Calories: Quality or Quantity?
Hello all! I had a meeting recently that really got me thinking. The topic discussed was something that interested me and provoked lots of questions. Does that ever happen to you in meetings? I suppose that sometimes the point is for you to come away from the discussion still thinking about the topic. The topic was nutrition and calories. So that you may better understand the context of the conversation, I must tell you that the people in attendance were recovering from disordered eating and that the main speaker was and RD (Registered Dietician).
We started with an explanation of why the body needs each form of calories ( carbohydrate, protein, and fat). Now most of us are aware that our bodies need all of these. But, there has been a bit of a carb scare during the past few years much like the fat scare in years prior.
I must also advise you that one of the prominent behaviors of those suffering from an eating disorder is not only to restrict calories but also to restrict to only certain foods.
The dietician did advise that whether one is eating a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet, it is calories in versus calories out that will determine whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. The example given was : If your body needs 1800 calories every day and you are eating 1600 calories a day in fried funnel cake you will still eventually lose weight. In that same respect, if your body needs those 1800 calories every day and you eat 2000 calories every day in broccoli, you will eventually gain weight. Basically, the point was that your body doesn’t care where your calories are coming from when it comes to maintaining your weight. The dietician was aware that most of these girls had a lot of foods that they were fearful to eat. In the beginning of eating disorder recovery, maintaining weight is a primary concern since most ED patients have trouble breaking the cycle of losing weight. She made these comments so that the girls knew if they are having trouble maintaining weight and are still having trouble adding different foods, they can still eat enough calories in broccoli, oranges, or whatever their “safe” foods were to maintain their weight or even to bring it up.
We all know that there are people who live entirely on junk and maintain a healthy weight. But, that does NOT mean these people are healthy. Brendan Brazier does a great job of explaining the value of nutritionally dense food in his book. Our bodies do need foods from each group. That is the bottom line. But, for me ( and most of you ) that’s not enough. Our diets should be a combination of protein, carbs, and fats. A good portion of those carbohydrates should come from fruits and veggies. Yes, fruits are carbs and so are most vegetables even if the vegetable does not have a high carbohydrate content. So, protein, fats and carbs using whole grains, lean proteins and plant based food. That’s a pretty basic pyramid. However, there is more to it than that. We need our Omegas too! This is where we bring in our nuts, oils, fish, seeds and avocados!! I have discovered great ways to add these healthy fats into my diet through the blog world. But, my very favorite way to get good fat and protein is through nut butters. I eat between 3 and 4 servings of nut butters every day. That’s roughly 6-8 tablespoons. When other women hear this they tend to look at me as if I have 3 eyes. “If I ate that much peanut butter, I would be the size of a house!”, they say as they munch on their nutritionally void 100 calorie packs. But, the truth is that I’m not “as big as a house”. I’m not even close, I’m at the low end of my healthy weight range. I won’t post the number since it may be triggering to some bloggers and friends 🙂
We know that our carbohydrate choices should involve whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables. I like to stick with sprouted tortillas and breads or grains that look very similar when we eat them to what they do when they are growing. I am talking about quinoa, brown rice, steel cut or regular oats and so on. Of course many other nutrients come into play too. We must consider antioxidents, vitamins and so much more. I get most of my nutrition advice from the RD that was in that meeting and from another RD I know.
Do I allow myself the occasional indulgence? Absolutely! But, it has to be something that I really love and really want to eat.
This past weekend, my mother-in-law came to watch Snuffy on Saturday. She loves sweets and always raves over my baked goods (hopefully, she’s not just trying to be nice). So, I made on of her favorites: banana bread. Now, I could easily have healthified this recipe. (It was straight out of my BHG cookbook that I recieved as a gift from Mallard when we were newly engaged…yes, it is the pink one.) But, like her son, Mallard’s mom often requests “the original recipe”. You see, I wasn’t always such a healthy baker and many of my family members and co-workers remember a specific treat that I have made in the past that they loved.
So, I peeled my bananas …
Notice, the banana is “upside down”. I learned to peel my bananas this way from Gena’s blog! It’s much easier, especially when one is peeling 5 bananas for bread.
