“Bananas Are the Devil!” Should you stay away from ALL sugar?

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Recently where I work, we all had to attend a training course about health and fitness. The instructor made some really good points, but she made a really bad one too. Not in my class, but in others she apparently said, “bananas are the devil. They’re as bad as drinking a Mountain Dew.” Now, I wasn’t in this class (thankfully!!) but it was said enough that that phrase has been quoted and quoted in the halls here. Bananas are going to kill me!! NO THEY’RE NOT!

I am against this idea with all my heart and soul (and nutritional knowledge!) Say what you want about what it means, but I did pass the NASM nutrition course. And I lost 50 lbs while eating fruit 2-3 times a day. 

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Yes there is sugar in fruit (and veggies) but it is SO NOT AT ALL the same as a can of soda. Let’s break down sugar!

There are a few different kinds of sugar but to keep this as simple as possible, I’m going to stick to talking about sucrose and fructose. What’s the difference? Both are monosaccharides, aka simple sugars. But they are processed differently in the body. Sucrose is your “blood sugar.” It’s what gets broken down and used as energy or stored as glycogen. Unlike with fructose, insulin is secreted in response to sucrose with is what raises your blood sugar levels. Fructose is not the preferred energy source and does not cause insulin to be secreted. It is broken down in the liver and treated more like a fat, which can raise triglyceride levels.

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So does eating too much fruit cause weight gain? Yes, actually it does. A study had participants eating fructose as 25% of their diet. For a 2,000 calorie diet that’s 500 calories of fructose– that would take 20 apples to reach. 20 apples, every day? Yeah, don’t do that.

But every nutritionist, the FDA, WHO and FAO all say to eat fruit, usually 2-3 servings a day, as part of a balanced diet. In fact, dietitian Dr. Alan Barclay said in an interview:

Fruits are a core food and Australians only eat a piece a day on average which is appalling. The minimum recommended amount per day is two and anyone who suggests it contributes to obesity is wrong. We’re eating so little of fruit, how could it possibly be contributing to obesity when two-thirds of the population are overweight or obese. It’s absurd.

Humans have been eating fruits since the beginning of time! But what we haven’t been eating, what’s really changed in the Standard American Diet (SAD… literally) is the amount of added sugar we’re eating. Sugar is added to EVERYTHING. Natural and non-natural sugars and that is what is really killing us.

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Like Mountain Dew. So are bananas just as bad as drinking a Mountain Dew? Let’s take a look.

1 serving according to NLEA is 126 grams of banana (a medium sized one -ish) and according to Pepsico 1 serving of MD is 12 fluid ounces.

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You know what I also should have added to the ingredient list under bananas?? Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Panothenic Acid (all B vitamins), Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium <– all micronutrients that are vital for living.

So tell me again how eating a banana (that will fill up your stomach and keep you full) is “just as bad” as drinking a MD??? To me, it’s not even close!

EAT YOUR DAMN FRUITS.

*Here, of course, is where I caution you and remind you it’s about balance and portion. But against dried fruit. I LOVE dried fruits.  I could eat a handful of dried bananas in one sitting… which could easily be the equivalent to eating 6 bananas at once. Has anyone ever sat down and eaten 6 fresh whole bananas??

Pick whole fresh fruits over dried. Pick dried over juice. Pick juice over… soda? Idk. Don’t bother drinking juice.

 

 

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VB6! What Is It and What Am I Eating?

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Have  you guys heard of VB6? I read this book a while ago and it really struck something in me… but then I didn’t change my eating habits. But last week I was listening to a podcast with Tig Notaro, who I adore, and she talks about going vegan (mainly for health concerns) and suggested people just give it a try for a few weeks. Well if Tig says so…

Ok, I’m not going 100% vegan, but I am following VB6. The idea is that you eat vegan before 6pm so basically breakfast and lunch and then a regular ol’ omnivorous dinner. (Really I’m going VB2am since that’s about when I eat dinner on night shift ha)

The best things is nothing is “off limits.” You can eat cheese and ice cream and steak and hot dogs, just you have to wait till dinner/dessert time. The goal is to shift you into eating more plant based whole foods and less processed foods, meats and dairy. Dairy is the easiest thing for me to give up which I am counting myself lucky about since I think more people with struggle with that.

So am I eating a salad every day for lunch? Well, yes and no! It’s not just lettuce and dressing and I definitely do not feel deprived!

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Someone PLEASE teach me how to be a food photographer!

