Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness

Travelling and Clean Eating: Fail

Last week we decided to go visit my parents, who live across the province. Literally. We drove all the way across the province. With an infant. Yes we are crazy.

Normally, road trips are fuelled with gas station grub including, but not limited to, beef jerky (read: sodium overload), chocolate bars, chips, candy, and pop.  I decided to try and make our trip a little healthier.

The night before we left I cut up a couple carrots into match sticks, created my own trail mix using dark, organic chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds and walnuts. I had my two Brita water bottles filled and chilled, ready to go for the morning.

I forgot the water in the fridge when we left, despite being beside the rest of the food I had packed. The carrots were gone by 10:00am (about 4 hours into our journey), but my husband really enjoyed the trail mix. The nuts really gave him that extra energy needed before we stopped for lunch.

About half way into our journey we really needed to stop to stretch our legs and get the baby some time out of the car seat. It was about 6 hours in and I’m sure it was time to feed him. (My breasts were huge and starting to leak!)

Thats where my clean eating took a nose dive. Not that I went for McDonald’s but it probably wasn’t the cleanest of eating either. We stopped for lunch at a popular sandwich shop that I am not going to name (Hint: it has been said that their bread contains the same ingredients as yoga mats??).

My husband and I shared a larger sandwich of spicy italian deli meats, probably loaded with preservatives and salt.

Once we got to my parents house it was pretty late and my mom had ordered pizza. I cant turn down my gracious host’s offering, so I ate pizza. Four slices of pepperoni goodness.

The rest of the weekend wasn’t much better. I went out with friends for some lunch to catch up. While I did order a spinach salad, I also ordered a cranberry juice which I am pretty sure was cranberry cocktail (i.e., sugar water with flavour).

We went out for a fancy prime rib (not so lean) dinner loaded with homemade spatzle and steamed veggies. I ordered the 10oz cut.

Mom made spaghetti with white (gasp) pasta, and before that we stopped for appetizers and snacked on pulled pork sliders and a margarita flatbread washed down with a caesar.

We did have one good clean meal with BBQ chicken, grilled shrimp and a garden salad.

On the trip home we loaded up on the pop, candy and chocolate bars at the gas stations, Tim Horton’s for breakfast and ended the day with a pizza, because by the time we got home, I was not cooking. Plus we had no food in our fridge.

So not the greatest time to write up a blog post on clean eating. Road Trip: Fail.

However, when I weighed in the next morning I remained at 125.6 lbs. But I didn’t feel good about it, mentally and physically. I know when your on vacation you should let loose and not worry about what you eat. But by the end of the trip, I am back to feeling exhausted, my son is irritable, and I am losing the motivation to keep eating clean and healthy.

My cravings for the sweet and sinful are returning. I must get back on track. We have been back for 4 days now and it’s time to get my (our) butts in gear. I feel like I haven’t exercised in months. I am going to start walking everyday now, eventually leading up to running.

Starting tomorrow.

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Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness

2 Month Mark

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I was so excited to see this on the scale this morning! Especially after the Blizzards we splurged on last night! If you remember, I started this clean eating experiment at 135.6 and am now down 10lbs in just 2 months while remaining quite sedentary.

I also have a TON of energy today. Here’s how the day went:

7:30am           Get up early and eat my strawberry overnight oats for breakfast.

8:00am          Half-ass watch Rachel Ray while contemplating my new blog post.

9:00am          Enter a few invoices, print off a couple cheques for suppliers and gather the necessary paperwork for a trip to the office.

10:00am        Pack baby in carseat, grab diaper bag and laptop bag and head out the door.

10:01am         Lock the door

10:01:30am   Baby loudly expels his breakfast into his diaper.

10:02:45am   Unlock door and go inside to change baby.

10:45am          Arrive at the office and let co-workers coo over the baby while casually talking about dropping our children on their heads (by accident) and the different types of poopy diapers.

11:15am           Said baby starts fussing and boss is no where to be found to touch base with before the long weekend, so I pack him up to leave (the baby, not my boss).

11:16am           Boss arrives. Unpack baby.

11:45am           Finish touching base with my boss before the long weekend then head home where I completed some more work, getting statements out to all of our customers.

1:15pm              Realize I haven’t had lunch yet so I make fried eggs on whole grain toast with grilled tomatoes, spinach and hummus.

1:20pm             Sit down to eat said lunch.

1:21pm              Baby decides he’s hungry. Feed said baby.

1:35pm              Eat cold lunch. It’s still good.

