Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: A new way to eat

I am trying something new out.  I am not sure how it is going to work.  For the last 3 years or so, I have been beating myself up over snacks.  I tend to stick to the 3-meals a day rule...but find myself hungry in between and then wind up eating unplanned snacks anyhow.  Then I beat myself up over it.

Rather than continue the vicious cycle, I am trying out this whole 5-6 meals a day thing.  Here are my concerns:
  • That I won't limit my portion sizes and wind up eating twice as much.
  • That I will be constantly thinking about food all day!
Already I can see a few pros to this new eating style:
  • Since I am "allowing" snacks, I will plan ahead to have healthy snacks on hand rather than grabbing processed junk last minute.
  • I won't be hungry in between meals so perhaps I will actually think about food less.
Do you eat 5-6 meals a day, or do you stick to the basic 3?

My first official go-round was yesterday.  Perfect timing for a What I Ate Wednesday post.  I have a confession to make here: despite writing a food blog, eating vegan, and being consumed by food for a majority of the last 3 years, I still feel I have absolutely no idea how to properly fuel my body.  I feel confused.  Am I eating the right foods?  Am I eating too much?  I am hoping that documenting my eats once a week in WIAW style will help me to better understand these questions.

Breakfast 7:30am
~ 3/4 cup popped amaranth with 1/2 sliced banana and ~a cup of unsweetened almond milk.

I love cereal and I love this puffed amaranth!  Usually this bowl would leave me satisfied until lunch, typically with a few more toppings.  However, yesterday, be it mental or physical...I couldn't stop wanting more food after I finished this bowl.  10:30am wouldn't come soon enough! 

Snack #1 10am
Green monster with 1/2 banana, 1 scoop RAW protein powder, 2 cups spinach, 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla and 1/2 cup almond milk plus a few ice cubes.

Once again, a green monster this size is usually my only breakfast of the day.  But it took both of these meals to finally leave me satisfied.  I truly believe most of it was in my head as any new routine can leave you a bit mental!

Lunch 1pm
leftover homemade General Tso's Tempeh with brown rice plus an extra cup of steamed broccoli for volume.  

I knew I would be out of the house for a big chunk of the afternoon and I wanted to eat enough so I wouldn't be feeling hungry the whole time.  So I added in lots of green veggies hoping the volume would help.  And it did.  When it was time for a snack again I wasn't too famished!

Snack #2 4:30pm
Sliced pear with 1 tablespoon pecans and 1 tablespoon almond butter dusted with cinnamon.

This was the perfect snack and exactly what I wanted at 4:30.  I ran out to a meeting and arrived at fellowship group at 7pm for dinner and the pear and nuts kept me full throughout!

Dinner 7pm
Breakfast for dinner: 1 small pancake topped with fresh fruit (lots of pineapple) and a side of grits with kale.

I felt like I still wanted more so I snacked on the delicious pineapple and fought the urge to eat another snack when we arrived home at 9pm.  Get thee to bed is my motto when the snack-bug attacks at night! 

Overall I think I did a good job in keeping my portion sizes under control especially during meal times.  But I found myself thinking about the next meal all day!  That drove me crazy!  I am hoping that it will balance out as I get used to this new routine. 

The plan right now is to eat 5 small meals a day about 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart.  Perhaps when I start working out again I will allow myself to squeeze in one more small snack if it fits the bill. 

What do you think?  Too much, too little, or just right?

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