What I Eat Wednesday: 10/08/2014 What works for you?

I’ve been a bottomless pit for the past two days! Logically it makes sense, I just put my body through 26.2 miles of intense running and I need to refuel the tank, but I was not prepared to be so ravenous! The day of the marathon I took in 250 calories prior to the run and 200 calories on the course. Immediately after finishing I ate ~1 lb. of green grapes, about 300 calories and then went home and ate: 2 small apples, 3 small nectarines, 1 large peach and 2 tiny Seckle pears which all totaled ~560 calories. I ate my usual meal for lunch and had a smaller dinner than usual because I slept all day and felt sick from my migraine. So it makes sense that the next day (yesterday) my hunger drive kicked into high gear!

hungry dog memeI ate my usual fruity breakfast, and my pre-packed lunch of veggies and potatoes…but mid-afternoon I was walking past a Whole Foods and decided to go inside for the salad bar (where there’s always something healthy and tasty for a high carb vegan to eat). I grabbed a to go container and filled it to the brim with corn, peas, edamame, cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms and lettuce. After I paid and started eating and I realized I was ravenous. It was a 2lb. salad and when I was done I was still starving. It hadn’t made a dent! I was craving the rich fat of avocado, and so I bought a fresh avocado salad roll and a mini avocado white rice sushi roll. I ate them both (without the sauces) and then went back for 2 more servings of avocado salad rolls (I have a history of past addictions to salad rolls) for the road. By this time my hunger was finally beginning to feel quelled and I was able to tear myself out of Whole Foods, which was rapidly consuming my whole paycheck! I went home and consumed the rest of the salad rolls as well as my usual huge portion of steamed sweet potatoes and lettuce.

Today was a little bit better! I ate my usual fruit for breakfast and veggies for lunch. In the afternoon I only bought one serving of avocado salad rolls and 1 serving of avocado white rice sushi. Then I ate my usual dinner.

I’m really proud of myself. Listening to my body and honoring my hunger drive, specifically my cravings, has never been something I was able to do. In high school I developed severe anorexia and then bulimia, and so I was either depriving myself or binging and then purging. Thoughts of food were never safe, and feelings of hunger and cravings filled me with dread that I might binge or eat something I wasn’t allowed to. But yesterday I realized I was hungry and I definitely understood why, so I ate. And I made good choices! I wanted to eat more veggies and salad rolls! My only strong, specific cravings were for avocado (maybe I needed the fat?) so I ate avocado and I didn’t worry about the fat content! For a brief moment I did fret that eating extra food I hadn’t planned for in the day would make me fat, but I checked myself quickly. Everything I ate was natural, fresh, whole foods! Who has ever gotten fat eating vegetables, salad rolls and rice?

post marathon cravings

My main focus right now is to recover my muscles optimally and stay healthy! This is the time to pack nutrient-dense fresh fruits and veggies into my body! I want to be strong and injury free. With my mindset of optimal athletic achievement, a healthy weight will naturally follow.

Breakfast:

WIAW 7 breakfast

I hobbled through a quick 3 mile run this morning, I’m still recovering! But I plan to run again tonight and I also feel like my quads have healed enough to bike to class (it’s only 25 minutes each way with minor hills).

It finally happened 😦 I went to the grocery store and there were NO peaches, nectarines or pluots! I’m heartbroken! I’ve known for awhile that the summer fruit was waning…but I didn’t expect the breakup to be so sudden!

For breakfast I had honey tangerines, 2 medium-large Honeycrisp apples, and a large Asian pear. I took the apples to class with me and ate them mid-morning.

