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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food Journal and Diet Changes

It has been a while since I shared a food journal. To be clear, I do NOT track calories or keep track of what I eat everyday. I think that can be restrictive and I feel it would lead to disordered behavior for me, personally. I do however, sometimes plan what I might eat the next day before going to bed. It helps when I am trying to feed the kids AND myself and the kids are yelling because they want to eat NOW! I have found that if I don't do this my meals become an afterthought and I grab whatever looks good, even though it might not be nutritionally sound. I also find that without jotting down some ideas for what I might eat, I don't eat enough, and I am left cranky and hungry. Or as I like to call it, HANGRY. 

I don't always follow the plan 100%- sometimes dinner is different than what I had in mind, or sometimes I have a scoop of homemade ice cream or a homemade cookie for dessert. (I try not to buy this kind of stuff; I figure if I make it just once in a while, we will eat less of it than if we buy it. Plus I can control the ingredients.)

Lately I have changed my approach to what I am eating- mainly I now eat much more fruit, less smoothies. I was starting every morning with a giant green smoothie, loaded with spinach or kale or some other greens, a banana or two, almond milk and various powders (cacao, maca, nutritional yeast, hemp, etc.) The smoothies were high calorie, high protein, and sometimes high (good) fat, and they left me very full, but I still felt like I was missing some energy, and I was getting bored. I will probably go back to them as breakfast once I am bored with my current approach, though. 

At the moment (and it is subject to change at any moment) I think of myself as a high-carb-raw-vegan-frugivore until dinner. I eat LOTS of raw fruit, some raw veggies and drink LOTS of water all day and then dinner is cooked and sometimes vegan, sometimes not. (But always vegetarian.) I have noticed really easy weight control without even having to try, and despite the fact that I seem to eat more and more fruit and calories every day. I have also noticed an improved and steady mood throughout the day. And much better sustained energy. 

Here is what a typical day might look like- this was yesterday. 

40 oz of plain water upon waking
4 oranges, 2 grapefruit, 2 lemons- all peeled and thrown in a blender with a pitcher-full of water and blended on high. (This way I get all the juice and vitamins AND the fiber, and it is quick to throw back one-handed while feeding two kids.)

4 apples
2 bananas
6 big juicy Medjool dates
40 oz water

Dinner- all packed up as a picnic and brought to the park, where the kids and I met up with Chris once he was done with work
40 oz water
Sandwich- homemade crusty Italian-style bread, roasted pepper hummus, 1/2 avocado, tiny bit Romano cheese (omg yum.)
handful of carrot sticks

Dessert- once we got home
2 tiny squares 72% dark chocolate
1 scoop of homemade apple cinnamon ice cream (Chris had some too when he got back from a run, and then went back for seconds! It was dangerously good and too easy to make. Not a good combination haha!)

Looking back on this, I do notice that I had no dark leafy greens, and I should have eaten more veggies at dinner in lieu of, or in addition to the banana and apple. No bueno. But, as it was a picnic, and I had to pack quickly, I just grabbed what I knew would work. When we eat dinner at home, I am more able to include more vegetables. 

Do you journal your food intake? How often? How do you find it helpful?

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