Tag Archives: yogurt

The Benefits of a Large Breakfast

18 Mar

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat a very large breakfast:

2013-03-18 08.37.09

This breakfast is about 500 – 600 calories.

 

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with balancing my meals throughout the workday. If I don’t use snacks properly, I’ll end up overeating at one of my regular meals. Last week, I was very hungry at breakfast, so I had oatmeal AND a breakfast sandwich — it was a lot of food, but I didn’t feel groggy afterwards like I do when I eat a huge lunch, and I noticed when it came time for lunch, I didn’t eat nearly as much.

So, despite conflicting studies (this article in the New York Times cites a study that says more calories at breakfast merely adds calories throughout the day), I think for me a large (about 600 calories) breakfast is the key to curbing my hunger throughout the day.

Also, let’s stop demonizing bagels, ok? I eat a bagel for breakfast roughly once a week and it’s one of my very favorite breakfasts. If you get a whole grain bagel and don’t go overboard on the cream cheese, it’s actually a very nutritious breakfast. I can see how eating such a large amount of bread daily could be an issue, but having a bagel for breakfast isn’t the end of the world. And it tastes so good!

Anywho, after all that I’m sitting here post-bagel and I’m not sure I can choke down the rest of my breakfast. No big deal, I’ll eat it in about an hour. The key is to not go into lunch feeling like I might die of hunger!

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How was your St. Patrick’s Day weekend!? Mine was pretty good. Zach and I ended up not doing much of anything in the evenings, however.

On Friday, I went to Crossfit and saw that our first task was to run a mile for time. I was immediately anxious. There were only three of us at class on Friday evening, and the other two were men (one of whom was wearing a t-shirt from a marathon). I was sure that they were going to finish a mile 5 minutes ahead of me. Ever since my injury during the Marshall Half Marathon and the longest winter ever where I’ve been plodding along on the treadmill doing 11 minute miles, I felt like my days of running (relatively) fast were gone. A few years ago, I took a running class at my alma mater’s Rec Center and we had to do a mile for time. My time was 8:08, and I’ve been so proud of that mile ever since.

So, needless to say, while we stretched and foam rolled our muscles at the beginning of that class, I was feeling nervous. We set off to do the mile and I was sure I was going to fall behind the guys, but I kept the pace. I focused on breathing evenly and just kept my pace up, pushing hard at the end. I was glad to see that I was only a few seconds behind the guys when we finished, but when my coached said my time, I was shocked: 7:50! No way! I thought for sure I would have run it slower than my fastest mile. I’m pretty pumped to get back out there and run again after that.

Our WOD, if you’re interested, looked like this:

1 mile (for time)

2 rounds:
10 high pulls (65 pounds)
10 front squats (45 pounds)
Prowler pull
30 sit ups

I finished the mile in 7:50 like I said, and the rest of the WOD in 9:06 (I was the first to finish, but the guys were doing 115 and 65 pounds respectively).

After that, I was content to sit on the couch like this for the rest of the night:

post crossfit

 

The Friday evening Crossfit class has been giving me zero motivation to do any other workouts for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t do anything on Saturday OR Sunday (although to be fair, the weather outside on Sunday was awful! Snow! So over it!)

Our evenings on Friday night and Saturday night were laaaaazy! We just couldn’t get the motivation to hit the town. I’m a little bummed we missed out on all the St. Patty’s Day fun, but  we did manage to spend a little time at a friend’s house on Saturday:

zach

 

I just love this photo of Zach. He’s so handsome.

..and on Sunday, I decided to throw together a vaguely St. Patrick’s Day themed dinner:

irish meal

…which consisted of sausages, sauerkraut (which is cabbage!), Irish soda bread and potatoes. Zach even braved the yucky weather to go get us a six pack of Guiness for the occasion.

Question of the Day:
If you’re a runner, have you ever run a mile for time? If so, what is your best time? 

 

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Snacks!

7 Mar

Do you guys watch Daily Grace? Her vlog is the one thing I’m all, “I watched her first!” about, because I’ve been watching Grace’s vlogs since she was filming with a point and shoot, and lived in a sublet with Michelle and a guy named Panda. If you don’t watch her daily vlogs, you really should. She’s so funny and smart! You might want to just go ahead and reserve a weekend where you do nothing but catch up on her archives as well. Now that she’s all famous, she sells merchandise on her website and there is this one hoodie that I’m dying to buy:

snacks

 

Isn’t it awesome? I always say that Snacks is my favorite meal of the day. I do want to talk a bit about healthy snacks, but first! Today, I watched the Crossfit Open WOD 13.1. Even if you’re not into Crossfit, I think it would be interesting to you if you like watching sports. Basically, two very fit men competed in one intense WOD:

40 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 75 lbs
30 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 135 lbs
20 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 165 lbs
10 burpees
As many reps as possible Snatch, 210 lbs

Yeah, that’s intense! I really enjoyed watching, and I learned a lot about Snatch technique, which is the skill we’re working at my Crossfit class now.

crossfit WOD 13.1

 

Ok, snacks.