1:50pm             Get some house work done. Cleaned the kitchen, cleaned both bathrooms, tidied the living room and bedroom, and did a load of laundry.

2:30pm             Enjoy nice play shesh with the little guy.

2:45pm              Monster wants to eat again.

3:00pm              Said monster finally falls asleep.

4:45pm              Fold laundry. Child still sleeping.

4:57pm              Realise I forgot to send out some important work emails before the long weekend. Quickly start up the computer and fire them off. Baby still sleeping

5:00pm              Tired, starving husband arrives home from work. My little angel is STILL sleeping.

5:15pm               Make vegetarian black bean chilli from the clean eating challenge.

6:00pm               Serve up said chilli.

6:01pm               Child wants to feed again.

6:30pm               Finally wolf down dinner. Husband goes in for seconds.

7:30pm               Husband baths the baby while I clean up the kitchen and watch Jeopardy (it’s my guilty pleasure).

8:00pm              Husband wants to retire early but I still have so much energy so I decide to write this post.

8:05pm               The monster wants the boob again.

 

It is now almost 9:00pm and I am just completing this post. The terror is driving my husband nuts, as he is trying to relax and fall asleep, so I better sign off for today.

By the way, I accomplished all of this without any coffee!

 

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Day 18: Happy Canada Day!

With all the celebrations going on, the heat of the summer days and the activities going on town, we tend to be away from home more often and turn to restaurants and food carts or indulge in tailgate parties and BBQs and, with all that celebrating going on, it’s hard to stick with a clean eating plan. Sure you can go to a restaurant and order that salad for lunch or dinner but how many calories exactly are in that dressing? Where do these veggies come from? And are you getting enough of the right kind of veggies or just a lot of filler like iceberg lettuce. Here’s my advice: indulge yourself! Let loose! Once in a while it’s ok not to stick to a rigid meal plan. Sometimes it’s even fun to break the rules. Everything in moderation, of course. Attending a friends back yard BBQ? It would be rude not to try something of everything. Go ahead and have a slice of cake or an ice cream cone for desert. Restaurant doesn’t have any whole wheat hamburger buns? Get the white! Host is cooking juicy steaks? Don’t bring your own chicken. You wouldn’t want to be that guy who brings a knife to the gun show (did I say it right hunnie?). It’s an occasion after all – as in occasionally. It doesn’t happen all the time so it’s not a major set back it’s just a little treat for all your hard work so far. Don’t be discouraged and enjoy!

Breakfast: 2 slices of multi grain toast, half mashed avocado spread among the two. Topped with salt and pepper and two fried eggs (no oil). I almost got to eat this one hot, if not for my son.

For lunch we ate at my husbands restaurant and I decided, you know what? I’m going to get the hamburger! It had been a while since I’ve had red meat and, if you’ve been reading along, you know how badly I wanted that cheeseburger. Luckily I know what goes into the burgers (100% ground sirloin, that they ground themselves, with no filler). I asked for no mayo (to make up for the white bun) and no cheese (the lactose thing 😩).

Dinner: I tried so hard to come up with something for dinner tonight, but I couldn’t seem to find a recipe that didn’t send me to the store to get some missing ingredient. I ended up with a tomato, basil, feta (goat) salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar, two carrots cut into matchsticks and one red pepper with hummus.

I am secretly hoping my husband gets off late tonight and doesn’t want dinner because there isn’t anything. Anyways, hope you are enjoying Canada Day!

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Day 16: Eliminating The Crap

Breakfast: overnight oats with blueberries and fresh raspberries. 1/2 cup of fresh oatmeal bought from the farmer’s market yesterday, 1/2 cup no fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries. Shake in a jar and put in fridge overnight. Topped off with fresh raspberries in the morning.

My husband and I always put artificial, dairy free creamer in our coffees and when I started this clean eating experiment I took a look at the ingredients in said creamer. So many chemicals! I decided that if we were going to start eating clean it was time to start purging our fridge and cupboards of all the crap and so I sought out recipes on beloved Pintrest for replacements. First up the coffee creamer/sweetener. This recipe is so simple. I noticed in the grocery store there were two kinds of sweetened condensed milk: regular and low fat. A quick look at the nutritional information yielded interesting results: there isn’t that much difference between the two. Only 1/2 g of fat per serving! You know what the replace that fat with? Sugar! One more gram of sugar in the low fat variety. I got the full fat. My husband approves.

For lunch I made a veggie sandwich with hummus on multi grain bread. I sliced up a half an avocado, one slice of a beef steak tomato, a little leftover romain and an ounce of goat feta.

