Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Martha Saves the Day--For Now!!

Yesterday--a day of phenomenally bad eating--I got an email from Martha, my nutritionist, asking if I could meet today (Tuesday) instead of Thursday. I said yes even though it meant re-scheduling a way-overdue eye appointment (if someone wants to pay for Lazik for me so I can stop the contact lens merry-go-round, I'd be so grateful...but I digress).

So I had a good hour with her--my last, unfortunately, since I paid for three sessions--lamenting my out-of-control sweet tooth, my meals and snacks that seem to bleed into each other, and the unhappy discovery that most kinds of nuts, my favorite form of snack protein, give me horrible stomach cramps and gas. I tried to put a positive spin on the situation. After all, I maintained my weight over the holidays, which I know can be hard to do. But I'm really tired of maintenance, which seems like code for "plateau," and I have no idea how I'm going to manage to eat protein, which isn't my favorite food group anyway, with every meal if I can't include nuts.

As usual, Martha was upbeat and reassuring. We did some goal-setting. My two goals are 1) to stick to an 1,800-calorie daily plan involving set numbers of servings of each kind of food (protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and healthy fats, plus 195 "discretionary" calories) and 2) implement a strategy or two to help deal with the sweet issue. These strategies are simple: the one I'm going to try out this week is to put a stick of minty Extra Dessert Delights gum in my mouth when I know I'm going somewhere in the library that co-workers tend to leave chocolate chip cookies and other such tempting fare. That means I'll be chawin' on a lot of gum, a habit my dad deplores, but hopefully this is just temporary until the new norm of not taking every sweet that appears in the building takes.

As for the nut situation, I'm still not really sure what to do. I'm supposed to be eating a modest portion of protein with every meal and snack. I don't eat pork or beef, and chicken and fish work much better with meals than they do with snacks. Martha tells me in order for something to count as protein, it needs to have iron in it--so yogurt won't cut it. Any ideas out there for this? I'm all ears (and stomach).

Anyway, the upshot is, I'm feeling a bit better about the food front after meeting with her. Since the holidays are over, the gravy train at work should slow down a bit, too. Fingers are crossed!

Today's Workout: Today's 6 x 800 at a 7:20/mile pace was hard. I did it, but I did it on more than the prescribed minute-thirty rest between intervals (at least for the last three of them). Hopefully it still counts. And hopefully one bad workout doesn't mean I'm losing my edge. Just in case it's a rest issue, I hereby vow to you that I will turn off my light by 9 p.m. tonight.


  1. Why does protein need to have iron? I don't really get that. Not to question the nutritionist but I'm just saying. Are you anemic? For my 60-80 grams per day for the pregnancy, cottage cheese has been the answer (16 grams in 1/2 cup! Only 90 calories! I love Friendship, much better than any other brand I have tried, the texture is far superior), also greek yogurt, beans and lentils, ww bread, kashi cereal. Also what about using chocolate milk for some of your discretionary calories? Horizon makes a 1% organic version that I am loving right now. Won't work if you want to get off sugar entirely BUT might work as a control measure.

  2. Hmm...I'm not anemic--always a good giver of blood!--so being able to call yogurt and cottage cheese protein would help immensely. Where can you get Friendship? I was at Safeway tonight ('cause hey, it's my second home) but didn't see it. And chocolate milk is my new run recovery drink of choice! Maybe you're right and I should make it a snack too....hmmm....

  3. I started this rule way back when of ALWAYS including a helping of protein in or alongside everything I ate, snacks and everything. It did help me to stop the mindless munching, and sometimes just discouraged me from eating all together (I figured, if I wasn't interested in protein I probably wasn't hungry at all). I cycle in and out of cottage cheese tolerance. I currently love edamame in salads or as a snack, sliced almonds instead of whole (seems to satisfy with slightly less nut intake), and eggs (actually 1 egg + 2 egg whites is a pretty good breakfast, with or without some sharp cheddar or half a slice of toast). Sometimes I go for soy-based Boca products for a quick fix, if you like those kinds of things, and I have a spectacular recipe for spicy black bean patties. Really, beans are pretty key to filling, protein packed food.

    That 1800 calories, is that net? I guess I tend to eat more calories than other people, but honestly I net about 1500 but gross closer to 1900 or 2000 before subtracting workouts. And those limits have been hard for me.

  4. The 1800 calories *is* net. Obviously on Saturdays when I run 10 miles plus I need another 1000 calories or so. Integrating these big hunger-inducing runs is going to be an interesting lesson for me.

    I bought some cottage cheese last night and had some this morning. It really does work. It was one of my staples before pregnancy. It's amazing how I *remember* that I used to eat healthily--I just can't seem to get the groove back in any consistent way.

    Just have to keep pluggin'--the last two days (and today so far) have been good.

  5. Hmmm, I buy Friendship cottage cheese at my local gorcery store (Publix), is is "all-natural" but not organic. I just went to their web site and it looks like it is mostly an Eastern thing, bummer.