Strength, and what I eat

Tonight I had strength training on my plan, so I did the three sets of the following with 15# weights:

  • Bicep curls
  • Hammer curls
  • Military press
  • Chest press

And I did 20 sit-ups between each move. I also started and ended the workout with eight push-ups on my knees, which were so difficult. That’s kind of pathetic. But I’m working to change that!

Now, on to a topic that I’ve been meaning to address for a while: eating.

Here’s a typical day for me:

Breakfast

  • Two eggs, scrambled or fried
  • Salsa
  • ¼ of an avocado, if I have it on hand

This used to tide me over until mid-morning, but since I began this training plan (i.e. started exercising regularly again), I find myself starving by the time I get to work at 8:30. I may have to add a chicken sausage or a few strips of bacon to breakfast. If I have corn muffins ready to eat, I will eat one with breakfast. (I recently bought a six-pack of Jiffy mix and the muffins just keep coming, since Aaron mostly will not eat them.)

Mid-morning snack (free at work*)

  • Handful of nuts, usually walnuts

Lunch (free at work)*
  • This varies based on the day’s offering, but I try to stick to meat, vegetables, and a big portion of salad, if available. Sometimes I give in to super-delicious things, like pizza or pasta, because it’s there.
Afternoon snack (free at work*)
  • Apple with peanut butter AND/OR makeshift trail mix (a combo I put together of raw walnuts, raw pecans, raw almonds, roasted pistachios, and raisins) AND/OR baby carrots and snap peas AND/OR a few satsuma oranges.

I have been finding lately that I’m pretty hungry in the afternoons and need more than one snack.

Dinner

  • Varies, but I try to eat a protein (usually chicken or some form of beef) and a big salad. Sometimes a corn muffin, too. Tonight, I had: leftover shredded beef; salad with Romaine, ¼ avocado, one tomato, and olive oil; two corn muffins, because they’re amazing. Last night, I had: two Romaine lettuce wraps with the shredded remains of a rotisserie chicken, ¼ avocado, one tomato, and BBQ sauce, plus a corn muffin.

Sometimes I will have a beer with dinner. I never crave dessert at night. My sweet tooth strikes in the middle of the afternoon!

*Here’s the deal: My workplace offers a ridiculous amount of free food. We get catered buffet lunches on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and there are almost always leftovers to eat on Wednesdays and Fridays. I almost never bring my own lunch to work, and I have never purchased lunch on a work day. IT IS SWEET.

It’s also tough to avoid some of the more tempting lunch items (pizza, pasta, sandwiches) that don’t exactly align with my attempts to mostly avoid processed carbs. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Success looks like yesterday’s lunch:

image

Tomato soup and salad from the Panera buffet. I bypassed bread & butter, a variety of sandwiches, and three kinds of freshly baked cookies! I did have to have a few afternoon snacks, though, since this didn’t fill me up.

Not-so-success looks like last Thursday’s lunch: two slices of pizza and salad pre-tossed with a creamy dressing. It was yummy as I ate it, but didn’t make my stomach feel very good afterward.

Luckily I have lots of healthy food options available at work, no matter what the lunch offering is each day. We get a massive shipment of pantry and refrigerator items from Costco every week that includes healthy stuff like: baby spinach, eggs, baby carrots, mini bell peppers, avocado, snap peas, apples, bananas, pears, satsuma oranges, grapes, several types of raw nuts, raisins, and more.

There’s a lot that I avoid, though, like: loaves of bread, bagels, English muffins, crackers, cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, gluten-free versions of all that stuff, TONS of candy, soda, cheese, and more. If I do grab something from this list, it’s usually a Babybel cheese round or a piece of chocolate. Today, it was a handful of Jelly Bellies. The sugar buzz was nice and actually helped spark creativity for a project I was stuck on, but it made my mouth taste gross afterward (as sugar very noticeably does now).

Anyway, that’s just a long way of saying that I’m very, very grateful to have access to lots of free food, but it is a daily struggle to choose the right things to eat when I know just how good the wrong things taste. It’s much easier to eat healthily at home, where Aaron and I hardly have any non-Paleo food items (aside from all that Jiffy I bought).

I’m very encouraged by my weight lately (down to 143.8; I felt my fittest during marathon training last year at 138) and the fact that my jeans fit much more comfortably now than in months past, and I use those nice feelings as motivation to make good food choices.

That is all one can do, I suppose: try to make the best choice in any given moment, and not dwell on the past or worry too much about the future.

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