There have been a couple “fails” (I don’t think I can get on board with nutritional yeast…) but I’m basically eating all my favorite foods just minus the meat and dairy. And there have been a few surprises. I was craving a BLT the other day so toasted some bread, added veganiase, tomatoes and avocado and YUM. It hit the spot more than I could’ve imagined.

I’m still trying to stop myself from eating all carbs and really focusing on fruits and veggies. But I am not worried about protein! I haven’t been monitoring my macros that closely but I am still getting a lot from beans and chickpeas, quinoa, and vegetables! Plus I usually do have meat at dinner.

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Eat all Salads!

 

Yay Salads! I think salads get a bad rap as diet food when 1) they can be delicious and 2) they can be calorie/fat/carb laden and ultimately not that healthy!  But I eat a lot of salads. They’re really versatile and can be really filling and healthy if you stick to whole foods and oil based dressings. In fact, I ate a salad every day so far this week!

Now, I originally was thinking this would be a “no lettuce salad” post, but then I realized that I put lettuce under that mess in the top picture.  It also kind of became a “1 grocery bag 4 lunches” post since I used the same few ingredients over and over. But when you’re just 1 person and you don’t want your food to spoil, you gotta use it up the best you can!

Also I really am trying to cut down eating meat and not cut down my protein intake so I’ve been experimenting with new vegan/vegetarian meals. So these are all dairy free and it would be super easy to just leave the meat out and they’d be vegan!

So here’s what I ate! (remember how great I am at taking food pics??)

Top picture: lettuce topped with black beans, corn, quinoa, tomatoes, and red onion. I also made an avocado cilantro dressing (that blob in the middle) that turned over pretty dense, almost a guacamole, but it was really yummy and mixed up really well in the salad. (Which reminds me! I used this same stuff as a spread on my black bean burger for dinner tonight! Yum.)

Bottom left: garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) with just tomato, avocado, cucumber and cilantro.

Middle left: quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, and topped with green chile pork. (I wanted it to look so pretty like those quinoa bowls you see on pinterest, alas… the toppings got a bit jumbled. Still tasty though!)
Bottom right: the common denominator here: avocado, tomato, red onion, and cilantro. This time with shrimp.

It does share a lot of the same ingredients but I promise, these little switches make it feel like I’m not eating the same thing day after day. Cuz I am not that kind of person who can eat the same things all week. I sometimes wish I was! It would be easier, wouldn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make A Plan to Eat Healthy Even When You Can’t Plan Everything

Sometimes, life is beyond your control. This week, I planned to go out to dinner with friends on Monday and ended up going out to eat 2 other times! I still lost weight so I’m stoked about that.

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And this week, I suddenly have to go out of town for a family emergency. There’s obviously a lot going through my mind, and “what am I going to eat?” is one of them. I feel selfish for even thinking of myself & food at a time like this. Weight loss itself, right now, is such a low priority but I also don’t want it to take up space in my mind when I should be focusing on other things. If that makes sense. I already went through the pantry and grabbed things that I can pack in my suitcase. (Things like protein bars and almonds. Plus I’ll run and grab fruit and veggies, like baby carrots and grape tomatoes that are easily portable. And I’ll boil some eggs to take on the go.)

But I’m sure there is going to be fast food stops in the future. Which causes me a little anxiety…

I’ve decided to just make a list now, with a clear head and full stomach of some viable options for me when the times comes that I need to stop at a drive thru.

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Monthy Check in: February

1 month into 2017! It’s been a good month and exciting things are coming my way this year. I didn’t really make a “new years resolution” but I did recommit to healthy eating and I’ve been tracking pretty well this month and am proud of that. I’m not 100% but I’m really only aiming for 80% and I think I hit that goal on the head so I’m doing okay.

I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone that in the past year since hitting my “goal weight” I’ve been creeping back up the scale and falling back into old habits. Weight loss and healthy eating is an on going journey and never a straight descending line on a chart so I’ve given myself a break a little bit but that doesn’t mean I want to get anywhere close to where I started!! So I’m back on the wagon.

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On Jan 5th I weighed in for my new starting weight and clocked in at 159.8. Still lower than what I weighed in high school but a whole 20 pounds heavier than my lowest! I always kept 145 as the “goal” so still 14 lbs up from that! (I’m pretty much sticking to that 145 goal again but keeping in mind that I am and my body is more than just a number and plenty of things affect the number on the scale. It’s  a guideline not a measurement of self worth!!)

