Death by Date Night

Let’s just start with saying that I feel disgusting right now. While clean eating may not always be “fun”, it tends to not come with stomach aches and mental fog.

That being said, I regret nothing. I ate about 2,500 calories at dinner last night and a week’s worth of carbs, but the whole thing was delicious.


We went to a restaurant in our town that serves exclusively small plates. They come out in sizes a little bit smaller than you would usually find in an appetizer and they recommend getting about two per person. We got 3 per person, and dessert.

The restaurant used to only have ten tables and it was usually impossible to get a reservation unless you called a week in advance because the food was so good. They closed down about six months ago to expand and finally reopened last night! It was possibly the best unexpected surprise a girl could ask for.


We started off with crispy Thai calamari, which since trying it there months ago, has become one of my all time favorite foods.


Then came chicken wings, which I tried to take a picture of, but Billy just moves so fast! These had some kind of weird lime sauce that was possibly made with honey. I’m not sure, but they were awesome.


Then mac and cheese came out. It had orzo pasta, peas, and bacon. I actually just ate out of this container after Billy took some for himself.


Then we had sliders. These tasted like Christmas. Instead of ketchup, they had a sort of cinnamon flavored tomato jam on top. The burger was perfect, but they weren’t my favorite.


THESE were both of our favorites. Pork tacos. Apparently I’ve been in a corn taco mood because I got way too excited to see these on the menu. We both agreed that we would come back specifically for these, and only these, for lunch one day.


Finally, ribs came out. Again, not sure what these were cooked in, but I was super happy with them. They had little garlic chips all over them, which were delicious. I thought they were plantain chips so the expectation/reality gap definitely threw me off, but in a good way. Billy didn’t like these, but I think that he was just too full or crazy because they were delicious. I had two.


We also ordered chocolate cake, which I did not take a picture of. It had “strawberry salad” on top. It had basil in it. We didn’t like it. I don’t think that we’ve escalated to a level of fancy eating that enables us to eat vegetables on our cake.


Immediately after leaving, I knew that I was going to be uncomfortable for the rest of the night. I mean, I consumed whole day’s worth of calories in about an hour and twenty minutes. Impressive? Perhaps. Disgusting? Absolutely. 

Going to dinner last night definitely made me remember why I can’t have full blown cheat days. I just end up feeling too sick afterwards, which may be fine for some people, but I photo-1don’t like being uncomfortable.

That doesn’t mean that I think that indulging sometimes is a bad thing, you have to indulge sometimes or you’ll go crazy. But I think indulgence should be something planned, controlled, and completely enjoyed, like a piece of cake at a birthday party or your favorite meal at a restaurant.

The grand re-opening of my favorite restaurant definitely felt like a justified occasion for indulging, but I really think I overdid it. It’s not like the restaurant is closing again any time soon, so I probably didn’t need to order almost half of the menu or finish every thing on every plate. I also probably didn’t need, or really want, the cake.

The best thing to remember after a big cheat meal is that although it was something that you wouldn’t normally do, you have to move on from it quickly. It’s so easy just to fall into that rut of “well I ate bad last night, so screw it! Brioche french toast for all!”. That rut usually results in way more overeating and weigh gain than you had previously planned for.

That’s how I gained all of the weight.

Today I’m going to jump right back into my clean eating habits and do a SERIOUS conditioning work out in my driveway. The sun finally came out after 4 days of threatening rain clouds, so I fully intend on taking advantage of it.

How do you get back on track?



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.

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!


The Shakespeare Diet: How I’m going to lose 20 pounds writing my thesis

When I started college, all freshmen had to take what was called College 101, a freshman seminar where you learned study skills and played getting-to-know-you games. Because I’m in the honors program, I was put into a section with others who were also in honors.

As the semester went on, I kept hearing about this “senior thesis”. I didn’t know what it was so one day I asked the teacher. “Oh, it’s a 50-100 page paper that you need to write by the end of your senior year with a faculty advisor of your choosing”. From then on I became obsessed with coming up with the perfect idea and the best advisor.

I found both. 

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Pug Approved Fat Loss

Pugs are gluttonous creatures. Mine is no exception.

About a month ago, I took Sheldon for his yearly check-up. During the visit, the doctor informed me that he was overweight and that there was a good chance I was overfeeding him. I was told to cut his food back and simply see what happens.

In only a few weeks, Sheldon had lost 5 pounds, going from a chubby 22 pounds, to a lean 17.


This all might seem like common sense. Cut the dog’s food in half, watch him lose weight. So why don’t more people use it?

It’s pretty obvious that decreasing the amount of food a pug eats will make him skinnier, but humans sometimes have a problem grasping this concept. We feel the need to complicate matters by reading diet books, trying strange new fad diets (cayenne pepper and lemon juice diet anyone?), and eliminating entire food groups.

