Many people have asked me what I eat, what’s the secret, how do I meal prep, etc. My food has evolved over time, but hopefully I can address some common questions here.
I view my transformation as a lifestyle – not a diet, not a quick fix, and certainly not magical. Nutrition is where I started. I lost my first 40 pounds just with changing my food choices, watching portions, and journaling.
Before we go into the nitty gritty, here are a few excerpts from a book I read last year. Lisa bases her food philosphy on scripture and redirecting food cravings towards faith.
Lisa Terkeurst – Made to Crave
The “way out” that God provides is the ability to decide in advance what I will and will not eat each day. I plan my meals right after breakfast when I’m feeling full and satisfied. The absolute worst time for me to decide what I’m going to eat is when I’ve waited until I’m depleted and feeling hungry. So I prepare a healthy snack to have on hand or keep in my purse.
Let me be clear. I’m not saying that we should flee food. However, we must prevent the control that food can take over our lives. If we purposely begin to think before we eat, we’ll be better able to see the way out that God promises when we are tempted.
Are cravings a curse or a blessing? The answer to that depends on what we’re craving. And what we’re craving will always depend on whatever we’re consuming . . . either the object of our desire or God and His truth.
With each of Satan’s temptations, Jesus quoted Scripture without hesitation to refute that temptation. Truth is powerful. The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations. And the more we’ll naturally direct our cravings where they should be directed — to the Author of all truth.
Before we decide to change our eating habits, we must choose our “why” and understand the emotional needs behind current habits. I particularly liked Lisa’s point about refocusing our desires (typically geared toward food) to God and His truth. This means when it gets hard choosing the better food choice or resisting sweets at work, I said a prayer, recited a mantra, and wrote down daily blessings. Success for me isn’t sustainable without strength from the Lord.
Now for some practical knowledge. I used the Lose It app to track my food. It allows you to decide your target calorie goal and tracks your daily food intake.
Initially, I tried a new food a week to figure out what childhood food fears could be conquered. Surprisingly, I like most vegetables. Food exploration is a great way to get more comfortable choosing healthier options.
I used the Lose It app to watch my 1300 calorie goal as well as my Protein/Carbohydrate/Fat ratio. I aim for a 40/30/30 split. This means I aim to get 40% of my calories in protein and 30% from carbs and fat. Each person’s needs are different, so consult with a dietitian for what calorie goal and split is best for your individual needs.
With that said, I try new recipes, but often find myself looking at nutrition labels and food with those 3 things in mind. I look at food based on categories and times of the day as opposed to standard “meals.”
Here’s a general list of my go to foods:
Proteins (lean & complete):
- fish (salmon, tilapia, mahi mahi)
- chicken breast
- chicken sausage
- pork chops
- pork tenderloin
- lean ground beef
- lean ground turkey
- turkey breast
- black beans
- protein powder
- brussel sprouts
- dark leafy greens (spinach, kale)
- squash (butternut, spaghetti, yellow, zucchini)
- green beans
- bell peppers
Fruit (low glycemic)
- berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- brown rice
- 100% whole wheat bread (english muffins, low carb tortillas, high fiber sliced bread)
- sweet potatoes
- coconut or olive oil
- low fat cheese
- soy or almond milk
- peanut, almond, or sun butter
- turkey jerky
- protein bars
- 0% greek yogurt
That is just a basic list of things I eat. Here are some pictures of recent food I’ve cooked.
Grilled pork chops and chicken sausage with roasted zucchini
Rotisserie chicken from SAMs (sometimes I do pre-cooked food)
This is a typical Sunday meal prep if I know I’m going to have a busy week. The quinoa salad is for lunch topped with shrimp or roasted chicken. Roasted sweet potatoes and caramelized onions with canadian bacon are for breakfast hash. Spaghetti squash and cauliflower mash are for dinner sides during the week.
Quinoa salad with edamame, red and orange bell peppers, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Cauliflower mash – frozen cauliflower, marscapone cheese, and seasonings.
Broccoli salad and mixed roasted potatoes
Steamed green beans finished with toasted sliced almonds. Lunch bowl – quinoa, chicken sausage, fresh veggies, and avocado.
I know this is probably information overload. My keys to success are meal planning/prepping, portion control, and not expecting perfection.