Friday, February 1, 2013

A Day in the Life

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I have been listening to Vinnie Tortorich (and GardenTri)…both of these guys have been going into great detail about “fat adaptation” and learning to fuel your body with more fats and less carbs.  Most people, or at least me, hear less carbs and go “yeah, I know this works to lose weight, I've done  low carb “diets” like South Beach and I’m STARVING all the time.”  Most people, or at least me, hear higher fat and go “yikes!  Eat more fat, like what and how much and why?  Will it make me fat?  What about cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc?”  

These are all totally normal questions and ones I certainly had and still have to a certain degree have, especially the “how much fat?” question.  The more I listen to Vinnie and John and their experience, and the more I experiment with this way of eating, the more I am learning what works for me and what doesn’t.  Since I’ve received some questions in my comments, on Facebook, Twitter and in real life about what I’m eating/my thoughts on nutrition I thought I’d post a “day in the life” of Alisa. 

First off, I'm not a dietitian -in fact, I know nothing medical except what I have researched on my own. I have done some research including watching this Utube video by Dr. Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth and by reading Gary Taubes blog.  There is research out there if you look for it.  As with all things it seems, there are also sites stating that low-carb eating isn't healthy.  I personally would tell you from my non-medically licensed mouth that everyone is different--duh!  What works for you may or may not work for me and vice versa.  I think it's about experimenting until you find something that makes you feel good.  So far, maintaining a little bit stricter form of my paleo-style eating and cutting out grains and sugars (exceptions for special occasions!) is working for me.  I feel good.  I have more energy.  I am not starving all the time.  I actually feel like I need less food.  My workouts have been good, if not, great!  I don’t need as much fuel during workouts either and I’m not starving when I’m done.  It’s pretty awesome actually, especially for those of us who often work out before work and sometimes go straight to back-to-back meetings and don’t have time to eat right away—grabbing a coffee with some heavy cream can usually tide me over until I can get to my “shake” or other breakfast items. 

In general, this wasn't a huge change for me, I had already given up most grains and sugars from paleo-style eating; the change is really adding back some fat into my diet.  This is something I'm still experimenting with but so far, my food tastes better (even Mr. Pi thinks so) and as I said I'm not starving all the time! (I cannot stress this enough.)  I'm not going hog wild with the bacon (pun intended) or eating butter by the spoonful but rather not being afraid to cook with butter/oil and not being afraid to put olive oil along with balsamic vinegar on my salad.  To be totally honest, it is rather liberating to not be "afraid" of eating fats.  I really didn't mean to go on for such a long rant but since I'm already here I might as well continue for a sentence or two.  For so long I have been on the latest fad diet (hence, the mention of South Beach above) or constantly worrying about my weight while going through the process of either overeating or being hungry from calorie restriction.  I wish I could get back some of those teen hours spent angsting over it.  I'm in a place now where I'm pretty happy with the way I look, sure losing a few lbs would be nice but ultimately, that's not the main goal here.  My goal is to find a way of eating that is doable and will sustain me for the type of lifestyle I lead.  For me, this is a shift in eating styles not a “diet” and it’s a change that I think is completely doable.  As with all eating styles slightly outside the norm it does take some planning ahead and willingness to be a little bit picky or to ask about alternatives at restaurants (two things I’m getting used to) but for the most part, it’s not hard to eat this way and live a regular day-to-day life.

Alright, rant over on to the food log.  I’d love to be one of those people that has fancy pictures for everything but I don’t, sorry!  There will be mostly words with only a couple of photos.  Since I don’t keep an extensive food log all the time but have in the last week or so I’ll walk you through one day of the weekend and one day during the week.

Saturday! AH, Saturday, how I love thee.
Breakfast: Coffee, made at home w/ heavy cream.  I don’t measure it but I don’t feel like it takes much for me to enjoy it’s flavor, creamy deliciousness.
Mid-morning, in between workouts snack: heaping spoonful of almond butter and celery sticks
Lunch: I didn’t eat lunch until after my workouts, around 2:00ish. Awesomely green smoothie: ¼ avocado, ¼ cup frozen blueberries, ¼ cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp coconut oil, unmeasured heaping pile of spinach/kale combo, water and ice.  I was super skeptical about having coconut oil in my smoothie and avocados but both are delicious (I’ve done “green” smoothies before so I knew the spinach/kale wouldn’t really have much taste in the smoothie and they don’t, try it!  It looks scary but it’s not.)

Thawing a shake at work.

Dinner:  We didn’t eat dinner until pretty late as we had gone to Costco and ran some other errands in the afternoon.  I made meatballs from Krystal’s website, YUM, and surprisingly easy to make meatballs.  I cooked a spaghetti squash and heated up some no sugar added, pure tomato marinara sauce.  I personally ate 3 meatballs, about a cup of spaghetti squash w/tsp butter and ¼ cup of sauce.  Along with the “spaghetti” and meatballs I had a side salad of mixed greens, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, feta crumbles, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

After dinner: Spiced Rooibos decaf tea from trader joes

[Saturday Workouts: 3.5 mile run, 1.5 hour trainer ride (high cadence), 75 minutes hot power yoga]

Tuesday!  Can’t say I love you as much as Saturday.
Breakfast: Venti bold drip coffee from Starbucks w/heavy cream (my starbucks has perfected this for me, at first they put WAYYYYY too much HC for me, now they know I’m about a splash and a half).
Mid-morning (around 10:30am): I was finally hungry for something so I opted for kale chips, approx 1 cup (homemade, super easy, kale, olive oil, salt and pepper, bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes…and wallah, you have crispy kale chips) and a few mixed nuts, again, I didn’t measure but I’d estimate about ¼-1/2 cup worth (the mixed nuts have pecans, almonds, macadamia, brazil, cashews, hazelnuts).
Lunch (eaten around 2pm when I finally hungry): Large SALAD!  I eat this pretty much every day for lunch at work. People at the office have made fun of me calling it my “trough” of salad.  It consists of roughly the following: 2-3 cups of mixed greens and kale or spinach, ¼ of a cucumber, ½ bell pepper (or 2-3 of the mini bell peppers if we buy those), ¼- ½ avocado, sometimes cheese (feta, blue, cheddar, whatever is available), sometimes chia seeds (though I prefer these with plain water if I’m going to eat them), sometimes leftover grilled chicken or hardboiled eggs (depends if I’ve thought ahead to bring these items).  Dressing is olive oil about 2 tsps worth (I use a plastic spoon to get it out of the jar that’s the only reason I know how much it is roughly) and a good dousing of balsamic vinegar.
Dinner (eaten around 7:45, after yoga): hard boiled egg, couple of spoonfuls of full fat ricotta cheese and peppermint herbal tea (I would have eaten more but I just wasn't hungry enough for anything else)

[Workouts: 3.1 mile run, 25 minutes strength training, 1 hour hot power yoga]

Critique as you want and maybe adopt what you like and think may work for you.  As I said, I think everyone has to find what works for them.  Feel free to ask more questions in the comments or to email me directly with questions or comments, positive or negative, I'm open to having this discussion with whomever wants to talk about it.  (Email: