From the #foodlovah diaries

Soooo as mentioned previously — I am a die-hard #foodlovah.

I love food. Good food. Whole, real, nourishing — and most definitely — yummy food.
…because guess what? #healthytastesgood (too)

Yes, I’m a fan of committing to the cookie now and then (but it has to be of the whole/real food variety, no preservatives allowed).

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But I’m also a fan of foods that fuel, that nourish, that energize. (see? told you die-hard #foodlovah, I could ramble on for hours about this topic!) And today, on a gorgeous and quiet Sunday morning with the hubs, it’s been a productive one at the Sutera Manor.

You see, the hubs has some work to do to get ready for his week at school with 22 9-year old students waiting for him to fill their heads with lots of knowledge. And I am playing the part of foodie ‘sherpa’ today (borrowing Lindsay’s title which I love so much!) — prepping for a busy week ahead.

For starters — I’ve been looking for new breakfast and/or lunch options that are both portable and healthy. I usually bring a wrap with turkey, tuna or egg salad plus fruit or veggies on the side for lunch. But it’s time to switch that up. And after seeing Lindsays cottage cheese egg cups up on her blog recently, I knew this could be the key to something new and fun for breakfast/lunch mid-week.

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My version has sauteed shitake mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes plus the eggs and cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cayenne and bouquet garni stirred in for added flavor (oh and a touch of sriracha!). I can’t *wait* to try these tomorrow for lunch along with a toasted english muffin and peanut butter (of course). I shall report back, dutifully, of course. ;-)

Next up — roasted veggies. Which will most definitely make their way onto the giant salads the hubs and I have been eating OFTEN for dinner during the week (and on weekends, too!). There is just nothing better than freshly roasted veggies warmed on top of a bed of mixed greens, plus goat cheese or a few ounces of grilled chicken or steak tips. Deeeelish.

brussel sprouts roasted with salt and pepper

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Kabocha squash roasted with salt and pepper (the skin on this one was particularly easy to slice through, probably one of the best kabocha squashes I’ve ever had!)

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And finally, fresh-cut watemelon (not the best of the season so far, but still pretty tasty to this #watermelonhoarder hehe). And our lunch bags ready to go for tomorrow — mine will include a banana and an energy bar (not ideal but on three-fer Monday, I don’t have much time for a proper oatmeal breakfast, sadly. I’m usually scrambling into the office, playing a bit of catch-up so the banana typically is devoured in the car and the energy bar is devoured at my desk before my first meeting of the day) plus the egg cups and english muffin and a vanila chobani  with fresh blackberries. Scott’s version will also have a banana and his favorite energy bar, plus a strawberry vanilla protein shake that he’ll take with him on his ride into school, and grilled chicken for lunch plus a lemon chobani and some chocolate pudding (the hubs is a true kid at heart, love him!) for a snack.

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All told, after all this food prep I’m feeling very settled going into another busy work week but also pretty excited for some yummy, healthy and fun eats. I.Love.Food. :)

Foodie Friday — I’m a total #foodlovah

Sooooo yeah. Foodie Friday started out as a great regular blog series for me. …but in order to have a ‘series’ you kinda hafta keep up with it, huh? :/

I’m gonna go ahead and admit that for awhile there I was feeling pretty uninspired on the food front, eating a *lot* of the same things on repeat. And in some ways, that’s a very good thing (um hi, oatmeal, I promise I will never betray you). But in other ways, a change-up was long overdue.

And after this little change-up time period of mine, I’ve discovered something: I’m a *total* #foodlovah. Like, holy crap do I love food. A lot. I could talk about it for hours. Legit. Just ask my friends, they’ll tell you. Hell, you already know this if you follow me on instagram — my pictures are at *least* 50% food related (and that’s a generous underestimate, I fully realize).

Anyway, I thought it was time to bring back Foodie Friday, if nothing more than to share with you some of the new foodie finds I’ve discovered a total love affair with. And maybe it’ll inspire you to instill a foodie change-up of your own! Because guess what? #healthytastesgood :-)

*****

Kabocha — where, oh WHERE, have you been all my life? I mean really, these girls are forever talking about kabocha. And then my sis joined the kabocha train and I was quick to snag a seat beside her on the train. It’s amazing. Has such a fun sweet potato/squash texture that I just adore — and the calorie bang for your buck it provides (35 cals per cup)? I’ll take it!

