The Non-Hunger Diaries: How I Eat And Move {Part 1 of 2}

***Update #2***

See my response to The Hunger Diaries

***Update***

Interesting timing that I wrote this post today, in light of Marie Clare‘s “The Hunger Diaries“. Maybe I will write my reaction to the article sometime this week. I am retitling this post:

The Non-Hunger Diaries

***

A while ago I got a question from a reader about what my daily exercise and food routines look like. My initial response has changed somewhat since I replied via email (about 3 months ago) so I thought I might post it here because it’s a question I get a lot! I was going to post both workouts and food in the same post but it got long, so today is just going to be my food. I’ve been chatting about the gym a lot lately anyway so it’s time for a change.

This is me (sorry for the awful lighting and the weird angle – it was last night, I only have 1 full length mirror in the house, and my overhead light went out and I haven’t gotten around to putting a new one in). Note the book problem in the background – I have 2 more of those shelves completely full and we are running out of room. (Katie, I still have to mail your book!) I guess this is what happens when you don’t like or watch TV.

You can kind of see my new hair cut. I am wearing my standard uniform of yoga pants and a tank top. It was good to hear that you guys agree with me – you should do what YOU want to with your hair (and everything else) – not what other people tell you. I like having my hair short because I flip my head over, blow dry for 3 minutes, and I’m done. I don’t even need a brush or any products. I have a very simple beauty routine. The only makeup I wear is concealer mixed with oil-free lotion. I rarely wear anything else like mascara or blush. I do always wear jewelry outside of the house – earrings and my wedding and engagement rings. I can be ready in 8 minutes, including my shower. I am not a girly girl and yes I do wear yoga pants to parties. At least I wear cute shoes.

A Chillax Diet Routine

My diet philosophy is: be very chill. I don’t want to be vague though, so I will give examples (not exhaustive, but these are my staples). Something to note – unlike most bloggers, I eat out a lot. I eat out for about 80% of my meals.

    • Morning before work: a big cup of tea or coffee, sometimes with milk, always with NuNaturals stevia.
    • Breakfasts: Greek yogurt, or some fruit, or bacon, or hard boiled eggs. If I’m feeling frisky I might have part of a healthy scone from Whole Foods or a buttered bagel. An omelette with greens (whole eggs, not the whites). On weekends we tend to have larger breakfasts and my favorites are actually just huge salads, or big omelettes. This is a far cry from what I used to eat – back at Cornell we’d go to Mate Factor in downtown Ithaca and I would get this great Belgian waffle with whipped cream (sometimes for dinner too). Bobby would get the salmon bagel.

    • Lunches: a big salad with lots of toppings (my favorite is a chopped unlimited topping salad from cafe metro: romaine, marinated tofu or tuna, grapes, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, whole egg, avocado, sprouts, beets, peppers, and more); leftover dinner. I often have an apple after lunch to clear my palette.

    • Dinners: whatever I’m missing out on and craving from the day (luckily for me my body tends to know what it needs). This could be another big salad or a big veggie stir-fry with some kind of protein and lots of fats (butter, coconut oil, peanut oil, olive oil, avocado). If I’m in a macro mood I might have a macro plate – brown rice, beans, hijiki seaweed, steamed greens, and steamed squash, doused in whatever dressing the plate comes with (it varies by the restaurant). I recreated my favorite dressing, the miso-tahini sauce recipe from Souen.

    • Healthy Snacks: fruit, veggies and dip, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, etc… I used to have a bad habit of mindlessly snacking too much after dinner but I’ve been working on it and I’m doing much better these days.

I have tried to track my calories and it just makes me crazy. I would guess that I eat anywhere from 1800-2000 calories a day, and it definitely varies all the time depending on time of month and my exercise levels. (I am 5’10” so I am not a teeny girl.) I have never ever had a day where I knew how many calories I ate. (I have nothing against calorie counting if it works for you – it just is not right for me, at all.) The fact that I eat out so much also makes it hard to calculate.

Just some notes – I am NOT vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/raw. If anything I’m paleo/primal. I eat meat because I feel that my body needs it. I love butter and cream cheese and Greek yogurt, but don’t eat much dairy besides those (I’m semi lactose intolerant but sometimes I do cave for McDonald’s $1 soft serve). I love fish. I don’t have any known food allergies, but I do have IBS. I love carbs but to be honest I don’t eat many grains these days. I don’t really worry about getting enough protein. I do make sure to eat a lot of fat, which is good for your brain and your skin. I don’t care for nut butter (gasp). My favorite foods are changing all the time, but I generally love squash, seaweed, bacon, and butter.

Other linkies on food:

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Hope this answers any questions! Do you eat like me? Have you found a way of eating that works for your body? Anything else you want to ask me? (If you have exercise Q’s I will try to answer them in Part 2.)

My gosh this turned into an epic post. I promise the exercise one is much shorter.

Experiment: My IBS Management Plan

This title sounds like the title to some kind of report I might write for work. Or school. I hope it goes as well as some of my papers did for school 😉 I used to do fairly decently in my classes.

The problem: I’ve been eating well recently (meaning not much late-night eating, minimal overeating, not too many salads, etc…), but my stomach is really bothering me. It’s been worse than usual ever since I moved to New York back in November. I was diagnosed with IBS ages ago, but never took it seriously – so I’m doing some research.

The solution: use diet to treat and manage my IBS. I’m reading Heather Van Vorous’s book, The First Year: Irritable Bowel Syndrome . While it’s not my first year, it’s the first time I’m actually going to try to treat it. The book has rave reviews on Amazon and I picked it up at Borders this weekend with my 33% off coupon.