Two peeled and cut carrots with two tablespoons of hummus rounded out my afternoon snack.

For dinner I decided I was going to make pizza. I found a bunch of recipes for whole wheat crust online but they all called for all purpose flour in addition to whole wheat flour. Their reasoning behind the mixture is that the whole wheat flour doesn’t contain as much gluten as the AP and would make a cardboard tasting crust. I found one recipe that was 100% whole wheat and you know what? It was great! It made 2 portions of dough so I froze one for next week. To my pizza I added my own tomato sauce (crushed tomatoes, garlic, shallot, Italian spices), roasted eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes, feta and parmesan. I baked the crust first to get it nice and crispy before I added the toppings.

For desert I bought an organic dark chocolate bar that is 80% cocoa. It tasted like bakers’ chocolate and was very bitter. I decided to wash it down with a glass of red wine. The two paired quite nicely!

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Day 5: My Husband Cooks Better Than I Do

Wow! I never thought I would have made it this far! Today I learned that I should leave the omelet flipping to my husband. Actually, I should leave all the cooking to my husband.

I was a little skeptical about today’s breakfast, as there was no cheese involved in the cauliflower omelet, but it turns out it didn’t need it. The cauliflower took on a really creamy texture amongst the egg and it was actually quite nice. I would have liked some bacon and hash browns alongside it but that wasn’t in the recipes.

After lunch we decided to go for a walk. The City of Nanaimo puts on this Golden Bucket challenge every summer where, each week, they hide a child’s yellow beach bucket around various parks and give clues on where to find it. The bucket has a question in it, usually pertaining to the location it is at, and you send in your answer to be entered to win prizes.My son and I have been doing this for the last two weeks.

Today brought us to a sea side nature park where you can walk a trail that runs along the ocean. The sea air did wonders on my sinuses and I felt more energized, albeit sweaty, than I have all week. Also the crashing waves and the bouncing of my steps (I had my baby in a carrier) lulled my son to sleep.

After our walk I decided that, since I was doing so well in this clean eating experiment, that I would reward myself with a glass of wine. The challenge says I can limit myself to two glasses over the two weeks. Well they didn’t say how big the glasses had to be! I had the 9oz. Red, of course.

I felt a little tipsy afterward. It wasn’t my first drink since giving birth so I was quite surprised how hard it hit me.

By the time we got home from our drinks and shopping for more diapers it was 7:00pm. I needed to cook more lentils since I used up all the left overs a few days ago. I forgot that they take an hour to cook so the salmon dinner wasn’t ready until after 8:00pm.

Since I didn’t get my first snack in after lunch, I snacked on my carrots and hummus as we prepared dinner. My husband brought home a large fillet of salmon bought locally from the marina in French Creek, BC. Caught right off our very own coast.

Not only is it clean and fresh, but sustainable as well.

We decided that we would bbq the fillet instead of baking it in the oven. It gave it such a different but tasty flavor. I would say that we had an 8oz portion of salmon and half a recipe of the big batch of lentils each. So, needless to say, dinner was filling and there was no need for an after dinner snack. Plus by that time is was 9:00pm.

Even though I drank way more than the recommended 60oz of water today, I ended up with a migraine that has been trying to rear it’s ugly head for three days now. I’m not sure if this is another one of the side effects of changing the way I eat or that maybe I was just due for a migraine. It has been a while since my last one (since before I was pregnant).

It’s now 4:15am as I am writing this and I am wide awake. But I feel great after day 5 of my clean eating experiment!

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Not today’s bucket, but an example of the Golden Bucket Challenge

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Day 4: Really, That’s All The Snack I Get?!

If you can flip an omelet, you deserve a medal. This is what my breakfast looked like:

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The instructions said to turn the heat down to low and cook the eggs for one minute until the eggs are not very runny. Well it took me over 5 minutes on low, a lid, and one minute cranked up to medium before I could get my eggs to set. Overall the “omelet” looks like crap, as you can see, but it tastes alright. I would use less green onions next time.

Speaking of using less or more of the ingredients, I wish they would be more specific about the amounts used. For instance this recipe called for 4 scallions (green onions). Well what size are your scallions? Mine were too big.

Today’s lunch, a Greek salad using the left over lentils from last night’a dinner, calls for one red pepper and half a cucumber cut into pieces. Last I checked there is a wide variety of sized cucumbers and peppers. So my salad ended up being huge! It could have fed two people.

Oh, and about lunch: I used up all the lime vinegarette in last night’s cabbage wraps and had no more limes to make more. I thought substituting bottled lime juice would have the same effect. It didn’t.

