If you’re a regular reader her or a follower on Twitter you know that I’ve been prattling on about the love of food for a few weeks now. I’ve even been posting the meals I eat using the hashtag #WhatIEat (join in!) and apparently those pictures raised a few eyebrows.
Because I’ve posted meals like these which are healthy and delicious:
AND meals like these which are delicious and delicious. (I’m not going to call them unhealthy, but you won’t find them in a diet handbook)
Three different people made similar comments on the disparity among those photos:
“Well of course you don’t see food as an enemy. It’s obvious you don’t have to count calories to stay at your weight.”
And I laugh. Of course I have to count calories! I’m over 30, work a corporate job (read: desk) and my genes predispose me to curves. I definitely pay attention to calories.
I actually keep a detailed food diary and not just for the purpose of counting calories. The diary I keep tells me how I’m doing at getting the right vitamins and minerals from the foods I eat, how much saturated fat I’m ingesting (it was a metric delicious ton with that charcuterie plate), whether I’m overdoing it on sodium. This diary also counts my total calories throughout the day and tells me what allowance I have remaining if I want to maintain weight or lose weight. Finally, if one chose to do so, the diary tracks weight and body measurement over time. And so I introduce you to MyFoodDiary.com
This screen shot shows my diary from a day when I ate a spinach smoothie for breakfast, that Mexican Pizza up there for lunch and then made a huge dinner of enchiladas and roasted corn…. because I ran 7 miles in the afternoon. I love the “Goal” section the best because it doesn’t assume my goal is to lose weight. Good stuff, MyFoodDiary.com!
I’ve seen similar products, but I choose this one for the three simple reasons:
1. There’s no “success” or “failure”. Instead, I get a realistic view of what I’m eating and what I’m burning over a period of time and can spot trends. In the screen shot above, the diary shows that I can still eat 286 calories for the day and expect to lose weight. But in an average week, I also eat enough on some days that I don’t have any “leftover” calories and being able to look at the whole week shows me that on balance, I’m doing just fine.
2. Its easy-to-use. I hate online diaries like this that don’t include major brands or measure food in grams instead of cups or tablespoons. MyFoodDiary.com includes most of the major brands I eat (yes, even Trader Joe’s!) and the measurements are easy to manipulate so you know how much you’re actually eating.
3. Access. I can upload meals and workouts from my phone or my computer, save regular meals and even check calories in restaurant meals before I eat them. Easy peasy.
MyFoodDiary.com isn’t free, but at $9.o0 a month, I think it’s a steal. Plus you can sign up for a free trial to see if you like it!
Full disclosure as always: I am not working with MyFoodDiary.com, I’m not reimbursed in any way for this post, and they don’t even know I wrote it. You’re welcome, MyFoodDiary.com.
I have an observation about women: Food is a favorite topic among us.
I have failed to blow your mind with that observation, haven’t I?
That’s because if you’re a woman reading this and you’ve ever had more than a five minute conversation with another woman, one of the following sentences has been uttered by one of you:
“I am so hungry but have to wear a swimsuit this weekend.”
“I had the worst day – let’s go get some ice cream.”
“I have to go to the gym…I just ate a whole bag of Doritos.”
“After this wedding is over I am going to Pig. Out.”
So many women are OBSESSED with food – either with eating it or not eating it- and that obsession turns food into an object of control. When food is an object of control and consumption of it a thing we manipulate, we are engaging in disordered eating.
I am a self-described “Board Certified Foodie” and spent some significant time in my career counseling patients to improve their diets for better heart health*. Because of this background and because I find great joy – not control – in eating, hearing sentences like the ones above
gnaws at concerns me.
Food should be a thing we delight in – as a fuel, a healer, an indulgence, a creative canvas – and not our slave or enemy.
Believe me, I do understand the struggle. The most conveniently available foods for most of us are not friends to our waistlines and with all the stress of our American culture, it’s hard to sit down and really enjoy a meal. I’ve also struggled with weight gain, so I understand the temptation to consider food an enemy. But what I understand the best is that all the rules, restrictions, fad diets and inspirational phrases in the world can’t keep you healthy if you don’t know how to truly enjoy eating.
And so, I’m going to begin a regular routine of blogging about the joy of food. At the request of several friends, I’ve already started tweeting photos and descriptions of my regular meals using the #WhatIEat hashtag to show what a diverse, maintainable, healthy and, most importantly, yummy diet looks like. I’ll also share a number of resources I’ve gathered through my professional life that have helped me eat delicious, nutritious and enjoyable meals.
All of this is in hopes that I start hearing the women in my life say new things about food. Things like:
“My workout goes so much better when I eat peanut butter beforehand.”
“I never indulge like this, but I’m going to eat and love a chili dog at tonight’s baseball game.”
“Of course I’ll have bread with dinner! These rolls are whole wheat and besides, YUM!”
“I just ate a whole carton of fresh blackberries.”
Will you join me in changing the conversation?
*Legal disclaimer: I’m not now, nor will I ever provide medical advice on this blog and I am not a practicing dietitian. Talk to your doctor, silly!
This Sunday is EASTER and The Miss is going to do some serious cooking. I considered an in-depth post about Easter, but I feel like these words do a better job than anything I write will:
On The Miss’s table for Easter Sunday:
Lemon Thyme Roasted Leg of Lamb
A Spring vegetable salad with peas, carrots, radishes, hard boiled egg, and pancetta
Potato and Spinach Gratin with fresh nutmeg and Fontina and Parmesan cheeses
Homemade Yeast Rolls
Berry and Herb Tarts
LOCAL FOLKS – Meet me at church and I’ll feed you after!