In the first three months of this journey, the weight vanished rather quickly. I say quickly because most cannot fathom a 50 lb weight loss in 3 months. For some of you, that’s more than a third of your body weight. For me, it was only a drop in the bucket.
No surprise here — the number one question I received almost daily was what are you eating? I think some were expecting me to tout a magic powder or a top secret superfood combination that ultimately led to this quick loss. The truth is, I was severely overweight and sedentary. Plus, my body hangs onto water like crazy. One salty meal and my rings are tight and I feel puffy.
About a month ago, I started training with a personal trainer to become stronger, specifically on the bike. Halfway through our training session, I caught myself wondering the same question I get asked, “what does she eat?” For background, she recently gave birth to twins and is in impeccable shape and so strong. In my mind, she had all the secrets and was probably a superhuman. As you can imagine, she shared no magic superfood. She eats like I eat: nutritious and smart. (She is indeed a superhuman, though).
I’m a big believer in advanced meal prep and eating at home, where you have control of the ingredients. But for the sake of nothing is perfect, ever, I’m sharing what a busy day looks like, peppered with meetings, a little meal prep and a scheduled dinner. I have to imagine most of you fall into the very busy category, too…
5:45am: Early morning wake up for a bike ride.
6:15am: I know I’m putting in at least 2hrs. on the bike today, so I need enough good carbs to get me through. My go-to is 2 slices of Ezekial bread, toasted with almond butter and one banana. I top it off with chia seeds.
*Sidenote: I’m very adament about my pre-ride fuel to avoid “bonking.” I bonked once last summer and it’ll never happen again.
7:00am: Wheels down. I get in a solid 2 hour ride, complete with hills. In my mind, hills = a bigger recovery meal (you burn more cals pushing hard!). I drink 2 large water bottles during my ride.
9:30am: 3-egg frittata. I added spinach, shallots, 1/4 chicken breast and sundried tomatoes. Topped off with 1/2 avocado, hot sauce and a cup of blueberries.
11:30am: Still hungry. I was in my car running errands, so had a KIND bar. I always have a bag of nuts or some type of low-sugar bar with me in case of an emergency.
1:30pm: Met friends for lunch. Today I ordered a kale salad with fish, quinoa, avocado, pepitas and a chickpea dressing. I skipped the bread because I knew I’d have an indulgent meal for dinner. I also typically skip cheese on my salad as I have sensitivity to dairy. Sometimes the cheese is worth the stomach pains — today it was not.
4:00pm: I don’t portion my meals out too much. Numbers and restrictions tend to make me obsessive. I grabbed a bowl of cauliflower and brussels sprouts that I roasted the night before in a light olive oil mist. There was probably 2 cups worth.
7:30pm: This is actually a bit of a late dinner for me. I am typically in bed before 10pm (I’m an early bird, not a night owl), so I try to eat super early — perhaps earlier than my Grandparents. We went to one of my favorite sushi restaurants, which I favor for their small portions and fun presentation. But it’s their dessert selection that I hold out for. Tonight I ordered: roasted beet salad, a mix of sashimi and two hotates (spicy scallops), sushi style. I shared a peanut butter semifreddo with my friend.
*I know what you’re thinking: dessert? YES. My theory on treats? Have them, in moderation. Should you do this everyday? That’s up to you. Personally, I feel slow, tired and truly cranky when I eat a lot of sugar, so it really is a treat when I go for it.
9:30pm: Just as I’m getting ready for bed, I’m slightly hungry (why does sushi do that?). I don’t buy into the “eat before 8pm” philosophy, nor do I like going to bed hungry — I’ve tried, it’s awful. So I popped a small handful, probably 10 dry-roasted, unsalted mixed nuts and that did the trick. I always drink a tall glass of water before bed so I wake up feeling refreshed.
If my math is accurate, I count zero superfood combinations above that lend itself to magic weightloss. My magic combination is as such (and keep in mind, this is what specifically works for me): eat nutritious & minimally-processed foods. Drink a lot of water. Treat yourself. Listen to your body — if you feel great, keep it up. If you feel awful — change it up — it’s really a process of elimination. And most of all, do you. If I listened to everyone’s advice on no dairy, no animal products, no nightshades (peppers, potatoes), no wheat, no fruit (sugar), no bread, etc., I’d likely be left with just water and air.
By the way, if you do find that magic powder, I want the name of the unicorn that sold it to you.
*photography credit: Alica Gao Photography; Mini Dill Frittatas by Julia Gartland for Camille Styles; Happyolks
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