Healthy eating kickstart

So, I’m on a diet.

Not a “real” diet. I say that because it only lasts 3 days. I heard about it on the Today Show and I thought it’d be a great start to this healthy eating concept I’d like to follow.

So, I suckered Anil into doing it with me, and I realized even before I started it that having someone to do it with definitely will help. That whole accountability thing …

So, we went to the store, and got lots of fruits and veggies and other stuff:

This isn't all of the food, but it's most of it.

The worst part about the diet, in my opinion, is that only one cup of coffee is allowed per day. I just assumed ahead of time I was gonna be cheating on that one. But I am really going to try to stick to the diet as closely as possible. It’s only for 3 days, so I want to do it right!

Ok, so I won’t go into what the diet is completely. You can read the link here for that. But I’ll tell you how it’s going for me so far. I’m writing this on Day 1, so that you know my perspective.

Disclaimer: Unless you’re actually considering doing this diet, you probably don’t want to read this whole thing. I don’t want to call this post boring, but I know I hate reading food blogs unless I’m actually planning to do the diet/recipe. Ok, you’ve been warned.

Day 0

Grocery shopped for all items on the list. Made the following choices:

  • Instead of skim milk, went for the Silk Almond Milk (the diet says this is allowed).
  • For vanilla whey or soy protein, went with a 50/50 blend of whey and soy. Seemed to have the least sugars and cholesterol of the choices at Trader Joe’s. For those who know about protein, can you explain why soy or whey is better? I’ve heard a few different things – one is that soy is for before a workout, whey is for after. Another that girls should drink soy and guys drink whey. I’m not sure what to think!
  • For lunch produce, we chose orange and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, beets, red onion, grape tomatoes, broccoli, celery and cauliflower.
  • Chose kidney beans and black beans (figured we’d change it up!)
  • Green tea choice was Tazo Zen. Anil says they serve it at Starbucks so it’s probably good!
  • For dinner, I went with one day of salmon and two of tofu. Anil went with haddock, salmon and tofu.

 

After grocery shopping, spent time chopping all the veggies and preparing lunch ahead of time since Anil would be at work, eating his lunch and snack there. Also measured out and set aside the frozen fruit for breakfast since it would be early in the morning when preparing it – the more done the night before, the better! It was nice to have everything prepared – it keeps the “cheating” desire to a minimum. If the food is prepped and ready, why not eat it instead of something else?

The only things not prepped were the cauliflower and the beets. It just got late so we decided to skip it for the first day and eat them on the second and third – they are optional anyway, so no big deal.

I also entered everything into my food journal on Fit Day. I wanted to see how all of this food would balance out. I’m no nutritionist, but the results seem pretty good to me:

This is everything I'm eating in a day and the calorie and fat/carb/protein counts for each.

These are the nutrition stats for what I'm eating. The numbers in green are where I meet daily allowances. I typically don't get numbers this good without my multivitamin (which I've run out of, so I'm not taking this week.)

Take these numbers with a grain of salt. I did google searches to see what my custom goals should be and I input them here. They may or may not be 100% right - I am no expert.

So, the calories look low (especially since I will exercise) but there are many items in which the diet says I can have an unlimited amount. If I’m hungry, I’ll eat more of those items than I’ve budgeted here. The fat is a little higher than I expected but saturated fat is super low so I’m not too concerned. I’m thrilled with the potassium numbers – I rarely am able to get enough of that. Carbs are nice and low, dietary fiber is high, and protein looks to be just right. I think we’re set!

Day 1 – Breakfast

Breakfast was easily made. Frozen fruit was measured out the night before and everything else was beside the blender. Just had to measure out the milk and cinnamon, throw in the banana and the protein powder and the frozen fruit. And viola, here’s breakfast:

Note the *one* cup of coffee. It’s going to be an interesting day …

I don’t love raspberries. I don’t hate them but I really don’t like the seedy texture. But I figured, it’s 3 days so I might as well go for it. And it wasn’t too bad. The shake was seedy which I didn’t like but the flavor wasn’t bad at all.

It took a while to get the shake down, partially because I drank it around 6 a.m. which is typically before I even wake up, not to mention eating.

And I nursed the coffee all morning. I figured if I could only have one cup, I better make it last. I even microwaved it twice.

Lunch

So I was starving around 10 a.m. I guess it makes sense; it had been 4 hours since I’d had breakfast! So I decided to eat the grapefruit early. Honestly, out of everything I am going to eat this week the grapefruit was the thing I was most concerned about. I don’t hate grapefruit, but I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten an entire one. And the ones at the store seemed huge and like they would be impossible to get through.

But, I just went for it.

Doesn't appeal to you? Yeah, didn't to me either.

And guess what? I ate every bit of that grapefruit and it tasted awesome. So either my taste buds have changed or I was just hungry enough not to care. I also snuck in 4 pistachios that I’d set aside for my afternoon snack. I figured if I eat them in the morning instead of the afternoon that is ok …

Around noon I drank my two glasses of water that are supposed to be consumed 30 minutes prior to eating the rest of my lunch. Then, it was lunchtime!

