Thursday, November 6, 2008

Menu Plans

Not sure why I'm writing this down. I guess I was just thinking through my current way of eating and looking for ways to improve.

I've been trying to get more meat alternatives and more fruit and vegetables into my diet, and cut out as much processed foods as possible. The toughest thing is doing that when I'm tired, or busy. When I plan ahead, and shop properly, it's a lot easier to stay on track. Also, my family enjoys it when I make certain standards during the week and they are not always the best choices for me. We eat a lot of things made with burger so I've trying to replace beef with chicken or turkey for starters. I have also tried to replace regular pasta with whole wheat and often I will skip the wrap or the bread when the boys want to have soft tacos, burgers, or sloppy joes.

Things I've noticed.

When I was training, I ate about 55-60% carbs, 20-25% fat, 20-25% protein. Right now, in the off-season, I haven't paid a lot of attention to that balance but I doubt it's that far off.

To maintain my weight, I need to eat about 1400-1500 calories per day. If I eat extra to cover calories lost when working out, I have to be careful or I gain weight.

I would be happy if I could eat 1800-2000 calories a day because that's what I FEEL like eating.
Anything less than 2000 calories a day feels like deprivation.

Last summer when I was training hard for 8-10 hours a week, I could eat 'normally' (probably about 2000 calories a day) and not gain weight. To lose weight, I need to work out 30-60 minutes a day AND cut down on calories. To maintain my weight, I need to eat carefully and exercise regularly.

I find all of this very challenging but I have maintained a 20+ lb weight loss for over two years now. It's a constant battle.

So a typical day, when I'm being "good" looks like:

is always the same thing.

Yogurt, 1/4 c oatmeal, 1/2 oz walnuts, 1/2 banana or 1/2 cup mango.
Coffee with 2 sugar and cream

Snack- apple


- 1-2 pieces of fruit
- 2-3 raw veggies (carrots, peppers, snap peas most often)

Plus one of the following:
- turkey chili on brown rice (with veggies), 1/2 slice whole grain bread
- one of my filling vegetable/grain/bean soups
- whole grain crackers and hummous, tuna, cottage cheese, 1 oz cheddar
- big salad with a protein and a slice of whole grain bread

Snack - fruit, green tea

- 3-4 oz lean meat or alternate protein
-1/2 cup brown rice, whole grain pasta, sometimes 1/2 baked potato
- more raw veggies or salad with lemon juice or low fat dressing
- sometimes cooked veggies

dessert= fruit (blueberries or raspberries) with 1 piece dark chocolate
1 glass red wine.

- to eat blueberries, walnuts, kale, and other 'high nutrient' foods every day.
- olive oil only
- olive oil becel when I want butter
- strained plain yogurt instead of mayo on everything
- green tea, cold or hot
- low-glycemic carbs except after training

- white flour products
- processed junk food - chips, crackers, donuts....
- more than one cup of coffee a day (1 T creamo, 2 tsp sugar, can't stand it any other way)
- food high in fat
- food high in nitrates (processed meats, sausage etc)

- I drink chocolate milk and eat a lean turkey and veg sandwich. Depending on how hard the workout is, I will allow myself high-glycemic carbs at this point.

Easy Chicken Soup with Brown Rice

1 large chicken breast
garlic or garlic powder
salk and pepper
1-2 T olive oil

Chop 2-3 carrots, 2-3 celery, 1/2 onion
Could also add chopped mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes. snap peas....)
1 litre (1 quart?) chicken stock (or homemade or veggie or cubes...)
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown rice

(You could also add pasta or black beans or ?)


Chop one large chicken breast and brown with garlic powder, salt and pepper, (or diced garlic) in a little olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, any other vegetable you want to add (mushrooms, peppers, diced tomato, snap peas...). Stir the mixtures to coat well and soften the vegetables. Scrape bits off the bottom. Stir in 1/4c -1/2c brown rice. Add 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you simmer low, keep a cover on. If you cook higher, do not cover and add a bit more water as needed.

Check seasonings. Add oregano, basil, or thyme if you like.

You could make this with veg broth if you wanted.
Make about three 2 C servings.

Wheat Berry, Barley, and Tomato Salad

Taken from Canadian Living Eat Right Cookbook p.115

I made this and I like it for lunch on school days.

1 cup wheat berries (I had to buy bulgher wheat)
1 cup pot or pearl barley
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic(I only used one)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Rinse wheat berries, place in bowl. Cover with 2" water and soak for 12 hours., Drain
Stir into a pot of boiling salted water. Reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Stir in barley, cook covered another 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile cut tomatoes in half. Heat oil in skillet and cook tomatoes, vinegar, thyme, S&P until warm and softened, about 5 minutes. Pour over wheat / barley mixture. Toss well. Sprinkle with cut green onions and goat cheese.

Make 6 servings

Cal: 328
Pro - 7g
Carb - 52g
Fibre - 7g
Fat - 11 g (2g saturated)

* I think when I made this, I also added some diced red peppers to the final mix.