I haven’t been to the gym since the last time I posted, but I realized that my blog has been pretty focused on documenting my experience at the gym. I really love the gym, and going to the gym has been one of the ways I’ve drastically improved my life in the past year. But when I’m at the gym, I don’t have time to think about how many calories I’m burning or how many pounds I want to lose. I like going to the gym because I enjoy being active.
I feel somewhat like a hypocrite, because I say the gym isn’t my focus for losing weight and here I am blogging about trying to lose weight. The reality is that in my mind, weight loss is almost entirely dependent on diet and therefore diet and exercise are at once linked and simultaneously divorced. I need to put the right kind of fuel in my body to make it run. But I have no accurate way to guess how many calories I burn by going to the gym, so I don’t worry about finding out. I just go to the gym and work as hard as I can, and I focus on keeping my calories low enough to create a deficit, irregardless of my level of activity.
Anyway, I thought the best way to talk about my diet today would be to share what I’m eating today. I’m still going strong on the 8 hour feeding window for intermittent fasting. It’s gotten a lot easier to skip breakfast and I’ve been really consistent with my eating patterns, which I’m happy about. One thing that I’ve noticed is that my eating patterns have shifted somewhat. I used to eat a couple of snacks throughout the day, with smaller meals. Now that I’ve been doing this quasi-LeanGains protocol for a couple of weeks, I’m down to a coffee and maybe some BCAAs in the morning, lunch and supper.
Today, I’m having Daryl’s Bee Fresh Chocolate Cereal with a splash of vanilla almond milk for supper. This stuff is seriously the crack-cocaine of the fitness world. I eat this stuff by the bucketful and I often buy the cereal bars by the box. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you need to run out and buy some right this second. It’s granola with honey, cranberries and chocolate – but they add whey protein isolate. So not only does it taste GREAT but the macros are awesome and the protein increases the satiety factor of this stuff significantly. Plus, there’s something to be said for a protein bar that contains only ingredients that I recognize and can pronounce.
I know a bunch of lifters who love this stuff and consume just as much or more than me. And when I buy this stuff at Popeye’s the cashier always tells me how delicious it is and his wife basically lives off the stuff. Seriously, I can not shill this stuff too much because it sells itself. One bite and you’re hooked! Just ask my sister, who recently came to visit me and had to stuff a box into her suitcase for the trip home. And they don’t need a shill because I’m keeping them in business by investing heavily in their product.
While a large part of me would love to eat Bee Cereal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a couple of snacks each day, I feel obligated to limit myself to one or two servings each day. I once had a pretentious bio professor who told us that eating a varied diet conveys some sort of evolutionary advantage. I can’t even remember what that advantage was supposed to be and now that I type that out, it sounds kind of far-fetched. Anyway, the moral of the story is that I know that I probably can’t live off granola indefinitely. But I still hate cooking, so my lunch tends to be some sort of bento-box-charcuterie hybrid. Here’s what I’m eating today:
I bought one of these Rubbermaid salad lunchboxes on a whim and it has turned out to be such a great investment. Today, I’ve got some salted, roasted almonds, a handful of green grapes and some peanut butter for dipping my apple slices. In the bottom part of the container, I’ve also got some raisins, blueberry applesauce, a boiled egg and a pepperoni. I’ve also got some greek yogurt that I’ll eat with my lunch.
Why do I love this set-up? Let me count the ways. Having smaller portions of a variety of foods keeps the meal interesting so that I can enjoy my food. My lunch is highly portable which is great since I will have to eat it at work or in class. The cooking and night-before prep are both kept to a minimum, which is great because I think I’ve mentioned before that cooking is a chore I could live without. This meal also covers all of my bases in terms of getting some protein, fats and carbs at every meal. I usually throw in some peas or sliced veggies and hummus to represent my vegetables for the day. The fruit is also great because it takes care of my craving for something sweet.
So that’s what I’m eating today to fuel me through my first bellydancing lesson and maybe a run after work. But first I need to eat my lunch because thinking about food has made me hungrier than normal – and usually I’m ready to chew off my own arm at a moment’s notice.