Mash and mix!
And the finished product
My MIL was in love.
Snuffy has been sick and refusing to eat! For most toddlers this may be normal but, Snuffy normally eats like it’s her job. She did ask for “bites” of banana bread though.
On Sunday, Mallard had fantasy football draft day!! So, he requested guy food.
Translation of guy food: carnivorous, preferably high in saturated fat and not at all good for one’s body but, utterly delicious to the male palate.
What was his selection? Sausage balls and a man-sized pizza roll!
For the sausage balls, I mix 2 cups of baking mix, 1 roll of sausage , and 3 cups of shredded cheddar.
Yup, that’s my beloved Kitchen-Aid mixer covered in animal fat….I am reminded of why I eat a vegetarian diet.
I popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes and wah lah!
Saturated Animal Fat : check!
I didn’t get pix of the pizza roll 😦 But, I will tell you how I make it since it’s more of an idea the a recipe.
I spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and stretch a refridgerated pizza crust to about 11in by 9in. I like to make my own pizza crust per this recipe. Mallard prefers Pillsbury 😉
Next, I spread about 1/2 cup of pizza sauce to about 1in from the edges of the crust and sprinkle 2 cups of shredded mozzerella . Mallard likes pepperoni and I stick with sauce , goat cheese and veggies.
Next, I start at at short side and roll it up. I wish I had the pix as this is a bit of a tricky process. Once it’s rolled, I pinch the seam closed and fold over the ends before pinching them closed as well.
I brush the top with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the mozzerella over the roll. Then, I bake it at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Once it cools, I slice into 1 inch servings. I always set out extra sauce for dipping.
Enough of the guy food! Onto my new favorite oats!
Most of you have probably run accross the banana soft serve by now.
Well, it did change my life. I used to freeze my extra ripe bananas and then microwave them and mash them into my cooked oats. No more!
Enter Magic Bullet
This guy is on his last leg but he manages to whip some frozen ‘nanas into shape!
Next step, add to cooked oats.
Yogurt, courtesy of Stonyfield’s happy, grass fed cows!
Another tasty snacklet
3/4 cup Fage mixed with 1 tsp honey, 1/2 cup mixed fruit and 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Flax…
It is divine.
… and here is the staple of my evenings
This was a mixture of Naturally More with flax, White Chocolate Wonderful and Maranath Raw Almond Butter.
With celery, apples and pears MMMmmmmmmmm
Hey I have told you guys how much I love nutbutters.
Up Next: This Fun Lil Questionaire Floating Around The Blog World!
I Want – to be the best possible version of myself. I want to be healthy and happy. I want to be a good mother.
I Have – A lot of hope for the future.
I Wish – I was closer to being finished with school!
I Hate – leaving Snuffy at the babysitter so often during the school year.
I Fear – the day when Mallard’s beloved pup passes away…that will be a tough day.
I Hear – the fireworks from King’s Island every darn night.
I Search – my soul for my true wants and needs.
I Wonder – what the future will bring!
I Regret – not putting forth my very best effort the first year that I attended college at SIU in 2004
I Love – watching my daughter grow!
I Ache – When Snuffy is sick and I have no control over her suffering.
I Always – try to step back and weigh my options before making a big decision.
I Usually – do my hair the same way almost every day…boring.
I Am Not – afraid to be a strong woman.
I Dance – when Snuffy and I are alone at home!
I Sing – because it makes me feel great!
I Never – wear my old high school cheerleading shirts when I know I will see other moms.
I Rarely – drink pop (soda)
I Cry – when I am extremely frustrated.
I Am Not Always – so personable before 7 am.
I Lose – my inhibitions if I have too many glasses of wine…this is why I rarely drink 🙂
I’m Confused – about what is the right decision sometimes
I Need – a large sum scholarship!
I Should – go to bed much earlier than I do!
I Dream – about all of the wonderful things my future may hold!
I hope – that I can raise my 3.4 to a 4.0 GPA this semester!
I feel – much older than 23!
I appreciate – My family and of course my fellow bloggers and readers…I ❤ you guys!