On my way home I stopped to do a sweet potato haul at a New Seasons grocery store. New Seasons’ are the only place nearby where I can find my favorite Japanese sweet potatoes. I also bought some deliciously squishy golden kiwis for tomorrow’s brekky. I like to have sweet and juicy fruits for breakfast, so it might be hard for me to survive this winter on bananas, apples and citrus only 😦

Lunch:

WIAW 7 lunchAs soon as I got home, I dug into lunch. Again, I was ravenous! I am still getting really hungry! I had my usual carrots, zucchini, and sweet potato (steamed). It’s a really large potato, about 300 calories worth…so it’s not as though I am not eating enough calories. But even after I ate all that, I was still wanting…

Yesterday when I went grocery shopping I had bought some avocados just in case (based on the avocado cravings I had the past two days) and after lunch, I really wanted some avocado! Good thing I had planned for this!

So I threw together what I had and made 2 little lettuce boats containing: 1/8 avocado each, sliced yellow cherry tomatoes, 1/2 sheet dried nori, and a handful of freeze-dried corn. It seemed to do the trick! After I ate those I finally felt satiated and ready to get to my homework!

In the early evening I donned my running clothes and jogged over to my favorite running store to lead a run group. We didn’t go far, and the pace was pretty relaxed (which was all I could manage anyway). In total I jogged a mile there and back and ran 3 miles with the group.

Dinner:

Guess what??? Steamed sweet potatoes and lettuce for the win! Yes, I had what I always have, but that’s the dinner that I ate everyday of my training cycle and the night before I won the Portland Marathon, so it must be working! I had 1.8 lbs. of steamed potatoes and 2 large heads of Romaine lettuce. I might finally be calming my post-marathon hunger!

In total I ran 9 miles (easy) and biked 50 minutes.

Macro nutrient breakdown:

Total Calories: 2,101 calories

Carbohydrates: 475.9g (86.3% of total calories)

Fats: 16.9g (6.7% of total calories)

Proteins: 54.6g (7% of total calories)

make the healthy choice

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What I Ate Wednesday: 09/24

coffee shopSo I am experiencing major first world problems happening this week 😦

I haven’t had internet connection for 2 days at my apartment! This is terrible for me, as a student and a blogger, reliable internet connection is as vital to me as blood is to my veins. This has seriously caused me major distress on multiple levels. On a physical level, I am unable to complete necessary functions like check email, or my school’s website (which is important because classes are starting for Fall term on Monday). I can’t prepare for my 10k race this Saturday because I haven’t been able to look-up the start time, location, or course map….which are all necessary for my mental well-being. On an emotional level, I feel frustrated with the lack of connection to others that I feel, I depend on social media to talk to my mom, friends, and others with whom I have built a solid online connection. In today’s world, if you are absent from media for a day or two, you are rapidly relegated to the back of other’s minds. This world is fast-paced.

I feel like I am suffering mild withdrawals, I feel irritated and anxious, upset, and also guilty that lack of internet causes such upheaval in my life. Are my reactions proportionate? I realize that internet is a luxury that billions of people live without.

In the meantime, here I sit at a coffee shop. Which is actually kind of nice, I am out of my house and supporting a local business. I’ll do my best to keep up with the virtual world that is streaming by without me!

Breakfast:WIAW 5 breakfast

My usual Wednesday easy run was a rainy one this morning. Welcome to Portland! The absolutely gorgeous summer we had will definitely require some readjustment to the steady drizzle that will mark my reality for the next half a year!

My breakfast of champions: fruit! Mother nature demands you to eat and proliferate seeds to be planted throughout the earth! Well, now the seeds all get flushed down the toilet…TMI 🙂 But in the past, it was evolutionarily beneficial for fruit to tantalize our ancestors with their luscious juicy flesh and fruity fragrance so that we would spread the fruit seeds through defecation into soil (that used to be much higher in minerals) so that a new plant could bloom!

A great rule of thumb: Eat living food! If you plant it in the ground, it will GROW!

I actually ate 2 peaches and a nectarine, as well as the 4 pluots (not 3 nectarines). But I forgot to take a picture of my fruit beforehand! Anyway, I’ll eat those nectarines tomorrow morning 🙂 I’m still not ready to give up my summer fruits!