While there are definitely foods that are terrible for you and should be avoided for the most part, most of our problems would be solved if we simply ate less food. In restaurants, a dinner that’s meant for one person can have as many as three servings! We feel the need to fill our plates when most of the time that results in far more food than is necessary. As a result of this mentality, people are eating more and getting fatter.

It’s time to stop.

There is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy eating food. There can even be days when you do overindulge and eat far too much. The problem is a result of unawareness of what a true portion size is, and not being mindful when you’re eating. If you don’t stay conscious of the amount you’re eating because you’re focused on other things, it’s really easy to eat way too much. 

I’ve found two really good solutions to overeating.

Small Plates

Once I realized that I felt the need to fill my entire plate with food at every meal, I decided to just make the plate smaller. A plate that looked mostly empty always made me feel like I wasn’t eating nearly enough, so I made the transition to smaller plates so I could still fill my plate without putting on weight.

Kid Size and To Go Containers

When I eat at a restaurant (and it’s not cheat day), I often get tempted by the gigantic plate of food in front of me. I want to eat all of it, meanwhile I know that the whole plate is probably two or three meals. I’ve since gotten into the habit of asking the waiter for a to go container when my meal arrives. I can pack up the excess portions and place them aside so I don’t have to worry about accidentally overeating.

Most restaurants will also let you order a kid’s size meal instead of the full dinner size. If what you were planning on ordering is also on the kid’s menu, it’s a really good alternative to the bigger meal. Kid’s size meals are often about half of the size of the adult portion and it’s usually much cheaper. All around winning.

Sheldon doesn’t feel the need to complicate his diets with books and fads, and neither should you. By eating less and moving more, he was able to lose more than 25% of his body weight.

If this was possible in a small pug, think about what you’re capable of.


You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry

We all need to eat. I need to eat more often than most people.

When I don’t eat for more than three hours, I tend to turn into what is called, “the rage monster”.


Typical Rage Monster

On the first day of classes, my first professor of the day had a list of rules. The second rule was “no eating”. Her reason? It’s disgusting. I’m not sure when normal human processes became something to be disgusted at but her rule does make sense to an extent. If you are eating a huge meal that has a pungent odor in a room full of people, it very well may be  disgusting.

While her feelings do make sense and it’s perfectly reasonable to wait an hour and 20 minutes between meals, this rule fueled my inner rage monster. Her other (pleasant) qualities struck me as annoying and flat out offensive. Who cares if she gives us extra credit to use as we please? She won’t let us eat!

Unable to control myself, I come to every class prepared with a protein shake. I do this, because although it is my first class of the day and I will be newly fed, as soon as I enter the No Food Zone, I will panic about my imminent starvation.

Logical? Not at all.

Because her class is the first hour of six on campus, I need to strategically plan all of my snacks and meals for that amount of time.

While I originally thought that I would need a cooler for all of this food, I’ve realized that I can fit most of it into a lunch box.

Although I can’t eat in my first class, that doesn’t stop me from gorging myself throughout my next two classes. I try to keep it simple in one class, while in the next class I’ll have a full on meal to hold me over until my dinner when I get home.

My typical Monday meal plan consists of this:

10:00 am: Breakfast – Coffee, Nutrigrain Waffle, Creamy Peanut Butter, Red Raspberry Jelly

12:30 pm: Lunch – Soup or other accessible lunch item in my kitchen

2:00 pm: First Class – Protein Shake: Chocolate Whey

3:30 pm: Second Class – Almonds, Laughing Cow Chipotle Cheese

5:00 pm: Last Class – Salad, Grilled Chicken, Balsamic

8:30 pm: Arrive Home – Slow Cooker Dinner Prepared that Morning

While the meals sometimes differ, the result is always the same. I need to snack, and I need to snack often. If you’re anything like I am, you know the struggle of always being hungry, often in places that aren’t that easy to eat in.

The solution I’ve found came from Dr. Mike Rousell. He says to have two snacks a day. One snack should be a piece of fruit and piece of cheese, while the other snack should bealmonds-healthy-food about a handful of nuts.

On later days, I add a “pre dinner” such as the salad to make sure that I don’t overeat when I get home. These options are great on the go and in situations where you don’t have much time, or aren’t allowed, to eat.

It’s always good to have options and solutions for when you’re going to be out and about. I keep a bag of raw almonds in the glovebox of my car at all times for this reason. There’s no excuse for binge eating or eating something not in your plan because you forgot to think ahead.

You’re not yourself when you’re hungry. But that doesn’t mean you should eat a snickers.