Counting Calories SUCKS

I hate counting calories. I know that it can be a useful tool to create an awareness of what and how much you really eat, but there are so many misconceptions about calorie counting (a calorie is a calorie, you gain weight by eating more calories than what you burn, etc). I remember when I was 19 and eating a McDonald’s salad (with grilled chicken) a coworker told me, “Did you know that when you eat that salad with the dressing it has more calories than a Big Mac?”   -_____-   Really?? Ok, but does that make the Big Mac the healthier option? Of course not! A big ass salad is going to be calorically dense, but it’s also going to be so nutrient dense. Those nutrients from the vegetables and olive/avocado oil are going to distribute differently than those from a less healthy, but lower calorie meal. The healthy fats with also keep you satiated longer and will hopefully keep you from snacking on something out of a box.

Per the OTF Transformation Challenge, I’ve been logging my food in My Fitness Pal. The food logs are voluntary and are to be turned in on Fridays for evaluation. I turned in my Monday-Thursday log and I am quite curious as to what feedback I’ll receive. There were days where I was “over” on calories, and days where I was under. I don’t agree with looking at calories from a day-to-day perspective but rather prefer to look at them in the context of a week. It makes sense that way.  If I eat a caloric dense meal, I’m probably going to skip the next meal or go light for a few meals after (the exception to this would be on Saturdays with alcohol involved!).

Yesterday logging my food was SO ANNOYING. I say this because I ate a lot of food and don’t want to be shamed for it lol! I ate a giant breakfast (an egg on toast (from Base Culture a local paleo company), sauteed zucchini & onion, root vegetable hash (yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots), and crispy pork belly. For lunch I made myself a chicken sandwich with a leftover chicken thigh and some crispy pickle chips. Also had a handful of actual potato chips. I then had a rum drink with 1.5 ounces of rum and 1/4 cup of passion fruit juice. At this point I was at -204 calories!! Late afternoon I had another rum drink and for dinner I ate a gluten free pizza from a shop down the road. I ended with the day with -1,073 calories. That’s pretty ridiculous.

Needless to say that this morning I was not hungry at all so I didn’t eat breakfast– just had my coffee and almond/cashew “milk.” Didn’t even think about food until I came home from church at 11:40. I probably would have waited longer to eat but my husband was starving so we made bacon sandwiches– he had a BL sandwich, and I had a “BLE” sandwich (bacon, lettuce, egg). We’re out of tomatoes.

All this being said, food logging itself is cool because it can help you if you’re aiming to achieve specific macros. The app or program you use does all the calculations for you (yay technology). I do have to admit that I like seeing the pie chart of my macros at the end of each day and am mostly pleased with my ratios.

On a side note– I wore a pair of pants this morning that did not fit me last month!! I tried them on earlier in June and though they buttoned up, they were way too tonight. Like the button was going to bust off and the seam was all up in my shit creating an insane camel toe effect. Not cool, not even with a long shirt because of muffin top spillage. It was bad. This morning they buttoned comfortably and although I’m still thicker than I would like to be, there was no muffin top!! My hip/waist fat was not spilling over at all. Yes, they were still a tad bit snug but they were decently comfortable. I’m happy with myself.

Looking forward to Week 2 of the Transformation Challenge!

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OTF Transformation Challenge Days 1-3

June 27, 2018

Monday was the start of the aforementioned transformation challenge and round 2 of my Whole30.

Unfortunately I am not doing a true Whole30 because part of the challenge is food logging on the My Fitness Pal app. I didn’t even make it past day 1 anyway because Monday evening I made Wonton Meatballs (recipe from Nom Nom Paleo) and I ate them with sriracha sauce, which is not Whole30 compliant because there is added sugar (there’s less than a gram in a serving so it really isn’t that big of a deal, which is why I didn’t sweat it).

Tuesday went well, until dinner lol In the morning I was asked to babysit and thankfully I was not needed until closer to 7 so I was able to go home after work and throw stuff in the Instant Pot so that my husband wouldn’t have to scrounge for dinner (and I could have an amazing Wednesday lunch). I made Korean Short Ribs (recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, again lol). I had a protein shake and a banana before leaving the house to babysit. I thought that would hold me over since I had a late lunch (salad with chicken and avocado and avocado dressing– plenty of fat!). Around 8:30 I was hungry so I ate some random stuff from their refrigerator– 2 few olives, 4 little few banana pepper rings, 2 or 3 marinated artichokes. THEN I had a handful of Lay’s salt & vinegar chips, and later a handful of Smart Food Delight white cheddar popcorn! According to My Fitness Pal, I was within my calorie allotment so it’s all good, right? (sarcasm….counting calories is mostly stupid).

