Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sweet Sweet

After doing a killer (in a good way!) workout this morning, I was feelin' a sweet sweet potato for breakfast!

Ignore how rough I look... It was 8:45 am and I was tired!
I've been addicted to savory sweet potatoes lately, so I figured it's time to finally try an actual sweet potato!
Yes, it's okay to drool over and be jealous of a picture. It really is okay...
First microwaved with butter spray, cinnamon, brown sugar, and mini marshmallows...
Then topped with banana slices and natural peanut butter (which melted and spread in a lovely way)...
Then topped with plain Greek yogurt, shredded coconut, granola, more cinnamon, a sprinkle of milk chocolate protein powder... and four mini chocolate chips, for fun and energy, of course!

This turned out incredible... The perfect pre-first day of work breakfast! (I also had a few cubes of watermelon... Which there wasn't a point in photographing!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Your Own Worst Enemy

Imagine there were 2 plates with desserts on them. Yes, desserts. That thing most of you calorie counters fear! (I know I did at one point.)
You knew the first plate contained 200 calories worth of pure, fresh fruit on it. Then, all you knew about the second plate, was that it totaled 100 calories.
Now, calorie counters, which one would you psychologically choose? Would you choose plate one, because you knew of all it's benefits? Or would you choose plate two because it contained less calories?
You'd probably choose plate two. I knew I would have. Why is that? Because you are letting a number consume you. You're not thinking of the benefits of the food. You're thinking about the calories. Not whether or not the calories are "good" or "bad" for you. Not whether or not plate two could contain a miniature sized chocolate bar with 15 grams of unnatural, refined sugar. Nope. You're letting a number control you, all because you "want to lose weight". You think it's healthy, right? I know I did. Emphasis on did. (And, no, that chocolate wouldn't be a "bad" choice if you MEANT to choose it and actually WANTED it. The point I'm trying to make is, why did you choose the chocolate? Not for a treat, for the lower calorie amount. That's the point I'm trying to make.)

Now, I know for a fact not all calorie counters are like this. But, I do know most are. Even girls who are just trying to "watch what they eat" do this! Is it healthy? Not even close. By focusing on a number, you are becoming your own worst enemy. Numbers are not everything.

Calorie counting, for me, had it's pros and it's cons. But, once it comes down to it, the cons override the pros and I actually honestly wish I never in my life ever let myself count calories. Not a single one. It kinda put me in a mental prison, you know? I've looked at food as a number, not as fuel... All because I let myself get obsessed... Just. To. Lose. Weight. which is such an unimportant factor in life. There's so many opportunities I've resisted because of being "afraid" of what I'm gonna eat. Being this way made me drop down to an even lower weight than originally planned, nearly underweight, actually.

Calorie counting made me start to fear foods. No food should be feared. Not even a 1500 calorie, 25 gram of fat meal from IHOP should be feared! Why? Because having it once in a while won't do a thing to you! It won't hurt you, and it won't effect your progress. You won't gain 20 pounds from one meal. It takes countless meals on end. But, with the mindset I developed from counting calories consistently, I thought the opposite. I thought if I had a cookie, I'd gain all 70 pounds I had lost back! I knew it wasn't logical... But there was something in me that told me it was logical. That something told me to resist any and all "unhealthy" food because I'll have to double my workout and burn off all the calories from it, or I would gain. And, honestly, when it comes down to it... Even if I did consume 7000 calories of "bad" food in one day and gained two pounds... Who would notice? No one, that's who.

I put myself on a path to somewhere I never thought I'd be. I used to be able to enjoy and appreciate my food. I used to be excited to have a "cheat" day, or a day where I just ate what I wanted. But, I haven't had one in awhile because I put myself in a routine of eating basically the same things, all considered healthy, every day. Calorie counting ultimately turned me into an orthorexic... I never thought I would have ANY form of disordered eating or thoughts. It's hard to believe, actually. People have told me orthorexia is a "good" thing... Yeah, I could have a worse ED, but it's honestly just as hard as any other one. I can't even begin to explain how wrong someone is when they say orthorexia isn't a "bad thing". It's a struggle, just like any other eating disorder. It's hard, it's tough, and it controls you.

