Thursday, November 03, 2011

New York, New York

The countdown continues! Today's New York inspired song is brought to you by Frank...

Let's talk nutrition.

I have soooo many friends who have been eating clean for awhile now. I've eaten healthy (or healthier), but I've never truly switched to "clean". I've started buying organic meats and some fruits. I've used organic dairy for years. But, I also had quite a bit of the processed crap in my diet.

So a couple of months ago, I decided to finally really clean up my diet. However,that was about the time I also started traveling for work. It's difficult to eat healthy, much less clean while on the road. So, 4 weeks ago when my traveling had come to an end, I decided it was time. My diet is definitely not perfect, but it is soooo much better than before. I've really minimized the amount of processed foods I'm eating and reduced my sugar intake significantly!

What I am eating that I wasn't eating before:

  • Fage Plain Greek Yogurt w/ fruit and stevia...when I was working with a nutritionist, she suggested this. I thought mixing fruit and stevia with yogurt was too much work and kept eating my regular light yogurt. I did occasionally buy this yogurt and mix in honey, but that was it. The Greek stuff has WAY more protein and not so much sugar. Love it!

  • Spaghetti Squash...we've had this once a week for 4 weeks and I love it! I've mixed it with a little olive oil, feta, tomatoes, Greek olives and seasoning to eat with grilled chicken. I've also added marinara and ricotta for a different flavor. I also baked butternut squash, which I liked...but not as much as spaghetti squash.

  • Quinoa...I've been hearing about it for years, but never attempted to cook it myself. Yummo! And, it's packed with protein!

  • Chia Seeds...Yes, as in a chia pet. I've started adding these to salads and protein shakes. They have 2 times the amount of protein of any grains, 3 times the amount of antioxidants of blueberries, 5 times more calcium than milk, 2 times the amount of potassium in a banana, and 3 times the iron of spinach. They are also supposed to be jam packed full of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Cool!

  • Hummus and Veggies...I'll admit, I am a pita chip eating fool. Until recently it never occurred to me to try veggies with my hummus instead. I am finding that I love my veggies. I eat hummus with cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers (all colors), etc.

  • Flavored stevia in coffee...Okay, I'll admit that I am still getting used to this one. I can't seem to get the combination of the stevia and cream just right. I am not really a true coffee drinker. By that, I mean that I go to Starbucks a lot, but I order the skinny vanilla latte. I didn't think this was a bad thing, but there are 18 grams of sugar in a grande! By switching to the regular coffee with stevia, I am not only cutting down on sugar, I am also saving myself a ton of money!

  • There are tons more, but those are the things that come to mind. There are also some things that I am not doing well:

  • Lean Cuisines...I am trying to cook things that I can bring to work the next day for lunch. However, there are times when it's just easier and faster to grab a Lean Cuisine on the way out the door in the morning. There are worse things I could be eating for lunch, but this is still funky, processed crap.

  • Diet Coke...yes, I am a girl who loves her daily Diet Coke (with lime might I add). I only have one a day, but I think I might be able to eventually eliminate this completely from my diet. Maybe. Truth be told, I really love regular coke, but I save those for special occasions.

  • Wine...Okay, okay, I LOVE my wine. Right now, my favorites are Cabernet and Malbec. I have continued to have a glass or two a week, especially on Saturdays nights when I've had a long run that morning. I figure it's better than having a Mike's Hard Lemonade (my favorite, but it has 220 calories and 30 grams of sugar!). I'll save my other favorite - Margarita's - for special occasions. And just a note - I have not had any wine this week. It's race week after all!
  • The other issue I've been having is not getting in enough calories. I log everything I eat into Calorie King. At the end of the day, I noticed that I was only at 1,100 - 1,200 calories for the day, and that's not including the exercise calories I've earned for the day. However, I have gotten lots of great ideas for adding some additional healthy calories from friends...including my favorite, having a nice glass of chocolate milk!

    Also, I will add that this change in my diet has resulted in me losing a little over 8 lbs. The 1st 4 lbs were lost in the 1st week alone! And, I am happy to say that I am now at my lowest weight since getting pregnant with my 1st kiddo 7 years ago. I still have a few more pounds to lose to reach my goal, but this has been the closest I've gotten to it in YEARS! Now the real challenge will be jumping back into these eating habits as soon as we return from NYC.

    So, what are your favorite healthy snacks to munch on? Do you "eat clean" or follow some other eating plan?


    Tara @ said...

    I'll be thinking about you Sunday!!!

    I'm a Lean Cuisiner too. I don't always eat them but it's good portion control and they don't taste that bad.

    I'd like to get to a more clean eating place... no excuses really here, I should do it. Just haven't yet.

    JunieB said...

    also maybe use almond milk instead of reg milk for the chocolate milk. I have switched to that.

    i started this week in reducing my daily 32oz of diet coke to 12oz can. day 1 was ROUGH. its gotten better, but today i slipped and just needed that fountain drink!!!

    and isnt it amazing when you take out the processed crap etc and lose the weight!? i am cutting out about 80% of grains too. we'll see where that gets me!

    Stephanie said...

    I can't wait to hear (um . . read) about your race!!

    As far as "clean" eating - if I use organic ingredients - does cookie dough count?

    I'm afraid I'll never be good at really healthy eating - I run so that I can eat whatever I want - including the yummy processed crap.

    K said...

    Awesome! I love seeing the eating transformations! I second the chocolate almond milk. Love quinoa. I will have to send you my recipes. Best advice I can give is to not give up even if you have a few off days. Stick with it and you will feel amazing!

    Anne said...

    Congratulations on your dedication to a better diet. I'm curious if the Greek yogurt has to be Fage, according to the nutritionist. I love Greek yogurt but I usually have Chiabani or Oikos.

    TX Runner Mom said...

    Anne - Nope, that was the Greek yogurt I just happened to pick up and I really liked it. Any Greek yogurt will do!