Happy Wednesday! Half way through the week and the weekend is in sight, I’ll take it! I don’t know about where you are but here in Boston the weather has been GORGEOUS! For what feels like the first time all summer we have been able to sleep with the windows open and you need a sweater at night. Waking up to the cool mornings actually has me looking forward to a hot shower and a cup of coffee. The running has been fantastic too (more on that tomorrow!). This weather reminds me that summer is winding down and fall is on its way…we need to make the most of it!
It seems like forever since I posted for What I Ate Wednesday! My eating hasn’t varied too much and I’m still enjoying all of my summer staples. The one major thing that has changed is that I’ve stopped counting calories. You may recall that I had planned to count for a month to try to understand my eating habits. I didn’t want to become dependent on counting so 30 days seemed like a good amount of time to recognize my habits and learn how to change them for the better. I’m down about 8lbs. since late June! I’m now back at the weight I was during marathon training and feel really great at this weight. Here are the biggest things I learned from calorie counting:
- I tended to over eat at dinner time. While our meals were healthy my portion size was huge and added tons of extra calories to my day. Some days I’d eat close to 1000 calories at dinner time which is around 8pm in our house. I’ve cut down my portion size and now eat around 600-700 calories at dinner.
- My afternoon snacks also had lots of hidden calories in them! Again I cut down on my snack choosing between a granola bar or yogurt, not both. I realized that my snack often had more calories than my breakfast!
- I’m more aware of the foods I eat and how many calories they contain. I find it easier to resist seconds when I know roughly how many calories I’ve eaten already. I’m also more aware of which foods keep me fuller longer and which ones don’t do much for me!
- Calorie counting also made me more mindful of my eating. Some days I don’t even eat an afternoon snack. If I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat it. If I am craving protein or carbs I try to satisfy that craving instead of ignoring it.
- I love sweets but I’ve learned to tame my sweet tooth with other options like Edy’s Whole Fruit bars, Skinny Cow ice cream and homemade banana soft serve.
- I’ve also learned that if I’m unsure about how many calories something has it’s worth checking to see and planning my meal accordingly.
Shall we get to those calories?
With the hot and humid weather I have been reaching for smoothies with strawberries, spinach, coconut water, yogurt and apple juice for breakfast. I’m also hooked on the Coco Cafe coconut water with a shot of espresso! It’s creamy, with a hint of chocolate to it and better than an iced coffee. On these cooler mornings I’m loving a warm cup of coffee with skim milk and sugar. I was craving food not a smoothie the other morning so I toasted a couple of whole wheat waffles and topped each with half a teaspoon of peanut butter and half a banana. It was delicious!
Lunches have been a challenge of late. We are so bored with deli meat and sandwiches so we have been trying to mix it up. Often this means making extra food for dinner so we can bring leftovers for lunch or getting creative with new chicken salad recipes for some variety. This week it’s been leftovers. Yesterday I had leftover turkey taco meat in a tortilla with lettuce and tomato. On the side I had some refried beans with cheese. I brought cherries to snack on and a granola bar or yogurt for a snack.
We love grilling in the summer time. It is quick, easy and always tastes delicious. We try to limit our carbs with dinner at least a few nights a week. One of my favorite summer meals is a marinated and grilled flank steak with veggie kabobs and salad. We usually have this for dinner once a week! You can change it up with different marinades and cuts of steak to keep it interesting!
Many thanks for Jen for hosting this party! I can’t wait to check out what you are all eating!