Cleaning up my food act: Week 1

My culinary creation: butter lettuce, blackberries, cauliflower, grilled chicken, and Panera Break dressing
My culinary creation: butter lettuce, blackberries, cauliflower, grilled chicken, and Panera Break dressing

Last weekend I decided to make the commitment to clean up my eating, control my potions, and to knock it off with the cheesecake every day at work.

Monday and Tuesday were rough… I was HUNGRY.  My stomach constantly growled, even after eating properly portioned meals.  I went to the grocery store on Tuesday afternoon for some more lettuce, and it was pure torture, I was ready to start eating all the food in my sight.  My body felt in complete shock to go from 2500-3000 calories on a typical day to 1500-1800 calories.  I had a super bad night on the bike on Tuesday which resulted in some tears and all I wanted to do was eat to make it better… but I didn’t.  +1 on my scorecard!

Then… well… I stopped being hungry!  By Wednesday afternoon my extreme hunger subsided and I wasn’t a threat to anyone eating something in front of me.

My typical day, food-wise, this week has looked a bit like this:

Either multi-grain Cheerios or Carnation Breakfast Essentials with fat free milk

Mid-morning snacks of Oikos greek yogurt and a banana.  About a month ago I stopped getting vanilla lattes at work to reduce my caffeine intake and switched to drinking herbal tea so I always have that as well.

Lunch… instead of grabbing a tray and loading it up with $15 of food in my hospital’s cafeteria, I would get the entree (which they serve up in “proper” portion sizes) and that’s all.  No dessert, no sugary drinks.  Luckily the cafeteria provides nutritional information on our intranet so I could make informed choices.  So for example, one day I had farmer’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli, and surprisingly it didn’t have an extreme amount of calories (unlike the supreme nachos also offered).  One day I brought one of the Kashi microwavable pizzas from home and got veggies as a side.  Not only is this better for my health, it’s been far nicer on my wallet (actually paycheck, since it’s directly deducted) as now it’s $3-5 instead of $10-15.

Mid afternoon I’ll snack on carrots if I’m still at work.

At home I’ll whip up an early dinner usually between 4.30-5 since I like to get on the bike fairly early for my workout.  Sometimes I’ll have a Kashi pizza, or my new favorite, a salad of butter lettuce, blackberries, cauliflower, and grilled chicken with Panera Break vinaigrette (totally worth the calories in it!).  I also bought some whole wheat dinner rolls to go with the salad.  A few times I also heated up some Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup, about 1.5 cups of it.

After the bike I snack on raspberries (amazing sale at King Soopers this past week!  $1.25 a carton!), a banana, and either a yogurt or Carnation Breakfast Essentials for the protein for “recovery.”

and it’s been working!  Now that it’s Friday I’m not constantly hungry and I feel pretty good!  I’ve also been concentrating on drinking water, which is something I have always been bad at.

Today was a test as my department went out to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I chose a half portion of “Mexican Stir Fry,” which consists of onions, carrots, broccoli, peppers, zucchini, rice, and chicken grilled together with flour tortillas.  I didn’t lick my plate clean, but made sure to eat all the major veggies (and all the tortillas…).  I also had more than my share of chips and salsa because I love their salsa.  Afterwards I felt very heavy and sleepy.  I just didn’t feel like how I’ve felt after my other lunches.  Eek, so this is what eating out feels like after trying to eat healthy-ish in smaller portions…

This is what the full portion of Mexican Stir Fry looks like!  I swear it could feed a family of 4!
This is what the full portion of Mexican Stir Fry looks like! I swear it could feed a family of 4!

I use the FitBit app to track what I eat… I ranged from 1300 to 1900 calories this week (though I don’t know about today since no information was available for my Mexican food).  It works out pretty good since you can scan some stuff in.

I know it’s only been a week… but I’m feeling good and accomplished.  I haven’t touched sweets or candy all week… I didn’t let the cheesecake win!  Now that I’ve figured out it’s quick and tasty to whip up a salad or other yummies at home, I’m kinda excited to eat salad!  (!!!)  The biggest thing I’ve always struggled with is portion sizes and I’ve become acutely more aware of portions.  I’m really bad about cooking a pizza at home and then eating the entire thing because, well, I live alone and it can’t go to waste (and I hate reheated pizza)!  So I might try cutting up the frozen pizzas before I cook them (I’ve done it in the past and it works!).  Pasta will always be my weakness so I’ll see how that goes when it presents itself.

Week 1 down… looking forward to see how things continue to go!  But I’m feeling good, and this is the longest I’ve ever gone with changes to my eating habits!  When I was 20 I tried being a vegetarian and it lasted 6 hours… so going a week making some changes is like WHOA!  😀

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