Alternatives.

Happy Friday people! Since a lot of you don’t work weekends I should really hate you but I don’t! I only work tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be off, enjoying my 10 mile race followed by my favorite brunch ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re new to my blog you may not know that I have struggled with IBS my whole life and it’s been a long journey finding out what foods I just cannot handle without severe pain. The top food that I just figured out this year is corn. ANYTHING to do with it gives me horrible stomach pains that I can’t shake. While I pretty much never ate corn itself, there is a lot of food that I never realized contained corn.ย Since I also can’t eat red meat, I resort to veggie burgers when I’m at a burger place but sadly many restaurant and frozen veggie burgers contain corn. The hardest thing to give up has been tortilla chips. I mean, who wants to go out for Mexican food when you can’t even eat the chips?! Well, my alternative is popped chips. Popchips are great but if you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s version of just the original, you need to go there right now. I LOVE guacamole, so if I know I’m going to a Mexican restaurant I pick up a single serving bag of Popchips to bring with me and couldn’t care less about the stares I may get. It’s also one of my favorite snacks right now.

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Not only is this fine on my stomach but you save a ton of calories and fat. So even if corn doesn’t bother your stomach, this is a great option to bring with you to save some calories. A serving size of tortilla chips is like 14 chips for 140 calories and that pretty much goes in your mouth in about 60 seconds!

The other recent food group that kills me is dairy. My favorite food in the entire world is pizza. I also LOVE cheese but luckily my favorite cheeses are feta, blue and goat and they are okay for me. But I eat pizza at least once a week, usually twice. I have done this through my entire weight loss because I plan ahead and make the calories/macros work. It’s honestly so much easier to fit it in now that I can’t eat cheese! I honestly haven’t tried this at any other place because good Italian NYC pizza has very little cheese on it so I just pick it off, but we order Domino’s once a week and they make the most fabulous cheese-less pizza ever! I order mine no cheese, regular sauce or light sauce, jalapeno & onions. It’s basically like eating garlic-y jalapeno bread sticks dipped in marinara. I can eat the whole pizza for under 800 calories, but I usually save 3 slices for the following day.

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My last alternative I’ll share with you today is my obsession with froyo. I LOVE froyo. Sometimes it affects my stomach, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s never too bad if it does. The problem is I load it with sugary toppings (what’s the point if you don’t?!) so I make it a once a week treat. Other nights when I have the calories/macros left, I’ll make my own little froyo concoction. I usually take a Chobani or Oikos Greek yogurt and stick it in the freezer with the intent to eat it in 1-2 hours. I just take the single serving size and stick it right in like that. Once I take it out, I take off the foil top (duh.) and stir it up. It’s usually frozen just a little bit and kinda thickens it up. Sometimes I’ll scoop it out in a dish to put the toppings on, but you can literally just eat it right out of the container and add the toppings. Last night I fancied up the best flavor ever, Chobani’s 2% key lime pie. 2% or nothing for me!!

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I topped it with banana slices, 1 tbsp melted chocolate hazelnut butter, a few sprinkles and a 110 calorie white chocolate blueberry cookie. Fit my macros perfect! Eaten while watching Breaking Bad. We are up to episode 5 of season 2, so we’re chugging along!

So whether you have dietary restrictions due to health issues or are trying to meet calorie/macro goals, you can find alternatives to your favorite foods so you never feel like you’re missing out!

Do you have any dietary restrictions?ย 

What is your favorite caloric food to recreate a little healthier?

Overindulgent August.

Happy Thursday!

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about food. Wait, what? Me think about food? Never. Did I mention it’s my favorite time of the month so along with back aches, chocolate is the only food group I want to shove in my face? Anyways, I had a pretty indulgent month of August which is funny because it started with the very 1st day of last month when my magazine article came out. John and I celebrated, with food, all weekend and it became a slippery slope that was pretty ironic considering my article was about LOSING WEIGHT. But I’m also a success story who has managed to keep all but about 15 pounds off for 3 years. Part of maintenance is fluctuating, and it’s taken me a long time to accept that. The choices I make on a daily basis are part of who I am now, and they are choices that I feel anywhere from 80-90% confident that I make well. Sometimes you have a few weeks where the not as great choices outweighed the good, but knowing when to clean up your act is the key to having real balance. With 8 more races in the next 3 months, I know that nutrition is one of the biggest factors in helping me achieve my goals along with proper training. Tack on my full-time job and my full-time school load and I really have to be on top of what I’m putting in my body to have the most energy. So this week it’s about getting back to the basics. No “detoxes” and no grueling 3 hour workouts to try and erase the month of August. That mindset is not healthy no matter who may be writing about it. The basics for me is really taking the time to food prep so that I have my own lunch and snacks with me at work. The basket of pastries at work are always going to be tempting, but I’m also pretty cheap (read: broke) so knowing that I already have food that I paid for with me is a big incentive to not fill up on calorie-dense foods.