Overview:

People with IBS have very sensitive digestive systems. The slightest things can set us off. Here are the basic things that I *must* follow if I want relief.

  • Don’t let myself get too hungry
  • Never eat anything but soluble fiber on an empty stomach (more on this below)
  • Follow a low-fat diet, high in soluble fiber, being careful with insoluble fiber, and avoiding my IBS triggers (like whipped cream and frozen yogurt)
  • Keep stress levels low (includes doing yoga and getting enough sleep)
  • Drink herbal tea (peppermint, ginger, chamomile)
  • Soluble fiber supplements

Let’s talk about soluble fiber. Soluble fiber foods are things like white bread (not wonder bread!), sourdough, white rice, pasta, oatmeal, potatoes (white and sweet), squash (yay! kabocha squash), turnips, carrots, beets, applesauce (or peeled apples), papayas, and avocados. These are supposed to be the basis of an IBS-er’s diet. Eat these before anything else and your stomach will thank you. They should make up more than half of each meal.

As for insoluble fiber, you should only eat this after eating the soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber would be things like whole wheat breads, bran, popcorn, berries, oranges, greens, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower… you get the idea – non-starchy veggies, basically. And these should preferably be cooked before eating for easier digestion.

Fats – be careful. Avoid them in large quantities. Stay away from fried things, dairy, red meat. I already stay away from most of these things; the fats I eat a lot of are butter and nut butters (and whipped cream, which really really makes my stomach hurt).

Let’s look at today’s lunch as a good example of an IBS-friendly meal. I went to Burger Heaven with Bobby and I got a baked potato with sauteed veggies (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower). I started off with the potato. It looked pretty much like this, but more humongous:

I had some plain, then added a little butter, ketchup, and pepper. After I let that settle into my stomach, I ate the veggies, which were delicious. I didn’t stuff myself (I took part of the potato home, but ate it almost as soon as we got back). I had the soluble fiber first, then the insoluble broccoli et al. I am pretty sure broccoli is another trigger for my stomach acting up.

I will *definitely* keep y’all updated on this.

I’m feeling hopeful. I want my stomach to feel great while we’re in Miami visiting the family 🙂 I am so tired of missing things because of my tum!!

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? (We have a wedding to go to – my coworker’s.)

Why Do Sundays Have to End? Parks & Recreation & Books…

Yesterday Bobby and I explored and wandered. We ended up at Borders and I scored a bunch of bargain books. I found this cool health book (Dr. Rau’s The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health):

I have an addiction to buying health books, especially ones that are based on the idea that nutrition is the foundation of health. Dr. Rau’s approach is really similar to macriobiotics, but it’s more European than Japanese/Asian. This actually makes it easier to follow because he uses pretty standard ingredients in his meal plan/recipes. I’m trying out some of his ideas and liking them so far.

I also got Lipstick Jungle (by Candace Bushnell), The Boleyn Inheritance (by Philippa Gregory), and Before Green Gables (by Budge Wilson – fun name).

Hope they’re good. I used to love reading Anne of Green Gables. I never read Sex & the City (also written by Candace Bushnell) but I have the whole series on DVD and I will never tire of it. And I’ve never read Philippa Gregory but I’ve heard great things.

I’m also excited for a book that I just won over at Missy’s blog – she inspires me to keep reading. She’s a true bookworm.

Today we headed down to High Line Park, which is a park on the lower west side of Manhattan that’s built on an abandoned train track. It winds over the city and as you walk the tracks you can see all of these beautiful deteriorating buildings. As we walked I had scenes from The Newsies running through my head. (Did anyone else love this movie? Christian Bale was ridiculously cute.) That area of the city is very old world and early 1900s-esque.

We took the train down to Union Square and walked over the ~6 big city blocks. We entered at 14th Street and walked up to 20th; we couldn’t go any further because the rest of it is under construction. We’ll go back again soon. Landscape architecture is something that I am continually baffled and awed by. The people that had the inspiration to turn a defunct railway into a beautiful project are genius, in my opinion.

Bobby is sitting on our living room floor putting this together now:

It’s our new media center and bookshelf from Crate and Barrel. It goes nicely with our new couches.

How was your weekend? Do you have a favorite park to visit?

The Great Fat Animal Experiment

Nope, I’m not talking about these lazy boys (cats… or as we call them: fats).

I’m talking about some new dietary things I’ve been trying. The changes involve fat and animals. Like steel-cut oats cooked in water and almond milk, then topped with organic butter and maple syrup:

I take food to work in these containers. Here is another, better picture of steel cut oats from the other day (this is after the butter had been stirred in).

I cooked (makes ~3 servings):

  • 4.5 cups of water and almond milk (I did half and half)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (the “serving size” is 1/4 cup)
  • few dashes of salt
  • cinnamon optional
  • …in my rice cooker.

Just be careful as it cooks – unless you have a very large rice cooker it will overflow. What I like to do is let it start to boil (on the “cook” button), and then turn it to “warm” and let it sit overnight. In the morning you have creamy, chewy, luscious steel-cut oats. They’re just as good as Jamba Juice‘s.

Or how about this guy…

Veggies cooked in 1-2 tablespoons of organic butter, topped with whipped full-fat cream cheese. I actually didn’t have this yet because my boss bought us lunch today (snow day!) – so I saved it in the fridge for tomorrow.

What are your thoughts on diet and healing? Do you think that food can really have that much of an impact on your well-being?