For four weeks I ate intentionally and according to a specific nutrition plan from the Love Yourself Lean Program. “Our 4-Week Coaching Program combines an online course, live group coaching, and 1-on-1 support to help you predictably boost fat loss, energy levels, and mental focus.” I’m a fan of charts and challenges and had fun documenting everything I ate in the last month along with my activity level and workouts. I’m always fascinated to look at the details and specifics of what people eat and enjoy the “what I eat in a day” videos on Youtube. I like seeing how the food is prepared and the portion sizes so I decided to take pictures of meals and snacks as much as possible. At the beginning of this program my partner and I did a Bodyscan and I was surprised that even though the scale tells me I am the same weight that I was two years ago, I’ve gained 3% bodyfat in the last 1.5 years. After we finish our P90X workout program we plan to do another Bodyscan and I’ll be able to truly see the effects of continuing with the Love Yourself Lean nutrition program.
Goals for the month:
Cook 99% of meals (84 meals not including snacks)
I prepared 82/84 of my meals = 98%
Eat more veggies
So many veggies!
No added sugars
Kombucha with low sugar, dark chocolate, milk chocolate bar, juneberry homemade jam with small amount of white sugar
No cheese or dairy
Jalapeno cheese in the hot dog I ate, ricotta cheese in the GF pasta I made, Haggis (sheep’s milk cheese) = 4 meals out of 84 with dairy in them
64oz water/day (28 days total)
17/28 days drank >64oz water = 61%, 1744oz total or 62oz average per day
Chicken wings, Where Ya Matt beignet and bites of prepared foods for 2/84 of the meals
Low sugar can of hard cider over two meals and two days near the end of the four weeks
From the Love Yourself Lean Program: Avoid as much as possible:
My daily meals, snacks, water intake, activities, steps from my Oura ring counter, mile walking equivalency from my Oura ring, total burn in calories from my Oura ring, weight every morning, and any significant feelings or issues are detailed below. I noticed that the first week I craved corn chips. I could eat corn chips for every meal every day that whole week. I slowly adopted more of the nutritional guidelines into my meals after the first week while focusing on my 7 main goals.
I did it again… but this time instead of eliminating animal products I prioritized fruits and vegetables. What does it mean to eat vegan or vegetarian? Privilege. I can find, purchase, prepare, and consume hearty vegetables and supplement my diet with vitamins. I didn’t eat rice and beans for a week. I spent my time, effort, and money to micromanage my diet for 6 days – two of which were vegan days.
I did not plan to eat ‘vegan’ per se, because my partner wanted to try out the ‘fruit diet’ for a week. Fruits happen to be vegan! I decided that I wanted to balance my diet and prioritize vegetables instead of fruit. Because veggies! Because why not! Because macros and balance!
Going out and picking the fruits and vegetables was essential
Food prep took quite a bit of time measuring, chopping, etc. Weighing foods takes so much time!
I created a spreadsheet with all the veggies, nuts, and fruit I bought with 1oz serving sizes and then puzzled out how to attain a good balance of fat, sugar, carb, and protein from there
Basic google research told me that I should be eating around 1,367 calories per day of which 40% would be protein (137g), 30% would be carbohydrates (103g), and 30% would be fats (46g). No mention of sugar… hm. I attempted to cap my sugar intake at 25g (hahaha that didn’t happen. Did you know that fruits have quite a bit of sugar? Did you know that vegetables have carbs?
Fresh foods take up a lot of space in the fridge (yeah, I know canned and frozen foods exist, but again privilege)
You can stock certain products to add balance and protein to your diet.
Hemp seeds/hearts are high in protein and fat and very low in sugar
Chia seeds have no sugar
Chlorella is gross and will overpower your smoothie but it is pure protein
Flax milk seems to be the highest of the non-dairy milks in protein with very little carbs and no sugar that I could find at our local Safeway. I don’t recommend drinking it plain but it makes a great addition to smoothies and coffee. It even tastes creamy
Nutritional yeast is a great protein additive for topping salads, mixing into smoothies, and hiding in a stir fry but it will also start to overpower the flavor of your food and to me it doesn’t taste at all like cheese
Coconut milk is a great fat and delicious for making chia pudding
You can eat a great volume of vegetables without consuming that many calories (not true for all vegetables). Sometimes my salads were too big for my appetite and they were less than 400 calories.
You don’t need to eat as many nuts as you think… if you eat them intentionally they will satisfy you and I quite like the taste of all the nuts I got (the order of my favorites that I ate would be cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
When I cut out processed foods and sugars I didn’t experience my daily crazy hungry/bored eating/food fascination that seems to occur daily between 2pm-5pm
I felt more satisfied and full from my snacks/meals even though I was consuming less calories overall
My bowel movements changed, becoming less frequent (only once daily) and more dense and very green! The same green as if I’d consumed that black cherry Icee at the movies
After two days I came to the conclusion that a vegetarian is simply a vegan who eats cheese. Cheese is delicious.
Did I miss meat? No, I was too busy enjoying delicious fruits and veggies.
Here is my calorie consumption chart for the week (I didn’t weigh my food for Saturday)
Pictured below are a few meals I ate:
Left: Portabello mushroom with cheese and egg on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries
Middle: Watermelon salad with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon next to lemon sauteed asparagus (can you still call it a saute if you saute in water?)
Right: a picnic we brought to the park -to eat in our car- apples, watermelon, plums, Oreo, feta, mixed nuts, dried and salted beans
More detailed breakdown of consumption for days 1-5:
I’ve wanted to check out this local bar for a while, ever since finding out that they sponsor a food challenge… June 5th is National Donut Day. What does this have to do with Lucky 7 and a Burger Food Challenge? I’m writing a book with food challenges and donuts as themes and I’ve decided that Donut Day is the day I will publish the book (next year), but I wanted to do some research into a real food challenge. Come join me as I try out the challenge. Anyone’s welcome to join me in trying to conquer the Goliath. If you can beat the Goliath Challenge, I’ll even double your winnings. Lucky 7 also features a full menu, with pool, and darts.
For centuries, man has conquered everything in its path to achieve greatness. From the engineering of the pyramids to landing on the moon, mankind has faced grueling obstacles and triumphed in every realm we have sought to subdue… that is until now. A new opponent challenges our reign in the ultimate showdown of hunger and perseverance. A fearsome warrior once defeated, Goliath has been resurrected in meat form to take his vengeance on all those who deny his omnipotence. He has no fear and knows no pain. Do you?
Goliath Burger features:
1 1/3 lbs beef with diced fresh habaneros
1/2 lb barbecue pulled pork
cheddar and pepper jack cheeses
home-made habanero relish
4 onion rings
1.5 lb fries
You may or may not have figured out by now that I am competitive by nature and enjoy challenges. My pride keeps me afloat sometimes and my self-determination is one of my greatest motivators. Two years ago I started a new self-determined project that I deemed “the Vegan Project.” I wanted to know what it was truly like to live like a vegan, to make choices as a vegan, to understand the mindset, and to thrive in an omnivore environment. You can see the results and some of my hard learned lessons at the temporary blog I posted on rachelbarnardvegan.blogspost.com. Last year I decided to make my project to Eliminate Sugar (you can see what happened at rachelbarnardwithoutsugar.blogspot.com . Typically I run the ‘diet’ from the first of January until my birthday on the 22nd. This year I’m not sure what I want to try, but I have some ideas. Help me pick out the best one, the one you want to see in action, the one you think I can learn the most while following, the one that will make the most unusual blog posts, etc: