Friday, January 14, 2011
Day 29 Update! And, re-thinking my relationship with food!
29 days until the photo shoot, but who’s counting??? LOL
Today, I want to spend a little time talking about another piece of the strategy I am using to get “photo-shoot ready”: EATING!
First things first, I AM NOT ON A DIET! I can eat ANYTHING I WANT, ANYTIME! However, I CHOOSE to eat what is good for me and what will, ultimately, help me live longer. It took a long time to get to where I am, but the habits I have developed are sustainable for the long-run.
While beginning an exercise program brought me to the start line, it was changing my eating habits that have actually given me the strength to START and CONTINUE the race! However, for some of us, and for me in the past, my eating habits disqualified me before I even got to the start line. Before I committed to healthy eating as a LIFESTYLE, I would try to work out everyday at the gym but still go out to eat and rationalize it with, “well, I just worked out or I will work out, so that balances things out.” WRONG APPROACH! Also, I ate out way too much. Even if I chose healthy options, I was still eating out A LOT, using the excuse that I was too busy to cook. I had to TOTALLY RE-VAMP my relationship with and understanding of food. For me, food was eaten to satisfy a craving, to have some enjoyment, or to treat myself. While this is ok, every once in a while, it is this relationship that leads to overindulgence. Because, why should a hard worker such as myself not treat myself? I had to learn that food is FUEL—no more, no less. When I began to understand and ingest this concept, my relationship with food changed.
I need to eat. I need food. Why? Because I need energy. And, I need lasting energy so that my body can function properly as well as fight the toxins in this polluted environment we live in. I don’t want to go into a long dissertation on the kind of food that is best. Fact of the matter is that WE ALL KNOW what we should be eating. I didn’t lose 80lbs by eating potato chips and twinkies. I lost 80lbs by eating fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, and whole grains—all in moderation. I don’t put restrictions on myself, either. If I want a piece of chocolate, I have it. If I want some fried chicken, I have it. The thing is, before, I used to crave these things, now I don’t, so it is a rare occasion when I feel like I HAVE TO HAVE a certain food. The only thing I feel like I HAVE TO HAVE is FUEL!
And, fuel for me can come in some weird and wacky combos because I have come to understand that in order to be fueled properly, I need the correct combination of macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Consuming these in the correct combination stabilizes my blood sugar, slows digestion (so I’m not hungry two seconds later), and provides me with the energy I need to LIVE! When I first began Fit Fun Boot Camp in January 2010, we were provided with a food plan that I have pretty much stuck to, with a few modifications. I do not count calories, instead, I count grams of protein, carbs, and fat and go by this general rule for daily totals: Total Carbs = 126 grams (Starch = 60 grams) Protein = 130 grams Fat= 40 grams. Another rule I live by: no starchy carbs after lunch (Starchy Carbs are the ultimate fuel and if they are not burned off, they turn into fat. Unless I plan an evening workout, I usually stay away from starchy carbs after lunch).
When I started. I measured EVERYTHING! Now, I know what I like and have memorized the nutritional value for various food items. For example, I know that 1 oz chicken breast has about 9 grams of protein. If I want about 26 grams of protein, I eat about 3 oz of chicken breast. Also, one regular size orange or apple, has about 12-15 grams of carbohydrates. 12 almonds has about 8 grams of fat. 1 tbsp of olive oil has about 14 grams of fat. I memorize these things and the correct quantities. When its all said and done, I try to get at least 25 grams of protein, 12-15 grams of fruit/veggie carbs, and 10-15 grams of fat in each meal—which usually totals to about 300 calories a meal, about 1500-1800 calories a day.
But for me, that gets to be too much math, so I like I said, I memorize things and just know that generally, my plate needs to be filled with more veggies (and fruit) than meat and that I can’t forget my good fat. If foods get too complicated, I don’t go for it, especially since I cook everything now.
Also, I have been gluten-free and dairy-free (mostly) since November, 2010. This means that I don’t do wheat products and I don’t do milk, cheese, and yogurt anymore (I used to LOVE GREEK YOGURT so this was especially hard.) Sometimes I will have yogurt or something with gluten and I will get bloated and feel icky inside. To remedy this, I just go back to gluten-dairy free and feel MUCH better. Prior to going gluten and dairy free, I had a good time at Trader Joes. They have the CHEAPEST 16oz container of greek yogurt and the BEST sprouted wheat bread that has only 7 grams of carbs a slice! Also, they have a wonderful low fat sliced white cheddar cheese –didn’t taste low-fat at all.
Things I avoid like the plague: SALT, SUGAR, AND FLOUR! I avoid salt because I have a history with hypertension and my doctor cleared me in October, 2010 to stop taking medication for this. I avoid sugar because really, who needs it? Fruit is naturally sweet and I’ve never had a sweet tooth really (although I LOVE BAKING, go figure!). Also, it leads to other bad habits. Processed white flour is a no-no as well. IF I HAVE RICE, it’s brown. And, since I am gluten-free, I don’t do whole wheat pasta, although I do understand there are awesome gluten-free pastas that, maybe, I will try one day, maybe.
Because, food is fuel, I eat about 5-6 small, no more than 300 calorie, meals a day. I try to eat high quality, non-processed foods. This may sound difficult and like I am restricting myself but really, I don’t feel that way. Also, though I am a person who abhors leftovers, I can eat the same combo of food everyday, as long as it’s prepared fresh that day. Something about reheating food (except for soup/chili) grosses me out. When I reheat, I like to re-heat in the oven.
So, that’s my “eating” in a nutshell (LOL, big nut, huh?) I feel like I left tons out and could go on forever, but I’ll stop here.
On to the daily update!!!!
Exercise: Boot camp (50 minutes)
5:30am Pre-workout energy boost: ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, ¾ cup h2o, 2 tbsp gelatin (11 grams protein)
7:45am After workout breakfast shake: ¼ cup soy milk, ¾ cup h2o, 1 scoop protein powder (24 grams protein), 5 frozen strawberries, 9 almonds (not blended in shake)
10:45am Banana, 12 almonds
1:45pm Homemade Chicken Veggie Soup
3:45 pm 1 orange (This was not substantial enough because I was hungry a little while later. I was out and forgot to pack some almonds.)
5:45pm 2 Chicken Lettuce Wraps (lettuce wrapped around 3 oz baked chicken breast [about 1.5 oz of chicken in each wrap], cucumbers, red peppers, green peppers, green onion, avocado, cilantro with a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and garlic powder)
128 oz h2o
¼ cup soy milk
12 oz herbal tea sweetened with 1/4 tsp stevia in the raw