I mean. You spend all this money on good organic fruits and veggies. Maybe you even grow them in your organic garden. You pay extra for grassfed meat, free range organic chicken, wild caught fish. Maybe you hunt for wild game. You add chia seeds to your smoothies. Drink raw milk. Make your own kombucha and bake your own sourdough bread. You started fermenting veggies and soaking seeds and nuts. You’ve cut out hydrogenated oils, and cook with coconut oil and real pastured organic raw butter. You’ve even cut out refined sugars and sweeten your yogurt with raw local honey or pure grade B maple syrup.
You’ve basically cleaned out your digestive system, made sure you’ve got all the good bacterial flora working in your stomach and intestines. You’ve knocked out nearly all of your allergies. You got your body working in tip top order from the inside out.
Your grandmother would be proud.
You’re eating real food… food that she would recognize from her childhood … food that sustained and kept her in a bikini all summer long (my grandmother wore a bikini … I love that about her 🙂
Then you step on the scale and think …. What the?!?!?!?
It’s not fair.
But here’s the difference.
We live in a time of such abundance.
And we live in a time when most of us work sitting at a desk.
For hours and hours and hours.
In high stress environments.
With tons of pressure and responsibility.
And this super-good-nourishing-healthy-great-for-you-real-food is not low-fat. It’s not low calorie. It’s not low anything. It’s nutrient-dense, probiotic, healthy-fats goodness.
When we fill the car with fuel, we put in the kind of fuel that our vehicle requires. (Mine takes unleaded … the Cowboy’s takes diesel … if I put diesel in my rig it just wouldn’t work. ) But also, we don’t overflow the tank, right? We put in just as many gallons as the tank will hold and if we flood the engine, the car just won’t go.
So like any good machine, we only need to put into our bodies what it needs and how much it will actually use.
I mentioned once that cutting out HFCS, refined sugars, preservatives, food coloring and processed goods helped me lose the extra 10-15 pounds I’d been carrying around for a few years. It also helped clear up my skin, alleviate some chronic stomach issues, reduce the swelling in my knees, and control my mood swings and bouts of mild depression.
But cutting out “fake foods,” was only one piece of the puzzle. The second was portion control (because it’s really easy to convince yourself that it’s okay to have another brownie when the brownie is made with maple syrup, coconut oil and yams).
So I’ll give you the “quick and dirty” of my weight-maintenance plan.
I eat five or six times a day. And I adjust what I’m going to eat depending on how physical my day’s going to be (the more physical, the more food). I don’t always keep a food diary. But if you look at the one I shared, you’ll see that it’s pretty consistent.
Here’s the breakdown of a day:
I wake up and have a glass of water. (If I have lemons, I’ll squeeze a lemon into it. If not, I’ll add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Or lime. Or just plain water.)
I keep breakfast between 300-400 calories and almost always include a good source of protein and healthy fats. (An egg taco with avocado, for example, is one of my go-tos and a favorite. With a farm fresh egg, an ounce of raw sharp cheddar cheese, and a quarter of an avocado, I feel nourished and satisfied and don’t get hungry for hours. Another option would be sourdough french toast, which I often make with added coconut oil.)
I love a good snack. A piece of fruit and a handful of soaked and dehydrated nuts (or a tablespoon of nut-butter). Popcorn popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with sea salt (so long as it’s organic corn … almost 90 percent of the corn grown in the US is now GMO … ugh!). Not only do you get the goodness from the corn (coconut oil or butter can help your body break down the enzyme inhibitors in the corn so you actually get the goodness from it), but by adding sea salt, you’re getting a great source of trace minerals that your body needs for optimal performance! (I try to keep the morning snack to around 200 calories.)
I always struggle with lunch. But if there are leftovers, that’s my go-to. Abby’s red pepper nachos reheat in a skillet beautifully. So do short ribs. If we’ve got braised chicken in the fridge, I’ll sometimes reheat some and have it wrapped in lettuce with a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit. Sometimes lunch is just a green smoothie and a grilled cheese. I like to make sure there’s at least something green at lunch. (Lunch is usually somewhere between 300-400 calories … just like breakfast.)
Somewhere between 3 and 4 o’clock I start to get cranky. It’s just not my best time of day. But eating something with protein helps. Like yogurt. Or a smoothie. Or cottage cheese. (Usually around 150 calories.)
Dinner is anyone’s game. It’s could be a piece of steak and steamed or sautéed veggies. It could be a stir fry. It could be grilled veggies over rice. Or chicken curry. Maybe it’s meatloaf, a roasted potato and a salad. Regardless, it’s often around 450-500 calories.
DESSERT (NIGHT SNACK):
I don’t have dessert every night. But if there’s ice cream (especially if it’s paleo-friendly, refined-sugar-free) in the house, I’ll often have a small scoop an hour or two after dinner. Can’t help it. I have a sweet tooth. This doesn’t usually exceed 100 calories, but it’s enough to satisfy the craving for sweets. And because it’s a “full fat” dessert, I actually feel full from a smaller bite.
So that’s what works for me.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the third (and really important) piece of the weight-management puzzle.
Because no matter how much we want to ignore the fact that our bodies have a physical response to the stress in our lives, it’s just a fact.
I can’t do much to help you with the stress part from this side of your computer screen. But I can encourage you to take a yoga class, or go for a run, or sit at your desk and do leg lifts. Because getting your body moving and breathing hard is going to do a lot to help reduce your body’s cortisol response to stress.
I’d love to know what you all do to manage your weight and stress.
NOTE: I’m not a certified nutritionist, but I’ve taken multiple levels of yoga teacher training and spent more than my fair share of time in nutrition and anatomy classes. I’ve been to Weight Watchers. Consulted with top-notch nutritionists. Read books on traditional food diets, Paleo diets, Atkins diets, blood-type diets, Low-fat diets, Vegan/Vegetarian diets, et al. So while I’m not an “expert,” I feel confident that I can share with you my own experience and that you can take from it whatever works for you. But as with any healthcare regime, you should check with your own healthcare professional before starting a new program.
Shared over at:
The Nourishing Gourmet