Lunch:

I spent my morning mainlining caffeine until I had to pack up and head home for lunch. I had my usual: 2 large carrots (peeled), a medium zucchini (sliced) and a large steamed Japanese sweet potato (3/4 lb).

I find that some starchy veggies, like raw carrots are hard for me to digest, so I have started peeling them in an effort to be nicer to my guts. Other foods that I have a hard time digesting include broccoli and corn. I might have inherited my mild broccoli intolerance from my mom, it upsets her stomach as well.

My mom was always such a good example to my brother and I growing up, even though we knew that she didn’t like broccoli, she would still prepare it and eat it herself because she knew that it was healthy. In my house, we always cleaned our plates. My mom never had to “sneak” in the vegetables, it was just a rule that whatever she made, the family ate. Now, I love vegetables mostly raw or steamed, and usually plain!

*If you are having trouble tasting your vegetables, just continue to eat a clean diet (no salt, no added sugar, no refined foods)…it takes 10-14 days for your taste buds to regenerate! “Taste buds go through a life cycle where they grow from basal cells into taste cells and then die and are sloughed away.” (Source: Woman’s Day “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Taste Buds”)

WIAW 5 lunch turmericDue to my internet issues, I am using a picture of yesterday’s sliced zucchini, but it’s the same thing as today! I like to dump copious amounts of turmeric on my food whenever there is an opportunity! Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory and remedy for many ills ranging from arthritis to cancer and heart disease prevention!

The major pharmacological agent in turmeric is thought to be curcumin, the compound that gives the spice it’s bright yellow color. (Source: World’s Healthiest Foods, “Tumeric”) I started ingesting lots of turmeric when I injured my hamstring, in an effort to heal faster. Other foods with healing properties include ginger and garlic. East Indians and Asians generally have better health than Westerners, especially when they remain rooted in their traditional diet and lifestyle, so I am happy to indulge in their “secret” super foods!

Dinner:

I stayed off my bike today, which is a shame, because I got a new one! But I haven’t put fenders on it yet, and I need to tighten the brakes (loose brakes make rainy biking perilous!) so to avoid rainy, road-grime butt, I took the bus to and from work. Even though I quit my job, I’ll still be working through the end of the month, but fewer days per week. Phew, because I am tired!

Unfortunately I spent a lot of time waiting on the bus today and when I got home I was plenty hungry! I had eaten my cauliflower snack earlier in the afternoon. For dinner I tucked into steamed Japanese sweet potatoes sliced in fresh Romaine lettuce cups!

I recently discovered that two heads of Romaine lettuce adds 15g of pure plant protein to my day! Who knew?

gorilla protein cartoon

 Macro nutrient Breakdown:

Total Calories: 1983

Carbohydrates: 449.4g (87.1% of total calories)

Protein: 61.5g (8.4% of total calories)

Fat: 10.7g (4.5% of total calories)

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday: 09/17/2014

eat right buddha

Today, I had to bust out of my comfortable eating routine and SOCIALIZE! For those of you who have unique diets or food avoidances, you already know how hard it is to eat out with friends…unless you know how to plan ahead!

I always pack my day’s food the night before. When you are trying to sustain a vegan, high-carb low-fat (no salt, no oil, no refined food) diet you can’t rely on convenience stores or packaged items. The benefits of packing your own food are numerous:

  • You have complete control over what goes into your food- no nasty chemicals or food dyes!
  • You save time (ordering, shopping, trying to read all the ingredients in a label!)
  • You save money! Ordering a small salad can cost up to $6 dollars! Making a ginormous one at home that will keep you full and satisfied might cost the same amount, but be twice the size!

Breakfast:

My day began as usual, it was an easy run day between the 6 mile tempo run at a 6:30 pace yesterday and tomorrow’s track workout. I broke in a new pair of shoes on my morning 4 mile run. Running in the morning heightens my awareness of the shortening of the days. The sun is getting up later and later! Afterward, I multi-tasked: stretching, eating, and watching a few YouTube videos.