This is one of the reasons tracking my calories and macro-nutrients daily helps keep me accountable. Even with my indulgences through August, I stayed within my maintenance calories and don’t feel like I’ve really gained anything. I love being able to fit in whatever I want to eat by tracking it ahead of time. I can stretch 1700-1800 calories into a looooot of food. Here’s a few things I’ve eaten this week.

banana chia oats topped with vanilla almond butter, roasted coconut chips and homemade dark chocolate. Almond joy oats!
banana chia oats topped with vanilla almond butter, roasted coconut chips and homemade dark chocolate. Almond joy oats!
Sweet potato, turkey bacon, jalapeno chicken sausage topped with a mustard/sriracha sauce
Sweet potato, turkey bacon, jalapeno chicken sausage topped with a mustard/sriracha sauce
Same as last pic but topped with a runny egg & organic ketchup
Same as last pic but topped with a runny egg & organic ketchup
My FAVORITE dinner right now.
My FAVORITE dinner right now.

This dinner is note worthy. Trader Joe’s roasted red pepper and tomato soup is the best soup I’ve ever had in my entire life. 1 cup is 100 calories and is more than enough! I add garlic powder and crushed red pepper, microwave for 2 minutes and eat it with some popped chips (healthier than oyster crackers!) along with the BEST bread I’ve also ever had. Trader Joe’s tuscan pane bread, 120 calories a slice and they are big, which I spray with coconut oil spray and throw in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or so then add garlic powder to. This will be my go-to dinner for the next 6 months. So easy and so cheap!

Light flatout wrap with dark chocolate pb, Better'n PB & mashed banana folded and heated on the oven. Great snack or dessert!
Light flatout wrap with dark chocolate pb, Better’n PB & mashed banana folded and heated on the oven. Great snack or dessert!
Almond milk banana "ice cream" topped with dark choc PB, Better'n PB, and cinnamon cookies
Almond milk banana “ice cream” topped with dark choc PB, Better’n PB, and cinnamon cookies

Last night John and I went to a new restaurant in our neighborhood that was REALLY nice, especially for our ‘hood. It’s a big tavern that had a lot of energy for a Wednesday night! I really wanted a little dessert after, so I got a nice big salad for balance.

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TERRIBLE lighting and I should have used my flash. But it was a southwestern cobb salad which I removed the fried green tomatoes from and took out the yolk of the eggs to save some calories. I ended up using their homemade hot sauce as my dressing and couldn’t finish the whole thing which means it was HUGE. I seriously can eat a lot of food in one sitting, so this was notably huge.

I had to save room for what I was really craving which was a pumpkin cheesecake italian ice!

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After seeing Hungry Runner post it on Instagram, I couldn’t believe there was a Rita’s in the city! This is their “cream ice” which is their Italian ice blended with just a little bit of milk. I asked ahead of time and the woman said they use just a splash of milk, and you can tell since it melts extremely fast into just ice. I got a little whipped cream on top, and it was the perfect hump day treat! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This week’s workouts have been good so far with a 5 mile run Monday, 4 mile run Tuesday and level 1 of Ripped in 30 yesterday. I hadn’t done it in about 4 months and I was blown away by how strong I’ve gotten from BodyPump! I still got a super sweaty workout in in 30 minutes, followed by a ton of homework. Today is a rest day and tonight will be filled with a lot of homework as well. I have a 4 mile race Saturday morning but need to do a long run so I’ll be doing 5 miles before the race starts to hit 9 for the day! Therefore, no time goal for the race but I’m REALLY excited that 4 of the miles will be with a ton of other people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you calorie/macro count?ย 

What are your ways of “cleaning up your act” after indulgent eating?