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!

 

 

Crunchy, Chewy, Crispy Carbs: How many should I eat with PCOS?

Carbs. Salty, chewy carbs. Tortilla chips, sourdough bread, crackers, potatoes, rice. MMMM. CARBS. Oh, how I love carbs. I’d take the warm, chewy sourdough bread with a tab of melting butter over the freshly-baked chocolate cake any day. Who needs sugar when you can have BREAD?!

When all the Atkins and Southbeach and Zone diets started coming out, I remember having this reaction, summed up so exquisitely by Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World: (And yes, Scotty, I could eat garlic bread for every meal, too.)

Now that I know what’s up with my body (PCOS and subclinical hypothyroid), it makes sense that in my dieting life, the only diet that’s ever worked has been low-carb. When you have PCOS, you are typically insulin resistant, which means that sugars and carbs spike your blood sugar, causing you to hold on to those calories and sugar grams much more than fat. Here’s a nifty diagram that explains it:

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I’ve had the sad realization lately that a low-calorie diet with exercise ain’t gonna do it. Oh no. My body needs less, and in a way, it needs more. More fat, less carbs. My doctor is sadly moving on to another practice, so next week I’ll meet with her replacement, hopefully somebody who can work with me and be like “THIS IS WHY YOU’RE FAT” (and, ahem, not point out the meal I had last week that *was* just a giant piece of garlic bread. Naaaaah. Couldn’t be that.) Today I started a super low dose of Synthroid to help get my sluggish thyroid moving a little bit, and I was also put back on Metformin, the diabetes drug that helps with PCOS insulin resistance. When I was on it last time for a few weeks, I remember lovvvving the energy boost I felt. I wasn’t dragging through the day. I’m looking forward to feeling normal again, even though a nice, nasty summer cold showed up today and I sound all froggy.

I’ve decided to start counting carbs again. While I’m not necessarily doing an Atkins style diet, I’m going to try to eat around 100-150 grams of carbs per day. I came to this number by doing some extensive Googling. The first two weeks of Atkins, induction, has you eating 40 grams of carbs or less. I figure 100 is a nice number that allows me to still have a piece of bread here and there, but for the most part, my meals need to be vegetable and protein. It’s not too bad, I suppose. I’d honestly rather eat low-carb than 1,000 calories, because at least on low carb you can enjoy olive oil, butter and cheese, sparingly. And who doesn’t love bacon?! I’ve been using My Fitness Pal and a new app called Daily Carb.

Given that low-carb has always been the key to success with me and weight loss, I’m hoping this new approach towards eating plus regular exercise and my new medicines will help get things moving the right way. Thankfully I’ve maintained a couple pounds down in the past month, which I’m hopeful about as the scale has FINALLY stopped moving up. I suppose it could be different when I weigh in at the doctor’s next week, but for now, I’m trying not to focus on the number so much as getting into a routine. Because consistency is key, right?

Have you noticed anything about how carbs affect your weight loss? Does it not matter? Are you one of those lucky people who could LOSE weight by eating only carbs?