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Posted on Jan 3, 2012 in Food | 24 comments

The Return

…of Daily Eats!

Long overdue, I know, but what better time to bring back good ol’ Daily Eats posts than after my New Year’s re-resolution, eh? If you can recall from that long ago, you might remember that I usually post these on a separate page. Since this is almost like starting over, however, I figured that it deserved some homepage glory. Plus, since I didn’t have to work yesterday, I got to take almost all of the pictures in glorious natural light, so they’re a little more deserving of the spotlight. Huzzah!


Breakfast was a mixture of Kix and Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Clusters cereals, with unsweetened almond milk along with it. Since I woke up at 11, this was the perfect mini-breakfast (I usually find that cereal alone isn’t enough to tide me over on normal mornings). ~150 calories.


Half of my lunch consisted of an awesome salad: mixed greens, onion, grape tomatoes, red grapes, craisins, blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Love.


The other half was a bowl of homemade turkey chili. Heavy on the onions, just the way I like it. Both halves put together ended up being around ~400 calories.


Snacks included a couple of these fellas, at 42 calories each, so 84 total.


Dinner #1 was 3 pieces of cornmeal-crusted chicken tenders, mushrooms and spinach in a cream sauce, and roasted brussels sprouts. It equaled ~500 calories when you factor in…


…all the rest of the brussels sprouts. Yes, I ate them all. I couldn’t help it! They were so delicious. I love them so.

At this point I had only eaten around 1100 calories and was still hungry… but hadn’t planned on being hungry. Which brings us to dinner numero dos. I noshed on a few slices of thin crust pizza (~400 cal) and a few frosted animal crackers (140 cal). Ultimately that landed me at ~1,640 calories, which is actually pretty much on target! That said, obviously pizza and cookies aren’t generally the best way to get there, and my overall distribution of calories throughout the day wasn’t very even. Still, for my first day back fully counting calories, I’m pretty pleased with myself!

Tomorrow it’s back to work and back to a normal schedule, so hopefully I can keep it up more than, you know, the one day. I’m not promising I’ll really be posting DAILY daily eats, but I’m going to try since it does help me to have the visual aid in addition to the actual calorie counting on my iPhone app.

Happy Tuesday!

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Posted on Nov 9, 2010 in Weight Loss | 6 comments

Weight Loss Math

So as a seasoned dieter and weight-loss-fake-starter, I can tell you that it isn’t really news that weight loss is a math equation. Let’s be honest, we all know this. Calories in versus calories out. If you expend more calories than you eat, you lose weight. Ta-da! From that perspective, it would seem that it’s this kind of math:

But when you really get down Ā to it, and you are actively trying to lose weight, you don’t want to hear that it’s that simple. You don’t want people to tell you that it’s an easy equation. Because losing weight is hard. It is. It’s a daily struggle, and the successes and failures that you suffer day to day make it actually a lot more like this:

This is me trying to figure out my own personal weight-loss equation, the answer to seemingly endless questions as I continue down this road. How many calories should I really be consuming? How many weeks should I reasonably set for my goal? When I started this journey, I picked 1500 calories fairly arbitrarily. While I’ve obviously flexed in both directions on different days, I thought it was time to sit down and really sink my head into this math, especially since I’m now almost 34 lbs lighter.

Thank goodness for Google, that’s all I have to say. A few deft strikes of the keyboard and I found a BMR calculator that helped me figure out my restarting point. At 22 years old, 5’9″, and 212 pounds, my basal metabolic rate (the rate at which I burn calories simply by being alive) is 1798 calories a day. Add in the Harris Benedict Equation (which helps roughly figure out how many more calories you are burning based on your activity level) I determined the following:

If I am sedentary, with little or no exercise in a given week, I’m burning approximately 2,158 calories a day.

If I am lightly active, exercising 1 – 3 times a week, I’m burning approximately 2,472 calories a day.

If I’m moderately active, exercising 3 – 5 times a week, I’m burning approximately 2,787 calories a day.

I won’t go into the results for very or extra active because who am I kidding? Hahaha. So what do these numbers mean, exactly. Again, this is probably information that most of you are already well aware of, but let’s refresh the Dieter’s Golden Nugget of Knowledge just in case:

1 pound of fat is approximately (I am using that word a lot today!) 3,500 calories. So as logic follows, in order to lose 1 pound a week you need to have a deficit of about 500 calories a day. Now as I obviously want to be losing more than just 1 pound a week, you just multiply up from here and you can figure out what you need to lose 2 pounds a week, and so on, and so forth. What this means for me is that my original goal of 1500 calories a week… is just about right for losing around 2 pounds a week. So how do you like that! Guess my arbitrary number isn’t looking quite so arbitrary (what is with me and reusing words today?) anymore, huh?

