Carboholic, Meet Caveman

As for really anyone else, the holidays were pretty rough calorically. I ate all the things. Even when I was trying not to eat all the things, I ate all the things.

With every cookie and bite of pasta I would simply remind myself, “it’s not forever”. 

That’s where the holidays tend to get tricky. People keep reminding themselves that it’s not forever and that they can continue doing it until just after the celebrations are over. The problem is, the celebrations are rarely over.

There’s Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July and in between all of those holidays are people’s birthdays. Rather than to treat those events as the special occasions they are, we choose to celebrate entire months!

Christmas is one day but you would never know it from the commercials that start in July and the decorations that go up just after kids go back to school in September. The advertising starts earlier and earlier every year and so does the eating.

I’m one of the worst offenders of this mentality. I eat the candy that is reserved for the trick or treaters, the pumpkin pie, the Christmas cookies, drink all of the wine and I wonder why I’m fat in January. 

This year was no exception. I weighed in at a whoppin’ 142 pounds on December 29th which is 12 pounds higher than my goal weight. So naturally, I decided to take action in the only way I know how. I made my boyfriend throw away all of the junk food because I am a hoarder who can’t part with anything delicious, I cut out dairy, grains and refined sugar, and I started labeling myself as “paleo” and “whole30″.

I made cauliflower fried rice (delicious), chicken mole (also delicious), and wings (not delicious). I ate lots and lots of meat and vegetables and I even ate fruit which is something I usually avoid like the plague. I still drank non-paleo wine because, let’s be honest, I’m not Wonder Woman. I had more energy, my skin looked great, and I even lost three pounds.

But last night, after two weeks, I had a craving for pancakes that just wouldn’t go away. The planned meal was bison burgers but the thought of anything but syrupy goodness was actually kind of repulsive. I gave in, but in a way that was different to how I usually do.

I went to IHOP after calculating my calories and realized that I could fit exactly three chocolate chip pancakes (and syrup) into my daily calories. I decided to forget about my macros for the night and do some conditioning the next day to work it off instead.

I felt downright awful after eating the pancakes. I don’t mean guilty, because I was the happiest girl in the world. I had a horrible stomachache and a pounding headache that just wouldn’t go away.

While some of you are wondering, was it worth it then? I’ll tell you. Yes, dear reader, it was so worth it.

The difference is, it’s not worth it to do it all the time. The pancakes I ate last night were everything I ever wanted from food because I had waited so long for them.

Today I’m back to my green tea, fruits and vegetables, and my bison burgers.

KBF

Eating Crap Will Make You Feel Like Crap

For the past few days, I’ve been a little more lenient with what I eat, and by lenient I mean I just ate whatever I felt like eating. I actually danced the entire way to Carvel last night for an ice cream cone. It was bad.

I somehow passed up the bag of bagels on my mom’s kitchen table this morning, only to go to brunch and have donuts for dessert. In my defense, they were homemade donuts. Then I went to my aunts house and ate EVERYTHING there as well.

As much as I regret eating poorly these past few days, I realize that it needed to happen. I needed to feel like absolute crap to realize just how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I’m exhausted, bloated, extremely thirsty, and kind of a jerk. I also get hungry a lot more frequently. The sad part about this whole thing is that I realize that this is what I used to feel like all the time and it’s a very real every day for a lot of people.

The way I feel now shows exactly what it feels like to be undernourished and overfed. It’s not always about what you look like. Sometimes it’s about not wanting to feel like you’re food hungover and wanting to punch everyone in the face, because trust me, when you start to feel bad enough, the rage monster just comes out of no where.

Having a great body is awesome, but it’s hard to have one if you eat crap all the time. Eating junk food sometimes is great, especially in moderation but it’s when it starts to become a more consistent thing that it starts to effect you.

Food is supposed to give you energy so why consistently eat something that’s actually going to take your energy away? It doesn’t make sense and yet we continue to do it just because it tastes good or feels good in the moment. It’s after that moment passes that it starts to catch up and you start to feel the effects of a poor diet.

