Chicago and “Diets”

Hey, hey! Taking a break from writing essays and discussion posts about Educational Research to say hi and chat a little bit about our Chicago trip, but mostly about diets.

In Chicago, I tried to focus on getting as many steps as possible throughout the day and eating special foods that I might not normally eat. We walked Chief each morning for about an hour and a half. It was a great way to see the city without a BILLION people surrounding us.

Then, we’d take the afternoon to walk some more, eat pizza, and experience the city. We went to Navy Pier, Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, and walked every neighborhood around downtown (so cute)…including right on the lake! It’s HUGE!

 

 

Once we got home from Chicago I had a hard time getting back into my routine of healthy meals and regular exercise, but I didn’t stress about it. I’m back on track now!

Lately, I’ve been eating lots of smoothie to get greens and veggies in since my stomach is sensitive to so many vegetables. I use almond milk, lots of spinach (sometimes frozen zucchini or steamed then frozen sweet potato), some fruit, and protein powder or collagen. I can tolerate smoothies with veggies WAY more easily then eating a salad at lunch. I’ve been eating yogurt parfaits with a little fruit and granola for lunch to make sure I get probiotics in (I love this Nancy’s brand).

I was thinking about how many different “diets” I’ve tried over the years for either weight loss or health reasons. I’ve tried quite a few, but the following stick out to me!

1. Weight Watchers: This was the first “diet” I ever really tried. I think it was in high school, which makes me sad. I was a volleyball player and always quite active, but still thought I needed to lose weight. It didn’t really work for me because I wasn’t able to be consistent with it. The point system was too time consuming and I always felt hungry still.

2. Paleo: I originally started Paleo because of my stomach issues. I heard/read about the many benefits of going gluten free, grain free, dairy free, etc. Unfortunately, this way of eating bogged me down. I felt heavy, uncomfortable, and lethargic. It didn’t help my stomach issues, so I stopped. In fact, I actually felt like the meat was hurting my stomach. Which leads me to the next diet…

3.  Vegetarian/Vegan: I have toyed with plant based diets since I was in high school (for ethical reasons mostly). The latest stint of being vegan was based off the whole Paleo thing hurting my stomach, and also being influenced by a couple of documentaries (I am such a sucker). I don’t actually like eating meat all that much and when I don’t restrict it from my diet, I eat very little of it. When I restricted myself, I craved meat often. Plus, raw vegetables consistently hurt my tummy. There are only so many meals you can make out of roasted zuchinni and carrots.

4. Intuitive Eating: After realizing I wanted to eat meat and  lots of vegetable, I focused on “intuitive eating”. I essentially ate what I wanted whenever I wanted. It was kind of like I said, screw this, nothing is working. My stomach still hurt after almost every meal and I just wasn’t losing any weight. Well, when I started relying on my intuition to tell me what I wanted to eat and when, I began eating cookies and pizza on the reg. Not healthy.

5. Macros/Calorie Counting: Macro counting is basically glorified calorie counting. You eat a certain number of calories each day, but your macro ratio is specific. It requires weighing all of your food and logging it. This didn’t work for me in the long run, but it did show me that tracking what I eat is helpful (personally). I don’t want to have to track macros the rest of my life, but I did realize it helps to track calories.

Where I am now: Right now my diet is a combination of all these methods. Im focusing more on how I feel after every meal, making notes as I go. I stay away from trigger foods (aka those that hurt), eat meat when I want it, eat a plant based meal when I want it, and a cookie or slice of pizza here and there (like, yesterday, at Costco). I am focusing on how much I’m eating and tracking calories (for now). It helps me. I won’t do it forever, but like I said, relying on “intuitive eating” doesn’t work for me. I’m a foodie, so I want it all.

Instead of actually eating it all, I log whatever it is I want, and adjust my day accordingly. I’ve noticed that if I just eat the donut, or the slice of pizza, I’m more inclined to make healthier choices elsewhere in my day. When I log it, I see the toll it takes on my calorie intake. I’ve also noticed that some days I’m way under on calorie intake because I’m just not hungry, and other days, I go over. In the end, it usually balances out. I’m definitely on a self care kick right now. I’m choosing to eat and drink what makes me feel my best.

 

What I prepped for the week:

  • Roasted Carrots (whole carrots cut in half and quartered, tossed in olive oil/salt/pepper/cinnamon, 450 degrees for 20 min)
  • Yogurt Parfaits (2 at a time)- yogurt, frozen mango (it thaws over night), and Purely Elizabeth granola
  • Hardboiled eggs (I have no specific way of doing this! Every single time, I try a new method. I’m accepting suggestions, folks.)
  • Shredded Chicken in the crockpot (so versatile)

My workout today (thanks to Freighthouse Fitness): Partner up. One person does the first exercise, the other does a cardio or ab exercise of their choice. Switch. Work your way down the list and start over with new rep count. Reps start at 3o and go down to 25, 15, 10, 5. I went heavier with each round and focused more on cardio today (vs. abs).

Cardio I chose between sets: running, kettlebell swings, burpees, and jumping jacks.

  • Hip Thrusts
  • RDL’s
  • Back Lunge
  • Kickbacks (with bands)

Have a wonderful week!

xoxo

Stef

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