About a year and a half ago I posted about what a sample day looks like for me (click on link to see that post). Well, training changes, bodies change, and so did the way I eat. (Not drastically, but I did notice some things that needed tweaking). On recent posts, I’ve been messaged about what I eat and so I’m showing you what that looks like today. I am still fortunate to be a stay at home mom and I still have to manage errands, activities, my daily workout and keep up with the housework. This blog post is long, so pin or save it for reference!
WHAT NEEDED TWEAKING
I have almost always eaten 80/20 clean. But over the holidays I noticed my body not looking the same as it normally does in the summer. I think that happens to a lot of us. Anyhow, I’ve always been one to fluctate 5 lbs during a month because of hormones, but the bloat and water weight gain (couldn’t get my rings off) I was experiencing in December had me like, “hmmm … what gives?” I analyzed my diet and Dustin and I (always helps if your partner is on board) decided to get a kick start to 2018 by changing the way we ate.
Note that I’m not a dietician and what works for me may not be right for you. I personally think that your level of body fat has a lot to do with the way your body metabolizes food and burns food for fuel. But since my exercise level was staying about the same (30 miles a week running + 3x gym workouts), I wanted to lean out a little.
MISTAKE #1 – I noticed I was eating too much synthetic protein and wondered if perhaps my body couldn’t break it down.
MISTAKE #2 – I wasn’t eating enough fat.
MISTAKE #3 – I was eating too many carbs, not necessarily white unrefined carbs, but hidden carbs.
MISTAKE #4 – Alcohol! Even though it wasn’t on my previous sample day post, I was consuming alot of wine (reds and prosecco) on the weekends. Nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, but splitting two bottles with my hubby or a friend Thursday, Friday and Saturday night over the holidays was a lot of empty calories catching up to me.
I don’t track my macros normally but I have always eaten intuitively. I think it’s why I rarely change weight. But for this month I have been tracking just to see if I notice a difference. My macros went from 35%c/30%f/35%protein (and I was usually over on my protein and under on my fat) to now I try to eat 20%c/50%f/30%protein. I’ve dropped 10 lbs since January 1st (remember I was up from the holidays a few pounds … and yet my weight still yo-yos around my cycle so I put on 6 for shark week) and have since dropped 3 for a net of 8 lbs lost this month. Do I need to lose weight? No. Do I really care what the scale says? Not so much. But I have noticed a major change in the way my body looks! And THAT’S what I wanted to see. So here you go – here’s an example day for me given that I normally burn about 600ish calories with cardio/strength on most days (note, I do increase calories on days that I run long or do a brick workout).
I aim for 2200 calories (1600 on days I don’t exercise) 20%c/50%f/30%p I do not believe in elimnating any food group but I am showing you what works for me. If you notice a change in performance, you are likely not getting enough of something! Let me emphasize that in order to be an endurance athlete, I’ve found that I NEED carbs, I’m just eating less this month to see if I could alter my body a bit. I also won’t track my food come February 1st. As anal and rigid as I may sound, I’m actually a very loose eater because I’ve learned to intuitively eat over the years.
(I love Crystal Light lemonade and I indulge in 4 packets a day). Criticize me all you want!
BREAKFAST – I start with 2 cups of black coffee, 1 tbspn of whipping cream (not heavy just regular), and 1 packets of stevia per cup. 1 hour after waking, I typically drink 1 scoop or 1/2 packet of generation ucan protein enhanced chocolate flavor (half a scoop or 1/4 packet on short run days) mixed with water (and no, Ucan doesn’t sponsor me), and two breakfast tacos made with 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites, 2 sausage links, and I eyeball 1/2 cup of mushrooms (or peppers). I used to eat much less for breakfast and typically a ready to drink protein shake would suffice. Read to the end to see the difference.
PRE GYM – I drink one scoop of pre-workout (I use Pre-Workout Explosion Ripped by Six Star Pro Nutrition) for energy during my workouts. No, I’m not sponsored or endorsed by them in any manner. (But call me if you want to, Six Star Pro Nutrition)!
POST GYM SNACK – I used to blend up a protein shake but I’ve noticed some things about blenders, I’ll get to that. Now I just drink a scoop of Cytosport 100% Whey Protein (Costco sells for cheap) mixed with 1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk (if on the go, I just use water). At this time, I also eat 1/2 of an avacado on top of a piece of whole grain toast. (best time for carbs is after workouts)! I typically drink my 1st crystal light of the day (I use a whole packet in 12-16 oz. of water)!