Looking in the mirror and not liking what you see sucks, but so does being tired all the time and not feeling full from the food you eat. Although these things aren’t fun, they have an easy solution: eat good food that makes you feel good and the rest will fall into place.

KBF

 

I Ate 4,000 Calories and the World Didn’t End

When I had my cheat meal, I left the restaurant pretty satisfied. It was when I got home that the guilt started to set in.

I had worked so hard to lose the weight that I had put on so easily, so when I finally broke it felt like I had failed. I went to bed feeling like I had destroyed everything I had worked so hard for and I woke up angry at myself for doing so.

As the day went on, I kept stopping to look at myself in the mirror. I looked exactly the same.

“How could that be?” I kept thinking. After all, I had eaten EVERYTHING the night before.

Despite the feeling of a stomachache and a little bit of a food hangover, I didn’t even really feel that bad. But as the day went on, I kept imagining the sun to black out and the world to end. But it didn’t.

I made it through yesterday looking exactly the same as I had the day before, give or take some bloat. I didn’t suddenly turn into a 1,000 pound bed ridden woman in a special on TLC. I didn’t suddenly become a diabetic and my stomach eventually returned to normal. But most importantly, I was able to resume my normal, healthy eating.

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A lot of women believe that they can never eat any kind of junk food so they deprive themselves for so long. When they finally do indulge, they binge eat and feel guilty about it. That feeling of sickness and guilt is punishment for a lot of us, it says “I can have my cake and eat it too, as long as I get it with a side of guilt”.

I learned this from my aunt. I had never thought of it this way but it really makes a lot of sense. Why else would we eat to the point of feeling sick? That guilt is a punishment, and an unnecessary one at that.

I eat healthy because it makes me feel good. It gives me energy to exercise and do the things I love. But we can’t all be perfect, all the time. I truly believe that in order to have a healthy relationship with food, you have to have a healthy relationship with yourself. Realizing that food does not define who you are and that everything can be consumed in moderation was a defining moment in figuring that out.

That is possibly the most important thing I’ve learned from gaining 20 pounds.

I put the weight on with guilt, I don’t intend to take it off that way.

KBF

Carboholics Anonymous Made Easy: Recipes and Tips

If you’re anything like me, saying no to bread, pastas, and desserts is one of the hardest things that you’ll ever have to do. There was actually a point in time where I HOPED to develop Celiac’s disease so I physically could not eat those things. Sick, right? I know.

But it actually turns out that it doesn’t have to hurt to give up (read: consume in moderation) these things. There are a ton of delicious ways to change up your carb heavy meals and keep them delicious, actually delicious, not kale chip “delicious”.

Recently, I discovered that I LOVE barbecue. When this passion developed, I have no idea. While barbecue is usually dripping with sauce and just flat out artery clogging, I’ve found a few ways to make it lighter on your heart and the scale.

Hickory Bourbon Pulled Chicken Tacos with Vinegary Slaw

Lets just say, I love these. The only thing that they were MAYBE missing was some chipotle aioli, but they were thoroughly delicious without it. The best part was that it took me probably 5 minutes of active cooking time and just as little clean up time.

Aside from the fact that they’re so easy, they’re also pretty good for you. The Stubbs BBQ sauce only has 40 calories for 2 tablespoons and 8 total carbs. For a while I had been buying Mission Carb Balance tortillas for tacos, but decided to change it up with corn photo-43tortillas instead. These are lower in calories, have less ingredients over all, and just taste better.

Recipe:
Pulled Chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can use breasts too, I just like how these shred)
1 bottle of Stubbs hickory bourbon BBQ sauce

Vinegary Slaw
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm corn tortillas for serving

Place chicken thighs in the slow cooker and cover with BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily.
Mix cabbage with vinegar and oil and let sit for at least an hour.