But, this is what I want to end off saying: it's not about deprivation, and it's not about avoiding foods of any kind. It's not about avoiding situations where you may eat unhealthily, and it's not about living life focusing on numbers. What's it really about? Balance. Balance, moderation, and listening to your dang body! I feel too young to be worrying so much, but I'm ready to completely let go of worrying about calories... How about you, fellow calorie-counters? I'm ready to challenge myself with any "fear food" I have... Are you?

Disclaimer: again, I know counting calories isn't ALWAYS unhealthy, but the point I'm trying to make here is, most people think that obsessing over the amount of calories in something is healthy... It's not! Nutrition > calories. Always.It's okay to be aware... It's not okay to be obsessed.

P.S. You know who obsesses over calories and acts like it's healthy? HUNGRY GIRL! GOSH! This morning when I was watching her show, she said granola was "bad for you" because the small serving size and high calorie/fat amount... BUT, YOU DON'T EVEN NEED A LOT OF GRANOLA TO FEEL SATISFIED! There's a reason there's a smaller serving size on most granola packages... DUH! Oh, and then she continued to go on and say plain cereal flakes are better for you because the "big" serving size and lower calorie amount... She's giving people a TOTALLY wrong mindset for food. (I do like some of her recipes, but sometimes... She's crazy, haha.)

What I Ate Wednesday #8 -- Sweet Potato Addict

Am I already 8 weeks into WIAW?! Dang! I'm proud of myself for sticking to it! Haha.
But... Happy Wednesday! Can't believe it's Wednesday again already... These weeks have been flying by!

Besides the fact I already posted some of my recent eats in the past week, including pumpkin French toast, on-the-go oats, a big egg scramble, pancakes, and my first ever sweet potato, and Neapolitan pancakes, I have some even more recent eats to post for you all!

Thanks to Jenn for hosting this lovely event, like always!

6/21/12 - Snack: plain Greek yogurt with chopped fresh fruit, cinnamon, organic cereal, granola, and shredded coconut... One of my favorite sensible snacks!
6/22/12 - Snack: I was having very odd cravings, clearly... I had some apple slices with plain Greek yogurt, and four mini whole wheat toasts.
Hey... Sensible snack alert!
6/22/12 - Dinner: my usual Friday dinner looked prettier than it normally does! Whole wheat wrap "pizza" with a biiiiig salad! Mmmm... Soooo gooooood!
6/23/12 - Dinner: Subway! But, instead of getting a foot-long, I got a 6-inch BLT with nearly every topping (and no mayo!) and added salsa, and an oven-roasted chicken salad with lots of veggies. (They gave me A LOT of chicken, though, so I put one of them in the fridge and split the other with my puppy... Hehe.) This was a challenge for me, but I'm so proud of myself for it! Yay for intuitive eating! I missed bacon.
#junepowermealaday Day 23: "out to eat" -- technically this did qualify for today's challenge, since it was ordered-out food!
6/24/12 - Dinner: my favorite! Freshly grilled chicken (which I grilled and seasoned myself!) "rainbow" (as Kasey would call it) salad!
#junepowermealaday Day 24: "meal for 2"
6/26/12 - Breakfast: post-workout blue velvet protein pancakes and an egg white protein + veggie scramble. Heavenly. I just love breakfast foods!

What did I have for lunch yesterday? Well, another savory stuffed sweet potato, of course! Jenn got me SO addicted... But, I'm definitely not complaining!I can't wait to try out an actual sweet potato soon... (I've been too addicted to not make them savory, though!)