Lately, kabocha has been my faaaavorite topping on salads. It’s been in heavy rotation on work-from-home-Friday. This past Friday I roasted up some brussel sprouts to go along with the kabocha and tossed it on top of arugula and goat cheese (another obsession of mine lately…especially when it melts into the salad thanks to the warmth from the roasted veggies! I die…).

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Spaghetti squash pad thai -- hoooooly yum. I made this last night during a much-needed ‘me night’ while Scott was off at a work event. I have been wanting to try my hand at it forevverrrrr (especially after one of the girls at the studio, a newly-trained barre n9ne instructor – yay, has been talking it up!) and finally had my chance. I started with this recipe and basically just modified it to my liking. I’m no chef and I’m definitely not a food blogger, but damn, I even impressed myself!

Some of the modifications I made to the recipe…
I used shrimp instead of chicken
I used PB2 instead of peanut butter
I used sriracha as my hot sauce
I added a titch of lime juice for flavor
And to thicken the sauce, I added a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt instead of corn starch (since I used PB2 vs. regular peanut butter the sauce started out being watery)
I then tossed in top of stir fried snap peas, mushrooms, carrots and spagetti squash. Added some pea shoots and a tablespoon of chopped peanuts on top and voila. Heaven. Pure bliss.

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Bananas and oatmeal — two of my favorite breakfast foods. But mash them up and call them a cookie? I’m all yours, baby. Two-ingredient cookies -- yessssssss.

My version:

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The only addition I made was a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. My batch came out to 8 small cookies for about 50 calories a pop. They taste like banana bread bites and are great for a little sweet tooth fix OR as a pre-workout bite if you’re feeling a little hungry but don’t want too much in your belly. I LOVE these little guys.

And finally — that baked oatmeal I was raving about in my post yesterday. What I love most about this? How GREAT it tasted warmed-up at work. I usually cook my oats on the stove the night before and reheat them at work. It works fine and gives me my oatmeal fix but lately, it’s been bumming me out because it’s not *quite* the same as fresh-from-the-stovetop-oatmeal. So I went on the hunt for a good workaround.

And found this recipe on pinterest — pb&j oatmeal, yes please!

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My modifications — I made half of the batch in the recipe (so two servings worth) and wound up using less peanut butter in the baked oatmeal than the recipe called for. (I also used less jam, I didn’t want it to be too sweet — oh, and I used fig butter, excellent choice…). You see, I wanted to ‘save’ some peanut butter to ‘frost’ on top of the baked oatmeal after reheating it at work. And man was that a good decision!! All I needed to do to reheat these at work was add a splash of almond milk and it was just perfect. I usually eat a banana in the oatmeal but in this case, I ate the banana on the side instead. Nice little change-up if you ask me.

So yeah — I told you I could go on, and on, and on, and ON about food didn’t I? This wound up being one of my longest posts in awhile, sorry about that. Well, sorry-not-sorry. Blame the #foodlovah in me. ;-)

Things that make me feel good.

Things that make me feel good: 

 #1: Fun notes next to the various alarms I have set up on my iPhone. Sure this involves a fair amount of early wake-ups each week but just these little notes next to each one make me just a little bit more excited about the dark-thirty wake-ups.

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For example, the ‘b9 6am class’ alarm goes off on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, while the “Tues AM run” is set for Tuesdays (obvs, lol) and then “b9 fitdate/rundate with Steph” goes off each Wednesday. So yup, pretty much every day of the work week involves a 5:xx alarm. And somehow, I’m totally ok with that. <– will be even MORE ok with that when it’s bright and sunny out well before my alarm goes off #hurryupspring

(and yes, I realize that these are all pretty random alarm times I’ve set here. I can’t ever choose a normal time like 5:00 or 5:30, it has to be random. Am I weird or do you guys have these random alarm rules too?)

#2: Accountability by way of new fit gear. Yup, accountability comes in many shapes and sizes folks. Not just from shouting it out loud and proud on Facebook for all to see and hear, but sometimes just the sheer thought of rocking out some new fit gear can get my butt shifted into #ampitup mode.

