Summer Ready: What I Eat

How do you approach healthy eating to promote body confidence and a better overall well being? I’ve found that almost everyone has their own personal approach. Do you eat what you enjoy, but pay attention to portions? Do you choose a popular diet and closely follow the “rules” of this diet? Or, do you go all out and limit yourself to clean foods and count your calories? 

Personally, I allow myself to eat what I enjoy but limit my portions and focus on making healthy choices. I  try to stop when I feel around 80% full and definitely before I have that “stuffed” feeling. At times, I will loosely track my calories using MyFitnessPal if I am making something with quite a few ingredients. I have also benefited from listening to what my body is trying to tell me and avoid foods that make me feel bloated or sluggish.

In the past, I’ve tried different diets and restrictions. It was about a year ago when I held myself to only eating the minimum 1300-1500 calories a day. I lost weight, but I felt like I was “missing out” on the things I enjoyed. And, once I met my goal, I went back to over eating high-calorie junk foods.

Now that we’re seeing the first signs of Spring, I’m hearing more people talking about going to the gym more and discussing what they’re eating to get “summer ready”. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it, too. I’m not changing much in my diet, but I am being more cognizant of what I’m eating and how much of it I’m consuming. And, it is my goal to finally make healthy eating a lifestyle rather than a temporary change to get results.

Breakfast: I’ve never craved food first thing in the morning. During the work week, I wake up and immediately stumble to the Kuerig. Only after I have a few sips of coffee can I wake up enough to wash my face and pick out my clothes for the day. I may have a banana on my commute to work, but I normally fast until it is lunch time.

When I do have a little more time to prepare in the mornings, I love fixing a parfait for breakfast. Normally, this includes ½ cup of whole milk Greek yogurt, 4-5 fresh strawberries, 1/4th cup cranberry granola, and a drizzle of honey on top. Try it. It’s amazing. If you’re curious about calories, it comes out to around 350-400 calories.

Lunch:  Lately, I’ve been feeling great throughout the day when I eat some type of protein for lunch alongside a piece of fruit or a salad. This week, it was a turkey brat eaten alongside a superfood kale salad. I’ll admit it doesn’t sound (or look) like the tastiest meal, but it may surprise you! Together, according to MyFitnessPal, these items come out to around 380-400 calories. 

I’ve noticed that, if I eat heavier or carb-heavy foods, I get bogged down and a little tired at work. So, I try to keep it light at lunch and save the heavier foods for dinner.

Snack: It’s usually during my drive on my way home when I start to crave something sweet. Or salty. Or unhealthy. Really, the McDonalds located at the halfway point on my way home makes me crave everything bad. Lately, I’ve been keeping some Simply Balanced Fruit Strips or some type of peanut butter crackers in my car. These little snacks have kept me from sliding into a drive through. The fruit strips can be found at Target. They taste like Fruit Rollups, but better. And, they’re only 45 calories each!

Dinner: This is usually the meal I just can’t wait for! As soon as I leave school I am thinking about what I want to eat for dinner. 

This week, I made large salads with some type of protein (chicken or a sliced veggie burger patty). Yes, my salads are also topped with croutons, sunflower seeds, and ranch; but, I exercise portion control. I believe, with things like toppings, it is especially important to read the jars and bottles to see just how much we are meant to consume. I didn’t realize how out of control my ranch dressing portions were until I read the back of the bottle! 

The salad pictured was actually ordered on a trip I took to Atlanta, Georgia with friends. I wish I could have a salad like that each day! Similar to this salad, I try to include a variety of toppings (in moderation) to keep things interesting.


Of course, this plan is not set in stone for each day! If we have leftovers from eating out the night before, you can bet I’ll bring them for lunch the next day! One of my favorite things to do is to try and share food with my friends and loved ones. So, if a cinnamon roll looks like the perfect shareable snack during our Sunday coffee meetups, I’m going for it! I allow myself to have the foods I enjoy while also keeping portions in mind and incorporating healthy choices.

I want to know! How does healthy eating look for you? Do you have any tips for healthy and delicious meals?

6 thoughts on “Summer Ready: What I Eat

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  1. Hey Mandy, some good rules to eat by in your diary here. My biggest concern would be the morning fast, and like you, I have never been one to be hungry right when I get up. I really don’t see how some folks roll out of bed and get a bowl of cereal or something right away, I would throw up. I eat thoise Rx bars you turned me on to, with 2nd cup of coffee, it ain’t bad! The body is very smart and way to many fad and popular diets just simply try to fool it and you really can’t and not saying that is what you are doing at all, it isn’t. But if you starve the body at any point of the day, miss breakfast lunch or dinner or even snacks, your body will begin to hold onto food and begin to store it as fat because it says, hey, we aren’t getting enough fuel so we better store up for when he/she starves us. I am sure you have heard it all before, but if you eat mini-meals every 3 hours of so, your body then begins to release stored energy and burns fat because you have trained it to understand it will get food regularly. With busy schedules, this kind of eating can and is, damn near impossible…but it works. Like you say, you always have to be mindful of what you are putting in there, so good on ya! One of the best books, hell, it is the best book I ever read on diets, is called Eat Right for your Type, all based on blood type. I still use it to this day, made more sense to many than any diet book ever did, I highly recommend it! Cheers and thanks for posting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree! I know I should fit in breakfast but my body doesn’t want it. I’ll keep trying to talk myself into that banana each morning. I’m glad got like those RX bars! They’re chewy, but good with coffee.

      Okay, that book sounds really interesting. How did it say you should eat for your blood type?

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  2. Well, my diet is restricted by allergy now, so that helps me lmao.
    I went low carb about 2 years ago and in that time went from 220 to 150lbs. Exercise factors in there too but a big part is portion and what I eat. I aim for 100 carbs or less, I said aim, and I am by no means a marks-woman. So it’s less of a rule and more of a loose guideline. Kinda like how pirates follow the rules 🤷🏼‍♀️. I enjoy beer far too much to be militaristic about my counts.
    I do try to keep most of my meals to a protien like chicken or fish, some avocado and lots and lots of veggies. I’ve been eating a ton of pineapple recently as a snack, and they have lots of health benefits as well as being tasty.
    I’m a wierdo who HAS to eat breakfast or I will murder people. Turkey sausage and almond butter biscuits with Black columbian coffee keep me on the right side of the jail house bars.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to buy little cans of pineapple and eat those as snacks. I forgot about it until I just read your post!

      You’ve done great things for your body and it shows. You’ve always been gorgeous, though!

      I could probably convince myself today eat breakfast if biscuits and turkey sausage were in the kitchen. I may have to give that a try. 😉

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  3. I must admit my work schedule does a number on my eating habits. As well as having Invisalign. I never know when I should or shouldn’t eat, there are times I wake up starving and other times where I can go all day and I do mean all day without eating breakfast or lunch.
    I personally prefer to eat small meals more frequently rather than big meals that weigh me down, but that’s going to have to wait until I finish my Invisalign.
    And to top it off I’m not that big on meat… I eat it because I know protein is important, but I really could do without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, I’ll fit meat in every-so-often but it isn’t a must in each of my meals. I’ve seen your eating habits and I think you’re pretty balanced! You allow yourself treats (but not too often). You have a good hold on what is best for you with your work schedule!

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