I watched a really interesting video called "How To Eat Like An Olympian" from the Huffington Post a few weeks ago regarding what Olympians eat. It made me think about what I eat, and while I'm far from an Olympian, I like to fuel my body as best as I can so I perform as well as I can during races and can model a healthy lifestyle for our boys. But, that doesn't mean I only eat clean or healthy things all the time. I really believe a balanced diet is important and I don't think denying myself sweets or something fried is necessary.
On a typical workout day (5-6 days a week), I run anywhere from 3 - 8 miles and strength train. On these days, I'm way hungrier than I am when I take a total rest day (no running or real exercise, though I'm always doing something active whether it be playing outside with the boys, running around the house or taking a walk around the neighborhood with my husband). So, what does a typical workout day of eating look like for me?
Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day and I love breakfast foods any time of the day. Depending upon the morning, I'll have whatever I cook for our family. The boys are really into a French toast and waffle kick, so I make each one of those homemade a few mornings a week. I also do scrambled eggs and sausage, and occasionally, cinnamon toast. On mornings when we're running late or the boys just want cereal, I'll typically take Chobani yogurt (my favorite flavor is black cherry) and a pack of Belvita breakfast bars (blueberry) with me to work or I'll have a bowl of Better Oats brown sugar oatmeal. These things keep me full. I always have a Tervis (16 or 20 oz) full of ice water with breakfast.
By mid-morning, I'm usually hungry especially if I've run and/or strength trained before work which is what I typically do. I usually have a banana or some Chobani (if I haven't eaten it for breakfast) as a snack. I also love pistachios, so I keep a bag of those handy, too. I drink another full Tervis of water during the morning.
Lunch is always varied. I'm not a huge fan of leftovers or sandwiches which means lunch can be challenging for me especially since I'm trying to do better with eating out at lunch. If I've cooked some type of pasta the night before, I'll eat leftovers because leftover pasta is good. If we've had grilled chicken or pork chops, I'll make a big salad and cut up some of the meat for my salad. It's very rare that I'll eat a regular sandwich, but if I do, it's ham with Duke's mayo. I also try to eat some type of fruit with lunch. My current favorite lunch fruit is cuties. I also like pita chips and hummus. I usually have a bottle of water with lunch, and sometimes, I'll take a 100% juice box (this is rare).
In the afternoon, I tend to crave something sweet or want a snack especially if I've run at lunch which I do once or twice a week. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I'll eat a Fiber One Caramel and Chocolate Pretzel Bar. They're only 90 calories and really keep me full. I also like crunchy granola bars and Nature Valley's new oatmeal cookie. I will sometimes have a banana as my afternoon snack if I haven't already eaten one during the day. I drink more water in the afternoon and sometimes, I'll make a cup of coffee. I drink half-caf coffee with only cream. While I love macchiatos and lattes from Starbucks, I rarely go there. Drinking 300 calories is not worth it to me.
I try to cook dinner most nights, though that doesn't always happen. I usually make some type of grilled meat, a side or two and some fruit. I've started using my crock pot more and we've had some good meals from it the last few weeks (roast beef and barbecue pork chops). I drink water with my dinner.
Once a week, we always go to this little restaurant after soccer practice. I am obsessed with their grilled chicken sandwiches and ranch dressing. And sweet tea. And they know us and our orders by heart which may not be a good thing. This is definitely my weekly splurge. As a general rule of thumb, I don't drink sweet tea unless we're there or at Chickfila. If we have sweet tea at home, it's because Kevin makes it.
We usually go out to dinner another time during the week. I'm not super careful about what I eat when we go out as in I'm not going to always order grilled chicken and veggies. I usually have some type of chicken, pasta or ribs (I love them) with a salad. I'm not a french fry fan unless they're waffle fries from Chickfila or my mom has made them because she makes the best fries ever, but even with those from Chickfila or my mom, I don't eat too many. I've gotten to the point in my life where I don't want to overeat because I don't like the way I feel and a whole number 1 from Chickfila is over eating for me.
I have a snack most nights that I've worked out, typically late after the boys have gone to sleep (I know, that's bad) and it's normally cereal. I love cereal, especially at night. Currently, I like Raisin Nut Bran, Wheaties and Honey Nut Chex best. I also like Stacy's Cinnamon Pita Chips. I eat my cereal with Lactaid as I can't drink milk. For the rest of my family, I buy organic milk.
When I treat my body well by paying attention to what I put in it, I feel better and my running is better. I'm not going to ever be a 100% clean eater, but I do my best to try to eat healthy most of the time, and I would estimate that I do eat healthy about 90% of the time. I eat vegetables and fruit daily, cook with lean meats and typically only drink water. I love green smoothies and find that those are a great way to load up on fruits and veggies. With that said, I don't believe in giving up froyo, not ever having a cookie or brownie and throwing the Nutella away. I failed to mention earlier that the boys and I have Nutella dates where we eat Nutella and pretzles. It's a great idea, don't you think?
There are some things I stay away from. I don't ever - and when I say ever, I mean ever - eat fast food other than Chickfila and occasionally Zaxby's. I don't eat hamburgers from fast food places. Period. If I want a burger and I don't want to make it, I go somewhere like Five Guys. The whole pink slime thing really bothers me. I also don't drink soft drinks or alcohol. I should've prefaced that by saying that I don't consider myself a soft drink drinker, but it doesn't mean I don't have a coke or Dr. Pepper every now and then. I went about three months without a soft drink, but had a coke last week. I typically don't eat fried foods unless we're eating with someone and they've cooked something fried, I order something when we eat out that has something fried in it (like a Bloomin' Onion at Outback) or we go to Chickfila.
When I go to the grocery store, I try to shop mainly on the outside of the store. I do believe in organic food. I purchase only organic meat, milk, eggs, fruits (for the most part) and vegetables (for the most part). I also buy the hidden veggie pasta as our boys aren't crazy about vegetables and like pasta. I typically stay away from boxed dinners like Hamburger Helper, pizza kits or taco kits. When we have homemade pizza or tacos, I prefer to buy shells/crust separately and use taco seasoning to season my meat.
If you read this whole post, congratulations! What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? What foods will you not give up?