Wednesday morning was one of those occasions. (aka “b9 fitdate/rundate with Steph”)

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I finally got a chance to test out my new Ellie gear and I am IN LOVE with both pieces. The top is suuuper flattering – looove the neckline and the thumbholes. Perfect for a post-class run or a pre-class layer to keep me warm and cozy before teaching or taking a class at the studio.

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And the bottoms are lightweight, also very flattering and fit just right, totally true to size (top was also true to size, btw).
But best of all? I felt GREAT in my new gear. Energized and excited for class and then a quick run today, just the ‘me workout’ I needed mid-week. #accountabilityrocks

(If you want to try out Ellie, I’m an ambassador for them and so far have really appreciated the new gear so much. If you want to snag 20% off, you can click this link.)

#3: New food finds! Oatmeal lover up in here finally tried a new (to me) way of prepping my oatmeal. Baked!! I am in LOVE with this style, especially during the week when I’m at work and reheating my oatmeal vs. cooking it fresh on the stovetop.

Before:

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After:

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(I practically licked the bowl clean!)

Perhaps this requires a ‘foodie Friday’ post to dig a little deeper into some of the recent new foodie finds I’ve discovered lately. It’s been awhile, hmm?

So there’s that – my “what makes me feel good” list for the week. Fitting seeing as its winesday and I’m off to enjoy a much needed date night in with the hubs.
And yup, wine *will* be served. Cheers! ;-)

Fit thoughts.

Fit Thoughts…

The first bite of what I consider more of a ‘winter’ fruit – a pear – and thinking: “man, I need to buy these more often, so yummy.” <– love how good ‘healthy’ tastes…

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Glancing in the mirror while washing my hands in the bathroom at work the other day and doing a double-take, thinking: “is that really ME staring back at me in the mirror?” <–fit ‘self-love’ moments like these are rare, but when they happen, embrace them: note to self but also note to all of YOU to celebrate you and your unique beauty and strengths more often…

Shamelessly shooting ‘selfies’ and sharing them on instagram after particularly fun sweat-fests and resisting the urge to think: ‘man, I must look so vain by posting this,’ and instead thinking: ‘Sweat just feels good. Maybe someone will see this and get motivated to get their workout in today…’ <–this actually happened after I posted this pic the other day on instagram, and seriously it made my day.

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Excitedly discussing ‘fitdate’ plans with my sis over IM – both in advance of last night’s fitdate at the barre (where my sis royally kicked my ass at barre n9ne thankyouverymuch) – but also in advance of next week where schedules will finally allow us more fitdates together, and thinking: “how geeky do we sound right now chit-chatting about when we’d like to run together and what classes we can take together…but I wouldn’t have it any other way….” <3

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Taking the extra time this week to throw a few fun curveballs into my barre n9ne classes – which took the form of killer core and glute work, two of my favorite areas to work (if I *had* to choose…hee) – and thinking: “I hope clients don’t throw the silver balls at me after class is over…” ;-) #Ilovethisjob #livingthedream

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Fit makes me happy, what can I say? What also makes me happy? Spending the next few days with the ones I love most on this earth, cherishing every memory made, every moment big or small. And I hope you’ll all be doing the same. <3

A food evolution ‘moment’

So I’ve been waiting for that spark to return…y’know the one I’m talking about: that blogging spark. The inspiration to jot down my thoughts on my own little corner of the Internet. Something I haven’t done in over a week. And quite honestly, something I thought might never return: the spark.

But alas — it’s back, after a really, REALLY great break from the plugged-in world, being as present as possible.
…and loving every last second of it.

And it was during that unplugged time that I hit a pretty big breakthrough, personally. A food evolution ‘moment’ of sorts.
…ironically it happened during one of the biggest eating holidays of the year: Thanksgiving.

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve not always had the best relationship with food. I’ve battled my fair share of emotional moments with food, of that up-and-down ‘being good’ during the week only to blow it WAY out of the water on the weekends, because I felt justified after restricting myself all week long. It wasn’t until I started my personal barre n9ne journey last May that things really changed for me. I started logging food (and still do). I started to make that connection between hunger cues versus mindless munching cues. But most of all, I started to gravitate more and more towards fueling foods — lots of whole foods, real, nourishing, naturally grown foods. And it wasn’t until recently that I came to the conclusion that I’d finally learned how to be an intuitive eater. Sort of the be-all-end-all (for me at least) — learning to listen to my body, feeding it when it’s hungry, skipping the munching if it’s not hungry. And learning when to stop eating, what my portions should look (and FEEL) like, etc.