I’ve had an issue lately where when it comes time for lunch, I’m so hungry that I end up eating way too much. Now, I’m usually pretty good about snacking to avoid getting over-hungry, but what happens is that I’m usually pretty busy the first half of the day at work, so I don’t notice my hunger until I get to lunch. By then, it’s too late.

So, I’ve been trying to set a time to have a snack, regardless of my hunger. If I stop to think about my snack, I usually notice that I will be a little hungry for it, and it helps me  not eat too much at lunch.

Disclaimer: I’m not worried about eating too much because I’m afraid of gaining weight or anything. The reason I don’t want to overeat at lunch is because it makes me feel terrible for the rest of the afternoon. I feel sleepy, sluggish and uncomfortable if I’m overfull.

Ok, so around 10:oo or 10:30, I dig in for a snack. Today, I packed two separate snacks, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be craving sweet or salty:

snacks 2

I ended up going the salty route, I dumped that cheesy mix from my graze box into that baggie of pretzels and it was delicious! I plan to eat the yogurt and strawberries for my afternoon snack.

Snacks are definitely a major part of my healthy lifestyle, because they give me fuel to get through the day and prevent me from crashing from hunger, or eating too much and feeling uncomfortable.

Question of the day:
Do you eat snacks to curb your hunger throughout the day, or are you more of a three meals kind of person? 

I know how to do this!

5 Sep

In everyone’s life, there are ups and downs regarding everything. Right now, I’m on a very big upswing in most of my life, but one aspect is struggling: Health and Fitness.

Why is it that sometimes when we get happy and comfortable, we just want to hunker down and eat everything in sight? I know some people do this when they are sad, some when they are happy, I can go either way. When I’m sad, I tend to eat more and exercise more. When I’m happy, I tend to eat more and exercise less — which is very bad! (Please notice how eating never suffers — oh yes, I know how to eat.)

But, you know, I’ve been on this health train for quite some time, and I know how to do it. I know I need to get to bed early, set my alarm, go do something active, eat my fruits and vegetables, drink my water, try not to drink alcohol every single night. I know! But that doesn’t stop me from slipping up.

This morning was rough! I woke up way early, I had slept very well the night before, and I had absolutely no excuse to skip the gym. But I wanted to skip it. Oh so much. My mind was fighting with itself:

“But the house is such a mess. You could get so much cleaning done if you skip the gym!”

“You know you are going to regret it if you don’t go!”

“I could just go for a run after work, and maybe do some strength training after.”

“You know you won’t do that! If you do your strength this morning, you’ll be ahead of the game.”

This went on for quite some time, so much so that I knew if I didn’t leave almost right away, I’d be late for the sculpting class, so I tweeted this:

 

…lo and behold, social networking was the motivation I needed, in this reply:

…SO TRUE! CW is a college friend, and I see him at the gym in the mornings pretty regularly, so this was the motivation I needed. I threw on my clothes and headed out. I was only a few minutes late, I didn’t even miss the whole warm up. In some unsurprising news, I did not at all regret going. It was a really tough workout, and just what I needed.

After that I was pumped to have a healthy and productive day! Breakfast was delicious and filling:

A bowl of fruit: 1/2 a banana, 4 strawberries, five grapes and 1/2 an apple. Then I spooned about half of that greek yogurt on top. A Thomas’ Everything Bagel Thin w/ neufchatel cheese, and of course a big glass of water. Yum! I only finished half the fruit, I’ll save it for a mid-morning snack.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was down a pound from yesterday which makes me think most of my vacation weight gain was just water retention from eating crappy food all week. Hopefully now that I’m getting back to drinking tons of water during the day (vacation was more like tons of mimosas during the day), things will go back to normal.

Today’s training run is supposed to be speed work in the form of 400 repeats. My plan is to do that on the treadmill after work, but we’ll see how that goes. Although I am trying to up the fitness and health, I’m also not trying to push myself too much.

