It's been quite some time since I've allowed you to stalk my meals, darling blog readers. But I'm having more of a difficult time eating intuitively than I expected. To my charge to exercise normal amounts (i.e., no more than 10 hours per week) I added the additional challenge of eating intuitively. In other words, I want to eat [responsibly] when I'm hungry.
And I have been. The only trouble is that I haven't been eating enough in terms of calories. So I will be full and not hungry again until the next mealtime, but the food that I eat does not deliver enough in terms of energy and nutrition. When I discover at the end of the day that I am 500 or more calories short, I want to make sure I get that sustenance and so I eat a whole bunch to make up the difference. The result is that a) I'm eating when I'm not hungry, and so not really enjoying the food, b) setting myself up to fall prey to binges, c) stressing my digestive system out with my calorie dump, and d) I feel sick and bloated when I go to sleep. My diagnosis of the situation? A resounding yuck.
So, in an effort to track my eating progress, keep me honest, and allow you to see my successes and failures -- which will hopefully help you to stick to your personal nutrition and activity plan -- I'm going to do a few run-downs of what's been going into my stomach. Are you ready to stalk my food? I hope so, because here we go!
The first thing I do every morning is spend some quiet time reading the Bible, a devotional (right now I'm working through Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman, journaling, and praying. I also brew up some tea or coffee. This morning, I guzzled down my creme brulee with soy creamer and a sprinkle of cinnamon coffee before remembering to snap a photo.
After an hour-long spinning class, my yummy breakfast (Oikos fat-free plain Greek yogurt, Optimum Slim and Kashi Island Vanilla cereals, and a few sweet and salty cashews in a cantaloupe bowl):
...soon turned into this:
I've seen the cantaloupe bowl idea floating around the blogosphere, and I'm glad I tried it. This breakfast was sweet, light, and refreshing. Perfect for summer!
I did a lovely 30 minute yoga flow from YogaDownload (Lunchtime Flow #1!), showered, then felt my tummy rumbling once again. For lunch I whipped up a green monster (1/2 a frozen banana, 1 6 oz. container fat-free banana cream pie yogurt, 2 cups spinach, 1 handful ice, water as needed, and blend!), and then settled in to nurse it while reading a novel that I just started, Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. (She's the same author who wrote Chocolat, the film version of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I mean, chocolate, France, and Johnny Depp? You can't go wrong) I did not get too much reading done, however, because I was interrupted by a very important phone call.
On Wednesday, I interviewed for the same position located at two different schools. So really, I was interviewing for two jobs. I was on pins and needles all Thursday morning, waiting and waiting and waiting for them to call with their decision (they had told me that I would hear within 24 hours). I wanted either one of the positions so badly, and at the same time was afraid to want them too much in case I failed to snag one. Finally, I heard back, and -- I got offered both jobs!! If my waiting hadn't been difficult enough, this decision was even harder. I told my bringer of good news that I'd call back with my choice.
After sitting in a shocked yet elated stupor, I roused myself to try out this spinach and feta hummus recipe. I modified it slightly, cutting the oil and tahini in half, reducing the red pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon, and adding a heaping spoonful of garlic instead of a teaspoon. This hummus was so delicious straight from the blender! Most of the homemade hummus I turn out needs to sit for a while to let the flavors meld. This was incredibly tasty right away. Of course I had to try a few more dips with some Kashi crackers and some carrots. Just to make sure that it was okay. You understand.
Having taken some space, made some hummus, and chatted with my sister-in-law, I knew it was time. I had to decide. I wandered down the hill toward one of the schools that I was offered a position at. I prayed, sweat, and listened for God's take on the situation. Upon arriving at the school's playground, I ran across a woman and her two boys. She approached me, and, over the course of our conversation, I found myself referring to myself as one of this school's staff. I pretty much knew then, and after asking God and not hearing any resounding "No way!" I called the personnel office and accepted the job. I'm still buzzing!! I'm so excited for the start of the school year, although I will definitely miss the kids and staff in the classroom that I'm leaving.
Dinner was inspired by a fellow blogger who writes It's a Wrap!, and was the reason behind my earlier hummus-making. I made mini pizzas. The Best Husband Ever likes his made with pitas, part-skim mozzarella, pepperoni, pineapple, and olives. I like to try new varieties, like this one. I spread a yellow corn tortilla with pumpkin puree and then some of the spinach and feta hummus. Then I layered on minced garlic, sliced mushrooms and strawberries, and 1/4 cup of egg whites that I had microwaved for about 45 seconds. I drizzled balsamic vinegar over the top and stuck it in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes at 375*F.
While the pizzas were baking, I made a salad that incorporated spinach, carrots, broccoli, mini bell peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, beets, pumpkin puree, flaked onion, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and dried rosemary, with cranberry glazed walnuts serving as a garnish. On the side I had some more crackers, this time from Target's Archer Farms brand, that were nowhere near as tasty as the Kashis. A chocolaty calcium supplement, a crystallized ginger medallion, and a glass of tangerine-flavored sparkling water rounded the meal off quite well.
There you have it -- a day of eats! Take a look with a critical eye. Do you think I nourished myself enough? Keep in mind that I did an hour of intense spinning, and then a fairly hefty 30 minutes of yoga. As bedtime approached, I knew that I had failed in this regard. So, with a sigh, I made up the deficit, feeling my poor tummy bloat.
However, while I'm a little disappointed, I do not feel defeated in this. I was reluctant to blog about this, because I like to write about how my life is sunny and good and everything I do works out perfectly. But life isn't always like that. So here's my failure. But I can also tell you that, in spite of not meeting my goal this time around, I'm not about to give up. Tomorrow it all starts again, and I get another twenty-four hours to learn, renew, and redeem. Are you with me?