Word of advice: DON’T USE BOTTLED LEMON OR LIME JUICE IN PLACE OF FRESH SQUEEZED. It does not taste the same and it does not taste as good as fresh squeezed. I know lemons and limes are ridiculously expensive right now but it is sooo worth it, especially in salad dressings.

I had to go grocery shopping again before dinner. Since my husband works from early mornings to later at night, the only meal I have to prepare for him is dinner. However, when I did my initial grocery shop I forgot to take into account that I have to feed my husband too! That is why I have had to hit the store almost every day so far. He is also off for the next two days so I bought more supplies to accommodate him. I will have a running total for all of you at the end of each week.

Dinner was good. I roasted up some more chicken breasts (boneless, skinless because I wasn’t wrestling with chicken on the bone again, plus, I don’t like all the waste) alongside the fennel. I threw some more cauliflower in the oven since I burnt the florets last night that I was supposed to use in tomorrow’s breakfast.

My after supper snack was a joke. If you aren’t following along with the challenge from BuzzFeed, it was two dates and two almonds. You were supposed to stuff the almonds in the dates. F*%# that. I threw a handful of dates and almonds in a bowl and snacked on that while I caught up on work.

I have to say I felt really good today. I never really felt tired or worn down. I got lots of work accomplished, both my paid work and my house work. Although, I didn’t get much exercise or get my full 60 oz of water in. I have I say, though, my tummy is looking a little round with bloat and an unfortunate side effect of the challenge is my body trying to rid itself of poison in the form of noxious gas.

Seriously. And since having gone through childbirth, it’s not as easy to hold it in when the timing isn’t right. Like at the grocery store when there is a line up behind you in the check out. It’s even passing onto my son. His poops have gotten quite explosive and foul. I’ll leave you with that.

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Day 3: Upping the Caloric Intake

Today’s menu can be found here.

Did you know breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, I figure that is what is leaving me exhausted by 2:00pm everyday.

Since my main goal is gaining energy and since I need to take care of my sons needs first and foremost, I am going to up my caloric intake. I am still going to use the same recipes and menu plans but I’m going to eat more, if I want to.

For example: half a cup of hummus instead of quarter, the men’s recommended portion of protein instead of the woman’s, etc. But keeping conscious of salt intake and making clean, healthy food choices.

Unfortunately that didn’t start at breakfast. I did not even have enough Greek yogurt to make up a cup that was required in the blackberry almond parfait. (I had to run to the grocery store anyways to grab some Napa cabbage and limes for today’s lunch anyways, so I got to pick up more then.)

I think the recipe had a typo, as there was way too much ground flax seed. I think it should read two teaspoons not tablespoons. Here’s what my parfait looked like:

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As a new mom I did not have time to waste to make it all layered and pretty so excuse the mess I called breakfast. It tasted pretty good but very powdery with all the flax.

For lunch I used a whole breast of chicken rather than just a half and three tablespoons of the dressing (since I never used any for dinner last night) in my salad. By the way, if you are following along and are having trouble finding Tamari, it’s next to the soya sauce.

I think that being cooped up indoors when the weather is gloomy zaps ones energy. Today was a decent day and we got out for a walk. The cool breeze and the fresh air really re-energized me and there was so need for an afternoon nap.

The lemony, avocado snack I had after the walk left little to the imagination. I suppose given a tight time frame it’s a great option as it’s just a scooped out avocado with some lemon juice and salt and pepper. Since I didn’t use the quarter of an avocado in last nights dinner I ate the whole avocado. I still felt a little hungry so I ate some carrots and hummus to tide me over until dinner (not in the menu for today but clean and healthy, none the less).

Even before my roasted cauliflower and lentils are finished cooking I’ve decided to make the Napa cabbage wraps that were supposed to be from last night in addition to tonight’s supper. I’m not planning for dinners for two and I’ve stretched my cauliflower reserves so thin as it is that the cauliflower and lentils is more of a side dish than a main meal.

I don’t think I would make it again. Even as a side. The lentils are alright but the cauliflower is not my thing. The cabbage wraps are alright as well. I was right about my mango not being ripened enough and I ate all my avocado during my afternoon snack, so they were lacking in flavour a bit. I think I would substitute romain hearts next time instead of cabbage.

I was really looking forward to my night time snack: hot chocolate made with almond milk and shaved dark chocolate! It was just ok: needed more chocolate.

I must say I am starting to feel more energized today. After finally getting my son down for the night I actually got an hour and a half of uninterrupted work done! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring and I am looking forward to a hot breakfast for a change.

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