Monday, July 11, 2016

What Balance Looks Like to Me, 2016-Style

Over the last eight years, how I've approached food has changed.  I went from practically starving myself in the early months of my diet, to eating a lot of processed diet food, to slowly changing over to a diet of whole, real food.  Along the way I once went six months without eating any baked goods, all in the name of trying to get down to my ideal weight.  My version of balance has changed and will always be evolving, I suspect, so I thought I'd write about how it's looking now.

I know I post about our treats quite often, and I started thinking I should clarify that they are just that - treats.  I really do try to balance them out with old-fashioned normal food, and most of the time, I eat on the healthier side of the spectrum, although I think I'm just about breaking even...those treat calories really add up!  But I don't want to go through life denying myself the fun of going out to eat with my friends, so I work on balancing my other meals in order to enjoy the best of both worlds.

For instance, I pretty much eat the same breakfast six days out of the week (nonfat Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon, with either Craisins and granola, or fresh fruit and granola).  The fact that I've been doing this for years shows how it works for me - it's simple to pull together, it holds me all morning, and it's not an Egg McMuffin combo, LOL.  I have to say, summertime is the best for this meal, as the fresh fruit options are so good!  Over the last couple of weeks, I've had nectarines with it:
Not ashamed to admit that I had this same breakfast four days in a row!

And blueberries - these were less than two dollars for a pint:
Blueberries are so easy!  Rinse and dump onto yogurt.  Yum.

Giant bag of Veggie Straws from Sam's Club; for whatever reason, this is the one crunchy chip-like item that I can keep around without going crazy and demolishing in a couple of days.

I tend to graze on lunch items because I'm usually not that hungry - I might have a few slices of deli turkey or roast beef, some pickles (I'm addicted to the Vlasic Snack'mm's kosher dills), and some Veggie Straws.  This seems to satisfy my need for crunching something without going overboard on calories.

I also drink a lot of water during the afternoon - I can easily down 72 ounces without much thought.  I sometimes have a late afternoon snack; recently with cherries being so cheap (my latest bag was only $1.77/lb!), I've been grabbing a bowlful and going to town on them:
If Cherries Anonymous exists, I should probably join...

For dinner, I'm all about the easy, especially when Jeff is traveling.  When I get fancy, I might do something like assemble a mini pizza:
This was a whole wheat pita, topped with leftover ground beef and onion mixture (I usually have some in the freezer), pizza sauce, and pizza cheese.  Not too bad for minimal effort!

But more often, I have one of these salads and call it good:
I mix it in a big bowl in order to get that dressing tossed onto every bit of lettuce.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that Jeff and I discovered these ice cream sandwiches a few weeks ago and have been hooked - they are only 160 calories, and make a great dessert on our hot Texas summer nights:
Nothing better than taking one of these outside on the patio to eat - the ice cream gets a little melty and it feels like pure indulgence!

So this is how I'm balancing my normal days with my treats, 2016-style.  I'm sure in another couple of years, it will look different (although breakfast will most likely be the same) - if I'm still blogging then, I'll try and remember to do another balance update.


  1. My cooking heart screams: come visit me and I'll cook for you!! LOL
    But seriously, I know you don't really like to cook and knowing that I think you found a great way what to eat and what works for you.

    I always have raspberries and blueberries in my freezer, much cheaper than fresh and tastes even good.

    1. LOL, I realize this kind of posts just hurts the hearts of my cooking friends!

  2. I tend to have the same breakfast over and over again - it makes it easy to get the day started with minimal effort.

    1. That's exactly how I need to start my day...minimal effort. ;)

  3. I really appreciated this post. I really need to get my eating under control and I think it may mean denying myself some of my favorite stuff for a while. I know a lot of the weight is just changes from aging but I don't like it!

    I love when you can find blueberries less than $2. Oh and I would eat cherries every day as well except they are SO Dang expensive over hear where I live!

  4. Awesome post...because the underlying theme is that you CAN have your cake and eat it just takes balance (and not having the cake at every meal!!!!)

  5. Well, I like to cook, but I still enjoyed your balanced view! And some of your tips that I forget about, like using the pita for a pizza! We don't have blue bunny over here, but an ice cream treat for 160 calories sounds just right to me! I;m gonna have to see what's in the freezer case the next time I shop.

  6. I hear you on the treats, I would eat a cupcake every day if I could! Well, I could, but the consequences...

    Meal repetition really helps, I think. The less you think about food, the better it can be.

  7. Your lack of cooking always surprises me, but I guess it works when you are by yourself for most of the week while the hubs travels. Granola is crack in my house, I can't stop eating it!

  8. Ok I just ate a whole bag of cherries.


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