But this weekend I hit on something else: I recognized that my body now fully knows and LOVES the ‘number’ I feed it every single day. It’s become second nature. Even on a huuuuuge eating holiday like Thanksgiving I still managed to feed my body in a way that was still VERY satisfying (hello two kinds of stuffing on Thanksgiving, yes please!! my biggest weakness…), without stuffing (no pun intended) myself silly, or filling it with empty calories (like bread, crackers, fillers like that). I didn’t even have to think about it, or get anxious that there would be too many temptations and I’d never be able to resist, quickly falling back into old habits (i.e. ‘it’s the holidays,  you ‘deserve’ to eat everything in sight’).

The best part though? Not that I stuck to my guns and I’m sitting here patting myself on the back for it, but that after all this time, it finally feels fairly effortless — truly intuitive, and mindful (something my sister just touched on over at the barre n9ne blog, actually). Sure, I COULD have gone for seconds of stuffing, or had a bigger piece of chocolate cake for dessert (you guys, my mom’s boyfriend makes an UNREAL super-stacked chocolate cake with the most delicious vanilla frosting…I had to go for the cake vs. the pie, just HAD to). But I didn’t want to…nor did my body scream: feed meeee. It was satisfied. 

And that’s the big difference here: I’m satisfied — mind, body and soul. No anxiety, no fear that I’ll slide back into old bad habits, no worry that I wasn’t perfect.’ I’m finally at a point where I can ‘just be.’

Even though I view healthy, intuitive eating as a continuous journey through and through — this past weekend was certainly a pretty awesome breakthrough for me and although it took me a few days to process that, I’m celebrating it now. I think we all ought to celebrate our personal journeys and successes even more openly than we all probably do right now. I don’t look at it as showing off or vanity or anything, I view it as a positive reminder to ALL of us that you can do and be whoever you want to be if you want it badly enough. And guess what? You may surprise yourself and realize that who you wanted to be all along was right there the whole time, just itching to peek out if you gave her the right tools to do so.

So go on — celebrate your successes, big or small,  I’m listening. ;-)

Lunchtime love-fest

Soooo — I’ve been working from home the past couple of days (our office is moving to a new location next week) which has given me the chance to try some new lunch combos since I have my kitchen at my disposal.

Before I divulge my lastest lunchtime love-fest with you all, I have one very serious message to send you all today:

I am such a firm believer in healthy, whole, real foods whenever possible. This wasn’t always the case (perhaps a post for another day — my food journey?) of course, but for the past couple of years especially my approach to eating has been simple. No diets. No quick fixes. Just hard work and really, REALLY yummy food — that just so happens to be very healthy, whole and real. So that’s my wise words of wisdom for you today:

Skip the diet. Just eat Healthy.
(can I get an ‘amen’ to that please??)

ANYWAY. The point of this post — the lunch I’ve been obsessed with this week. It’s been a total lunchtime love-fest. Have devoured it the past two days and I do believe I’ll be making it a three-peat today. It is just TOO GOOD.

Annnnnd voila:

This is the most delicious savory and sweet combo I’ve tried to date. What I did:
- Toasted two pieces of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread (I love the chewy, nutty texture of this bread, and the nutritionals are amazing, packed with protein and fiber!)
- Spread the toasted bread with one laughing cow wedge (trust me on this)
- Fried up one whole egg
- Added fresh spinach and sliced tomato
- Plus a side of juicy honeydew melon and blackberries

And there you have it — the most ridiculous lunch I’ve made in awhile. I was literally sad when I took the last bite. Which is why I made it again the next day. ;-)

So my two tidbits for you today: A killer (and so easy) lunchtime recipe *and* some words of wisdom — no diets, just healthy, real, whole foods. Get after it, friends! Own your health!! 

Foodie Friday – the ‘me dinner’ edition

So by now you all know how much I just adore this guy, right?