6/27/12 - Breakfast: I decided to try out oatmeal pancakes this morning... So, I decided to do another totally on-the-spot recipe! I added 2 tbsp of old fashioned whole grain oats with 1 tbsp + 1 tsp whole wheat flour to my batter, and oh my goodness... These were some of THE best pancakes I've ever had/made! I made them with mashed banana, a few mini chocolate chips/chocolate Goldfish crushed up, and natural peanut butter... And they tasted  literally exactly like chocolate chip banana bread... I will definitely be taking note of these and making them again soon (and in different variations)! They came out so fluffy and filling! Ah, soooo good! (And my egg white protein + veggie scramble was better than usual... I think it's because I added hot sauce and grilled chicken this time)

6/27/12 - Dinner: I ate out tonight for the first time in a LONG time... And it was a big challenge for me, but I did it, and I have no regrets, which is a great feeling! This was DELICIOUS... Even though I couldn't have more than 1/3 of the fries and about 2/3 of the sandwich because I started to feel sick halfway through (my stomach's not used to "unhealthy" or "processed" food of any kind... Ugh). It was totally worth it, though, and I plan on intuitively eating and "cheating" more often than once every few months! I'm finally ready for it.

Happy WIAW, everyone! Have a happy and positive day!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Third Time's A Charm

I almost always seem to have breakfast on the plate I made a good fourteen years ago! But, it has my name on it!! And my nearly three-year-old self's drawings! That's a valid excuse, right?

Anyways! This morning, after my workout and before my job interview, I decided I wanted to have Neapolitan pancakes!
These were so fun to make! This is definitely reason why I really do love healthy eating - I love experimenting in the kitchen and I love being creative; with my food especially!
I topped my strawberry pancake with a defrosted strawberry (I only had frozen ones to work with), my vanilla pancakes with banana and shredded coconut, and my chocolate (PROTEIN!) pancake with mini chocolate chips... Then I topped them all with a dash of cinnamon, a drizzle of light maple syrup, and granola! And I also dipped them in plain Greek yogurt because, well, why not

These came out even better than expected, and they were yet another on-the-spot recipe! It made my tummy veeeery happy!

Oh, also! This was a completely vegetarian-friendly meal! (Well, aside from my egg whites used... Do vegetarians eat egg whites? I think some do, right?) Even though I'm the farthest thing from one (sorry y'all, but I cannot live without my grilled chicken and lean turkey!), today was day 25 of Kasey's June Instagram challenge, which was "meatless meal"! So, instead of using lean meats in my egg white scramble like usual, I used garbanzo beans and mushrooms as my other sources of protein!

This was an amazing breakfast that kept me satisfied for hours!
Right after I finished eating, I showered and got ready... Then, I left for my third job interview this year. This time, for a singing/performing ice cream and fudge shop... And I got the job! ON THE SPOT! How awesome is that!? Third time really is a charm, I guess! But, my first job is at a performing ice cream and fudge shop (called The Music Man) where you have to be all smiles and happy, otherwise they don't want you working there... Ah, I'm excited! (And I'm also working with my friend, Nick, who I've been close with for a good 13 years now!) And I start on ThursdayThe only downside to the job is that they're making me take out my nose piercing... Which shouldn't be a problem, since I got it nearly two years ago now... But, it still hurts a bit when I remove it! Ugh! Oh well, though... The more I take it out, the less it'll hurt... (Or so I hope!) At least the shop is down the street from a cute farmers market! My favorite!!

But, after hours of running around getting my working papers signed and what not, I finally came home and got to have lunch! First, I had lots of watermelon... Then, I had this beauty:
A chubby sweet potato microwaved with butter spray + a sprinkle of garlic salt, then stuffed with leftover grilled chicken + pinto beans + salsa + freshly diced tomato + plain Greek yogurt + yellow pepper + edamame + no salt seasoning. On the side, I had my usual steamed fresh veggies with plain Greek yogurt + ranch powder to dip! I finished all of this... Aside from some potato skin and a few pinto beans...
(Inspired by Jenn, of course!)

So, overall, today has been pretty dang lovely! I worked out early, as it was completely DOWN-POURING outside, then had an amazing day following! And it also got beautiful out! Ahhh, I'm just so happy!
Oh, and on top of it all... Kasey asked for my recipe (for my Neapolitan pancakes) to feature! I was honored to give it to her.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Three Days, Five Meals

In the past few days, I've been having fun thinking of new breakfast ideas!
Even though it's been just a tad frustrating deciding what to have and when...

