One of the questions I have gotten a bunch of times in comments and in emails is what kinds of foods I eat.
*Disclosure - This is not a "food blog" and I am not an impressive cook. If you are looking for awe-inspiring dishes and recipes with beautiful pics of food, this is not the place, and you are probably going to be disappointed. I keep things pretty basic and simple. Also, I am not a vegetarian or a vegan. I eat gluten but I do have to avoid dairy. *
If you saw how I ate four years ago and how I eat today, you wouldn't even believe I was the same person. Four years ago I ate a lot of junk. A LOT of junk. I ate chips, cookies, snacks, ice cream, take-out, fried foods, sweets, etc. etc. I drank diet soda all day long... can after can after can. I ate three meals, and snacks, and often ate at night in front of the TV when the kids were in bed. I ate almost no fruits or vegetables ever, almost everything I ate was processed, and I was taking in way, way too many calories (and wasn't exercising at all). I ate when I was hungry and when I wasn't. I ate when I was bored. I ate when I was lonely. I ate because food tastes good. If you had asked me to rate how important nutrition was to me on a scale of 1 to 100, it would probably have been a 3.
I wasn't able to change all of those bad habits overnight. It was a long, gradual process. At first I cut out soda. Within two weeks, the headaches I had been having disappeared. I started planning meals and paying attention to calories. I started choosing healthy, natural foods as often as possible. I stopped eating after 7pm. I paid attention to portion sizes, and made sure to eat when I was hungry and stop eating when I was full. I started chewing gum so I wouldn't pick off of the kids' plates when I was feeding them. I made sure to always have healthy things in the house to eat. I started looking at food as fuel for my body.
The more important my running has become to me and the more I have seen myself as an athlete, the more I have tried to eat like an athlete.
Now I eat a lot of whole grains. I eat tons of fruits and vegetables. I eat carbs like oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, rice, bread, etc. I eat a lot of eggs, and have fish and chicken fairly often. I don't eat a lot of pork or red meat, although every once and awhile I love a good burger. I drink a LOT of water all day long, and almost never drink anything else. I do have sweets now and then, although I keep them limited.
I am a grazer. I am much happier eating little bits all day long than I am having big meals (with the exception of breakfast. I love/need a big breakfast). I eat a decent amount of food and need to make sure I take in enough (healthy) calories with all the miles that I run so my body has the energy it needs.
I am far from perfect in how I eat, and again, nothing here is very exciting, but it works for me, and I am always trying to improve.
Here is what I ate yesterday, which was a pretty typical day. I usually have a big salad at some point during the day (with an egg or two and some salsa on top) but didn't yesterday, and beans and rice, potatoes and pasta are frequent eats for me too.
I don't eat in the morning before I run, but every day after my run I drink a glass of light chocolate soy milk for recovery and then after I stretch and roll I have my bowl of "loaded oatmeal". I make a big bowl of oatmeal (plain whole grain rolled oats) and then add a banana, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, and dark chocolate chips. Sometimes I change up the fruit a little bit, but usually that is what I put in it. It's so yummy! Josh says it isn't oatmeal anymore by the time I am done with it and it is enough breakfast for two people, but I love it. It's my favorite meal of the day.
For a snack yesterday I had a pear and some raisins. I didn't take a picture. You know what they look like. :)
For lunch I had a turkey sandwich. I put turkey, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and hummus on whole grain wheat bread. I ate a full tomato and half of a cucumber, although they didn't all make it on to the sandwich.
An hour or two after my sandwich I ate a bowl of sweet potato. I slice up a large sweet potato, and then bake the pieces on a cookie sheet in the oven on 375. I was impatient yesterday so I ate them when they were still a little mushy and not as crunchy as they usually get. They taste great just plain, although a pinch of cinnamon-sugar is good on them too. :)
For an afternoon snack I had some plain baby carrots and celery sticks. You know what they look like. :)
For dinner I had pancakes. We do pancakes for dinner a lot with all sorts of toppings. Last night I had whole wheat pancakes with Adam's all natural crunchy peanut butter, a sliced banana, and some Kodiak berry syrup (all natural blackberry syrup).
And that is pretty much how I eat. :)
What's your favorite meal of the day?
What are some of your favorite meals?