If I maintain a lightly to moderately active lifestyle, and stick between 1500 and 1800 calories a day depending on my activity level, that should keep the pounds coming off at a fairly regular rate. In fact, if I continue to lose 2 – 3 pounds a week, I should be able to reach my end goal of 165-ish pounds in 17 – 25 weeks! And my birthday is in 22 weeks, so I figure that’s kind of perfect. šŸ™‚ Now, of course, the math is just half the battle. Enforcing the calorie-counting and exercise regiment is the important part. Obviously this isn’t a perfect science. You hit plateaus. Your body is constantly adjusting its needs based on your lifestyle, and as I continue to lose weight I’ll probably need to whip out theĀ abacusĀ once more. But it is comforting to know that there’s some sense to all this. There’s some rhythm. Something reliable. And as long as I can put in the effort, stay the course, keep on track, I’ll get there in the end. It literally is a journey. And with that poetic ending, I bid you adieu!

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Posted on Sep 12, 2010 in Food, Pup Posts | 2 comments

Some Frickin’ Adorable Dogs (oh, and a few other things)

So this weekend really felt like a lovefest for Northern VA. I feel like I did so many fun, local things! My family enjoyed the Taste of Falls Church and took in a show at Wolf Trap! Also just spent some time hanging out with Steve (my guy) and leaned on my brother’s awesome photography skills for a puppy photo shoot. Alright, where to start, where to start…

First of all, I want to share this awesome breakfast sandwich that I made Saturday morning. Seriously, this thing was delicious, and soooo filling (I could only eat half!)

The star of the sandwich was definitely theĀ Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese! So glad I picked this up – only 35 calories a wedge, and for those of you who may not be blue cheese fans, don’t worry — they come up in a variety of delicious flavors (I also got a thing of Mozzarella & Tomato – yum!)

I tossed two eggs into a bowl with some salt and pepper, and a little skim milk. Whipped those up then poured it into a pan sprayed with some nonstick sunflower oil spray. This is the most perfect egg omelet/egg patty/whatever you want to call it that I have EVER made. I don’t know if it was the new skillet I just bought, of the cooking spray, or the whipping of the eggs, but it turned out into a really perfect little egg for my sandwich!

So I let the egg cook, lifting up the edges to let the gooey stuff on top run under, then when it’s almost cooked through, I flipped it over halfway, and turned it over in the pan for a tiny bit longer. (If you wanted to make anĀ omelet, I guess you would add the veggies, cheese, whatever before you flopped it over.)

Perfection! As you can see in the top picture, I paired it with a whole wheat english muffin with the laughing cow wedge on one side, and a little nonfat greek yogurt on the other, and added a slice of turkey. Mm-mm good!

So for lunch on Saturday, my sister, mom, dad, and I all went to the Annual Taste of Falls Church festival! It was super fun, where you buy some food tickets and go around to the booths where local restaurants are set up! There were some great places that I could try out that I hadn’t been to before, and it was SUCH a beautiful day. I wanted to hit myself over the head when I realized I forgot to take pictures while we were there! The only thing was that due to all the little samples of food I picked up from the various places, I really couldn’t tabulate my calories! So yesterday kind of ended up being a no-count day, my first since I’ve started this journey.

We went to see the National Symphony Orchestra play the score of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King at Wolf Trap! It was super cool, the orchestra was live on stage, playing along to the movie as it was being played. The weather was beautiful, the music was amazing, and that movie is just SO good. There was a real sense of comradery between all of the nerds in the audience too, with everyone cheering at all the heroic moments!

We had grabbed some food from the food bar at Whole Foods since you’re allowed to eat if you have lawn seats. But of course, again, couldn’t really count my calories too well there either. Oh well! I don’t feel that bad about it. It’s probably healthy to let the severe calorie-counting go every once in a while and just enjoy. I still feel like I’m in a good position since I feel like I made pretty good choices with what I did consume. Here’s a pic of the pepper-stuffed salmon, veggies, and baba ganoush that made up part of the picnic:

This morning, I went to church with my parents and sang with the church choir. It was my first time singing in a choir since Freshman year of college! I was a little rusty with my sight-reading, but it was nice. Good to be doing something musical again, since I’ve been pretty lacking in musical outlets lately. Got back after church and Ben and Taylor were around, so we decided to make use of the special seamless background paper that he bought a little while ago, and take some puppy photos! My brother has been dabbling in photography as a pretty serious hobby and he’s getting to be quite the professional.

I played the role of dog handler, and we got some really cute shots! Most of this was really for testing purposes because it was the first time we had set anything like this up, with the seamless paper and whatnot in the kitchen, but now we know for next time and can hopefully get even MORE adorable shots of my babies!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend! I leave you today with a few photos to fulfill your daily quota of cuteness:

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