Food Journal Challenge: Day 1


1. (5:30 am) I sip a cup of coffee w/Land O’Lakes LowFat Half and Half as I catch up on e-mail and read a few blogs. Although I ALWAYS pour a full cuppa joe, I only usually drink 1/2 to 3/4 of the cup by the time I leave for the gym.

25 calories, 1.5g fat, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 1g protein

2. (8:00am) Breakfast! I drink the remaining 1/2 cup of my morning coffee, 1 glass of ice water, pepperoni and mushroom omelet; oat bran cereal with skim milk, blueberries, flaxseed and sugar free syrup.

Total breakfast: 309 calories, 6g fat, 58g carbs, 8g fiber, 27 g protein.

3. (10:00am). Time for my morning snack and vitamins (skipped the fiber chewables since I’ll have plenty of fiber today) with 1 glass of ice water. Double tall nonfat latte, Breyer’s light vanilla yogurt topped with 2 TBS of Kasha Cocoa Beach granola.

228 calories, 1 g fat, 33 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 19g protein

4. (Noon). Lunch. 3 oz grilled chicken breast, 1/8c. mushrooms, 1/2 c. steamed spinach, 3/4 c. pasta w/2 tsp parmesan cheese, 4 cherry tomatoes, 2 glasses of ice water. You’ll notice that there’s also an unidentifiable object in there–it’s a baked tomato that was nasty. I ate 1 bite and set the rest aside. Sorry for the dark shot–I used my cell phone. I think the mushrooms were just steamed canned mushrooms. They didn’t taste oily and didn’t have much flavor.

266 calories, 3g fat, 37g carbs, 4g fiber, 23g protein

Had I realized it was so low, I probably would have added something else, but quite honestly, I was pretty full.

5. (3pm). Afternoon snack of 6 celery sticks & 1/2 can of tuna (white) with a tsp of relish, <1 TBS light mayo, black pepper, oregano. Also, 20 oz ice water with an All-Bran pink lemonade packet. Oooooh fiber! Finally, my Adora calcium supplement gives me my chocolate fix for the afternoon.

146 calories, 5g fat, 16g carbs, 12g fiber, 16g protein

This snack was super low in calories, as was my lunch, which could explain why my belly was a little bit grumbly by 4:30pm. I thought the fiber and protein in the snack would stave off hunger til dinner, but apparently not. I was torn between grabbing a South Beach protein bar to stave off the muchies and eating nothing (with the possible aftershock of shoving my face full of too much unhealthy food at dinner). Instead, I packed the SB bar in my purse “in case of emergency”, drank another 2 glasses of water and went on my merry little way. It worked, but I can’t credit it all to some amazing feat of willpower. Reality is: I was just too busy to stop and eat. And who wants to chomp on a granola bar when the hair’s a-flying at the salon? Eww. Gross.

6. (6pm) Dinner.  I rarely do dinner out on weekdays, but today, I only had a tiny bit of time between my 5pm hair appointment and a 7:30pm nutrition seminar at my gym. Panera is smack dab in between to two destinations, so I checked out the menu in advance and chose the following super-delicious, satisfying and healthy meal. 16oz ice water, 1/2 smoked turkey on sourdough sandwich, vegetable soup and 1/2 classic cafe salad with cherry balsamic dressing (I did the fork dip method and used less than 1/2 of what they gave me). I brought the apple home for tomorrow’s snack and fed the bread to the birds and the squirrels.

The light ranch dressing has about 1/2 the calories and 1/3 the fat as the cherry balsamic, but I was in the mood to try something a little different tonight.

460 calories/21g fat/6g fiber/54g carbs/20g protein

7. (8:30 pm) Evening snack. 3/4 c. sugar-free mixed fruit Jello with a dollop of Cool Whip light. Yum-o! And then I realized I was a little low on calories and protein, so I had 1 c. skim plus milk with a Swiss Miss 25 calorie diet hot cocoa and 1 TBS skippy natural peanut butter. Double delish-especially since I’m too lazy to stir hot cocoa mix, so I whipped it up with my stick blender which made a nice frothy, milky Butterfinger Hot Cocoa treat.

230cal, 10g fat, 20gcarbs, 2g fiber, 22g protein

My coffee mug is a nod to FatBridesmaid (“Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #2?”) .

Warning… Panera seems like it would be an easy place to find healthy food, but it’s not. Most sandwiches are more than 600 calories for a full order. Even the salads can be in the 500+ range thanks to oil-laden dressings. Fortunately, with a little pre-planning, you can go to their website and download the nutritional information for their entire menu and make smart choices.

For anyone who is trying to lose weight, eat healthier, limit fat or carbs or whatever, I highly recommend downloading the nutritional information for your favorite fast food places and restaurants and keep it in your car or purse. This way, if you unexpectedly go out to eat or need to order take-out, you can quickly determine a healthy, nutritious meal. In 2007, when I started Weight Watchers and was working two jobs, I had a little 5×7″ binder with menus for the take out options at Wegman’s (my favorite grocery store ever–they have a great prepared food section!), Pita Pit (my fave sandwich shop ever, mainly because they served dry tuna and had tons of veggies–including sprouts) and a bunch of other “go to” places that I would sometimes need to go to for a quick meal in between jobs.

Nutritional Stats for today (according to TheDailyPlate):

  • 1678 calories
  • 46 g fat (23.43% of calories)
  • 218 g carbs (49.59% of calories)
  • 32 g fiber
  • 119 g protein (26.98% of calories)
  • 12 glasses of water today!

Not bad. I usually try to stick between 1500 and 1800 calories. Extra big thanks to Krissie at QuestionsForDessert for this brainchild. It’s a great challenge. I found myself opting for the healthier choice because–let’s face it–a plate of veggies looks a hell of a lot prettier than a burger and fries, regardless of the magic the McDonald’s food pornographers are able to accomplish. Besides, eating is a sensory experience. It’s gotta taste good AND look good.


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