Question of the day:
Do you ever have an inner fight with yourself on whether you will exercise or not? 

A Long Run and Sunday Eats

20 Aug

I slept so well last night.

Like, the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time.

I did not wake up during the night one time. I did wake up at 5:45 AM long enough to decide that I’m going to be keeping Monday as a rest day, and then rolled right back over and went to sleep until Zach’s alarm went off at 7. Ahh, sweet relief!

I’m in a great mood today, because we have officially entered the period of time which it is appropriate to count down to vacation! Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve really been counting down since August began. I really can’t wait, and I have a few vacation related blog post ideas formulating in my mind.

Yesterday was long run day, and I had such a great run! I took a ton of pictures:

From left – right: Me taking a break near my favorite water fountain, my favorite view, and my nemesis/lucky charm, the Muscovy duck that lives in the park where I run. I would have gotten closer to him to take a photo, but I harbor a healthy fear of him, so that’s all you get.

Backtracking a bit, I thought I’d share my meals from yesterday with you. Prior to heading out for my run, I had some greek yogurt with granola and “fruit” (it was really just fruit syrup):

I also had some instant coffee (still no coffee pot), which is surprisingly not bad. I followed it all up with a glass of water and a probiotic (I’m going to do a probiotic post soon, because I’m loving them!) and caught up with some magazines while my food digested.

I had a great run, as I mentioned. My training plan called for 6 miles, but I had to pause my CardioTrainer app (which was tracking my miles) at one point because some guy and I were running a ridiculously similar pace. It was awkward, so I stopped and pulled over to let him go ahead a bit. Apparently I forgot to restart the app, because I didn’t notice it until much later. I estimated I had ran about a mile or so, so I just added an extra loop on at the end of my run just in case I was shorting myself. Well, when I got home, I logged on to Map My Run and I had done 6.81 miles! To be honest, I could have kept running too, so that felt great.

I had planned to make brunch for me and Zach when I got back, but he decided to go golfing with his dad, so I whipped up some lunch for myself. I was surprised that I wasn’t famished right after my run like I usually am, I guess the yogurt/granola combo is a winner for staying power. I’ll have to remember that come half-marathon race day.

I bought some local tofu at the Wild Ramp market which I really wanted to try. I’ll tell you this: I’m never buying any other tofu again. This tofu had the best consistency, I only had to press it for 5 minutes, and I was able to cook it without the tofu breaking up and turning into a scramble. Even when I buy extra-firm at the grocery store, it doesn’t have the firm texture I’d like. I made the Cast Iron Tofu  using Caitlin’s method (Healthy Tipping Point is hands down one of my favorite blogs!), added it to some sauteed Kale and served it over Ramen noodles. Yes, Ramen noodles! I’ll admit I love ’em.

I don’t know if I’ll ever cook tofu another way again. It was so crispy on the outside! I love the texture of tofu, so I left the cubes to be kind of on the large side, but if you made them smaller this would be even crispier. I had a few strawberries on the side also. All of the meals I had yesterday had amazing staying power, and this was no exception. I was full for a long time after I chowed this down.

I went to a 5:30 yoga for runner’s class (which was incredible!) Our instructor focused on the Piriformis, which is a muscle in your glute area. It’s a deep muscle that is hard to stretch, but we sure did stretch it. In fact, I didn’t even know that mine was tight until we started stretching it out. My legs feel  great today! I’m on a budget, so I don’t know if I can afford to shell out the $8 a week to go to this class, but I think I’ll try to make it at least a monthly thing.

After yoga, it was late and we had movie plans with friends, so I whipped together a quick dinner. Earlier in the day, I had made a batch of Indian Curry veggie burgers from the No-Meat Althlete veggie burger formula (found here.) So, burgers it was:

This was an amazing veggie burger! I basically just used the recipe at the end of that post for the Indian Patties, but I didn’t have chickpeas so I used Great Northern instead. Also, I subbed carrots and yellow squash as my veggies. Yum! I made it a double decker because I was quite hungry. Add some baked french fries (yay, health!) and some steamed broccoli w/ a bit of shredded cheddar and it was a yummy meal. I decided to put a dollop of plain yogurt on my burger, and it was a very good decision. After dinner, I was ready for some dessert, so I had a frozen greek yogurt bar (flavor: blueberry), and it was delicious.

It was a great day for food at my house, and I didn’t realize how much yogurt I ate yesterday until I typed it all up. I swear, that isn’t typical!

Question of the day:
What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?