 

Whole30 Round 2 + OTF Transformation Challenge

I’ve been going to Orangetheory Fitness since late December (just so I can say I didn’t start going due to it being a New Year’s resolution lol). During my first 3 months I definitely felt an improvement in my strength, but was not seeing any differences in my appearance. It was not until Whole30 that I started to see the physical results.

This summer the studio is doing a 6 week transformation challenge. I kind of wanted to join, especially since I was able to see that I have the discipline to abstain from foods that do not benefit my body (though they benefit my mind for a few moments!!) buuuuuut I kind of didn’t want to join because I felt lame doing so lol First of all, there’s obligatory social events (really it’s just one event– the grand prize challenge party and then there are weigh-ins but those take place during normal class days). Second of all, they take your damn photo. Third, I just felt lame because I know what I need to do and I shouldn’t need much help beyond having a trainer tell me what exercises to perform. But really I’m looking forward to having a community of people who have the same goal as me. That is one of the reasons I made it through 20 days of Whole30. I was on a journey with a group of people, though I’m not sure how far any of them made it. There’s a private Facebook group with all the challenge participants and it’s supposed to be a forum for motivation and recipe sharing so that’ll be cool to have. And I guess it’ll be a good opportunity to actually get to know some of the people I go to class with since I’m never there early enough to do the whole small talk thing beforehand (not that I’m chatty in the first place though).

I’m planning to start Whole30 again during this challenge and hopefully I can make it all the way through. I’ve gotten so far off of eating well that I’m back to being inflamed again (my face is SO round and puffy again!!). I’m looking forward to going back to having some structure in my eating again and making thoughtful decisions about what I’m putting into my body.

On Friday I did my first weigh-in for the challenge. I should take my measurements tomorrow (though I did it at some point last week) and measure each time there’s a weigh-in. This time I’ll probably measure my arms and thighs as well.

This weekend I had a good ol’ time going all-out with my food choices– had red velvet birthday cake on Friday, had ice-cream last night and also grits for dinner. Yesterday I made pina coladas using a recipe for paleo pina colada smoothies that I just added a ton of rum to! It was a good time and I definitely have major belly bloat.

So yeah, definitely looking forward to participating in this transformation challenge and implementing my Whole30 eating to achieve my desired results.

Whole30 Round 1 update/results

I broke Whole30 on what would have been day 21. I am happy to say that it was not due to a moment of weakness– it was by definite choice. It was Sunday, April 8. My husband and I went out to an Indian lunch buffet. It is a newer place in north St. Pete that he had been going to on Fridays with a friend and he wanted to bring me there so I could check it out. I was really looking forward to it because he told me that this place was several more options than the buffet we usually go to. It turned out that of the 20 dishes available, there was only 1 that was Whole30 compliant. It was a spicy potato dish. All the vegan dishes (non-dairy) had rice, legumes, or wheat and then all the meat and vegetarian dishes had dairy in the sauces. I was so bummed out because at the place that we usually go to, they have some raw veggies so I can plop all the meat on a bed of shredded lettuce and then there’s usually just some curried cabbage dish and chicken. I know that I could’ve continued Whole30 while at that restaurant but here I was at this new place with many options that are at least friendly for the primal/grain-free lifestyle.

My husband, though he was skeptical of Whole30 because it isn’t as low carb as he thinks is best, was very supportive and I could tell he felt bad that I was in this situation. He asked what I was going to do. I said “fuck it” and decided to go for all the chicken in delicious dairy-laden sauce. And I took it a step further and had some rice aaaaand there was a paneer dish!! Paneer is sort of like farmer cheese and they’re served cubed so they look like tofu cubes. But they’re way better (obviously). I’m pretty sure I could live off of paneer for the rest of my life. I was proud of myself for not getting rice pudding because I wanted to keep my sugar cravings in check as I planned to start Whole30 from the beginning (I made it like 5 days before breaking again lol).

Later that evening I felt soooooo bloated and since I didn’t do the slow re-introduction of food, I didn’t know for sure what the culprit is, though I suspect it’s dairy.

Although I didn’t make it through the 30 days, I was very proud of myself for what I had accomplished and was reaping the many benefits of Whole30. I did decide to weigh and measure myself and found that I dropped 6lbs and lost 3 inches around my waist and hips. Just two weeks into the program I had noticed that my Pooh Bear tummy was also gone! I had a few fitness breakthroughs (been going to Orangetheory Fitness). I was looking better, feeling better, and training better.

I look forward to starting Whole30 again and actually making it all the way through!

Whole30 Day 1

Day 1 was a breeze. In the morning I had a Whole30 compliant coffee creamer ( this one from Califia Farms). I didn’t have time to make breakfast at home so at some point during work I made some eggs and ate them with salsa and strawberries. ‘

The afternoon was so busy so I didn’t have time to make lunch so I went to Chipotle. I got a salad bowl with pork, 2 salsas, and guac. Obviously it wasn’t as AMAZING as it is with the onions and peppers, cheese, and sour cream. But it certainly did the trick!