(sorry, I can’t help myself, I LOVE his smile in this picture from last summer at the lake!)

Well, even though I adore him more than anyone else in the world, I do appreciate a good ‘me night’ now and then, too. Last night turned into being just that: a night all to my own, to do whatever I felt like doing, including cooking a meal that only I would eat!

I thought about it all week – hmmmm, what should I make that I’d normally not ‘get’ to make since a certain someone in this household can be rather picky?. ;-)

…it didn’t take me all that long to figure out, to be honest. I knew I wanted something stir fry-ish (yes, that’s a word). And I knew I wanted to cook up some barley – a grain I only recently re-discovered and freakin’ LOVE. It all came together, though, when I saw an instagram pic from Tina with a genius idea — she used pineapple juice to cook up her quinoa recently. Um hi, I LOVE pineapple! So instead of pineapple juice in the barley, I decided to use fresh pineapple chunks in the stir fry itself.

…which is how this creation was born:

Shrimp and veggie stir fry over barley <–such an original title, I know

OMGGG. Freakin’ delish.

In the mix:

1/4 cup (raw) barley (that I cooked in water/chicken broth, LOVE how it puffs up once cooked!)
1 cup (or so) of trader joe’s frozen veggies (it had peppers, baby corn, broccoli and carrots)
1/4 cup (or so) of fresh snap peas
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
4 oz cooked shrimp
lemon juice (optional, to taste)
chicken stock to saute

I basically cooked up the barley earlier in the day and once dinner time rolled around, I sauteed the veggies and shrimp in the chicken stock and then added the barley in to warm it up. Once it was almost done, I squeezed a bit of fresh lemon juice on top.

…and then I devoured it. Yummmmm.

Talk about the perfect ‘me’ dinner if I do say so myself ;-)
(if you’re curious, this was about 425 calories in total)

It may have concluded with this fine pairing:

Field Stone rose (one of our favorite wine clubs!) and a Dove chocolate
Perfection. <3

< Editor’s Note: Check out the new layout! Dig it? Don’t be too impressed, it’s just a wordpress template, but at least it freshens things up around here nicely! >

Foodie Friday — eating like a marathoner (my way)

I thought I’d bring ‘Foodie Friday’ back this week — but in a different format. I’ve been learning a TON about myself so far during marathon training and one of those learnings revolves around food. Now, I’m not gonna lie — some of you might be surprised by what I’ve learned, and I’ll stick a giant caveat on this post — this is just what has been working for me. It may not work for you. But one thing I’ve definitely learned while training is that every body is different! TRUTH!

But back to the point here – the things I’ve learned while eating like a marathoner (my way).

By now you all know — I’m a big-time fan of food logging. I picked it up during the barre n9ne challenge last May and have been a faithful logger ever since. I stick to the same number of calories every day, regardless of what my workout plans may be. Yes — even on long run days. With the exception of the fuel I take during the long runs (which I’ll get to in a minute!), my calorie number stays exactly the same.

And so far? That is totally working for me. I haven’t needed to eat anything more than my body has been needing, calorie-wise, before I started marathon training. However, I will say this: if I get to the point in training where I am faced with hungry horrors and my body truly needs more calories, believe me — I’ll eat an extra snack or mini-meal to satisfy my body’s needs. I’m not in this thing to deprive myself, that’s for sure. I love food way too much for that *and* I know it’ll just have the oppositie effect that I’m looking for. Fuel, fuel, fuel!

What I have noticed? My body craves, craves, craves….protein. Not carbs so much (‘cept for the night prior to a long run…mmmm pizza!), but protein. It’s the one thing that keeps my body feeling energized and truly fueled. I am finding myself gravitating towards proteins in a big, big way lately.

Some examples of what that might look like:

  • egg salad on a flatout wrap — huuuuuuge fan of these lately.
  • chicken salad on a flatout wrap – newfound love affair sparked just this week (picture below…which you’ve seen if you follow me on instagram!)