If you want to crisp up the corn tortillas to make them even better, add a little butter or coconut oil to a frying pan, slightly wet the tortilla and heat on medium high for about 30 seconds per side. I highly suggest opening a window while doing this if you don’t want to irritate your smoke alarm.

Zucchini Linguine

I love pasta. I have tried every single alternative to the real stuff that you could possibly imagine. Gluten free, Dreamfields, spaghetti squash. With the exception of the Dreamfields, none of the alternatives are as satisfying as the real thing.

Then I came across zucchini linguine. I first had it in a restaurant that prepared it in a really watery sauce so I didn’t really feel the need to make it again. Soggy noodles are gross no matter what they’re made out of apparently.

Then, a few weeks ago, my grandmother called me to say that she bought a container of zucchini linguine from a local farm stand. The best part? She got me my own!photo-42

I had no real plans for how I was going to make it, until I got really hungry yesterday and decided to have it for lunch. I just sauteed it in olive oil in a frying pan until it was hot, then added some left over grilled chicken, spicy tomato sauce (Classico), and sprinkled some feta on top because I was out of parmesan.

It was exactly what I’ve been looking for. Apparently there’s a contraption for making the linguine, so tracking that down is going to be my next project.

Eating cleaner seemed a lot harder in theory than it is in practice. That being said, I have not had a cheat meal in two weeks now, but we are changing that in about an hour. Our favorite restaurant just reopened after being closed for expansion for about six months and tonight is opening night!

KBF

Shakespeare Diet: Update

Since deciding to lose 20 pounds while writing my senior thesis, I’ve had a few set backs, but a ton of success.

While at times colitis is great for weight loss, steroids are not. I haven’t put on a ton of weight from them, but there are definitely days where I’m super puffy from retaining water. The good news is that I’ve been off of them since Thursday and I can already see a difference in my face!

Though I hated the weight gain side effect, the steroids were just what I needed to start feeling better. Now that I’ve been having less stomachaches, getting to the gym and squeezing in home workouts have been easier than its been in months.

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Mini Broccoli Cheddar Frittatas

When we started meal prepping, it just seemed like common sense that breakfast would photo-33have to be made right before we wanted to eat it.

Just the thought of making an omelette and storing it in a plastic container for a few days was repulsive and there didn’t seem like too many other options.

We both were looking for something low-carb (overnight oats were out) with a good amount of protein. Since it’s not realistic to set aside time every morning for delicious omelette making and there’s only so many protein shakes you can drink first thing in the morning, I figured there had to be another solution.

Quiche had been something that we had experimented with before, buying pre-made, organic quiche from health food stores and using them throughout the week. These sometimes got expensive and I still wanted to cut out the pie crust.

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Winter Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

There is nothing worse than trying to stay in shape in the winter. When it’s cold and snowy, all I want to do is snuggle up with Sheldon and read a book or take a nap. 

While neither of those things get me in shape, I have come to terms with the fact that I will also never be one of those people who is outside running despite what it’s doing outside. For example, the woman who was jogging down a main road during one of the worst snow storms we’ve had this year.

It took me 3 hours to drive a distance that usually would take a half hour, but she was out there with a ski band and thermal leggings. To me, that’s not motivation, that’s just insanity. I mean, aren’t you cold?

Finding time and motivation to exercise has never been a problem for me until recently. Lately, I’ll spend all day thinking about how excited I am to work out, only to decide later that it’s just too cold to move. To top it off, when I’m cold, all I want to do is eat heavy, carb or fat saturated foods that leave me feeling lethargic when I’m done.

Even as I write this, I get annoyed at this mentality. How can I be so motivated some days and other days just allow myself to be overcome by the winter blahs? 

Because I know that I’m pretty unmotivated in these months, I’ve decided to take a step to force myself to get back into it. Starting tomorrow, I will start working out with a trainer at Billy’s gym and start further cleaning up my diet.

Hopefully this gives me some motivation to get back on track!

How do you stay motivated in the cold months?

KBF