I’ve been very focused on meal planning the past couple of weeks. As summer winds down and things speed up, I knew I needed to be more organized with our meals: who needs a packed lunch, crockpot meals for super busy days, easy to pull together breakfasts. I’ve been really proud of myself–I’ve shopped and prepped and it’s been great.
When I hit a wall.
It wasn’t that I was craving something unhealthy. It was just that I didn’t feel like eating what I had planned for today. What I had prepped and readied and prepared.
I ended up swinging through a grocery store and picking up one of their prepared meals. I don’t want to make that a habit, though, so I’m hoping you guys can give me some advice.
Do you meal plan? What do you do when you don’t feel like eating what you planned–swap nights, eat out, or do you have an emergency meal stashed somewhere? I need ideas!
A couple weeks ago, the FDA announced that there would be some changes to the way they labeled food, and–to risk sounding like a nerd–I’m pretty excited about the changes. The three biggest changes, in my opinion, are:
The phrases “calories”, “serving size” and “servings per container” are going to be bigger and more prominent.
Vitamin D, iron, potassium and calcium will be included on the label in actual grams as well as the daily value percent.
Labels will include added sugars, in grams and daily percent values. I personally think this is the biggest deal–how many times have you picked up something, like fruit juice, and wondered how many grams of sugar was added and how many occurred naturally?
Manufacturers have until July of 2018 to make the changes. Here is a version of our current label and a label with the new changes.
I like the look of the new label a lot, and even though we’re a couple years out from having them switched over, I think it will make a difference in the way people see the nutrients (and the additives) in their food.
There are also some changes being made to serving sizes, to make them more realistic and based on what people are actually eating.
What do you think of the changes that are coming to food labels? Do you think they will make a difference in the way people eat and shop?
I want to welcome everyone from the Health and Fitness blog hop! If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome! If you’re a regular reader, welcome back! Today I’m writing about something that has been on my mind for awhile, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about it.
When I was fifteen, I got my first boyfriend. He was the first in a short line that would label me a serial monogamist. We dated steadily through high school but were broken up by the time I got to college, although–like most small-town, high school sweethearts–we ran into each other over vacations and holidays until his family moved out of state.
Anyway, this guy (who shall remain nameless) wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. It wasn’t that he was abusive or hit me or anything. He was just unkind. And one day he said something to me that made me cringe. I’m not going to repeat it, because I don’t want to give it any more power than it already has. It was just a run-of-the-mill insult. And yet, almost 20 years later, I still think of that comment.
I know, I know. I need to let it go, right? I’ve had many flattering things said to me in my life. I had a healthy relationship with my happily married parents. I had good, sweet boyfriends after him who never uttered a mean word to me, friends who love me and lift me up, and a fulfilling marriage of almost ten years. And he was just a silly little boy. And yet…it’s still there.
So why is it that I remember those mean words when I could conjure up any of the lovely things my husband has said to me? Or pull a happy thought from my father, who spoiled me rotten? Or remember the gummy smile of my toddler son, who used to pat my face and say, “Oh hi, pretty mommy!”?
Why can’t I just accept the nice things people say to me? Why is it, when people compliment me, I say, “oh, please…” and start listing a myriad of reasons why they’re incorrect? It isn’t just compliments on appearance I have a hard time accepting. It is compliments on my writing, or my house, or my kid. Here’s a good example:
A couple weeks at my son’s homeschool co-op, we were eating lunch. I had carrot sticks, hummus, homemade granola and a hard boiled egg. One of the other mothers, a woman I like a lot, said, “Wow, that food looks really healthy and good.”
“Oh, it’s just because it’s Friday and I had nothing better left in my house,” I answered immediately. Um, no. I packed that lunch on purpose because I’m trying to cut processed sugars and foods out of my diet. So why didn’t I just say that?!? Probably because if I’d said, Yes, well, I’m trying to eat better so I can lose weight and be healthy while she was shoving a doughnut in her mouth I would have sounded like a prat. But I still could have come up with a better answer.
So one of my goals for this month is to accept compliments as they are given to me. To say, thank you! instead of, awww, no! if someone tells me I look nice. To say, I worked really hard on that, thanks! if someone compliments me on a meal, instead of, oh, whatever. I also want to make sure I’m giving people real, genuine compliments. Not just, I like your outfit, but that sweater brings out your eyes. Compliments that mean something to them, that will really stick out in their mind.
Because you never know when someone will carry something with them.
Can you take a compliment? Have you been holding on to a negative thought that you really need to let go?
Thanksgiving: the food-iest, carb-iest holiday of them all.
My day started out with cinnamon rolls. I eat them once a year, on Thanksgiving morning, while I’m watching the parade. I ate more than I care to admit.
We went to my family’s house for lunch. There was much food. I made apple pie. And ate it.
Then my husband made dinner. He cooks once a year (twice if I’m lucky) and I dream about his mac & cheese. It’s amazing and I eat a lot of it.
Later on in the weekend there were cheese fries, chocolate pie and ice cream. Among other things.
So, to review: there was a lot of food and I ate all of it.
I’m still feeling the effects of over indulging. What I’m doing this week to recover:
Running: Two weeks until my 5K and I’m not letting myself skip any of my runs this week.
I’m only eating foods that occur in nature for the next few days. That means no cinnamon rolls because they don’t grow on trees.