  • (basically any protein source stuffed into a wrap and I’m a happy camper)
  • cottage cheese (or plain Fage 0% yogurt) with fruit, HEALTHY BITES!, a laughing cow wedge spread on a sliced apple, peanut butter on an english muffin — heavy rotation snacks going on up in here

  • one thing that hasn’t changed; post-run recovery meal: OATMEAL!! Except for last weekend, I went with protein pancakes (see, there’s the protein fix again!) because I had fresh blueberries which just screamed PANCAKES. OMG it was heaven on a plate:

Another oddity — and one I wasn’t expecting — on long run days, I’m not nearly as hungry as I am the day after the long run. My body actually tends to feel less hunger after a long run. I’m still eating appropriately on long run days but I totally expected to want to eat my face off after 15 miles! Instead, it’s the day after — sorta like DOMS that always hurt way worse the second day? Hungry horrors tend to settle in the next day for me. I guess my body takes awhile to catch up to all those miles run. ha. ;-)

A final biggie — this one is all about what I’ve learned fueling during my runs. And I KNOW this will sound crazy to any of you who run longer distances, I clearly am in the vast minority here when I say this. But my body tends to run better on less fuel and less water.  I simply cannot take much of anything in my stomach before a long run (we’re talking maybe a couple of crackers or a half a banana while zipping out the door). And during the run — the most I’ve taken for fuel so far has been 5 honey stingers and 3 gummi bears (Scott is loving the fact that he can eat gummi’s as fuel!). Water — Scott and I share an 10 or 22 oz  water bottle (depending on the length of the run). Yes, we share. I can’t stand running with the handheld, but Scott doesn’t mind it (what a guy!). Again — I KNOW that’s not very much water but it’s all my tummy can take. Any sloshing or heavy stomach feelings, and the run goes all downhill for me. Really fast.

So I feel like I’m baring my soul to you guys here but seriously, this is my quirky-but-it-works-for-me approach to eating like a marathoner. The bottom line: I eat as many fueling foods as I can get my hands on, I’ve been limiting alcohol during the week (sad face lol) and hydrating like whoa.

Running, of any physical activity, is suuuuuch a personal journey, it truly is. And this is one journey that I am loving, quirks and all. ;-) A HUGE thank you in advance for sticking by me throughout this ride so far, I know I am blabbing a LOT about marathoning, I promise not all of my posts will be about it for the next few months. I’ll try, anyway. ;-)

Coming back for more

Coming back for more.
…or more specifically: what makes you come back for more?

And yes, I”m talking about workouts, healthy eats, honoring your body.
All of it.

What drives you to live healthfully, constantly coming back for more?

Was thinking about this yesterday as I went about my Thursday morning routine. Which included teaching a barre n9ne method class but no other workout before class started at 9am (just a class later that night that I took vs. taught). I couldn’t help but feel a little bit like something was missing. I love nothing more than to get an early-AM sweat on in some shape or form, it just starts my day off on the exact right foot. I never regret it. Yet yesterday, an early-AM sweatfest wasn’t on the agenda. Extra sleep was. It felt glorious to wake up at 6:45 after back-to-back 5am wake-up calls this week, either to teach, take a class or get my run in before the heat of the day settled in. I embraced the sleep, fully.

But that’s when the concept for this post came to mind. When I was bustling about, cleaning the house (why not? I had all the time in the world today compared to most mornings!) and getting myself ready to teach, I thought to myself: “Why do I keep coming back for more, lusting for it, even?”

It makes me feel alive.

That’s the bottom line.

Our bodies were built to be active, to move, and move often. To put the food we fuel our bodies with to good use. They were also built to appreciate the rest that we give them.  But man, they were *not* built to be sedentary — a lifestyle so many of us are forced to lead during work hours for all of us 9-5′ers with a desk job.

So when I say that working out, eating well and moving often makes me feel alive?
…it’s totally and utterly true. It’s in my DNA.

Yet, it’s in ALL of our DNA though, truly. It’s just a matter of discovering it (or rediscovering it, as the case may be), finding the right workout mix that you love and that your body responds well to. That can leave you in awe every single time — when you witness just what your body is capable of doing if you allow it to. 

It’s as simple a recipe as this:

Move. Move often. Eat well. Live. Live big.
Rest. And repeat.

