Glycemic Index

Greetings from Connecticut! I made it to my parents’ house yesterday evening after a surprisingly easy drive from Alexandria. I thought I would hit major traffic but there were no delays and I made the drive in under 7 hours. Not bad!

While I’m here I will be starting a diet and exercise program with my CrossFit gym back in Virginia Beach. I attended an info session on Saturday and after learning about the plan, I was in.

The program is 7 weeks long and includes both diet and exercise. Since we are all CrossFitters, we are obviously doing CrossFit several times a week, but the program includes supplemental WOD’s which all of the participants are doing in addition to our regular workouts. There are two supplemental WOD’s per day, an a.m. one and a p.m. one. Each workout is about 10 minutes long and focused on core strengthening exercises such as planks, burpees, mountain climbers, grasshoppers, v-sits and tons of other fun stuff.

While the WOD’s sounded great, the nutrition part of the program is what really intrigued me. If you read my post about my goals for the month of May, you already know that I have been working to reduce my sugar intake. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have very little self control when it comes to cookies and fro-yo.

The diet plan that goes along with the weight loss challenge focuses on low-sugar, low glycemic index foods. Why is that important? Let me share the science behind this, which I learned from my awesome coach who put this program together.

When we eat sugar, it is quickly converted in glucose, which dissolves into our bloodstreams and spikes our blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels spike, our bodies release insulin, which is not great for weight loss. There are two reasons for this:

1. Insulin reduces the amount of glucose in our bloodstream, diverting it to various body tissue for immediate short-term use OR storing it as fat. So, unless you’re going to hop on the treadmill immediately after eating a package of M&M’s, and I mean immediately, because that glucose needs to be used up FAST, then your body will store those calories as fat. That is why endurance athletes basically consume pure sugar during their events- it is quick energy- but it is gone just as fast.

2. Insulin inhibits the conversion of body fat back into glucose for the body to burn, making it even harder to shed body fat.

So, by consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index, you will get longer lasting energy from your food, therefore feeling fuller for longer. Low-glycemic index foods include steel cut oats, quinoa, apples, berries, almonds, lean meats and most vegetables. These foods are low in sugar and high in fiber and protein, making them great for energy and satiety.

The plan also includes calorie counting, because ultimately you must expend more calories than you consume to lose weight. It stinks, but it’s the truth. The plan suggests that everyone hover around 2,000 calories, but since I am so small (I am only 5 feet tall, people) I know that I won’t lose weight at that number, so I am sticking with 1600.

I am hoping this plan will give me the structure I need to reign in my sugar cravings and lose a few stubborn pounds. Yesterday was day one and it went really well. The workouts were killer, the meals were tasty and I felt full and energized throughout the day.

I’ll be sharing some of the meals and workouts in the next few weeks and keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

Have you ever tried or heard of the low-glycemic index diet??? What do you think of it?

WIAW #5: A Momentous Occasion

Hi there! Soo I totally spaced yesterday and forgot to take photos of my food, so instead of Tuesday’s meals I’ll be sharing today (Wednesday’s) eats instead. Cool? Cool!

If you’re new to What I Ate Wednesday, head on over to Peas and Crayons and read all about it.

Breakfast – 9 a.m.

I made a batch of banana oats on the stove and they turned out super thick and delicious. It’s not the most exciting looking breakfast, but it tasted pretty darn good. In the mix were oats, milk, a mashed banana, pinch of cinnamon and a scoop of almond butter. I also had a cup of coffee that went un-photographed.

Lunch – 1 p.m.

I took a break around lunchtime to go for a run on the beach because the weather was finally nice for the first time in what felt like forever. Since the weather has been so crappy, running has been missing from my workout routine lately. I ran four miles on the beach and my legs and lungs were burning like no other. Note to self: run more often. It will make the experience much more enjoyable.

When I got back I threw together a wrap with hummus, turkey, spinach and pickles with some baby carrots and hummus for dipping on the side.

 Snack – 4 p.m.

I was hungry a few hours later so grabbed a peach and some almonds. The peaches I bought at Harris Teeter on Sunday ripened FAST so Brian and I are trying our best to eat them as quickly as possible. I don’t think that’s going to be too difficult though :).

Dinner – 7 p.m.

I made Rachael Ray’s Spanakopita turkey burgers for the first time a few weeks ago and they turned out great, so I repeated the recipe tonight. That woman annoys the heck out of me but she sure knows her stuff when it comes to making delicious, healthy burgers. These babies are packed with spinach, feta and fabulous spices.

Of course, I totally spaced and got halfway through my burgers before I remembered to take a picture. I eat way too fast for this to ever be a “What I Ate” blog every day of the week.

My burger was bun-less tonight because we only had a few sandwich thins left and I’m too cheap/lazy to buy any more since Brian and I will be away for three weeks beginning this weekend.

Dessert – 9 p.m.
 

Since I was such a selfless wife and sacrificed my burger bun for Brian, I deserve fro-yo tonight, right? Just nod and say yes, mmkay.

