The Food Journal

First, a note to the few who have asked: I do yoga at my gym. I can bring a guest anytime, so let me know if you want to check it out. Studio-quality instructors, for sure, but not a studio. Sorry 😦 I also do yoga at Lululemon on Sunday mornings, though!

So, I’ve made an appointment with a sports nutritionist. Basically, I’m paying $90 for someone to tell me exactly what to eat and when to eat it. At least I’m hoping she’ll do that. Usually nutritionists tell me to “start where [I’m] at” and to put greens in my oatmeal, and one in particular told me that I could survive on 1600 calories a day if I really wanted to. What about marathon training? I asked her. It doesn’t matter, she told me.

First of all, I’m not putting f-ing greens in my oatmeal, ok? That is disgusting. I don’t care if it’s really not; that is not “where I’m at,” and I will probably never be there. I had to teach myself to love oatmeal, but teaching myself to love oatmeal with lettuce in it is just a bridge too far, my friend!

Second of all, I CANNOT SURVIVE ON 1600 CALORIES A DAY. I’ve found that I get wicked headaches if I get less than 1900. That nutritionist gave me a sweet meal-planning spreadsheet too, which I was really excited about, until I realized that a “meal” consisted of 1/2 english muffin, dry tuna, and a pear or some other food things that I probably have in my cabinets but have no intention of eating, let alone all at once.

What’s for dinner today, meal planner? Great! 3 crackers, one slab of tofu, and a cup of spinach. Mmmmmmmm!

For my appointment on Monday, I’m supposed to bring a 3-day food journal along with me. I’m curious to sit down and see exactly what it is I do eat, because I have a long list of foods I don’t, and it goes well beyond spinach mixed with oatmeal. It includes meat–I guess that’s the big one–and onions, peppers, and cottage cheese. I’d say I’m open to everything else, though I don’t really love tofu, and I can’t drink soy milk straight.

But I am a creature of habit. I find some things I like, and then I eat them every. single. day. until I can’t eat them anymore. Case in point:

I like CVS brand Fruit and Nut Trail Mix for a number of reasons. 1) They sell it at CVS, which I can easily get to from my office, where I spend most of my time. 2) It has less fat and calories than mostly nut and chocolate mixes. 3) Dried pineapple 🙂 But I don’t really like all the raisins they throw in there, and it’s harder to eat them when they aren’t accompanied by m&ms, so I inevitably end up with a bag of raisins that I feel guilty throwing away. But I need to eat something, so I go back to CVS and buy another bag.

Anyway, what do I eat? So far this week I’ve had smoothies, fistfuls of Tostitos, and Indian food from Naan & Beyond every single day for lunch. I’ve taken to having smoothies for breakfast because I’m currently sick of oatmeal and egg sandwiches, which are my go-to breakfasts.

When I’m in a pinch, I eat cereal at work, because I can buy it and milk at CVS. But I’m a sugar-cereal kinda gal, and I’ve done so much work to cut it out of the rest of my life, that I just can’t bear to part with it in my cereal yet. So I usually have Frosted Mini Wheats, which are the healthiest sugar cereal they have. In my opinion. It is, at the very least, extremely high in fiber, if you catch my drift.

So yes, my nutritionist and I will have a lot to talk about. But she’s already working–this morning I really wanted Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which was buy one get one free at CVS! But I didn’t get it, because I didn’t want to have to tell someone that that is what I had for breakfast, and yes, I want to lose 10 pounds and be a badass triathlete and marathoner.

What do you guys eat for snacks? How do you make time to pack enough food? Should I just look for a job closer to a supermarket? (That is a brilliant idea.)


4 responses to this post.

  1. Well, like you, I eat the exact same thing every day, typically for 4-6 months at a time. Very bad. I love my:
    Muscle Milk Shakes, Reduced Fat Ritz or Saltine crackers (I’ll take 4 out here & there and eat), TOOTSIE ROLL LOLLIPOPS (60 calories, all sugar and I usually have 2 a day) but that is a habit I’ve had for over 10 years, don’t even try to break me of it. Boca Burgers (I know you think they taste like cat food, I add ketchup), water, water, water, I like to drink a gatorade bottle when I get hungry and if I’m still hungry after drinking it, I eat again. After dinner, I snack on a 100 calorie bag of keebler chocolate fudge cookies and drink tea until I’m really full. I eat all day long, pretty junky now that I read it! 😉


  2. Posted by amy on July 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    mmm…I LOVE snacks (and breakfast, which is really just a series of snacks). My daily intake is pretty much the same, but I’ll sometimes change the order depending on whether I get ready for work (and therefore eat breakfast) at home or the office. I don’t eat everything listed in a single day but typically have it stocked in my office in case I want it. I come in Monday morning with a huge bag of groceries for the week.

    – smoothie – plain non-fat yogurt, a banana, frozen raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, sometimes frozen pomegranate seeds, sometimes soy protein powder. I haven’t figured out how to make this at work yet so if I’m coming from the track will sometimes stop at Robek’s where they get annoyed when I custom design my order.
    – greek yogurt with cereal, usually twigs flakes and clusters or toasted oatmeal flakes or vanilla almond granola, all Trader Joe’s
    – another banana or an apple or cherries, or all of them
    – baby carrots or other cut up veggies
    – almond butter sandwich on honey wheat bread (this bread is the only thing i don’t buy at traders). this is actually supposed to be lunch most days but sometimes I get hungry and eat it at like 10 a.m.
    – cliff kids z bar (chocolate brownie)
    – anti-oxidant trail mix – basically cashews, almonds, dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries, again Trader’s
    – non-fat cottage cheese with some kind of fresh fruit, or plain if I’ve already eaten the fruit
    – I have a sweet tooth so always need something post-dinner. 1 or 2 dark chocolate hershey’s kisses (in the freezer, of course) or a couple of Trader’s almond butter cookies (6 cookies = 200 cals and 4 grams of fat = best cookies ever). My favorite dessert option at the moment though is a few spoonfuls of chocolate sorbet or Trader’s tart plain non-fat frozen yogurt.

    Basically, if Trader Joe’s didn’t exist, I’m not sure I’d eat anything but that wheat bread from Giant. That would be very, very sad.

    Oh, and my friend Jess recommended the daily plate on It makes tracking pretty easy, especially since everything from Trader’s is already pre-loaded!


  3. ok, yoga, yes. sign me up. the classes at my gym suck a big fatty.

    I also eat the same thing over and over and over again. for example, i’ve had a pb&j on toasted honey wheat for lunch every day since january. nom. I also eat cheerios and a banana and chocolate soy milk for breakfast every day. i have not yet taught myself to love oatmeal. my diet is boring, but would probably make a nutritionist pretty grumpy. what you should probably do is work from home like me, which puts all your food 15 feet away, which is usually a good thing but often very, very bad.


  4. 1600 calories is definitely not enough for marathon training! If your “short” runs are 5 miles a day then that would bring your net calories to 1100 or something ridiculous.
    I pack my lunch and snacks every morning, so they are usually something I can do in 10 minutes or less. I always have a cut up apple and usually another piece of fruit for a snack. Non-fruit options for me are 100 cal packs of almonds, kashi granola bars, and skim string cheese.
    Easy lunches for me are spinach salads with veggies (cut up ahead of time and keeping dressing at work), sweet potato with black beans & salsa (sweet potato cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes in the morning), veggie wraps, and occasionally frozen veggie burgers. Dinner leftovers often make an appearance too. You could also bring a stash of single serving frozen veggies to bulk up your lunches in a pinch.
    Longest comment ever. The end.


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