How I Feel about Food
Exercise is important. It really is. But I’m going to go out on a limb and just say that in my personal experience, food is even more important. I hate the word “diet” because it is associated with misery, hunger and feelings of deprivation, am I right? So to preface, if I use the word “diet” it is a noun that sums up what I eat every day. I do not consider myself “on a diet” but what I eat daily ultimately makes up my diet. Like a squirrel’s diet consists of nuts. Anyway, food is wonderful. Not only does food aid in weight management and muscle re-composition but without food we couldn’t exercise at all. So bam! Hierarchy.
Food is fuel.
I will never stop saying this. My whole life changed when I started viewing food as a fuel source for my body. I loved food before but I loved the short term benefits like how great something sounded and how good it tasted in my mouth. Now, I think about the long term. How will this meal make me feel later? Will it provide enough energy to keep up with my kids or will it make me want to sit miserably on the couch full of remorse? What is in this food? We are a single income family so I cannot spend a weekly fortune in Whole Foods eating organic-cage free-gluten free-non GMO luxuries. I focus on shopping the perimeter of the grocery store (produce, meat and dairy) and creep into the middle aisles for requirements like salsa and toddler snacks. I try to avoid items that have 5+ ingredients or ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a “clean eater”. I’m a conscious eater. My body and I? We’re a team. It rewards me when I take good care of it.
Keeping a food diary has done phenomenal things for my diet. It’s pretty necessary for any goal–weight loss, weight gain, muscle mass, etc. MyFittnessPal is a user friendly app that makes tracking your meals super easy and breaks down every nutrient for you. It has a large database with almost everything already recorded or a super handy barcode option where you just scan what you’re eating and edit servings. If you setup your profile with weight, height and goals it will give you a specialized calorie goal to aim for each day. There’s other similar apps, that’s just my personal favorite. I also think keeping a spiral next to your desk or on your countertop could be effective at simply holding yourself accountable for what you’re putting into your mouth. It’ll make you think twice about having to write down “just ate 25 Oreos”.
Liquids count, too.
Coffee, sweet tea, soda and alcohol. My vice is beer, unfortunately. I haven’t had a glass of wine in months but I love craft beer. The hubs and I also love to celebrate Saturday mornings together with champagne. These calories matter A LOT because they add up to A LOT. I try to stay conscious of what I’m eating and work out extra hard if I know I’m going to be drinking over the weekend. I drink my coffee black but not because I’ve sacrificed cream and sugar since becoming The Mostly Healthy Mommy. I’ve always preferred black coffee. If you drink 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day I wouldn’t sweat a single serving of CoffeeMate in each, honestly. But once again–you have to stay vigilant. 1 serving of that stuff is tiny and it’s likely you’re unknowingly consuming 3-4.
I’m human. I make mistakes. I have days that I am so over logging my meals. Since my husband is out of state about 75% of the time we tend to “do it big” when he’s home. We love to invite friends over and grill food. We love to camp, hang out on the beach, drink and fish. Being obsessively healthy isn’t my gig, balance is. I’ve figured out over the past 6 months that allowing myself this flexibility is the only way I can personally stay consistent with this. I remain conscientious of what I’m consuming–don’t get me wrong. But I will help myself to a s’more with my kids at the campfire or a mimosa with Craig. Those things are worth it to me. What’s amazing is I’m always dying to get back on track by Monday morning. Finding your balance is so important along with forgiving yourself when you let your hair down and eat a few too many slices of pizza. Hit the ground running the very next morning and don’t look back.
People often ask me how on Earth I drink black coffee, haha, so I am working on a post exploring healthier ways to sweeten coffee AND–finally–next weekend I am visiting Texas wine country with an amazing group of girls to celebrate my best friend’s 30th birthday. I’m so excited to share pics with you guys and take a fun break from diet and fitness.