Some notes about lunch: Anil steamed the carrots, which I was so happy about. Tastes way better than raw carrots. Also we added some black pepper for flavor. It’s allowed at dinner in no specific quantity so we figured it wouldn’t hurt to add to the salad as well. Also, I don’t love tomatoes but I hid a few of them in the salad, figuring it wouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t! In fact, the entire salad was really good. Did I miss having cheese or other goodies in it? Maybe a little, but not enough to really matter. I will definitely be eating this one again.

I forgot about my green tea, so I had it at 1:45 pm. Oops!

Did a workout around 2:30 pm (P90x plyometrics), and I felt great during the workout. 

Snack

 Unsalted pistachios and green tea. Had it right before going for a hike, around 4:30 pm. The snack was good, and the 45-minute hike felt good.

Dinner

I gotta admit, this is the first time it got difficult. When getting ready to go hiking, I almost asked Anil if I should grab my license in case we wanted to stop for a post-workout beer. Oh yeah, no beer. In fact, no frozen yogurt or wings or anything else we passed by on the way to the hike. After a great workout, the thought of some bad-for-you food sounded sooo good. The good news is the healthy food had already been purchased and so not only would it save our health, it would save money to not go out and buy a bunch of hot dogs or nachos or whatever else was on our minds.

 

Dinner was around 8 pm, which felt perfect. I was getting hungry by then but was not ravished. The only alteration to the diet is that we added cauliflower – it’s allowed at lunch, and we hadn’t had time to steam it the night before – and so we figured it was ok to have with dinner instead. If anyone knows of any reason why these foods would have to be consumed at a certain time of day, let me know. We were discussing some of the lunch items – carrots, onions, etc – that would have been good to season the salmon with. But we didn’t do that, stuck to the lemon and black pepper that the recipe called for. And it was good!

Green tea around 9 pm. Anil went out and got some bottled water, more broccoli and cauliflower for today, and decaf green tea for the nighttime (he very kindly offered to get ice cream too, punk). The decaf green tea (some other brand) was not good. Especially not compared to the Tazo.

Overall thoughts on the morning of Day 2:

= I almost wanted to bag the whole thing as we left to go hiking yesterday. Being out in the world with all the temptations was hard. Being in the house knowing that there was candy in the candy dish and cookies in the pantry was hard, especially between breakfast and lunch. But today, looking back on yesterday, I’m so glad I stuck with it.

= I never felt too hungry yesterday, except during the time where I ate the grapefruit, between breakfast and lunch. Part of that I attribute to getting up before I typically do and having not only my food habits be different but my sleeping habits as well. But otherwise I felt that perfect “not hungry not full” feeling. Even last night going to bed I almost felt a little hungry. I woke up this morning a little hungry, a contrast to yesterday morning where I woke up not desiring any food whatsoever.

= I only had one cup of coffee yesterday. Can you believe I didn’t cheat on that? The interesting thing is, I can drink coffee all day every day, but I don’t seem to get too many headaches or whatnot if I don’t have it. I’m sure the one cup helped, plus two of the cups of green tea had caffeine. I did miss that wonderful feeling of holding the hot mug in my hands but again, the green tea did help.

= Yesterday morning I was wary about whether I’d like the protein shake (ok, so I was wary about the raspberry part). This morning I woke up almost excited about breakfast. Anil mentioned that some variety would be nice, and I agree. For 3 days it’s fine, but any longer this would probably get really old. However, I could easily see doing this diet again in a few months, or using parts of the diet again – I have enjoyed every single thing I’ve eaten, and that has been a big surprise.

= One thing I like about this vs. just healthy recipes is that it’s an entire day of balanced nutrition. Healthy meal recipes are great, but I always want to know what else I’m supposed to eat during that day to get my nutrition. This takes the guessing out of it.

= I mentioned this earlier, but I really want to know if it matters if things are eaten in a specific order. Like, is it ok that I used my grapefruit as a morning snack instead of part of lunch? And would it have been ok if we’d used some of the lunch veggies (which are allowed in unlimited quantity) to season dinner? Is it ok that we had cauliflower for dinner since it was actually budgeted for lunch?

= I consumed just shy of 1,500 calories yesterday. I burned about 700 in my two workouts. So I only had 800 additional calories. And I did not feel weak or too hungry or bad in any way!

I am certain that by Thursday evening I’ll be really sick of these foods in these combinations with no variety. But overall, I am really happy with this and glad I’m doing it. Did I mention Vegas is this weekend? I have a feeling Jeff will be laughing at us. I’ve already got my heart set on a crepe at the Paris Hotel

3 creative and well informed people commented on “ Healthy eating kickstart ”

  1. Heather says:

    I saw an interesting thing to do with grapefruit in an article I read the other day. If you want to do something different with it, take a knife and cut the membranes between the segments (after you’ve cut the whole thing in half), then stick it on a baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes. Apparently, this caramelizes the natural sugars that are present in the grapefruit and gives it a nicer flavor. I haven’t tried it yet, because grapefruit is expensive here, but I’d be curious if it’s good.

  2. Anil K says:

    Stop the madness and have a burger already!

  3. Anil K says:

    I want wings, a beer and a red velvet cupcake!

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