I don’t count calories. I don’t cut whole food groups out of my diet. I don’t go on cleanses.
I aim to eat foods that make me feel healthy and balanced.
About 90% of the time I try to choose foods that will best fuel my runs and the other 10% is earmarked for foods that fulfill my emotional needs of the moment (chocolate, scoop of peanut butter and trail mix). 🙂 While most days this is fairly easy to do, as many of you know- some days are tougher than others (5 am wake ups, toddler doesn’t nap, and certain times of the month- ahem).
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a dietician.
I am a young (mother) runner trying to figure out (1) what foods best fuel my running, (2) what foods and eating style works best for my body (3) and how to consistently eat healthy while taking care of my toddler daughter throughout the day (this is harder than you may think!).
I follow the following three eating strategies throughout my day. I truly believe that these strategies help keep my body properly fueled for rigorous runs and ward of excessive eating (that could lead to weight gain).
1. No nibbling!
I used to go to the pantry and grab a handful of nuts at a time (multiple times); I never felt full and I had no idea how much I had consumed.
Now if I am hungry I have “snack time”. Instead of nibbling throughout the day I fix myself concrete meals and snacks; part of this eating style is mental because it draws awareness to the specific snack I consumed. When I eat a solid snack I can’t deny that I ate enough to sustain me until dinner.
2. Don’t eat your child’s food (and don’t nibble while you are preparing meals).
This eating strategy sounds simple, and yet when you are preparing food for someone else multiple times a day it is easy to pick here and there at the mac ‘n’ cheese, graham crackers, goldfish, etc. Try thinking of it as a Biggest Loser Temptation Challenge, and don’t touch the food on your child’s plate! This strategy reduces any excessive calories that you may be taking in throughout the day.
3. Ditch the processed foods!
This past year I have made a conscious effort to limit the preservatives/ processed foods that I put into my body and I truly feel a difference. I feel less sluggish and overall have more energy.
Here are some examples of regular snacks I eat: banana, apple and peanut butter, milk and a BBL bar, sliced red pepper and hummus, unsalted trail mix, Fage yogurt, and strawberries and pineapple.
I’ve had a couple of requests for more posts about my eats.
There’s nothing overly fancy about my meals this past Monday and that’s why I wanted to share. Just a typical manic Monday for a mom.
Coffee! Glass of water, grapes, 1.5 slices of toast with almond butter (I love Trader Joes!).
Headed to the gym for a 30 min run. Afterwards, I noshed on a banana with some water.
I have a weird rule that if I have bread for breakfast I really try to not have it again with lunch. I’m NOT gluten free, but I do try to mix up what I eat from time to time! Variety = unique nutrients, and different nutrients help the body run properly!
For lunch I enjoyed a Quick ‘n’ Easy Black Bean Salad. I was REALLY hungry, so I ate the entire can of beans. To be honest, I’m only partially embarrassed at my gluttony- it’s black beans- come on!
About an hour after lunch I had another cup of coffee with some dark chocolate chips! I have to have dark chocolate every day- It keeps me sane… err mostly sane.
After Lilly’s nap we headed up to Arlington (25 mile drive- ugh) to pick up our camera from a specialty camera-repair shop. I swear the camera just jumped out of my hands two months ago… it’s not my fault… err- mostly not my fault… umm= kind of my fault. Ok fine- I dropped it.
I packed some pineapple and a couple of strawberries for the road.
Hours later we returned and I was hungry again. I’m insatiable these days! I poured myself a glass of milk and had a BBL bar.
O had requested a salad for dinner and I was in the mood for Brussels sprouts.
O roasted some Brussels sprouts on the stovetop with some red pepper flakes and red onion for flavor.
I put together the salad, complete with the following: grilled chicken, mesclun lettuce, red pepper strips, cucumber, tomatoes, a little blue cheese, sliced and roasted potatoes and chia seeds for added crunch, fiber, omega 3s and antioxidants all rolled into one!
This meal was flavorful and incredibly filling! Yum!
Sweet Treat #2
I’ll let you in on a little secret! I keep peanut butter cups in the freezer and randomly bust them out. Today was one of those days!
After dinner I had a couple more dark chocolate chips, a peanut butter cup and two dried apricots (pretty much so I could pretend that I ate something healthy).