But, within the past three days, I've had three new breakfasts, and two new lunches!

Friday was breakfast-on-the-go since I had to go out with my mom and sister as soon as I woke up -
Egg white/substitute pumpkin oatmeal "parfait" with sliced banana + apple + nectarine,  granola, and natural peanut butter...

Then, I had exactly what I wanted with absolutely no regrets or cares about calories (yay for a complete intuitive eating win!) -
A big and nutritious lunch for a hungry tummy on a thunderstorm-y Friday! 1 egg (yolks are no longer a "fear food"!) + egg white scrambled with salsa + light cheese/cheese powder + a few pieces of baby shrimp, grilled chicken, lean turkey and lean ham on top of some antipasto Italian salad (which was also a "fear food" at one point because of the dressing... But, not anymore!!) my mom ordered with some more lean turkey, alongside steamed veggies with plain Greek yogurt + ranch powder! Oh, and two mini whole wheat toasts... For more fun and yums ;)

Saturday's breakfast was pumpkin cinnamon roll pancakes with my usual egg white protein scramble on the side -
I didn't add enough flour to the batter, making these the most embarrassing pancakes ever... But, at least they looked normal and pretty with my Greek yogurt "frosting"! ;) This also kept me satisfied for nearly four hours...

Lunch was my first ever sweet savory potato, completely inspired by Jenn @ peasandcrayons!
I microwaved (I was in a rush!) a mini sweet potato slit open with butter spray and a sprinkle of garlic salt for a total of about 3-4 minutes, then topped it with lean turkey + freshly diced tomato + salsa + plain Greek yogurt + yellow pepper + edamame + a mini piece of broccoli + no salt seasoning (I had pickle and steamed fresh veggies with plain Greek yogurt + ranch powder on the side!)... And let me just say, this was one of the best things that I've ever made/eaten! Jenn is a genius!

Today's breakfast was what I was craving after my killer workout -
This Insanity video is definitely the most insane! It's 61 minutes long... 39 of those minutes being HIIT... And, even though I had to take a few "breaks" (otherwise, death was in my near future), I definitely got one of the BEST workouts I've ever done! I also did a 6:02 plank following... Which felt like death post-Insanity.

But, moving onto my post-workout breakfast! -
Natural peanut butter + banana + coconut + cinnamon stuffed protein French toast with an egg white veggie and protein scramble... Um, can you say perfect?! This was delicious.

And now, I shall continue my Sunday with a happy tummy and lunch in mind! Have a great day, everyone!

P.S. Happy third birthday to one of my favorite blogs, CaitsPlate!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fall Fever

I've seriously been obsessed with all things fall lately! I think I've caught fall fever... Even though summer {technically} just started yesterday...

Anyways! I was conflicted with what to have for breakfast this morning; considering I usually add banana to any go-to meal, and my little sister finished all the bananas yesterday, I was in complete confusion trying to think of what to have! I wasn't craving anything certain, either, which made the matter worse!

During my killer workout this morning (dear Insanity... I love you), almost ALL I thought about was what can I create for breakfast this morning?!

Since I haven't had french toast in a few months, and since I've been wanting to try out a new recipe I made up... French toast for breakfast it was!
Pumpkin and peach cobbler French toast with my usual egg white + egg substitute protein scramble.

It was fabulous, and I liked switching up my routine of either pancakes or oatmeal!

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #7 - Randomness!

I can't believe it's Wednesday again already!

Because of the #junepowermealaday challenge on Instagram I'm doing (hosted by the wonderful Powercakes!), I actually have some new-ish sensible snacks!

