Comfort zone and carbs

The beginning of a semester is a beautiful thing, if you like free time. An injury is an excuse to focus on other things, and apparently what I want to do with this extra time is blog. Hope you’re not sick of seeing my updates yet!

I am caught up on my readings for the week and not eager enough to go ahead and do next week’s. I’m justifying this decision by saying that I want to wait and make sure my reading responses and posts about the readings that we are required to do in two of my courses are on track before going ahead and doing the next one! Yepp, I can justify anything.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am doing an Advanced Exercise Nutrition course through Human Kinetics to keep my certifications. I am trying to learn the stuff for real this time–as with so much of what I learned in my university courses, my exercise nutrition knowledge has kind of escaped me. I remember key numbers, like wanting 6-8% carb in a sports drink or like aiming for 6-10g/kg of carbs daily when you’re an endurance athlete, but I really am enjoying the reminder.

Today I got ambitious and entered my foods from yesterday (it was easy with my WIAW post to refer to) into FitDay.

Here’s my readout:

I’m around 60kg, so 6-10g/kg would be 360g as the low end. I am not there, and I think yesterday was a pretty standard day for me. What I’ve noticed with any time I’ve put my eats into fit day is that I love the fat. I think it come from usually having at least 3tbsp of peanut butter or almond butter somewhere in there. I try to get all of my foods in, and I always think…wow, why are you afraid of carbs?

I know carbs are not the enemy. I know society wants us to think of them as bad, and I know that as an endurance athlete (and even though I’m injured, I’m still swimming and that is endurance exercise) they are particularly important. As a side note, I know a lot of people are gluten free for good reasons, but a lot of people seem to choose this way of eating as an excuse to limit carbs. Other people are going paleo, which is fine, but I’m not ready to revert to cave-woman-dom. Nancy Clark tackled the paleo diet in one of her blog posts (and since I know we all love love love her, I thought I’d share!) so I’m not going to preach (since I lack credentials, I’ll let her promo the carbs instead).  I also know I can and should probably admit that I’m still a little afraid of them, particularly at night. For a long time, including a starch with dinner was tough and getting up to 1-2 consistent servings was an accomplishment. Certain days (i.e. yesterday), I’ll take a lazy way out and go back to the big salad fallback I’ve relied on for so long. I think of it as “safe” and I know that adding croutons adds carbs, but I could do better:

a) I could choose a more NUTRITIOUS source of carbs (my own homemade croutons or a different source entirely)

b) I could eat something I actually want (i.e. I craved pasta all day yesterday)

side note: croutons are not bad. white flour is not bad. everything in moderation but for me I am noticing that I am consistently feeling crappy after eating these giant salads and use my inclusion of croutons as an excuse to leave out things like bread, rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta, etc. 

Today’s trip to the dietitian focused on my dessert challenges (and she reminded me that frozen yogurt is a pretty healthy choice for a dessert, so I’m hoping I get to go tonight and she really made me feel good about challenging myself, assuring me that my reasoning is sound when it comes to doing this to help myself move forward to a healthier, more balanced place mentally), my injury frustrations (but how I am taking a healthier perspective on things than I ever could have in the past), and on snacks. This is one place where I am still just doing whatever. Maybe out of laziness or convenience, I eat a granola bar almost every day. Though it helps that it’s a Kashi product with some protein, I could do better. I realized I often leave out the protein source (i.e. the yogurt or cottage cheese or handful of almonds that are on my meal plan) and that I am scared to eat a few things that I know are calorically equivalent, perhaps more nutritious, and definitely options:

  • crackers and cheese
  • pita and hummus
  • almonds and fruit
  • soy nuts
  • cereal in place of a granola bar (like really, Cheryl? cuz a granola bar is what–a more processed form of cereal…but for some reason I am okay with bars and not with the loose stuff? oh wait, that’s ed. challenge accepted.
  • muffins (I’ve had a package of PC Blue Menu Dark Chocolate Bran muffins in my cupboard for what feels like an eternity, but something is so terrifying about eating a muffin)

  • etc. etc.

Using the excuse that it’s too much work to pack these combos (or that they need to be kept cold) doesn’t fly. I pack my lunch, they sell a lot of this stuff on campus, and there’s plenty of ice packs in my freezer (not to mention a fridge at the Gazette and the gym that I can totally use).

Random “excuse” search driven cheese here:

…excuses are lame!

Since I feel like I’m in a pretty good place, taking on these challenges and going up against my weirdo food rules is something I feel prepared to do. I’m really inspired by Tina’s latest posts at Best Body Fitness.  I especially appreciate her “Stuffed with Emptiness” series about binge eating because she puts stuff into words in a different way than I can and I know I for one have really related to her stuff! If you haven’t read it, check it out. Some blogger love, no doubt. Lately I’ve also been inspired by Tessa’s blog  too! She writes with honesty and crazy awareness that I totally admire and aspire to. If you need a little reading material, go their way.

Whose blog is really impressing you lately?
What’s your go to snack that you eat just about every day? 

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9 responses to “Comfort zone and carbs

  1. I LOVE this post cheryl ❤ seriously. Thanks for sharing that carbs are important… I am actually in the midst of a post that I will be publishing next week about their importance and how I was once so confused about them 🙂

    I totally agree, Tessa has an amazing blog. I love it. I can relate to so many things she says!

  2. P.s. great header 🙂 cute pics of you. I like the one of the far right especially ❤

  3. Yay for carbs! Fat was always the big fear for me, so I’ve never had too much of a problem with carbs. But I still wasn’t eating enough of them until I read Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. She helped me to fully embrace carbs in all their carby glory!

    You should try to keep track of whether you notice a difference in your athletic performance when you eat more carbs (once your hip is better of course). I may just be imagining it, but I swear I did!

    My go-to snack is Greek yogurt with homemade granola. I eat it at least 1x per day, if not twice! 😀

    • For some reason I’m all about fat. I think cuz someone told me if I ate more I’d get my period, TMI I know, and it’s NOT working.

      That’s another thing to look forward post-recovery. I’m carbing up already though, maybe it’s a blessing that I’m not running/cycling since I can get to what I need more easily…always looking for that positive part!

  4. Hey Cheryl,
    Carbs are my demon, thought I know how important they our as a fuel and help keep from symptoms. They have gotten such a bad rap in the media but I agree their is importance in what carbs you choose, one that are not as processed n comparison to others. Great Post, keep it up ❤

  5. Kaitlyn @ Pain Can Be Fun

    Thanks so much for sharing all this information about carbs, etc.! And good for you for challenging yourself 🙂 Frozen yogurt is by far one of my favorite “treats”…yum!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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