A One-Day Food Diary
For the last couple of weeks I have been trying to be really consistent about writing down what I eat on a daily basis – for no reason other than to understand and keep track of the habits I have (both healthy and unhealthy) and alter or expand upon them accordingly. I used to be obsessive about counting calories and tracking macronutrients, but now I focus way more on eating things that make me feel good and realizing that certain things should be “the exception and not the rule.” I also am just interested in nutrition, so in a weird way it’s a fascinating activity for me.
A few years ago I actually took a nutrition course through AFPA to become a certified nutritionist. I wanted to work with people (specifically women) who just didn’t know how to eat right or take care of their bodies with the food they are putting in it. I am by no means a professional, but I have learned a lot about what makes me feel good, fuels me throughout the day, and how to incorporate the things I love into all of that. I think it is so important for people to realize that everyone needs different things. I strongly believe that no one diet is a fix for everybody. It takes time, trial, and error to understand what your body responds best to and how to incorporate that into your lifestyle.
I try really hard to use some of the Tone It Up girls techniques, and one of them is eating five small meals throughout the day (appropriately numbered M1 – M5). I also bought their meal plan a few years ago which has different editions for multiple seasons and situations in life which really comes in handy when I don’t want to think about planning out my own meals for the week. So as a simple example, here is a snapshot of a recent day out of my food diary:
M1: lemon detox drink (water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and cayenne) and two scrambled eggs with sauteed peppers, green onions, and spinach, topped with a little bit of cheese and drizzled with sriracha (I season my eggs with garlic and spicy Mrs. Dash)
M2: 1 cup of black coffee and mixed unsalted nuts
M3: salad with romaine, cucumber, carrots, tomato, homemade croutons, sharp cheese, grilled chicken, and oil/vinegar for the dressing
M4: green tea and an apple
M5: baked salmon, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, and roasted sweet potato fries and 2 glasses cabernet
M6: strawberry popsicle and sleepy time tea
Now this is certainly a way healthier day than most. This is an example of a pretty near-perfect day of eating for me (yes, I love wine and am not giving it up). Weekend days and days I go out to eat are totally different. But I try my hardest to have at least 3 – 4 days a week that look pretty similar to this one so that on the days where I don’t even have one piece of fruit, I don’t feel so bad about myself. I also like to mix really healthy foods with really unhealthy foods, because I somehow feel like they cancel each other out? This was a totally Costco-inspired dinner that Chris and I had recently – macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli, salmon with pesto, and some Costco Cab.
And I swear, the older I get the more I am affected by what I eat/drink. I used to be able to have whatever I wanted and get up the next morning feeling great. Now if I have a couple of “bad days” in a row, I feel terrible. I have headaches, am tired, and just feel sluggish overall. I hate feeling this way which is another huge incentive for me to take care of myself as often as I can so that when the fun days come, I don’t have to think twice about enjoying myself.
I think that tracking food can be a really positive activity, but it can also turn negative very quickly. I’m trying really hard to track what I eat for productive reasons and not because I feel like I have to. It probably has something to do with how much I love making lists, but it’s actually fun for me to keep track of things like this. But then again making a list of just about anything is fun for me, so this isn’t really saying much. (;
I love reading other people’s recaps like this and hearing about what some of the things are that you eat on a regular basis, so if you have this already written out in a post or want to share it, I would love to hear about it!
On a completely different note, here is a really cool picture of the sky I took today after work. It was snowing on and off all day and around 5pm it finally cleared up. As the snow was moving out and the sun was coming in, you could see the exact line of where one stopped and the other started:
What is something that you have almost every single day?