Looking Good (for a mom)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A day in my nutritional life

A few of my readers (and many more people who have seen these changes in person) have inquired about my eating habits. I thought it might be helpful to show you what I USED to eat, as well as what I eat now. Fortunately, since I've been logging information on Gyminee for my entire journey, I can make those comparisons fairly easily.

So let's look at July 1, 2008.

I started off my day with an Attain Breakfast Shake, mixed with skim milk.
For my morning snack, I had 2 saltine crackers topped with 1TB Skippy Natural Creamy peanut butter.
At lunch, I had a taco salad I bought at our cafeteria at work, including a taco shell, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, grilled chicken, guacamole and (full fat) sour cream.
Afternoon snack was an apple.
For dinner, we made cheese pizza with Pillsbury dough, pizza sauce, and mozz cheese. I had about 1 1/2 pieces.
After dinner I had some Poppycock for a snack (popcorn w/ nuts).

Total calories: 1563
Fat: 66g
Carbs: 171g
Prot: 81g
Sodium: 2762

Calories from fat: 37%
Calories from carbs: 43%
Calories from protein: 20%

Back then, and in the months following, I found myself frustrated by my ratios at the end of the day. I felt like I needed more protein, but I wasn't sure how to get more in foods that I liked without overdoing it with my fat consumption.

So now let's look at a typical day for me today. This is my actual nutrition from March 3, 2009:

Breakfast was a cut-up nectarine, blueberries, and blackberries topped with 3/4 Cup 1% no salt added cottage cheese (Friendship brand), cinnamon, and 7 walnuts (1/2 oz).

Before I ate my lunch I snacked on 2 celery ribs and 12 large baby carrots, dipped into 1.5TB natural peanut butter. What's important to note here is that the only ingredient in this peanut butter is...peanuts!

For lunch, I had leftovers from the previous night's dinner -- 4oz chicken breast, and about one cup stir-fried veggies including broccoli, onions, chayote squash, celery, matchstick carrots, and mushrooms. In my stir-fry, I threw in 1TB soy sauce (for 4 servings, so 1/4 per serving) and added some water so that it had more volume and coated all of the food. I also tossed it with 1/2 TB natural peanut butter. I also ate a hard boiled egg white at this meal.

In the afternoon, my snack was 3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt (Fage brand), mixed with 1TB organic strawberry preserves (no sweeteners added), and topped with 1/3 granola (Chappaqua Crunch "Simply Granola").

At dinnertime, I cooked up a recipe I call "Creamy Mushroom Chicken." You flour some chicken breasts (I got them wet with water and used whole wheat flour), and then top it with cream of mushroom soup mixed with some milk. You then top it all with some cheese. I make this healthier by using low sodium soup, seasoning the chicken with garlic and pepper, and going light on the cheese. It's very good. I made some brown rice using chicken broth (Pacific Naturals organic low sodium - only 70mg per cup), and steamed some broccoli as a side.

After my workout that night, I had a snack of an 8oz glass of lowfat chocolate milk (organic valley) and 2 mini whole wheat pitas (which I toast in the toaster oven), which I dipped in 1.5TB hummus.

Total calories: 1737
Fat: 61g
Carbs: 177g
Prot: 129g
Sodium: 1891

Calories from fat: 31%
Calories from carbs: 40%
Calories from protein: 29%

There are a few things that stand out for me when I compare the two meals. First is that I'm focused much more on eating REAL FOOD. So I'm not going to eat a breakfast shake on the run when a healthy breakfast will keep me satisfied much longer. My meals are much more satisfying too. Rather than just a piece of fruit in the afternoon, I'm getting some protein with my yogurt. And look at the difference in the frequency and variety in the vegetables I ate! Between the stir fry veggies with lunch, the raw veggies for snacking, and the steamed veggies with dinner, I had what equates to 2.5 cups of vegetables. Back in July 2008, the only vegetables I ate were from that taco salad. And finally, much more of what I'm eating is from homemade items, or store bought items that I've specifically screened to ensure they don't have much (or any) added sugar, salt, or lots of artificial ingredients.

If I were still trying to lose weight, I would have skipped the rice with the dinner, cut back the cottage cheese and yogurt to just 1/2 C each, and had just one mini pita with hummus. That would have removed about 340 calories, leaving me with nearly 1400 calories for the day.

I do want to add that I am absolutely 100% satisfied with these meals. I am full, and I feel like my food is both interesting and tasty. People I work with are always saying, "wow, that looks really good" when they see me eating.

I'd love to hear good stories about healthy meals you like, brands you've "discovered" that have healthy ingredients, and how you've changed your eating habits.

1 comment:

  1. Liz, I'm with you .... once I got rid of the processed foods I actually felt as if my meals were much more filling (as well as fulfilling) than what I would previously eat.

    Some of my fave brands -
    * Ezekiel bread (I love the Sesame and the hamburger buns)
    * Fage Greek Yogurt (I make homemade Tzatziki using the 2%)
    * Cabot light, organic cheddar (I'm a cheese-aholic)
    * Healthy valley split pea soup (this stuff has like zero sodium!!)