About 10 days ago, I laid out my plan to get back on track: curb my sweet tooth, eat more protein and vegetables, and just feel better about myself.
So, how did I do with my goals?
- Run three times a week, in “training” for the Yeti Trail Series. I missed a run because the girls and Christopher had the stomach flu much of the week, and we weren’t leaving the house.
- Strength train via BodyPump two times a week. I missed a class for the same reason.
- Practice yoga once a week. I skipped yoga in favor of a run Friday.
- Drink a concoction of apple cider vinegar and lemon water every morning. Check! I don’t know that it’s “helping” per se. I’ll continue it for another week, and I’ll re-evaluate then.Eat a vegetable at breakfast every day. Check! Not as easy as I thought. I rotated between a frittata with broccoli in it, green smoothies, and green overnight oats
- Have higher-protein snacks in between meals; try to have a fruit or vegetable with at least one snack every day. I chose hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, almonds, and cheese. I also a few times chose cereal, popcorn, or pretzels/crackers. I find it’s hard to resist grazing when the girls are munching, because sometimes, my eating prompts them to eat — and when you’re dealing with sick toddlers, well, you throw the rules out the window. I also find it’s hard to resist the traditional after-dinner snacks of cheese and crackers. I will give myself credit, though, for sticking to one serving of those snacks.
- Stick to higher-protein, lower-carb lunches and dinners. Check, with the exception of Saturday, when I ate over a pound of fresh pineapple for lunch. I ate buffalo chicken soup and celery for lunch most days, and a chicken dish with a vegetable on the side for dinner every day but Saturday, when we went out for pizza.
- Have dessert only once a week. On Monday, I was given some homemade chocolate-raspberry cheesecake and immediately covered it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer to save for later in the week. On Saturday night, Christopher and I split the cheesecake, and it was divine! I only slipped twice: on Friday, mid-morning, I had three Dove chocolates (and while they were good, they weren’t as good as I remember) and then, around lunch, I had 1.5 servings of Annie’s bunny cookies. I blame my run-ger, as well as a long, arduous week, for those slips.
Overall, I’d say I did pretty well. Maybe a B+, but a definite A for effort, especially given the circumstances.
Since I forgot to post my meal plan for the week, here are the highlights:
- Cheesy ham and broccoli frittata: Super tasty, super satisfying for 415 calories and with 35g protein!
- Blueberry, avocado, and spinach power smoothie: Very tasty and very filling, but surprising in nutritional stats–529 calories, 21g fat and 31g protein. Later in the week, I left out the scoop of protein powder, which brought the calories and protein down a bit.
- Stoplight mango green smoothie: Another tasty and satisfying smoothie, but much lower on the nutritional stats. It’s weird to eat smoothies in the winter. But it’s wonderful to get a sweet breakfast without any refined sugar and a boost of (green) veggies.
- Green Monster overnight oats: A way I can eat my greens and my oats in the morning? I thought this was a nice compromise. And while it tasted fine–like a banana, mostly–it needed more oats. And while it clocked in at about 400 calories, it could have used some toppings to make it more satisfying in terms of the eating experience.
- Buffalo chicken soup: Topped only with green onions and served with celery on the side. Pretty light, but really yummy. Nice shot of protein at 23g.
- Tandoori grilled chicken with Indian-spiced cauliflower rice: This meal was big on volume and low in calories! The chicken was incredible–juicy and flavorful. And the cauliflower rice was subtly spiced and a nice change from white rice.
- Hot and sweet ginger-garlic chicken with stir-fried sugar snap peas: This meal was all about flavor! The pairing of sweet and spicy chicken and salty and spicy peas is on point. (I used chicken breasts, cut in half width-wise, instead of thighs, by the way.)
Some other observations:
- I crave sugar and carbs most when I am tired.
- I can’t kick my TV-watching snack habit. At least most days, I made decent choices.
- I weighed in at 140 on Tuesday and at 138.6 this morning.
One more thing:
I used the Mayo Clinic caloric needs calculator, which takes into account age, height, weight, and activity level. I am 30, 5’4″ and about 138 pounds, and I selected:
Active: Include at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least three days a week.
The result was a whopping 2050 calories. I was literally shocked! I guess it’s no surprise that MyFitnessPal’s suggestion for about 1400 seems low, even on days I don’t exercise. My body needs about 2000 calories just to function most days…
I used another calculator, and selected that I do intense (45 min. with elevated heart rate) activity 5 days a week, and the result was 2174 calories, or 1739 to lose weight.
Another said 2081.
The takeaway is that I probably realistically need about 1900-2100 calories most days. That’s quite a change from aiming for 1300-1600! And maybe that explains why I’m still hungry, even after dinner a lot of nights.
So, here’s the meal plan for this week:
- More of the hot and sweet ginger-garlic chicken with stir-fried sugar snap peas
- Asian chopped salads, topped with leftover ginger-garlic chicken
- Beef taco bowls
Plus, a pearl couscous, vegetable, and bean soup for lunches.
Here’s to Week 2!