{Friday Musings} A Day in the Life…

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the changes I’ve made to my life. Particularly when it comes to the foods I eat and the food habits I have.

I thought it might be fun to share a day in my Old Life and a day in my Now Life.

Fun for whom, you may ask? For me. Yes, I’m selfish like that.

And yes, I do consider myself as having two lives. You’ll see why in a minute or so.

Old Life

I had a few choice breakfasts in my old life. I would go through phases of eating the same breakfast for weeks on end until I got royally sick of it.

Breakfast #1: Large coffee from Dunkin Donuts with skim milk and three Splenda and a reduced fat blueberry muffin.

Breakfast #2: Coffee with skim milk and Splenda at home with a giant bowl of cereal– usually a mixture of Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Breakfast #3: Coffee, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey.

Breakfast#4: Coffee, Giant bowl of fruit.

My breakfasts would usually keep me full for five minutes. After that I would fill that void with more coffee and Splenda until lunch came around.

Lunch was usually eaten on a bench outside my office.

Lunch #1: Salad from the Whole Foods Salad bar. I was a vegetarian at the time, so a salad with lots of tofu, beans and setian. Or the vegetarian sushi from Whole Foods.

Lunch #2: Vegetarian Burrito, or a bagel with cream cheese.

Lunch #3: An energy bar with some mixed fruit.

After lunch there was inevitably another coffee with Splenda and maybe an afternoon snack. A Tootsie roll pop to keep my blood sugar up (what?) or a Power Bar of sorts if I hadn’t had one for lunch.

After work, I headed straight to the gym. I would spend an hour on the elliptical (or stair climber if I was feeling ambitious) and then either take a yoga class or do some sweet bicep curls and tricep extensions.

After the gym, it was home to eat another bowl of cereal, or a fake meat product of some kind– fake chicken nuggets in the microwave, or a Boca Burger. Maybe a few handfuls of plain M&Ms with a spoonful of peanut butter some chocolate covered raisins, or some kind of delicious Trader Joe’s treat.

Total servings of alive foods:  Maybe two if I had a salad and mixed fruit in the same day.  Most often, it was none. Zero.

In my old life, I had a strange relationship with food. I was always eating with the goal of losing weight, but never actually losing any. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I can see why. I didn’t eat very much food, but pretty much all of the food I ate was dead. Processed. Loaded with sugars overt and hidden.

Not knowing that I was eating crap back then caused me a lot of mental turmoil. Yes, I knew that Frosted Mini-Wheats weren’t health food, but I thought that my diet was pretty healthy over all.

I was vegetarian for goodness sake! Vegetarian= Healthy, right?

Anyway. My old life ended when I discovered that eating real food made me feel better. Genius, no?

Now Life

My Now Life is much different from my Old Life–not only in terms of food, but other lifestyle factors as well. I wake up later, work for myself, I don’t do chronic cardio and I’m in a better, more positive place over all.

In my Now Life, my breakfast is pretty consistent, although I do mix it up now and then.

Breakfast #1: Eggs with greens, raw sauerkraut and fruit (either berries or half a banana with almond butter)

Breakfast #2: A variation of the breakfast above– usually eggs with fruit and no greens, or eggs with greens and no fruit.

In my Old Life, after eating a 3lb bag of M&Ms as a midnight snack, I might have skipped breakfast the next day to “make up for it.” I sometimes still have food heavy nights (a whole container of plantain chips, anyone?) but I don’t skip breakfast anymore. Breakfast helps me start my day by filling me up and supporting healthy choices for the rest of the day.

Lunch in my Now Life is usually leftover dinner meat over mixed greens or massaged kale salad.

Lunch #1: Leftover dinner meats over salad of mixed greens and other veggies–usually cucumber, cabbage, peppers and baby carrots. Drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a dollop of guacamole.

Lunch #2: Sometimes a smoothie with greens, coconut milk, frozen berries– along with leftover dinner meat.

Once I’m done with lunch, I get back to work– either counseling clients, or writing or brainstorming. Then, a few hours later, I workout.

Like my old life, I devote about an hour to my workouts everyday. Sometimes more, sometimes less if I’m busy that day. I mostly workout at home and follow The Program, and I also do some workouts at Crossfit H2O when my schedule allows.

In my Old Life, my post workout meal was a bowl of cereal. Now I try to refuel with whole foods, like chicken and sweet potato. I also do a protein shake here and there after longer, particularly tiring sessions.

Sometimes I’ll need a snack between PWO meal and dinner. It’s usually a handful of nuts, beef jerky, carrots with almond butter or some veggie slices.

Dinner in my Now Life, well, you pretty much know what that looks like. Take a look at the Meats on my recipe page to get an idea. Usually animal protein with veggies. Sometimes starchy, sometimes not starchy.

I strive to cook dinner 4 times a week. When I’m not cooking dinner, I’m ordering chicken or steak tips on salad from one of our many local pizza-ish restaurants.

Unlike M&Ms and chocolate covered raisins every night, I now eat delicious homemade grain-free treats every once and again. I also enjoy dark chocolate of the 80% Cocoa variety. I have a square or two just about every day.

Total Servings of alive foods: Hmm…lots? I like to think that most of the food I eat these days is alive. I mean, not really alive– cooked, but once alive. With the exception of the occasional protein shake.

For me, there is a huge difference between my Old Life and my Now Life. It’s kind of insane what I used to eat compared to what I eat now. Lots of people don’t believe me when I tell them I used to eat three kinds of cereal at once and go through all three boxes in one week…

Have you made any big changes in your life when it comes to food? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below!

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5 Responses to {Friday Musings} A Day in the Life…

  1. carole June 29, 2012 at 6:15 PM #

    Allison- thanks for sharing the before and after. I too was a person who skipped breakfast and then made up for it (and paid for it) the rest of the day. My sugar consumption was out of sight- and I often ate late at night- I rationalized this as ok because I hadn’t eaten breakfast! Breakfast is my most important meal of the day- however- I don’t very often include greens- which I think is a super idea.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    • Allison July 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM #

      Thank YOU for sharing, Carole!

  2. Lo July 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM #

    Reading through this I felt like I was reading something I wrote! I had a very similar eating plan all through college while I was a vegetarian. I thought I was so healthy! But now I see the tremendous amount of sugar I was eating. I’m slowly switching to a more paleo diet, but I still need to kick a sugar addiction, I love all your recipes – I will definitely try some out!

    • Allison July 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

      Thanks, Lo! And thank you for stopping by. It definitely sounds like our stories are similar–it’s so easy to be misled by the media and all of those “health” foods. I was eating like a bajillion clif bars a week thinking they were the best choice…now I’m older and wiser. Let me know how the recipes go if you decide to try them!

  3. Yoshiko Sperling October 7, 2012 at 2:28 AM #

    health foods are always necessary for our health. i am very concerned about healthy eating since i am not getting any younger. *,.”‘

    My own blog page

Thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

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