The RWTL Diet

Today’s Happy Note: Rediscovering the best hair conditioner ever!  I used to use this stuff in high school and then it disappeared — it used to be the Dove light blue bottle (NOT the dark blue bottle) and now it’s just called Dove Daily Moisture.  It makes me hair softer and smoother and less frizzy than ANY other hair product.  And I am not easy to please when it comes to hair products!

Marathon Training: I cannot believe it is 6 days away!  It feels like I just started training yesterday and now we’re in the final stages of taper.  I am definitely nervous.  I think that this week is primarily going to be about anxiety control. As long as I can get my mental game under control, I have a feeling the physical side of things will take care of themselves.

I did the 30 Day Shred Level 2 and lots of walking yesterday and my last “long” run today — 6 miles. The rest of this week I’ll do a few 3-4 milers.  Hopefully I will feel nice and rested and relaxed on Sunday.  I am thrilled that my first marathon is going to be the NYC Marathon.  I have wanted to do it since I moved to the city in fall 2007.  I have watched every race since then.  There is something mystical and intriguing about fall in the city, especially in Central Park.  It’s my home.  I couldn’t be more excited.

The RWTL Diet

I wanted to do a post about the way I eat.  It is an endless source of fascination for me to learn about the different ways people feed their minds and bodies.  I think there is both a physical and mental/emotional component to eating/fueling — and in fact, I think that duality is part of what makes eating lovely and fun.

Most bloggers (and people I know in real life too) eat in a very nuanced way.  What works for one person doesn’t work for another.  Everyone likes and needs slightly different things.  This post is about finding the overlap between what I like and what I need.

Through much experimentation, I have figured out that my body needs the following:

  • Lots of protein from a variety of sources
  • Lots of fats (both saturated and unsaturated), again, from a variety of sources
  • Moderate carbohydrates — some grains and some fruits, maybe 2-3 servings a day
  • Tons of veggies; basically, an unlimited amount
  • Occasional desserts — if I don’t have some sweets, I feel deprived, which results in overeating
What my body wants:
  • Flavor!  Spices, fat, sweet, sour, bitter, etc.
  • Variety — I like consistency, but I also get bored easily, so I need a good mix of foods.
  • Breakfast!  Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day.  I crave breakfast foods all the time.
  • Plant and animal sources of protein and fat.  I think this goes with variety, but I have also found that I thrive when I include both types.
  • Pastries.  I wouldn’t really call myself a junk food person — I have no interest in pizza, fries, wings, or candy.  But I love good scones, muffins, or cookies.
So how do I balance the needs and the wants and get good things into my body?
The short answer: with frequent meals and snacks that are built around plants, protein, and fat.  I never build a meal or a snack around a carb.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I am somewhat insulin resistance, and more carbs just don’t do anything for me — I feel sluggish and tired and they seem to make me gain weight.  People have different body types and metabolic systems, so this is NOT something that will hold true for everyone.  I follow some pretty simple guidelines:
Breakfast: build around a whole grain in tandem with protein and fat, sometimes with fruit.
Examples:
On the left we have 1/3 C of oats cooked with 2/3 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, 2/3 cup of water, cinnamon, a little less than a quarter cup of peanut flour, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  On the right we have a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel (a little more carby than normal) with peanut butter and bacon.  It was a delectable combination.
I used to eat tiny breakfasts (100-200 calories; usually an instant oatmeal packet) and would feel SO guilty whenever I had a more substantial breakfast.  But I was always starving by 11 AM and miserably forced myself to wait for lunch. Satisfying breakfast=happy Caronae.
Lunch: Veggies with, surprise, more protein and fat.  I usually either build lunch around a salad, stir fry, egg scramble, smoothie, or, occasionally, a sandwich.  Has to be simple and quick: think things like pre chopped veggies, steamed/sauteed veggies, deli turkey, sliced tofu, avocado, whole eggs, or cottage cheese/greek yogurt.
Examples:
On the left we have half a can of Amy’s spicy chili mixed with a boatload of broccoli and topped with TJ’s hummus/guacamole mixture.  On the right we have today’s lunch of two eggs scrambled in EVOO mixed with chopped brussel sprouts, broccoli, and mozzarella.
Both were quite tasty and filling.  I often add a piece of carb-y fruit, like grapes or an apple, with lunch, depending on how much I’ll be running that day.
Dinner: I usually do more actual “cooking” here, often with fish, chicken, tofu, beans, ground beef, or steak, paired with roasted veggies, squash, and/or salad.
Examples:
On the left is tonight’s dinner of heated pumpkin topped with steamed carrots and a divine stir-fry of ground beef, EVOO, salt, basil, garlic, and portabella mushrooms.  On the right we have baked salmon with a peanut/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed squash with cinnamon and avocado.
Snacks: usually a mix of fats and proteins, eaten in the late afternoon.  I like nuts, protein bars, fruit with nut butter, yogurt with various add-ins, low fat milk or soy milk, eggs, etc.
Dessert: almost always involves chocolate. 🙂  I like hot cocoa with dark chocolate melted in, oats with protein powder, peanut butter, and chocolate chips, pumpkin with cinnamon and yogurt, frozen berries, plain dark chocolate, and weird combinations of the above.
I make sure to eat enough to get me through lots of studying and running and yoga and life.  I would estimate about 2500 calories a day, although less when I am running less.
So there you have it.  The RWTL “diet.”  How would you characterize your “diet”?
Oh, and some Halloween pics for fun.  Guess what I am!
How was your Halloween weekend?  Anything fun?  What’s on the table for this week?