Oh heavens…there are a billion reasons why I love this community so much, but today’s post ranks up there.
Friends, I loved all of your food/diet related questions last week because it just reminds this almost 39 year old mama of four (how did that happen) that she’s not alone in her pursuit of information that is super random. This kind of post right here is EXACTLY the kind of post I’d love to read on someone else’s blog but seems super weird for me to write (as I would never think of myself as an authority of what anyone should/shouldn’t eat), and I love how we’re all just trying to figure life out together. So, you had questions about my diet, and today, I’m going to answer.
Of course though…first, we have disclaimers.
Basically, my disclaimer is that I’m not an authority on many things in life…and I would NEVER want anyone to think I’m giving advice on medical/wellness topics…but I am an expert on me (most of the time) and can answer your questions ABOUT ME. Just know, this isn’t me telling you what to do…it’s just me telling you about me. So, let’s not take this too seriously, okay?
This right here…is probably my motto 🙂 .
Okay, obviously there are lots of exceptions/random occurrences that happen in life, so don’t take any of my answers as “the only truth and way I do it”. Go ahead and read each answer as “most of the time”. This way, I don’t have to qualify each response, just know I’m meaning “most of the time” and not “every single time”.
Meal Planning!! Andrew and I decided when we were first married that we would try to eat dinner at home as much as possible on weeknights, so we meal plan around busy nights. (You can see my entire post about that HERE.) I put dinner in the slow cooker (sometimes, I do that just to keep it warm…I’ll put a stovetop recipe in the slow cooker at 3:00 PM on warm versus actually cooking it in there all day). If I have enough stuff on hand that’s easy to throw together for example, something like my Sausage, Peppers and Onions, I can get that on the table quickly. I think that starts with having a plan BEFORE the busy night.
I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with typically a little afternoon snack and that’s it. For YEARS, Andrew and I had dessert at night when the kids went to bed, but now, we don’t. Once we went gluten-free, we got out of the habit, and now, we just don’t eat anything after dinner (we’re eating dinner later now too, so we’re not hungry). Breakfast is around 7, lunch at 11, a snack around 2 and then this school year, dinner has been closer to 7 most nights. I don’t weigh myself, so I’m not sure if I technically gain weight or not, but for me, eating on trips is a huge part of traveling, so I totally indulge more than normal but then just come home and resume normal life.
I basically do both. I eat on a schedule that just fits into crazy mom life…but I’m typically always hungry during those times, so it doesn’t matter. If I’m ever just totally hungry, I’ll eat. I don’t deny myself food those times not on my schedule when I’m super hungry…if I’m hungry, I eat.
Totally! If we’re on a trip sometimes or a fun party…I will totally over eat. I’m not interested in Thanksgiving food that much, so I don’t overeat on that day, but send me to an appetizer party and watch me over-eat there 🙂 . I totally indulge from time to time!
I don’t! My Apple Watch tracks calories burned from exercise, so I see that each day, but I don’t track how many I consume.
I like a splash of cream and maybe one Truvia. I sometimes indulge in a Pumpkin Spice Latte but that’s tall, non-fat with no whip. I don’t feel guilty when I have one…I’m big on not feeling guilty about things I consume. If I’m going to beat myself up about it, then what’s the point? I should just not have it. The vast majority of the time, my coffee is pretty simple.
I’ll have a drink with dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Sometimes, there are occasions during the week that call for a drink…but we drink water with our dinners each night, so for the most part, it’s just a weekend thing. Some weekends, we are doing sports/other things and so I won’t have a drink over the weekend. It all kind of depends, but that’s probably a good guess.
I don’t. At home, all of our breakfasts and dinners are gluten-free (along with all of our snacks), but sometimes, I’ll eat gluten for lunch in a pre-made salad or soup if my kids are at school. I’ve personally never “dieted” as I don’t like restrictions when I’m eating. Going gluten-free was really pretty simple once we found substitutions (the right pastas, breads, breadcrumbs, and such)…but baking gluten-free continues to be something I’m learning/working on…finding the right flour for the right recipe isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be.
I did! I think I did that for about 18 months or so. I finally realized that for me, protein makes me feel more energetic, less bloated and keeps me full longer, so for me, aiming to eat veggies with lean protein is my best bet. For breakfast, I like a piece of turkey bacon with an egg (sometimes, a piece of toast too!) and then I feel my best after I workout and am not starving an hour later.
I always have a “try to eat as mindfully as possible as much as possible and then enjoy your favorite treats in small portions” mindset. I didn’t grow up in a house where health and food was a priority. I didn’t learn anything about nutrition until I went to college and when most people gain weight their freshman year, I lost a lot of weight being in control of my own food and learning what foods were better choices for me (thank you Shape and Self magazines 😉 ).
Totally! We all do! None of my recipes are “bad for you”. I’m not over here frying things in canola oil (ever!) or using a lot of butter, cream cheese, sour cream, etc (except to garnish). Lean proteins, whole grains (use a healthy pasta and grains), veggies on the side, open-face burgers (all of them! only half the bun)…and always eat a small portion. I’m super happy with a burger (no top bun) and salad for dinner. I also never feel pressure to “clean my plate”…it’s okay to throw away food. If you’re done eating, you’re done.
