Frustrated

I’m feeling very frustrated this morning.  My hopes of returning to school to work on another degree in Nutrition were quickly dashed when I reviewed class schedules.  Clearly they are made for undergraduate students that have nothing else to do – all late morning and early afternoon.  I was hoping for early morning or late afternoon!  Getting a couple of bad class schedules is one thing, but most of them seem to follow that schedule, and would require quitting my current job and going full-time, something I cannot consider right now while I am the sole income in our household.  So, I will table that thought for now and think about whether or not it’s something I want to consider later, or if I want to go a different route and get certifications or other forms of education, but not the formal degree.  I’m open to suggestions.  =(

Switching gears now… dinner last night was fabulous.  I love wraps for dinner because they are quick, healthy, and yummy.  Last night I made one with 1/2 chopped avocado (healthy fat), 1/4 chopped tomato (produce), about 1/4 cup kidney beans (protein), fresh cilantro, lime, and a sprinkle of cumin and chili powder, all on a low-carb medium-sized flour tortilla (whole grain).  It was very tasty and filling.

Today’s Menu & Workout Plan:

  • 7 am – Small egg & cheese sandwich, 1 cup carrot juice, vitamin
  • 11:30 am – Greek yogurt with blackberries and pistachios, Kashi crackers
  • 1:00 pm — Strength training: chest / back, jump rope
  • 3:30 pm – 3oz fish with mixed veggies and 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 6:00 pm — 10 mile bike ride
  • 8:00 pm – Avocado, bean, and tomato soft taco

I’m doing pretty well getting back into my healthy eating habits post-vacation, however am still struggling with sugar cravings.  I did detox for a couple of days when I got back, but that got cut short by the power outage and my cravings for sugar are still there.  I’ve can usually get through the day just fine, but feel strong urges when I get home.  It’s like my brain has been programmed to eat as soon as I get home and I start feeling hunger pangs when I’m getting close to home, even if I’ve just had my afternoon snack a couple of hours before.  The Cinch book actually discussed this and learning to separate real hunger from cravings.  This falls into the cravings category.  I don’t have much sugar around the house, aside from some macadamia-nut-Hershey-kisses that I brought back from Hawaii, and some dark-chocolate chips, which are usually on-hand for my granola bars. 

I will continue trying to fight the urge to indulge at night.  Maybe my weigh-in Friday will help keep me motivated.  I’ve set a new goal of 125 pounds by Labor Day, our next beach trip to Hilton Head.

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More Workouts + More SuperFoods

I’ve really stepped up my workouts lately and thus have encountered a new problem – increased hunger!  I’m not sure why the proper balance of food and exercise is so difficult for me, but I can’t seem to get it right.  Just when I was getting in a groove with the Cinch 4-meal / 5-ingredient philosophy, my caloric needs have changed as my workouts have increased, and I need to figure out when and how to add more healthy calories into my diet.  Seems easy right?  I’ve added a small snack before my morning workout, and eat a full breakfast and lunch, but am still famished by late afternoon and end up overeating at night in my rage of hunger.

Hmm, what to do.  I will start by trying to add more healthy fats and fiber to my earlier meals and see if that helps.  It will also help that the junk food in my house is now gone and there isn’t much left for me to “splurge” on.  My favorite healthy-fat & high-fiber foods are below, along with recipes.  All of these items are also considered “SuperFoods”!

AVOCADOS– chopped in a wrap, as a topping, or even use in smoothies (max 1/2 avocado per day)

Avocado Banana Berry Smoothie (1 serving, great post-workout / high-protein snack.  There are several other avocado smoothie recipes in the Cinch book.)

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and removed from the skin
  • 5-6 strawberries, fresh or frozen, stems removed
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup skim milk or almond / soy / coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 tsp Truvia
  • Handful crushed ice or 4 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
  • Nutrition: 300 calories, 17g healthy fat, 35g net carbs, 9g protein. 

 

BEANS– black, red, white, chickpeas… toss them on salads, in a wrap, in soups, or eat them plain.

Black Bean side dish (1 or 2 servings, depending on how you use it.  I make this often, sometimes as a side dish, to top a salad, or even throw in a wrap with avocado and shrimp.  You can also sub chunky salsa for the veggies)

  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (low-sodium) 
  • 1/4 cup corn, cooked but still slightly crisp
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Mix, chill, serve
  • (for an extra kick, add a little jalapeno or green chiles)

 

Black Bean & Mango Salad (6 servings)

  • 1 15-oz can black beans
  • 2 cups diced mango
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • Mix and servce.  Makes 6 Servings. 
  • Nutrition: 140 calories, 3g fat, 19g net carbs. 

 

 OATSOld-Fashioned or Steel Cut are best, as they are less processed and do not spike your blood sugar as much as the quick-cooking variety.  But if you prefer softer, more gooey, oat products, the quick-cooking variety is OK.

Grab & Go Homemade Oatmeal (1 serving, no microwave required!  I make several and store them in my pantry)

  • 1/2 cup dry oats
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit and nuts (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, almonds, walnuts…)
  • 1 tsp flax or pumpkin seeds
  • Place all ingredients in a tupperware container at least 3x larger than the dry mixture
  • When ready to eat, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very hot water (such as the kind from a coffee machine) to the dry mixture, seal the top, and wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Remove the top, stir, and enjoy.
  • Nutrition: 200 calories, 7g fat, 39g net carbs. 

 

Click here for a LIST OF SUPER FOODS and their benefits.