WIAW breakfast 4

 

2 peaches I’m trying to hold onto summer, but good stone fruit is getting harder to find 😦

1 purple plum and 3 squishy little yellow plums!

 

 

I jetted off on my bicycle a little late, that’s been the theme of my week, and bike-commuted 30 minutes of moderate cycling to my internship. It’s my last week, and I am definitely sad to be leaving. It’s been an incredible experience to be a part of such a positive team. Friends of the Children seeks to serve the most vulnerable population in Portland: children who have suffered poverty, abuse and neglect. Being a part of  this powerful community re-affirmed my desire to help others in my life and continWIAW morning snack 4ue along a career path dedicated to health and community.

Mid-Morning Snack:

1 1/2 crunchy Tango apples! The end of summer fruit gives rise to the crispy sweet crunch of apples and pears! I am really spoiled to be living in the northwest where the best apples ever grow in abundance!

 Lunch: Time to be social!

One of the staff at my intern site wanted to go out to lunch with me, just to chat. We’ve had time for brief small talk, but no real time to actually have a good conversation. Initially, when he brought up going to lunch I was freaked out. How could I quickly explain my dietary restrictions without coming off as completely crazy? I managed to let him know I was vegan, but I didn’t get into any details. After thinking about it, I suggested we just go to New Seasons nearby, which has plenty of offerings including a hot foods bar, salad bar, and pre-prepared meals. There would be something for both of us. But just in case, I packed some extra food with me:
WIAW preplanned 4
This is probably one of the most important things you can do to successfully stick to a healthy lifestyle. Have a back-up plan! I packed a mini-version of my usual lunch, including a potato for sustenance and lots of veggies to crunch on. I won’t get home tonight until about WIAW 4 drinks6:30pm, and I don’t want to be hungry.

Out to lunch! I already knew I was going to hit the salad bar, hard! I didn’t feel like being totally weird, so there’s no picture of my salad to share with you, but it was a large plate overflowing with chopped romaine, baby spinach, and baby arugula leaves. I added a ladle full of black beans, sliced celery and cucumber and raw, sliced mushrooms. The final touch was 5-6 cherry tomatoes, which promptly tried to roll off the mountain of greens and beans. It was satisfying, and nutrient-rich, but I was glad that I had packed extra food with me! I enjoyed the conversation, though I found myself feeling the need to explain my diet, although he didn’t ask. The way I eat is just so far from the mainstream that I feel compelled to explain why I am being so different. Do any of you ever feel that way?

After lunch I cycled 20 minutes to Portland State campus where I caught the bus and rode up the hill to my after school care teaching job. I took my bike with me so that I could just cycle straight home after work, because I get to zoom down that big hill 🙂 It takes about 40 minutes, and I worked up an appetite!

Dinner:

The usual! Lots of my favorite Japanese sweet potatoes (880g or ~2 lbs. steamed) with 2 heads of water-rich, fresh Romaine lettuce! I ate more than was pictured, this is just round 1!

WIAW 4 dinner

Macro nutrient Breakdown:

Total calories: 2044

Carbohydrates: 460.1g (86.3% of total calories)

Protein: 67.2g (9.3% of total calories)

Fat: 10.9g (4.5% of total calories)

That wraps up my day! I met all my micronutrient requirements (vitamins and minerals). I get Vitamin D from the sun, and I supplement Vitamin B12. I am always weirdly short on selenium, but I haven’t noticed any ill-health effects from it. From my research there doesn’t seem to be many side effects from lower intake of selenium in an already healthy individual. I usually get between the 30-50% range of the RDI. Amount of selenium in foods depends heartily on the selenium content of the soil the food was grown in, so I may be getting more than a calorie-counting app like Cronometer can calculate.

Let me know your thoughts and criticisms as well as how you socialize as a vegan, vegetarian, or health conscious eater 🙂