Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cold food, colorful food

In general I try to eat what I crave, because it makes me happier and because theoretically we crave what our bodies need (obviously less true on the days I want to eat an entire pan of brownies). I definitely need to recalibrate my shopping because for the past several months I’ve been buying a lot of food that’s good for roasting (root vegetables and so on) and making soup. Now that we’re having more sunshine, I have been wanting more salads and refreshing foods.

Tonight I satisfied my craving for pasta salad! I wanted something cold (I am someone who’s really into the temperature of my foods- I like my tea and soup and so on searing hot, my yogurts and so on freezing cold), and I wanted something colorful (that I know is my body craving vitamins and such—the more colorful the food, the healthier!).

This is the pasta I used:


Sorry for the horrible picture. Let me say RIGHT NOW that I am SO not a carb phobe! But, I work for the American Diabetes Association, and from time to time we get free samples of products for people who have a VALID MEDICAL REASON FOR WATCHING THEIR CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE AND ARE MONITORED BY DOCTORS AND NUTRITIONISTS. My godmother is a dietitian and she has dire warnings about Atkins and the like—there’s a reason Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack. Okay, tangent. Anyway, this pasta was free and its ingredient list is not scary or artificial- basically it’s just enriched with a lot of fiber, which is awesome for satiety! And the taste is good.

pasta salad

Just fyi, this is not the whole pasta salad. I’d already eaten a fair amount before I remembered to take a picture! To my pasta salad (standard 2 ounce serving of pasta- I don’t have a scale, so I have to measure with cups, which is way less accurate than pasta, but I’m going to assume this is vaguely 2 ounces anyway), I added a fun variety of colors of veggies: green pepper, celery, carrot, radish, and green onion. I also added about 1/2 cup white beans. For dressing I used a teaspoon of olive oil, splashes of vinegar and lemon juice, and some french’s horseradish dijon mustard (which I luuuuuuuurve!). I also put on a generous amount of pepper (I didn’t salt it because the beans were canned, and even though I rinsed them off, they still have a lot of sodium).

I added the beans because I’d opened them last week and needed to use them up (I do not waste food. Like, ever. I hate wasting food more than anything. My best friend is my freezer- if I have something and know I’m not going to use it before it goes bad, I freeze it!), and I also used beans because I wanted that protein oomph because I had a STELLAR workout earlier today. It was one of those days I didn’t want to leave the gym. I had a Health magazine that a lovely, generous person left at the gym, and it made my workout flyyyyy by (I did like 45 minutes on the elliptical, then cooldown, stretching, and some halfhearted crunches).

After my workout I was seriously thirsty (I accidentally left my water bottle at home) and decided I should have some more calories, now that I am in MAINTENANCE! So I got this:

trop 50

Again, horrible picture, I apologize. Anyway, Trop 50 is basically watered down orange juice with vitamins added. I was excited it had calcium (I am constantly worried about calcium) and Vitamin D (which is the sexy new vitamin right now!). In terms of taste, it was not bad at all. Not as intense as orange juice, but honestly, pure orange juice can get a little thick for me. The taste was almost reminiscent of Sunny D, which was kind of fun and nostalgic. And the whole bottle is 80 calories, which is probably the most I’d ever want to take in from juice in a day. Juice is good, but you don’t get the fiber of juice, and when you have it straight up (and this is why I rarely do) it’s a LOT of calories for no long-term fullness satisfaction.

true delights

The other new product I tried was a True Delights bar which I got for free in the mail. Basically all the food bloggers have done this, I think, but I want to give my two cents, because actually I thought it was surprisingly good. Generally I think it’s kind of silly to use a granola bar as your vehicle for raspberries and chocolate and almonds—just have those things straight up! But actually, I thought the texture and blend of flavors was really nice in this; the interplay of the raspberry and oats in particular. Nice bit of tang, almost?

The reason the bar is so crumpled is because I had half of it for an afternoon snack, in addition to a yogurt. I was kind of hungry all afternoon… *sigh* I have to say, trying to introduce more calories is… challenging. I genuinely find that the more I eat, the more hungry I am, and I REALLY don’t like being hungry. I know that sounds insane, because everyone is hungry, that’s sort of the point!

BUT I’ve gotten into a routine- a routine that I LIKE- where I eat sensible meals and good sized snacks and just eat on a pretty regular, fairly frequent (every 3 1/2 to 4 hours or so?) schedule. I don’t stuff myself (and I admit, that was an adjustment early on, getting used to the feeling of being SATISFIED rather than FULL) but generally I don’t reach a point where I am super duper mega hungry. On the downside, I know that’s not intuitive eating, and that’s where I’d love to be someday (particularly on the trip I’m planning to Greece this summer!)

I know this is probably going to be an adjustment period, and there are metabolic explanations for the increased hunger (plus I had a good workout today!), but I hate feeling hungry, and part of me wants to go back to my previous, even lower, calorie intake. But I’m going to try to stick with it, because I’m really now in the lower range of a healthy BMI, and I genuinely want to start focus on toning up and less on dieting per se. And just free myself from the anxiety I’ve had about calories for awhile. SO, to do that, I have to let myself adjust to eating more.

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