What I Ate Wednesday: A sneak peek into low-carb life

Ok, so technically, the title should be “What I ate Tuesday” since I ate all of this on a Tuesday, buttttt I’m pretty sure you’ll let it slide. Right?! This week marked a new shift for me in deciding two very important things: 1) I need to get on track with low carb, because it WORKS – for me, anyways. 2) I’ve been prescribed a new medication for stress management… it’s called EXERCISE. When the going gets going, it’s too easy for me to say “Oh, I didn’t eat that much today, I don’t need to exercise.” Wrong! I need to exercise at least three times a week. At least! At the end of the day, 30 minutes on the elliptical is a tiny sliver of time out of my week. I’m worth it. Anyways! What did I eat today?

I started the day with some egg whites and bacon ends. I’m in love with Bacon Ends lately (Sprouts sells them). They cook up way faster, and they’re inexpensive compared to the whole strips. A perfect compromise for a busy, frugal person. I also had a cup of PG Tips tea, sweetened with a sprinkle of Swerve Sweetener.

Breakfast: Egg Whites and Bacon Ends

Breakfast: Egg Whites and Bacon Ends

Then, for lunch, I had a Southwestern Salad. I used the Lean Cuisine Salad Additions pack which included chicken strips, roasted peppers, corn, black beans and tortilla strips. I omitted the tortilla strips, nixed their Chipotle Ranch dressing in favor of a yummy Cotija Cilantro dressing, and added a fresh tomato. Yummy! I also had a small serving of cajun flavored cheese curds and a Diet Pepsi with lime juice.

Take your salad from drab to fab with Lean Cuisine Salad Additions! Haha, no that's not a sponsored caption. Just copywriting fun :)

Take your salad from drab to fab with Lean Cuisine Salad Additions! Haha, no that’s not a sponsored caption. Just copywriting fun 🙂

Later on in the afternoon, I was meeting a client at a coffee shop. I had an unsweetened iced tea, and when I got home, decided I wanted a sweet snack. In came some frozen mixed berries with a spoonful of Chia Seeds and some cream. NOW – Most people who read that I had “cream” while on a diet would probably finger-wag me, but the great part about low-carb is you don’t need to be afraid of fat. In fact, fat is what satiates you and keeps you full on a diet like this, along with the protein. As long as I’m not poppin’ bacon ends like tic-tacs or drinking cream by the gallon, there’s no harm, no foul in some fatty-flavor-makin’.

Frozen berries with chia and cream.

Frozen berries with chia and cream.

Next up was dinner, which came very late today because of the time change and colliding schedules. Matt made a delicious meat loaf from lean ground beef, ground pork, oats and V8. It’s super yummy! I paired it with a quarter of a huge sweet potato, and a generous helping of asparagus and brussels sprouts. Mmmmmm.

Delicious, filling and fresh dinner.

Delicious, filling and fresh dinner.

I consider this a pretty successful day in terms of eating well. The dark chocolate square and handful of raw cashews aren’t pictured, but those were snacks on the “inbetween” moments of the day, shuttling to and from different meetings. Now what does all this look like in terms of the numbers? According to MyFitnessPal, I ate about 1,580 calories and 98 grams of carbs. I’m trying to stay under 100g of carbs per day, so while this cuts close, I saw success on a plan like this previously. It’s higher in calories than what traditionally may work for people, but that’s one of the advantages to not eating bread is that you can eat higher fat. (Oh, bread. I wish we got along. I miss you. I dream of you.)

I have my follow-up thyroid and weight appointment on Friday the 15th, so I’m looking forward to (ok, not really looking forward to because I hate scales) getting on the scale and seeing what’s happened in the past six weeks. Hopefully, my imperfect road map to weight loss has resulted in a small loss, but ideally, it will be at least a couple pounds. However, there were a few bumps in the road that I talked about on Monday, but I’m not going to let it derail me. I’m back on the wagon!

So now you know what I ate today. I want to know what you ate today. What’s gone down the hatch in your world? Bonus points to whoever describes the best carb-heavy meal!

 

 

Appreciating my appetite

Many moons ago, I explored acupuncture, hoping to have an answer to my weight problem, allergies and stress. Before my first session, I remember the acupuncturist was very interested in my appetite. I answered like I usually do when someone asks me how my appetite is, “It’s big.” What the acupuncturist said next surprised me. She said I should be grateful for a good appetite, because many people struggle to eat on a daily basis. That blew my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve ever experienced a bad appetite, and now, one of my telltale signs of being too stressed is when I’m not thinking about what I’m going to eat next. There’s the type of stress that makes me want to cram everything crunchy into my mouth, and then, when I get really spastic, I don’t want anything to do with food. Thankfully that doesn’t happen too often anymore now that I’m learning stress management techniques in therapy, but isn’t it interesting that an appetite is actually something to be grateful for? You could have a lack of appetite from illness, or just never really be hungry. I can’t imagine it!

One of my coworkers once told me if there was a pill he could take instead of having to eat three square meals, he’d do it in a heartbeat. He found the whole act of eating annoying — the cost, the preparation, the time factor, the having to chew it. When he said that I was shocked, because I find unreasonable joy in food — the preparation, the smells, the tastes, the textures, the social aspect. In fact, one of the positive parts of the detox was that I cooked a lot, roasting vegetables, pureeing fruits, experimenting with new squashes. I love food, beyond just the taste and the fact that it fuels me, but how it’s a hobby, a learning experience and a form of medicine.

My husband has a healthy appetite, I’d say, but it’s nowhere near as robust as mine. I’m usually the one finishing my meal at restaurants when he diligently takes home half. My mother is the same way; she can out eat most grown men any day of the week. I’ve moved past the shame factor of having a big appetite because there’s really nothing to be ashamed about, as long as you stop when you’re full and eat things of reasonable nutritional value. However, my big challenge is always “Am I finishing this because I’m still hungry, or am I finishing it because I feel like I should?” It’s these things that are important to realize about appetite, learning how to fine-tune it to keep it in control, to acknowledge the differences between hunger and emotional eating. It’s an art I’m still working on.

How would you rate your appetite — big, small, non-existent? Do you see what I mean about learning to appreciate your appetite?