My cup of deliciousness included chocolate, vanilla, cake batter and peanut butter frozen yogurt topped with blueberries, mango, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and coconut. If there was a competition for who could include the most ingredients in a cup of fro-yo for under $2.50, I would win, no contest.

I also got a cup for Brian to enjoy when he gets home from work later tonight. He is boring and only likes one or two flavors and toppings at a time, so I got him oreo fro-yo and the same chip selection that I had.

Note how much bigger his serving is – not because he can eat more fro-yo than me (hah! what a joke) – but so that he will think I am a generous wife when in fact I am just planning ahead for when I make him share with me later. I am an excellent planner when it comes to the important things in life.

Now for the exciting part: when the cashier rang me up, she told me that I had completed my loyalty card! YESS!

Free ice cream makes me crazy happy! Or just crazy. Either way, there is a free small cup of frozen yogurt in my very near future.

Stay tuned next WIAW for a post including the biggest cup of frozen yogurt ever assembled.

Have a good one!

WIAW #4: Cookie Love

Happy Wednesday! I woke up this morning hoping for some sunshine, but when I opened the curtains I was greeted by another gloomy, rainy day. Yuck.

On the bright side, my chest, shoulders and back are nice and sore from yesterday’s workout! Not too sore, but just the perfect amount of DOMS. Am I crazy or does anyone else like being sore after their workouts?

Another good thing about today is that it’s What I Ate Wednesday! If you are new to WIAW, head over to Peas and Crayons and check it out.

Here are my eats from yesterday:

Breakfast
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I toasted a cinnamon raisin bagel thin and topped it with some sunflower butter and a sliced banana. I also gulped down a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts French vanilla coffee with vanilla soy milk.

Lunch

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I made a delicious sandwich with whole wheat bread, mashed avocado, turkey, swiss cheese, tomato and spinach. I was so good I ate half of it before remembering to take a photo 🙂 I’m thinking I may need bigger slices of bread next time since my sandwich fillings were coming out the sides of my sandwich.

Snack

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Black cherry Chobani is hands down my favorite yogurt flavor. Sometimes I stick it in the freezer for a bit then put add a few chocolate chips and it tastes just like a healthier version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any chocolate chips yesterday, but it was still delicious. I also had a Jazz apple which went un-photographed.

Dinner

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Brian came home for dinner and informed me he only had an hour before he had to go back to work, so we made a quick, easy dinner of whole wheat pasta with Prego tomato basil sauce and Al Fresco sweet Italian sausage. I ate mine atop a bed of baby spinach to add a little veggie boost to my dinner.

Dessert

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After dinner I enjoyed one of these babies: a coconut pecan cookie from Harris Teeter. These cookies are SO good. I don’t normally buy baked goods since I love to bake, but we don’t have an oven in our hotel room (a.k.a. our home for the summer) and I was having a major cookie craving this week.These cookies are chewy, moist and have lots of delicious coconut. I definitely recommend them!

There you have it, another What I Ate Wednesday! Have a fantastic day 🙂

What is your favorite kind of cookie?? 
I never met a cookie I didn’t like, but if I had to choose I would say my favorite is oatmeal butterscotch. Mmmmm.

WIAW#3: Ice Cream Ending

Happy hump day! What better way to get over the mid-week hump than a little WIAW action! If you’re new to WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) head on over to Peas and Crayons and check it out!


Breakfast

Oatmeal with vanilla soymilk, pumpkin pie spice, flaxseed, strawberries and almond butter

And some good old Dunkin’ Donuts french vanilla coffee. Why are there no Dunkin’ Donuts in Virginia Beach? It is a travesty.

 Lunch

Ham and Swiss on a sandwich thin with mustard, lettuce and tomato. Baby carrots and guac on the side.

Snack

A hard-boiled egg and tomato slices atop 2 Wasa crackers covered in Laughing Cow

 Dinner

Pulled pork sandwich. Yum!

 I made this pulled pork using Julie’s recipe for the easiest pulled pork ever and it came out really well! One pork loin, one can of beef broth, 8 hours in the Crock Pot and voila! I mixed it with some barbecue sauce and it was dee-lish.

I also made a taco salad with romaine lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, tomato and a few spicy sweet potato chips. It was a fiesta in my mouth.

The hubby had some work to do last night so I went out to rent a movie from RedBox after dinner. I got Something Borrowed, mainly because Jim from The Office was in it, but was pretty disappointed. Jim (I don’t know his real name) was adorable, but the movie was kind of frustrating to watch and a little sad. I also hated Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson’s characters so that was a letdown.

On the way home from picking up the movie I got a call from Brian requesting dessert, and being the wonderful wife that I am, I swung by Dairy Queen and picked up a Blizzard for him and a cup of soft serve for me. I ordered a cup of chocolate with marshmallow topping only to be told that they were out of chocolate ice cream. OUT OF CHOCOLATE?!?! I’m pretty sure the guy behind the counter thought I didn’t believe him because I made him repeat it like five times before I finally accepted the fact that they didn’t have any chocolate ice cream.