I had an OTF class at 5:30, then got home around 7:30 to make dinner (I spent some excess time talking to a friend after class). So as usual I didn’t have dinner ready until like 8:30. That’s something that probably won’t change, unless I start slow cooking every meal on a regular basis. For dinner I cooked roasted potatoes (used to Instant Pot to speed up the process), slaw, roasted red pepper mayo and chicken. The program specified chicken breast for this particular meal, but I already had thighs in the refrigerator

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Whole 30: My Why

Yesterday I began the Whole30 program. Why? Over the past few years I have had some food issues that I have been neglecting to deal with and I know that certain foods negatively impact my health in noticeable ways . On my own I have not had the willpower to be purely paleo/primal and abstain from little cheats here and there, which usually involve cheesy goodness or dairy in all forms (grilled cheese, pizza, mac & cheese, a bowl of cereal, etc). I recently began going to Orangetheory classes regularly and although I have noticed a difference in my performance, there is no noticeable differences in my appearance as I still do not fit into what was once my “normal” size and I feel like my face is still much rounder than it needs to be.

Last week on Friday I ran into a friend in a grocery store parking lot and I told her that I had just recently purchased the Whole30 book and started to read it and she excitedly was all like, “I’m starting it on Monday, you should do it with me!” and proceeded to convince me that it’ll be better to do with friends. I think she is right about that, because I probably wouldn’t get far without any sort of accountability. Turns out that her mom, her boss and another friend have joined in on this.

She and I were texting on Sunday and sharing our reasons with each other for putting ourselves through a restrictive diet. My reasons are as follows:

  • I want to fit in all my cute clothes again. I feel like I have nothing to wear but I actually have a lot of clothes. But I only fit into like 1/4 of them…the ones that do fit me are leggings and loose tank tops (cue the clip from Mean Girls where Regina George says, “These sweatpants are all that fits me right now.”).
  • This kind of goes along with the previous reason, but it’s a bit more involved. I want to look good in my bathing suits. I’ve been working my tail off at OTF and I want to see those results. I don’t just want to be skinny and back to my normal size, but I also want to look like I’m in shape!
  • I want to balance my hormones in the most natural way possible. My post-pill body has yet to get back to how it was before I was on the pill (I stopped taking hormonal BC about 4 years ago due to undesired side effects).  I have noticed a difference in my body while being strictly paleo (hardly noticeable PMS symptoms) so I guess I just need to get back to that.
  • I have noticed that my skin isn’t as radiant as it was a few years ago. I want my glow back!
  • I don’t sleep as well as I used to. Lately it has become normal for me to wake up between 2-4 and stay awake for 30 minutes to an hour. I would love to get quality sleep on a regular basis again.
  • When I was strictly paleo (well I guess I was never strictly paleo because I ate full fat Greek yogurt nightly) I didn’t have sugar cravings! I want those GONE again.

All those reasons are my motivators. I am looking forward to accomplishing all these things, though a few of them will take more than 30 days. My friend plans on doing it for 3 months!!

After 30 days I will reintroduce dairy and gluten free grains (rice and oats). And hopefully going forward I will no longer have emotional attachment to food and therefore will make good choices 90% of the time (gotta leave room for booze, burgers, and french fries!!!).

Sunday was my last hoorah before Whole30 so I savored my coffee with heavy cream. At church I ate a slice of key lime pie (sans crust). I was tired from being up late Friday and Saturday nights so I didn’t feel like having lunch. For dinner I had LaPasta’s cheese ravioli with a sauce that consisted of Marzano tomatoes and ricotta cheese!!!

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I had some spinach with my ravioli out of guilt for not having any other greens that day. Dinner was delightful.

Monday morning I felt pretty darn bloated haha!! No surprise there. Over the course of the next month, I look forward to never feeling that way again =)

Pancit Made Primal

My mom is Filipino and one of my favorite meals that she’d make is pancit. I’m pretty sure that pancit is just a word for noodles and can describe any noodle dish but upon further research I believe the dish my mom makes is called Pancit Bihon Guisado. I make it the exact way that my mom did, except I subbed spaghetti squash for noodles and I also used a mixture of coconut aminos and tamari in place of regular soy sauce.

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First I roasted boneless, skinless chicken thighs for about an hour or so.

I cooked the spaghetti squash in my Instant Pot since it takes 20 minutes total (instructions can be found at Nom Nom Paleo‘s blog).

While the spaghetti squash was in the pot I cooked the shredded vegetables– cabbage, carrots, celery, and onions.

Once everything was cooked, I combined everything along with salt, pepper and coconut aminos!!

EASY and delicious!!

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