Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Playing by some new rules

Happy December! To mark the start of what will be the craziest month of this year, I have a new set of goals!

Food & Health Related

1. Eating by hunger, not by the numbers - For the past week I have been wanting to stop my rather structured eating schedule (7am, 11am, 2:30pm, 6pm, 9pm) and just go with the flow! I'm also easing out of counting calories, I have a pretty good idea of what portions satisfy me and will exercise portion control on things like chocolate, nuts, cheese, and butters but everything else is just fair game.
Paul McKenna's book called "I can make you thin" is based on four simple principles.

Rule #1 – When you’re hungry, Eat.

Rule #2 – Eat what you want, not what you think you should.

Rule #3 – Eat CONSCIOUSLY.

Rule #4 – When you think you are full, STOP eating.

Pretty wise words, and I will do my best to honor these rules this month.

2. Eat more protein - Aside from when Al's over, I rarely eat any form of meat and tracking my food plan on Livestrong has indicated that I get 60%-70% of my calories from carbs. While I don't advocate low-carb anything, I definitely would like to incorporate more protein into my day and will start by making sure it's present in each meal.

3. Eat less sugar - Maybe it's the colder weather, but this month chocolate/ice cream cravings have practically dissipated and I've been craving savory, salty foods more often. I feel much better too when my body doesn't get sugar highs and crashes, so I will be making more of an effort to choose snacks with less sugar.

4. Don't gain holiday weight - While I'm not expecting to lose any weight this month with 2 weeks of planting my bum in a chair and studying for finals followed by 2 weeks of mommy's cooking and big holiday dinners, I would like to MAINTAIN during December (this will hopefully be accomplished by exercising when I'm at home)

School & Life Related

5. Stress is not an excuse to be a debbie downer - Sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed by all the things that needs to be done that I project my frustration on other people, during the next two weeks, I'm going to try to be POSITIVE during exams regardless of how much I would rather be cursing

6. Use the downtime to catch up with friends - Neglecting certain friends during the semester is nothing I'm proud of and I'm really going to go out of my way to rekindle those relationships during the break

On to today's eats, the first of December!

This morning I woke up showing no signs of hunger. Usually I eat breakfast anyway because I'm a big believer in the "eat within 30min of waking up to jumpstart your metabolism" but today I studied for an hour instead. At 7:15 my stomach showed signs of emptiness so I made myself a light breakfast.

A couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt, 1/3 cup blueberries, two big strawberries, a sprinkle of granola and a spoonful of flaxseed meal (for healthy omega-3s!)

Really yummy and energizing, frozen berries are so easy to incorporate into meals in the winter! After breakfast I discovered some disappointing news that a group paper which I had thought was completed was no where near done! I rushed to campus, in the process forgetting both my coffee and umbrella (boooo) but luckily lunch was already prepped from the night before.

The next three hours were spent constructing an A(hopefully)worthy paper! It wasn't the greatest day to have a light breakfast because I got hungry at 10:30 ... ate the apples and cucumbers here while I typed.

I made a delicious cream cheese & ham sandwich with orange peppers, cucumbers and spinach but only had time for two bites before class.

I really dislike eating in class because it distracts ME from the lecture, ME from my food, and probably those around me from my eating. However, had no choice today because I didn't want to starve for the next 3 hours. Ate the rest of the sandwich during international currencies and was not in the best of moods.

Luckily by the time my classes were over, I was feeling a lot better. Even though the unforeseen paper threw me off my exam prep schedule, that extra hour of work I did in the morning made up for some of it and I was also productive after class. Snacked on this apple/hummus/cheddar cheese combo. It looks kinda gross but I got tired of carrying around two tupperwares and threw its original home (the hummus container) out.

It was 6:15 by the time I got home and I was not even the least bit hungry. Bizarre because usually I am starving by this time. Regardless I decided to have a little something anyway (bad, bad intuitive eater) and wanted some cottage cheese with peanut butter. (My new obsession) However, when I got downstairs I thought I should have a little bit of carbs as well and made myself some oatmeal and mixed the cottage cheese in. The lesson learnt: just eat whatever you feel like next time regardless of how unorthodox it may be. This really wasn't good and I ended up eating the apple pear chunks, all the peanut butter, the parts of the oatmeal that touched the peanut butter, and threw out the rest.

Then I thought I should make something else since I hardly ate dinner, but this time I listened to my hunger cues and thought that my body is probably trying to tell me something if it isn't showing signs of hunger and that I should listen to it.

Had a cup of hot chocolate as dessert/pick-me-up. Worked perfectly!

This intuitive eating thing is going to take some getting used to, but today was a good day so far! Lynn's blog has really been a source of inspiration for me, she is someone who has struggled with binge eating disorder in the past and weight issues but has managed to become healthy and happy and the thinnest she's ever been by honoring her hunger cues and eating intuitively. She's also an Asian-American hollywood actress who auditioned for Grace Park's current role on Hawaii-five-o. Ummm ... my hero??

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