6/14/12 - Breakfast: fluffy strawberry cheesecake pancakes with my usual egg white + egg substitute protein scramble.
6/14/12 - Snack: #junepowermealaday Day 14: "clean treat" -- these still need some tweaking, but they are 40-45 calorie chocolate protein muffins! Half of them had a banana slice + natural peanut butter in the center (and some of those also had shredded coconut), and the other half had mini marshmallow + crushed graham cracker (making them "s'mores" protein muffins)!
6/15/12 - Breakfast: literally some of the most delicious pancakes I've made so far! Whole wheat, SUPER fluffy and cinnamon-y apple pie pancakes alongside my, again, usual protein egg white + egg substitute scramble!
6/15/12 - Snack: #junepowermealaday Day 15: "nighttime powersnack" -- Golden Delicious apple slices with natural peanut butter! (I only had one or two slices with natural peanut butter, though. Haha.)
6/16/12 - Snack: #junepowermealaday Day 16: "powersmoothie" -- since I was already in the process of making my usual nighttime snack of popcorn and a side of fruit, I made myself a small smoothie! Banana + apple + watermelon + blueberry + plain Greek yogurt + ice... It was actually SO delicious. (And I didn't even peel the apple slices!)
6/17/12 - Breakfast: fluffy, low calorie pumpkin pancakes with marshmallow and my usual side!
6/17/12 - Lunch: toasted whole wheat sandwich thin with lean turkey + lean ham + veggies + salsa, alongside the yummiest steamed veggies with plain Greek yogurt + ranch powder to dip in! Oh, and a mini pickle!
6/18/12 - Breakfast: pumpkin pancakes day #2... Except, these were without the marshmallows. They came out even better the second day! (And even fluffier!) I topped them with natural peanut butter + banana slices + cinnamon + granola + light maple syrup... And they were dipped in plain Greek yogurt, as well.
Mmmm... Sooo. Good.
6/18/12 - Dinner: #junepowermealaday Day 18: "side dish" -- I had a big rainbow veggie (with some chickpeas) salad alongside a whole wheat wrap filled with grilled chicken + lean turkey + veggies + salsa and plain Greek yogurt (which was also my salad topping). Oh, and I also put some light spread cheese on the wrap! (It's an off-brand Laughing Cow cheese, haha.)
6/19/12 - Breakfast: honestly one of the most delicious oatmeals I've made so far! Pumpkin, apple + peach "cobbler" egg white + egg substitute oats.
6/19/12 - Dinner: #junepowermealaday Day 19: "protein" -- literally the most delicious tilapia I've ever tasted on top of a big salad! This tilapia was all natural parmesan encrusted, and it was from WALMART! Yes, Walmart. Sometimes I'm amazed by what you can find there!
6/20/12 - Breakfast: after my kick-ass workout this morning (Insanity Max Interval Sports Training + 6:08 plank!), I had mint chocolate protein pancakes with my usual side (egg white + egg substitute protein scramble). They came out delicious... And I promise they were greener in person!
6/20/12 - Dinner: #junepowermealaday Day 20: "carb"! I had a REALLY good egg substitute sandwich with salsa + spinach + tomato + lean turkey + lean ham + a bit of shredded cheese/light spread cheese) alongside an all veggie + garbanzo bean salad! Sooo good!

Lunch today was the same as last night's dinner, but smaller and with a side of steamed veggies with plain Greek yogurt + ranch powder. (That lunch actually filled me up for nearly four hours...) I also had tons of watermelon for a sensible snack, along with my usual night snackies later on!

Happy WIAW, lovebugs!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Taste of Autumn

I've really been loving the taste of pumpkin and apple cinnamon-y things lately.
Fall must really be on my mind! (Too bad it's only mid-June...)

This morning, after my workout, I was feeling oatmeal. I haven't had oatmeal in days, so I decided to switch it up and have some this morning! (And I was also inspired by Katie, and an old post on Cait's blog...)

Into this bowl of awesome, aside from oats and the usual things, went canned pumpkin, apple slices, peach slices, granola, and natural peanut butter...
I couldn't decide between apple or peach, so I figured... Why not add both!?
I also added in some egg white + egg substitute and Greek yogurt for extra thickness and protein.

It really was as good as it looks.