal blows me away with its functionality. It also flashes this cool little update when you finish counting calories for the day that tells you, “If you ate this way everyday, in five weeks you’d weigh XXX pounds.” Very motivating!

I’m finding calorie counting strangely much easier than tracking points. The only “calculation” required is typing in what I ate – and usually, the exact brands and portions comes right up. I’m also a lot more full, and I think I figured out why. On Weight Watchers, I’d stave off hunger with zero-point fruit. What I’ve realized now is that fruit wasn’t really ever filling me up… in fact, it might have been making me even more hungry. I’m not eating as much fruit, but I’m not eating as much in general now – focusing more on heavier breakfasts and lunch. MyFitnessPal has me at 1,900 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week. I weigh in on Monday morning with my university nutritionist. I’m curious how it’s going to go – it’s been three weeks since I weighed in. It could be really good, really bad, or the same. We’ll see! I’ve also decided not to weigh in weekly. I get a little too focused on the number, and I think it’s better for me to focus less on what the scales says and more on what my body and clothes and FitnessPal say.

Here’s an example of how I’m eating. I’m trying to pack protein and fiber into my mornings, and focus on a slightly larger lunch to keep the snacking at bay. I’m still obsessed with Chobani 2% Mango, and I usually have a small snack at night – in this case, it was a small bowl of raisin bran. I usually don’t drink whole milk but it’s all we had, so it was a nice creamy treat.

I exercised for 40 minutes and ended the night with 262 something calories. Not too shabby. That’s 8 peeps! 😉

What are your thoughts about calorie counting? I initially thought it would be incredibly hard and force me to eat lettuce and water. In fact, it’s much easier than I thought!

Have a wonderful day!




Grad School Diet

  • Banana
  • Greek Yogurt
  • 2 hot dogs, no bun
  • 2 chicken soft tacos, 1 side salad
  • 5 pretzel sticks
  • 1 piece pecan pie


  • Naked Juice Mighty Mango Smoothie
  • Cheese burger, french fries
  • 1 Slimfast Shake
  • 1 bag of popchips

See above? That’s what I ate yesterday and today. I’m not proud about it, but it’s reality. It’s what working 9 hour days and then going to class for three hours will do to you. I’ve been averaging one large meal a day, and when I look at days like today, I’m not eating enough. Even a fatty fat bomb meal like a cheeseburger and fries is not enough… to sustain my body to get through a long, taxing day.

My body runs best on lean proteins, whole grains and fresh vegetables – and I bet yours does too. I have two more weeks of crazy stress coming – including one 40-poem, 20-page poetry anthology to write, and one 20-page theory on Mass Communication theory in regards to the Tunisian uprising. Then, I will have a glorious month off, in which I will get back to the gym, cook yummy meals, blog more, practice relaxing, and spend time with my sweet husband who is often a grad school widow.

My dinner tonight. Sigh!

I need to find a way to incorporate healthy eating into my busy day to day life, wether it’s grabbing more fruit or stocking up on fiber-rich bars. My first priorities lately have been work and school and not my health, and that bothers me. I need to take care of me to do the best I can at both work and school. So for the next two weeks, I’ll work hard, but also work hard on taking care of me. And that means less Slim Fast and pop chips, and more veggies, water and gym time.

When you get crazy busy – what’s the first thing that suffers?

Review: Uncle Sam Cereal

Hello friends: This is my first food review! Special thanks to Attune Foods and Uncle Sam cereal for reaching out. Please note that I was provided a complimentary review sample of this cereal in exchange for a review.

Cereal and I have a weird relationship. At one point in my teen years, I stockpiled four boxes of Count Chocula cereal after calling multiple stores in the area to find it. I never liked Cheerios, Kix or Wheetabix – but the sugary, chalky pellets of puffed who-knows-what always tickled my taste buds, and I’d chow down on bowls of Lucky Charms or worse, Reeses puffs. As I grew aware of how being fat was seriously unhealthy, I gave up my affair with sugar-bomb cereal and traded it in for a bland but stable relationship with whole wheat toast.

In my college years, I found the glories of fiber and became a fan of Trader Joe’s “Twigs, Flakes and Clusters.” Since then I’ve dabbled in a few high fiber cereals, as I find them to be filling, low in fat, and much easier to digest than the brightly-colored fatty-flakes I once loved.

The cereal - no artificial colors here!

In a wonderfully written letter about the product (Copywriters can’t help but notice the words – clever, informative and succinct! Well done, copywriter), I found out that Uncle Sam cereal was once lauded as a “natural laxative cereal.”  That’s a claim that may frighten people who don’t want their bowels quaking shortly after breakfast, but I found it to be true in the most ungross way. Sorry – fiber is so important for your body, and this cereal helps move everything along! A 3/4 cup serving packs a whopping TEN grams of fiber! For comparison: 3/4 cup Captain Crunch has less than gram of fiber. Fiber fail, Captain Crunch!

Four Core Ingredients

What’s the most important thing about this cereal? How it tastes! I’ll admit – I was skeptical at first of a cereal that lists only four ingredients. (Isn’t it sad that I’d probably be less suspicious of  an ingredient list longer than the bible?)Thankfully, my suspicions were wrong, and the taste is nutty, simple and light, with a nice crunch. It’s not sweetened, so people who are used to the taste of “Artificial O’s” might think it a bit bland, but I drizzled some clover honey over the top of it and it was perfect. I ate mine consistently with 2% cow’s milk and a drizzle of honey – very good in the morning, it kept me satisfied until lunch time. I wanted to try grinding the flakes in a food processor and use them for onion ring breading, but my busy work week got the best of me and I actually LIKED what I was eating, so the box disappeared in pure breakfast consumption.

Milk, Honey and Uncle Sam

One more thing: Uncle Sam cereal is a verified product in the Non-GMO project. This means that it’s made out of ingredients that aren’t genetically modified. This means no cloning sheep, no neon green dyes, no harvesting crushed beetle shells for super powers. This is a good thing – and a cause that makes me happy to support a brand.

I recommend Uncle Sam if you’re looking for a filling, healthful breakfast cereal. You can find Uncle Sam at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and most grocery stores nationwide. If you try it, let me know what you think!