All day yesterday I was tempted! It was a really rough go. Donuts are my very very fav and a new donut shop opened here in town with fancy pants donuts and TWO coworkers brought in boxes of them.

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I sent a text to my gym bud/BFF looking for support and he was beyond unhelpful haha! Then he kept sending me pictures of my FAV foods (he knows me way too well!) The conversation ended with my just sending him the middle finger emoji! Haha. Thanks Al.

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I did have about 5 bites or so of all different flavors and they were all beyond delicious. Someday I’m going to have to go back there when I have the extra macros and indulge!!

So after that mental exercise all day, this morning it was time to step on the scale:

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151.3

I will take that! I know the first week is always a big number (water weight) and next month it wont be as big a number but I’m proud of myself!

Measurements this morning clocked in at

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Right before I went off to Hot  Yoga! 

36″ Bust

28″ Waist (around the smallest part)

38″ Hips (around the widest part)

 

I know that consistency is so so important so that’s my focus. Keep tracking, keep putting my health high up on the priority list and we will see what Feb brings!

 

Superbowl Party time!! Some Healthy Party Food Alternatives

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Who’s making this for me?

I love to watch football and I am one of those that gets excited for Superbowl Sunday! Unnnnfortunately I got mandated to work this Sunday so I’m going to miss the big game (don’t get me started…) but we’ll do a potluck here at work.

Potlucks can be scary because there’s lot of temptation and foods made of who knows what, but all you can do is make good decisions and try and provide some good (still tasty, maybe doesn’t have to be 100% clean) options.

  • Chicken Teriyaki meatballs with a low sugar marinade/sauce
  • DIY taco bar where you can set out cheese, guac, sour cream for guests/ coworkers but stick to the salsa and beans for yourself. And maybe use turkey meat or 90% ground beef.
  • Sliders where you can swap the bun for lettuce wraps
  • Deviled eggs with hummus or avocado instead of mayo? Sam’s Choice makes a Smoky Sweet Onion mustard that I have fallen in love with and use it on pretty much everything!
  • My friend gave me the recipe for a quinoa salad that’s super easy and delicious. Just quinoa with chopped veggies (tomatoes, red pepper, jalapeno, red onion) and cilantro and feta. That’s it! All mixed up.
  • Turkey pinwheels with low carb/ high fiber tortillas and stuffed with extra veggies
  • Antipasto with meats, olives, cheese if your diet allows.

And to top it off, moderation is always key. Have a bite of this and a taste of that but don’t load up your plate and eat till you want to explode. Enjoy the game! Bet on your office pool. Laugh at the dumb commercials.

Go (your team name here)!!

 

Eating Out and Battling Food Anxiety

So far I’ve been tracking and really on top of my eating habits and that feels great. But sometimes I get into ‘all or nothing’ mode and let my food anxiety get the better of me. Sometimes it’s dang hard to be social when you’re trying not to eat junk. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay home and cook what you know than risk the temptation etc of eating out.

When my dad called and asked if I wanted to join him and my brother’s family for dinner, I jumped at the chance of course but he told me he hadn’t decided where to go. He texted me the day of the dinner telling me where to meet them, Texas Roadhouse. He texted me during the day when I was sleeping but woke up and half-asleep read his text and immediately started worrying about what I would order. Luckily I was familiar with the menu and vaguely sure what would be good choices but not until then I was I able to fall back asleep.

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Sorry for the bad quality. I tried to snap it fast and knew it was rough, but didn’t know just how rough!

I could’ve have made better choices but I think I did pretty good. Part of the trouble is not only do I pay attention to macros, I have to watch what my body can/cannot digest.

I stayed away from the bread, amazingly and stuck to water to drink. I ordered a house salad with no cheese and there was trouble with the dressing (seriously, I almost brought my own!) but it worked out well enough. 6oz sirloin and side of green beans. At first I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of green beans and ordered it because it was the best option for me health wise (there is a fresh mixed veg option but that has broccoli which my body can’t break down although healthy, not healthy for me, ya know.) So I settled for green beans but honestly they were delicious! They were cooked with bacon and I’m guessing butter so not 100% ‘clean’ but it may have been my favorite part of the meal. I’ll definitely be happy to order them again.

I don’t want to let my food anxiety take over my life. I don’t want to be a hermit that stays home every night, like Rizzo 😉 and be scared of backsliding but I also want to make healthy choices and not indulge/binge just because I’m out. It’s a balance for sure that I’m still trying to find!

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