Source: etsy.com via Leslie on Pinterest

And on that note, I’m off to move, move often (but rest often, too), eat (and drink) well. LIVING and BREATHING in every single moment while at the lake house for a few days in Maine this weekend/part of next week. While I’m away, I fully expect you all to think about your reasons for coming back for more — would love your thoughts here in the comments, or even if a post of your own, if this concept or question piques a few ideas in the back of your mind. Otherwise, I”ll see ya’ll on the flip side. ;-) 

On hunger vs. habit.

I’ve made it no secret that I keep a food log. I’ve been doing so for over a year now (since the barre n9ne 60-day challenge kicked off last May) and it’s been nothing short of eye-opening. Not just in terms of what I was doing before that was undermining my efforts to get healthier and more fit, but also in terms of what my body truly needs for fuel and how strongly addicted to “patterns” we all are.

And by “patterns” I mean eating out of habit or scheduled “feeding time” versus eating when your body tells you “I’m  hungry.”
…eating out of hunger vs. habit.

So that’s what I’m here to talk about today. Not rehashing the whole “why I log” thing or what I’ve learned from it (I’m thinking I’ll cover that in a future “why I log: revisited” style post in the near future), but what I’ve been noticing lately about my journey towards mindfulintuitive eating. And patterns. 

For me, what’s been so cool lately is to see my body naturally telling me more and more clearly just what it needs, when it needs it, instead of blindly eating just because it’s my normal “lunchtime” or “snack time” or whatever.  And even if I am eating during a ‘planned’ feeding time, what I’m eating is changing.

For instance – I used to be very, very tied to a specific idea for what my PM snack should look like, how many calories it should have and when I should be eating it. Typically, my PM snack time would fall between 3-4pm and would usually be a greek yogurt or something equivalent to about 150-175 calories. And I’d eat it regardless of how hungry I was. I’m finding that lately I’m really questioning myself first before I eat. “Am I hungry? How hungry am I? Do I need more of a snack, less of a snack today?”

I’m basically measuring my hunger by what my body tells me, ignoring previous patterns or habits. <–a huge mindset shift for me

So sometimes my PM snack becomes an iced coffee and a Healthy Bite (courtesy of this girl, who rocks – like whoa), on a day where my lunch was more filling than other days. Or I’m honestly just less hungry than I was the previous day at snack time for whatever reason.

And other times, my snack becomes more substantial — a Chobani yogurt, or cottage cheese with fresh fruit and chia, or an apple with peanut butter.

I’m now eating out of hunger, not out of habitor worse, out of a need to mindlessly munch (my biggest pitfall before).

Another example. Lately,  lunchtime has been my “hungry horrors” time of day. For those of you who follow me on twitter, you’ve seen a lot of #isitlunchtimeyet hashtags from me. ;-) Since that time of day has been my super-hungry time lately, I’m naturally gravitating towards really fueling, energizing lunchtime choices. Which lately have involved lots of wraps — I’m on a huge wrap-with-lots-of-protein-and-other-yummies kick with a side of fresh fruit or veggies.

(my lunch last Friday — a Flatout wrap with tuna made with greek yogurt, chopped cucumber and pickles and a side of mini sweet peppers)

And I’ve been noticing just how filling that option has been for me — when in the past, I would’ve been ready for a snack a couple of hours later, I’m now finding that my lunch has been filling me up really fast and sticking with me for a long, long time.

I’d like to think this is my body telling me how happy it is with the amount (and type) of calories its getting from me on a regular, very consistent basis now.

And now that I’m jotting all of these learnings down here, I’m starting to think that I might finally be at that point where I can call myself an intuitive eater. It’s something I’ve always wanted to get to — the point where I’m learning to eat what I want, when my body needs it, not just when I happen to want to munch – regardless of hunger.

(and it couldn’t come at a better time when I’m diving into marathon training and will *really* need to tune into my body’s fueling cues in a smart, mindful way – vs. allowing myself to fall into the trap of “well I ran 12 miles, I can eat all day if I want to, even if I’m not hungry.” Been there, done that, not doing it again.)

Seeing my body respond the way it has lately has been really, really cool — and to see me listening to my body in that way is a new experience for me (new as in a year long journey), and one that I’m really proud to share with you here. Not just because it’s been a long road to this mindful place, but because it’s something I’d urge you to really think about. Are you eating out of hunger? A pattern? A habit? Nothing at all (i.e. mindless)?