LUNCH – because my snacks are so hardy, I’m not super hungry by lunch. I typically buy premixed salads (I know such a cop out and buying fresh is better but I’m being real). I love the Italian Chopped Salad by Taylor farms and there are 3 servings in a bag so these transition well if I decide to use the other two servings for Dustin and me for dinner. I also add another 1/2 avacado and typically eat a grilled chicken breast (I estimate our chicken breasts are 5 oz) with 1/2 cup of quinoa. (Dustin and I premake 12 chicken breasts, broiled veggies and quinoa or brown rice on Sundays to eat throughout the week).
This is my last meal that I usually eat carbs at so I make sure to enjoy them! (I taper my carbs through the day). I also have my second crystal light of the day with lunch – y’all have no idea how excited it makes me!
AFTERNOON SNACK – 1/4 cup of almonds and a tuna packet and 1 cup of decaf coffee with 1 tbsn of whipping cream and 1 packet of stevia. Sometime in the afternoon I have my third crystal light of the day!
DINNER – because we are on a lower carb kick as the day progresses, dinners have been different but oh so good! We’ve been making cauliflower crust pizza, enjoying low carb garlic parmesan shrimp atop zuchhini noodles, green chili chicken bake and crockpot crustless pizza! I try to aim to get about 600-700 calories at dinner so that my caloric needs for the day are done. Here’s the recipe for Crock Pot Crustless Pizza (I did the macros for it using ½ package of regular pepperoni as topping, ragu pizza sauce (they make lower carb sauces), and Lucerne Italian blend cheese for pizza blend for reference. Calories per serving 522. fat per serving 37g, carbs per serving 15g, sugar per serving 8g, protein per serving 61g, based on serving 6.
Here are some of my other favorite low carb dinner options that have become a staple:
oven fried garlic parmesan shrimp (I double the macros because of our serving size) served atop zucchini noodles and riced broccoli/cauliflower.
Green Chili Chicken Bake serve with riced cauliflower and a side salad
Low Carb Turkey Meatloaf serve with broiled parmesan squash/zucchini
Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie we double the macros because we eat 1/4 of a serving
BEFORE BED SNACK – I don’t eat one anymore!!! I used to always eat before sleeping. I think I was still hungry because I wasn’t either a) eating enough or b) getting the right macronutrients for my body or c) it was just habit. What’s funny about the last month is that I am NEVER hungry after dinner! And I’ve typically hit my goal caloric/macro nutrients give or take by 6-7 pm (when we eat dinner). I do typically have a my last glass of crystal light lemonade before bed and it’s such a treat (Sorry, not sorry about my love for aspartame)!
If I’m in need of more calories, occasionally we will make a dessert with dinner. This is one of my recent faves (I use 2 cups of blueberries instead of 3 so my macros for it are cal 86/fat 5.7g/carbs 3.7g/protein 1.7g). Low Carb Blueberry Cobbler
WHY I STOPPED BLENDING MY PROTEIN – well first off, I used to consume 3 protein shakes per day. I am fully supportive of supplements if they help you meet your nutrient needs but there were so many opportunities to EAT my protein rather than drink it. I much prefer the ease and convenience of drinking it but my body likes it much better that I chew it. I also noticed and this is the big reason that my belly would bloat almost immediately after blending a synthetic protein shake. I miss those reece’s shakes but I don’t miss how full they made me feel and the after effects (yes, gas and lots of it … fyi, we all toot)!
WHY I ONLY EAT CARBS UP UNTIL LUNCH TIME – carbs are necessary for every athlete. The amount is variable but I’ve found consuming them at the beginning part of the day I have energy, stamina and the endurance to take on my daily activities/morning workouts and still enough time to “burn them” off. I’ve been doing a taper throughout the day – carbs for breakfast, snack, and lunch and then going low carb the remainder of the day. It works FOR ME. And I’ve noticed my abs are back with a vengence and I’ve dropped some pounds in the process. Please DO NOT TAKE MY SAMPLE DAY AS GOLD. I’ve been asked what I do, and what has worked for me and this is merely my long explanation.
HOW MY MACROS BREAK DOWN – in the example day above, here is my macro breakdown (takes into account exercise). Not exact but close.
How does my day compare to yours??? Tell me in the comments! Oh, and how do those food bloggers make their food look so pretty?!?! That is not my forte!