So About That Whole Eating Thing...

Since June, I've been actively trying to change my diet by eliminating processed foods and eating more wholesome, natural foods. I can honestly say that I've kicked the snacky chips and pretzels habit. I've become a regular at the Farmers Market and now snack on things like whole, raw almonds and corn on the cob.

My goal has been to lower my body fat, increase my lean mass, and lose a few lbs in hopes of reducing injuries and improving my overall strength. As I mentioned in this post, I've been using this book as a guide.

Last Friday I had my monthly session with my nutritionist where we reviewed my daily food journal.

My typical weekday diet looks something like this:

Breakfast at 5:15 am - Steel cut oatmeal - 2 TBSP almond butter - Handful of sliced almonds - Handful of blueberries

Post-Workout Snack - Anywhere from 7-9 am A smoothie of: - 1 banana - 1/2 c whey or soy protein powder - 1 capful of flaxseed oil - Frozen strawberries - 1 c soy milk

Morning Snack at 10:30 am-ish - 1 1/2 c Kashi Heart-to-Heart cereal

Lunch at Noon - Leftovers, usually a chicken or shrimp dish with brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or roasted potatoes - A piece of fruit - Sometimes a side salad

Afternoon Snack at 3 pm - Greek Yogurt with sliced almonds - 1 serving (24) whole raw almonds

Dinner at 6-7 pm-ish - Repeat of lunch.

Observations

- I haven't been recording what I ate on weekends. - I could switch up what I eat from time-to-time. - I improved a lot on my snacking. - The quality of food is very good.

So I begged the question: "Why haven't I really lost any lbs?

My weight has fluctuated +/- an average of 3 lbs, but I really haven't lost anything.

Her response? "Perhaps this is where my body is content."

Perhaps. But I have been lighter and leaner before and know I can get there again. I'm not looking for much, just a few inches and about 5 lbs.

Well then, the bottom line is that I will need to reduce my calories even more and it is going to create some discomfort. So how do I do this? By cutting 100-200 calories a day.

Here's what she recommends:

- Cut the flax seed oil from my smoothie. {That alone will save me 120 calories.)

- Eat a lighter breakfast, like Kashi Heart-to-Heart cereal. {I plan to do this except on my long run days.}

- Instead of eating cereal (carbs) for my mid-morning snack, try Greek yogurt (protein) instead.

- Cut back on almonds. Eat either the sliced almonds in yogurt or raw whole almonds, not both.

- Drink a protein shake of just protein powder and soy milk for my afternoon snack.

- I also told her that I find that eating chicken is a lot more filling than fish or shrimp. The problem is that I like fish and shrimp much more than chicken. She recommended having chicken on the days that I have longer and/or harder workouts aka days that I am more prone to be hungrier.

Progress

Since this meeting I have:

- Tracked everything that I ate over the weekend. It truly helped me make wiser decisions and it was my healthiest eating weekend in a long time.

- Cut flax seed from my smoothie - I have yet to notice any difference.

- Cut cereal from my mid-morning snack. I've found that if I eat/drink something with protein right after my workout (as in within 30 minutes, I am not as hungry for the rest of the morning and can hold off eating until lunch.

- My one attempt at a protein powder/soy milk shake on Monday was disastrous. I tried to mix it in a water bottle that wasn't properly sealed and it spilled everywhere. It was full of chalky clunks that didn't mix well. Today I tried another protein powder that I mixed with water and it worked wonders.

It's only been a few days, but I'm really excited to incorporate all of her suggestions over the next 4 weeks until our next appointment.

Despite not losing any lbs so far, I feel like I've made some good progress on changing my snacking habits. It was hard, but now, whenever I am about to eat something that's not in my usual rotation, I ask myself, "What's the nutritional value of this?" It really influences my decision-making process.