The vanilla actually ended up being really delicious with the marshmallow topping. So delicious that I gobbled it up before I even thought to take a photo…whoops. I guess I’ll just have to get another one next Tuesday so you can see how beautiful it was 🙂

Have a great day!

WIAW Numero Dos

Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday! I’m still new to the whole blogging thing and I messed up the link to Peas and Crayons last time, so hopefully I’ll get it right this week! Head on over and check it out:

I was craving something chocolate-y when I woke yesterday, so I whipped up some oatmeal with almond milk, chocolate protein powder, PB2 and banana slices mixed in.

I also had a mug of hot coffee. Please excuse the nasty banana peel in the background.

Lunch was my new favorite sandwich: turkey on a whole grain flatbread with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. I also had some baby carrots into which I dipped the rest of my 100-calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole. Guacamole may just be one of my favorite condiments ever.

Later that afternoon I had a pre-workout snack of a cinnamon raisin bagel thin with Laughing Cow cheese and a jazz apple.

Dinner was Julie’s recipe for Mushroom Spinach Wheat Berry Mock Risotto. I tried it last week and loved so much I made it again last night.

This isn’t the prettiest picture, but it tastes really good, I promise.

Anddd I may or may not have stayed up until 2:30 last night reading the newest book in the Divergent series, and I may or may not have gotten hungry and had a midnight snack of Wasa crackers smothered in Laughing Cow. No, I did. I definitely did.

Thank goodness I got 87 percent of the way through the book last night, so I’ll be able to finish it tonight and be asleep by a reasonable hour. And with that I’m off to enjoy some dystopian young adult literature. It’s a good thing I majored in English in college so that I could grow up to have such mature and scholarly taste in books 🙂

May Goals

Spring has officially arrived and the weather is definitely heating up here in Va. Beach. The temperature reached 85 today according to my car, where it feels like about a thousand degrees because my AC is terrible.

It was even nice and steamy during my cardio workout this morning because some genius at the Dam Neck fitness center thought it would be a good idea to keep the doors open and let all of the nice cool AC air out of the gym. I was sweating like a beast on the treadmill and was extra grateful that I had remembered to bring a towel.

The start of a new month also means some new goals around here. Here are my goals for the month of May:

1. Drink 80 ounces of water per day 

I’m thirsty basically all of the time so usually this is an easy one for me, but ever since I lost my beloved Camelback sippy water bottle and switched to this guy:

It has a has a water filter built in, which is pretty cool, but difficult to gulp from.

I haven’t been consuming nearly as much water. I’m going to make a trip to Target tomorrow and get another sippy. It’s more fun to drink out of a straw, and that’s a fact.

I want to get this model in either pink or orange.

2. Reduce my sugar intake

I recently started tracking my food with the MyFitnessPal app on my iPad and was shocked to see that I take in a whopping 100 grams of sugar per day on average. That is THREE times the recommended amount for a 1500-calorie diet (diet meaning the food you consume, I am NOT on a “diet” diet).  Most of that sugar is from fruit, which isn’t as bad as processed sugar, but it’s still a little too much for my liking. I’m going to aim to cut that in half and keep it down to 50 grams per day.

3. Run a 5k with Brian

Brian and I have never run a race together, and for good reason. He is a little speed demon and my lil legs just can’t keep up. We tried to go on a few runs together back in the day and our drastically mismatched paces meant an extremely unpleasant running experience for me and for him as a lot of crankiness and verbal abuse were aimed in poor Brian’s direction.

Bri-Bri after his first triathlon. Who wouldn’t want to run a race with this lil stud muffin?

Ever since we started CrossFitting together though I’ve realized I really do like working out with him, so I want to do a 5k together, but just not run together the whole time. Scratch that, I won’t be able to keep up with him past the starting line, but it will be nice to know he’ll be waiting for me at the finish line.

Crazy food combos

There are some food combinations that just seem to go perfectly together. French fries and ketchup, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and bananas, peanut butter and pretty much anything, really. Maybe I love peanut butter? But I digress.

Then there are the unlikely food combos that sound completely disgusting until you put them in your mouth and realize they were made for each other. Cantaloupe and salt is one of those pairings.
These two are a match made in sweet and salty heaven.

Brian was the one who first turned me onto this a few months ago. “Disgusting!” I said. Then I tried it, and it was delicious. Now my cantaloupe just seems boring unless it has a lil sprinkle of salty goodness.

Raffle winner, t-shirt model AND cantaloupe connoisseur. A man of many talents.

I chopped up a cantaloupe this morning and we’ve already consumed almost the whole thing. Luckily there was a two-for-one deal on those babies at Harris Teeter this week, so we’ve got at least one more day before we start going through salty cantaloupe withdrawal.

And with that I’m off to demolish the rest of that cantaloupe 🙂