I’m playing outside. In addition to all the food I ate this week, I pulled a muscle in my arm and spent a good part of the long weekend sitting on my couch doped up on pain meds. I need some fresh air.
I’m going to start my day with hot water and lemon. I don’t know why it works, but it does!
I’m going to be nice to myself. Maybe a manicure or a massage or something as simple as a long bubble bath with a good book. It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself when the holidays get better–but it’s so important!
How was your holiday? What was the best thing you ate?
My husband recently travelled for work– which has, in the past, led to some really bad food choices for me. I get lonely and stressed out when he’s gone and I tend to make myself feel better with mac & cheese therapy.
This time around, I was determined not to let that happen. I’ve been doing really well with my food & fitness plan so far this month and I didn’t want to screw it up. So I put extra effort into my planning and made some of my favorite healthy snacks and meals for one.
I did meal prep so that everything was ready-made and easy and I wasn’t tempted to go somewhere and eat something greasy and covered in cheese. I made a batch of homemade salsa–the recipe I use makes a huge amount so I knew I’d have plenty even after he came home. I also made my favorite protein balls–they taste like cookie dough so it keeps me from making a dozen cupcakes and snarfing them all myself.
I was pretty proud of myself–I made it through most of his trip without bingeing on anything too bad. I did struggle with getting my workouts in. I underestimated how tired I’d be after being on my own with my five-year-old and by the time I got him to bed, all I felt like doing was vegging out with Netflix. It was only a couple of workouts, though, and the first I missed all month, so I’m not beating myself up and promised myself I’d add what I missed to another workout.
All in all, I feel pretty good about how I stayed on track. Now, the trick is not rewarding myself with that cupcake…
How does your eating and exercise change when your schedule is disrupted? How do you handle it?
There is an excellent chance that I am the world’s pickiest eater.
I’m not at all experimental when it comes to food–I could be happy eating the same few foods every day for the rest of my life. And coming from an Italian family, that list includes a lot of pasta and bread. Soft, chewy bread with a crispy crust…Mmmm…
My favorite foods do not stack up well on the nutritional score card. As I have started my new clean eating plan, I’ve really been making an effort to try new foods and include a wider variety of foods in my family’s menu–i.e., putting different veggies in my pasta. Hey, that counts, doesn’t it?
It’s a struggle for me–I like what I like, I have some issues with texture, and food has always been an aswer for everything: when I’m sad, I eat. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m stressed, I eat. When I celebrate, I eat…you get the picture.
Earlier this year, I experimented with swapping pasta out for spaghetti squash with marinara. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t trick my tummy like I hoped it would. I have definitely cut down on my pasta intake overall (my Italian metabolism that could handle all the carby goodness 3 times a week began to fail me when I hit 30) and when I do eat it, I make sure it’s the whole grain or vegetable kind.
On our first date 9 years ago, my husband ordered hummus. I didn’t even know what hummus was. I finally tried it last year (I told you, I’m insanely picky). It’s a good thing I did, because I love it and I dip everything in it. It’s made me branch out and try some new veggies, because how bad can something be when it’s covered in roasted garlic hummus? One of those new veggies were red bell peppers. I’m a little obsessed with them right now, and when the mood strikes, I’ve been known to eat one like an apple.
Then there was the quinoa phase. Quinoa has so many health benefits, and with all the scary arsenic rice stories, I thought it would be a great thing to switch to. Too bad I don’t like it. At all. I’ve tried several recipes, and it always comes out tasting a little grainy to me. Maybe I’m just not doing it right.
Another miss? Avacados. All those good fats…but so much squishiness. Which is a shame, because I really want to like guacamole. Whole tomatoes are another problem–I love them in a good sauce, but just don’t like them on sandwiches or salads.
I am not above treating myself like a toddler and sneaking vegetables into my regular food–pureed cauliflower into cheese and cream sauces, spinach into my smoothies, and adding a variety of beans and veggies into crock pot soups. Ironically, the actual toddler in the house has better eating habits than me. His favorite food on the planet is, I kid you not, a mix of spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. He won’t go near a chicken nugget or a fruit snack. Apparently, I should be taking a page out of his book. Until then, who is up for trying some homemade kale chips?
This has been a really good week, food wise. This week I started working towards my clean eating goal, and I’m proud of myself. Aside from a slip up or two, all of my meals have been homemade and full of whole ingredients. My favorite recipe this week? These pumpkin muffins that are made with whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. You can find the recipe here.
Three things that have tripped me up this week:
The perils of Pinterest: I know, I know…that which we love the most will be our downfall. At least, the dessert boards will. I quickly realized that zoning out on Pinterest while I was trying to shift into clean eating was going to be a challenge, so I went through and unfollowed all the cake, cookie and luscious looking dessert boards on my page.
I need a detailed plan: If I don’t have a plan and something in front of me that’s healthy, I will eat whatever is quickest and easiest. This goes for at home and even more so while we’re out and about. I really have to rearrange my thinking to eat before I go out or bring enough snacks to keep me away from a restaurant with queso dip. Which brings me to…
If it’s not in my house, I won’t eat it: there were plenty of times this week when I could have easily sat down and inhaled an entire box of Girl Scout cookies. Luckily, I didn’t have any cookies. Or candy. Or ANYTHING. It made me grumpy, but I didn’t eat any junk food.
What trips you up when it comes to healthy eating?