Hmmmm…all things in moderation, small portions, don’t deprive or deny yourself, enjoy your life, don’t beat yourself up…it’s not worth it, eat mindfully. I am a very mindful eater. If I want a chip, I’ll put some in a bowl, walk away from the bag and eat those chips. I’m choosing to eat those chips, it’s a mindful choice. I don’t just sit in front of the TV with the open bag and eat without thinking. Even if I’m really indulging in something (like a piece of cheesecake), I make that choice and own it…so if I’m making that choice, I shouldn’t beat myself up later. If you’re eating cheesecake daily, that’s not “indulging” that’s making cheesecake a part of your diet…which if that works for you, awesome. I don’t think that would work for me, so I consider it a special treat from time to time and then don’t get mad at myself when I eat it.
I really like cheese. A few crackers, a few almonds and a slice of good cheese…I love that.
No. Under my new regimen (you can read about it HERE), I just take a multi-vitamin and that’s it!
Years and years ago, I bought these plates at Pottery Barn and they’re bigger than my other salad plates but smaller than a dinner plate. I bought them to photograph food on because a big plate will make your food look lost in the picture…BUT I quickly learned that it was the perfect size for me (and now, my kids). Andrew uses a normal sized dinner plate, but you guys always see me using these…
…I bet I haven’t used a dinner plate in YEARS! See how nice and full my plate looks? I love that! Also, this is a very typical lunch for me when my kids are home. These plates are always available at PB, and I love them. I think they’re the perfect size for my kids and me.
I do not drink sodas. Growing up, Diet Coke was served with every meal (my mom is cringing right now as I tell you our secrets…and she’s going to send me some text now about how it was the ’80s and everyone was doing it…bahahaha!), BUT one of the things I learned that first year in college was sodas were not the way to a healthy life for me, so we do not drink any soft drinks over here.
I think genetics plays a big part of it…
…um this is my Grandmother. She’s (don’t be mad, Grandmother!!!!) in her 80s. DOESN’T SHE LOOK AMAZING?! She is my ultimate #goals in every aspect of life. So, I think genetics plays a big part…and then eating well most of the time and getting out and moving plays a big part too. When I was younger, I used to think it was better to eat a lot of “healthy” stuff but now, my motto is to eat a little of really good stuff. Instead of over-eating something that is “fat-free”, I’ll enjoy a smaller portion of something really delicious in all its glory. I don’t know? I just really try and eat small portions of great food when given the opportunity but my day in and day out food is not fried/not greasy/not super cheesy/not sugary/lean protein/with a veggie. I’m also not a big snacker. I’ll eat one planned out snack during the day, but I don’t snack/graze other than that. I’m sure that helps too.
I go through breakfast fads like crazy. I will eat the same thing for breakfast every single day for a year and then never eat it again. Right now, I’m eating one egg with two pieces of turkey bacon…Andrew makes it 🙂 . One day, while he was making his own breakfast, he asked me if I wanted something and I said yes. And now, it just appears every morning on the counter…like a breakfast fairy delivers it or something 🙂 .
No, I feel like if I eat pretty good most of the time, I can splurge when the opportunity arises. That being said, I’m more likely to eat way better on a week day than a weekend. On weekends, we eat dinner out, I’ll have a drink…I don’t beat myself up over that but enjoy it.
I think I just went back to normal. I have been pregnant three times and didn’t love any of them. I was so sick and miserable, nothing sounded good, I couldn’t keep anything down…when I finally did have babies, I think it was pretty easy for me to go back to normal because I had been missing it so much. I started working out again when both of my big kids turned 6 weeks old and resumed my normal diet.
I think my philosophy is to not “diet” because that sounds temporary but to eat a “diet” that gives me the most energy and makes me feel like my best self (and I think that looks different for everyone and changes over time). Food was a big topic on one side of my family growing up…and every holiday, birthday celebration, get together, I knew (even a small kid) before walking into that occasion that it would be more fun if the adult ladies were not on a diet. When the ladies were on a diet, the whole atmosphere wasn’t nearly as much fun as when they were not on a diet…I don’t know? I just prefer not to do that.
I drink a ton of water! In a given day, I drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee but then other than that, I probably drink the equivalent to 6 or 8 bottles of water plus I drink at least 4 Waterloos or La Croixs a day (I’m drinking one right now!). My dad always has a drink in his hand…and I do too. I don’t drink iced tea (yet another thing that makes me so not a Texas Texan 😉 ) or sodas, so it’s coffee or water or sometimes, tequila 😉 .
No…I would say a few nights a week, they’ll have something after dinner, but that’s the exception not the rule.
I love nuts, cheese, crackers, those cheese crisps, and then sometimes, I’ll have hummus or a bit of dip. Occasionally, a yogurt, but for the most part, I always stick to one of those things. I am literally typing this and eating a piece of Gouda with a cracker and some grapes (and a mango La Croix).
Small plates helps so much! I also think drinking a lot of water keeps you hydrated (and often, if I’m dehydrated, I confuse that for hunger).
Okay, whew! I hope you take this entire post with a grain of salt. Do I eat cheesy dip and drink two margaritas and eat a nacho some nights? Yes! Is that my normal? No. I truly feel like genetics plays a big role in our bodies, and I don’t want to ever discount that either. Plus, I’m really active! I run, I lift weights, I do yoga, I walk my dogs, I play outside with my kids…little things add up.
Okay, what are your thoughts? Tips? Tricks? My recipe today is totally something I made and enjoyed…
…I made Jack-O-Lantern Joes the other night and they were a HUGE hit! Head over and check out the recipe. I made four of these “Sloppy Joes in a Pumpkin” and split mine with Ashby (Madeley and Kensington split theirs). I used 96/4 ground beef (unless I’m making burgers, that’s what I always use) and the only cheese is on top along with gluten-free breadcrumbs. I served this with a Caesar salad and called it a day.