When I was working on Ivy Jean’s 18 month post update, I asked if anyone had any questions for me. Someone asked me about food which isn’t the first message I’ve gotten about it. I love food. I’ve always loved food. In the past, I’ve actually had a more unhealthy relationship with food. I have been heavier at different times in my life causing different struggles with body image. I think many of us have similar stories or can relate in one way or another.
Fast forward to after Russ and I got married. I was trying to learn to cook which started off more towards the unhealthy end of the spectrum. As Russ and I both decided to prioritize health and eating, we made a couple big changes. 1.) We started bringing our lunch to work where we had been previously eating out or at the work cafeteria. 2.) I started making weekly grocery lists that included healthy meals to make at home during the week. Included in this is that we do not keep unhealthy things in our home. Neither of us have much willpower, so keeping anything at home that is tempting means we eat it. These changes have been huge for us. We both lost a decent amount of weight over time and have kept it off. I am about 20 pounds lighter than I was when we got married, and Russ is about 30.
Weekends are different for us. We try to still eat normally during the day, but on Friday and Saturday night, you will find us enjoying. For us this means eating our favorite meals like Mexican or pizza. It always includes dessert (like my favorite cookies from OK Cookie Momster pictured above). The balance of health during the week and having our favorites on the weekend works well for us. To me there is an intrinsic connection between joy and food, and I cannot imagine life without my favorite foods. I also know myself well enough to know I cannot have them all the time or in my house. Some people are able to eat just a few chips or a handful of M&M’s. I am not that person.
As a part-time employee, blogger, and mom who tries to eat healthy but also enjoys food, I need three things when it comes to my food during the day:
- I want to find it personally satisfying
- It needs to be convenient
- I want it to be healthy
So, what do I mean when I say I want it to be personally satisfying? Well, I have to enjoy the food. Otherwise it makes me feel sad. Like I said, I really like food. If I am trying to eat something only because it is healthy but I don’t really like it, I feel kind of robbed. Sometimes something is healthy and satisfying, but not really convenient. Take a great salad for example. I actually really enjoy a good salad. I often make them for us for dinner, but making this for my lunch to take to work is not very convenient for me. This means it doesn’t happen very often. Same goes for avocado toast. I love the heck out of that stuff, but it’s not too easy to make avocado toast at work.
What I Eat in a Day
Okay, so now that I have probably bored you, I’ll share what I eat in a day. I feel like I had to explain some things before I got to this part.
I almost always one of these granola bars (they come in chocolate too but the peanut butter is better). Maybe not the most healthy options out there as they are processed, but it fits my three criteria. I got hooked on them when I had gestational diabetes, and I just cannot quit them! Sure eggs, oatmeal, a green smoothie, etc. would be healthier options, but this is truly one of my favorite things and is super convenient. I sometimes have them for snacks too.
I rarely eat one “normal” lunch. I’m that person who gets hungry around 10:30-11 am and then again around 2:30 regardless of how much I eat. I prefer to have smaller, snack like things all throughout the day. It just makes me happier. So here is a list of the things I most typically reach for having 2-3 of these throughout the day.
- whole or half peanut butter sandwich (this is my FAV peanut butter, no sugar)
- Clif bars (kind of addicted to these) or other protein/energy bar
- mixed nuts (I buy these in individual servings because I have no willpower, remember?)
- string cheese (usually eat this with the mixed nuts)
- apple with peanut butter
- protein shake (I make these most days I am at home using chocolate Vega, half a frozen banana, and two TBSP powdered peanut butter – SOOO good)
- green smoothie (again, on days I am home but I typically prefer the one above because it is more personally satisfying to me)
- avocado or peanut butter toast (again, only on days I am home)
- Trader Joe’s individual serving trail mix
- Boom Chicka Pop popcorn (I bag it in zip locks in serving size when I buy it)
- Greek yogurt (I used to eat this a lot and haven’t been buying it as much lately for some reason)
- hummus/guacamole (I buy these 100 calorie packs in regular or spicy) and carrots
You can find a roundup of a lot of our go-to recipes on this post. For dinner, I try to incorporate more fruits and veggies either in the meal itself or as a side. Even if it isn’t listed there, we often have fruit or a veggie as a side. I often try new things and post them on my Instagram stories, so be sure to follow along there too!
This is just a little bit about my food journey. We all have our own stories. This is where I am right now, and I in no way have it all right or all the answers. I don’t make all the right choices or have the best habits, but I am trying. I never want my blog to be a place to make anyone else feel bad or invite comparison. We are all doing our best for ourselves and our families. I wrote this in hopes of sharing and helping. If you are reading, you are amazing!