Okay, okay. It’s more like 8 hours of eating, since I intermittent fast (basically just skip breakfast).
One of the things that helped convince me that I could handle this diet thing was 24 hour eating videos. I didn’t actually video myself eating today, but I ate what seems like an enormous amount and still kept it under 1800 calories. So I’m going to share all of the food that I ate today. If you’re new to this whole tracking your calories thing, try logging the food here in MyFitnessPal to check my work.
I woke up at 7 am and then went back to sleep until 8. Then I took care of the kids while Jen got her hair done. The kids and I started playing computer games, and it was 1pm before Jen got back home.
At 1:30, I had a Diet Cherry Dr Pepper and a banana. It was 121g without the peel. That was enough to stave off my hunger for another hour while I got the kids fed and made lunch for Jen and me.
By the time lunch was done, and I sat down to eat, it was 2:30. I had
400g of chicken breast (weighed raw). Slice it lengthwise so you get two thinner pieces. Salt both sides and sprinkle with Ranch powder. Sautee said chicken in 2g of Kerry Gold butter.
I actually planned out dinner before lunch. Corban had asked for Taco Friday a couple days ago, so I already had a pretty good idea of what I was going to eat. Instead of a taco, I made mine into taco salad. Started cooking around 6:45 and finished eating around 7:30.
4 oz organic grass fed ground beef (from Aldis) with taco seasoning and 25g of onion
Finlandia reduced fat cheddar (2 slices)
5 black olives (sliced)
Friendly Farms Brand Nonfat Greek Yogurt 80g (different brands of Greek yogurt vary wildly in their protein/sugar content; this brand has the most protein and least sugar of all I’ve tried)
Little bit of taco sauce
Kirkland Organic Tortilla Chips 28g
I didn’t track the taco seasoning or the lettuce. This is a great flavorful (albeit relatively small meal). You could use sour cream or low fat sour cream, but I use the Greek Yogurt mostly for its protein content to hit my macros.
Macros for Dinner
After dinner, I went for a walk. After walking, I had dessert (about 8:30). I’m still 10g of protein short, so it’s time to Release the Secret Weapon!!
Halo Top Ice Cream!
This stuff is some kind of magic. One cup of ranges from 120-180 calories (about half the calories of normal ice cream) AND it has relatively high protein (10-14g per cup). AND it tastes really good. Here in South Florida, you can buy it at Target, Walmart, and Publix. Someone I know in Tarpon Springs says his Costco carries it (sadly, mine does not). People also report buying it at Krogers (we don’t have any down here).
I’ve been working my way through the flavors. Tonight was S’mores. I rank it third of the three flavors I’ve tried so far. It has small chocolate chips in it, and they get stuck in my teeth (same reason I don’t like mint chip). So far, my favorite flavor is cookie dough followed by peanut butter cup. Once I’ve tried all the flavors I can get locally, I’ll post my full ranking.
Macros for Dessert
Halo Top Alternatives
Okay, you don’t actually have to buy specialty ice cream. You could have gotten the same effect from eating 50 more grams of chicken breast and 2 Oreo cookies. Regular ice cream can also be an option, but you only get to have half a cup (usually about 100g) for 130 -160 calories. The nice thing about the specialty ice creams is that you can eat more of it than traditional ice cream, so you feel less deprived. And the extra protein does mean that you can be a bit more flexible with the rest of your day.
So here are a couple other low calorie Ice Creams/Yogurts
Yasso makes several different products. The one I’ve had is a cookie dough frozen yogurt bar. It’s 100 calories and has 5g of protein. Tastes very good. They have them at Walmart and BJs near me.
Englightened produces a low calorie, high protein ice cream and ice cream bar. I haven’t personally eaten them yet, but a friend says he likes them better than Halo Top.
My total calorie count for the day is 1771 calories with 159g protein, but I’m probably over estimating my fat intake since I drained the taco meat and overestimate my oil spray. On the other hand, I didn’t log the Ranch powder, taco seasoning, or lettuce.
The key to great potato wedges is not to wedge them. Instead, slice them. That way the pieces are uniform thickness, so they’ll be the same done-ness throughout. I get pretty much perfect results using this recipe/technique every time.
Oil of choice (I like to use cooking spray as the potatoes don’t stick as much with it)
Other spices as desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice the potato into approximately 1/4 inch slices
Spread/Spray small amount of oil on a small sheet pan.
Sprinkle oiled pan with salt.
Place potato wedges on pan and press into oil.
Spread/Spray a small amount of oil on top of the wedges.
Salt, pepper, and use any additional spices (rosemary would be nice)
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the wedges and cook an additional 10 minutes*.
Remove, and allow to cool long enough not to burn your mouth.
Serve and eat.
*10 minutes works 90% of the time. If the slices are thicker than usual, or if you live at high elevation, try letting them go for another 5 minutes. The tops should be brown. If you see the tops blister, then pull them out; they’re done.
When I used to make this with coconut oil or olive oil, I used about half a teaspoon of oil. With the cooking spray, the bottle is anywhere from 0-5 grams lighter after using it. Either way, you’re talking probably less than 3-4 grams of fat (30ish calories). So the vast majority of calories come from the potato.
Even a massive 350g potato only has 62g of carbohydrates and 260 calories (including a bonus of 7g of protein). Compare that to 350g of French Fries (using Wendy’s fries as a comparison) with 1192 calories (partly because cooked potatoes have less water). Okay, let’s do an apple to apple…uh…potato to potato comparison. If you eat the same amount of carbohydrate (62g) of French Fries, you get 475 calories.
So the potato wedges have about 200 calories less than an equivalent amount of fries due to the lower amount of fat. This let’s you eat more chocolate!
Who knew that Swiss chard was amazingly awesome and delicious? I didn’t…until we got some from one of those “meal box” services. So I had to cook it, and it turned out to be so good that I’ve made the dish four more times. So without further ado, here’s the recipe. I’ve modified it to have slightly less fat (as I prefer to eat mine in the form of chocolate).
One bunch Swiss Chard (rainbow or single color)
8 oz of cubed butternut squash (we use the frozen organic stuff from BJs)
Onion or shallot diced
One clove garlic minced
2 oz shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup of milk (preferably whole)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut the stems off of the Swiss chard and chop into pieces about the same size as the squash or onion
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chard stems and onion and a large pinch of salt.
While the stems and onion saute, slice the chard leaves into smaller pieces (I usually go about 1.5 – 2 inch squares)
When the stems and onion has softened, add the garlic, and thyme. Stir until squash begins to soften.
Add the huge pile of chard leaves and more salt. Turn until it wilts (about 2-3 minutes)
Stir in the gruyere and milk. Turn the heat to low and allow to thicken a minute or two.
Taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a small casserole dish and top with panko bread crumbs.
Cook covered for 10 minutes and then uncovered for 5-7 minutes until bread crumbs are brown
Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
I usually eat half the recipe. Macros on this are approximately:
And yes, you just ate half of that enormous bunch of greens. Don’t you feel so healthy? Almost virtuous.
Earlier I mentioned that this came from a food box service. Jen and I have tried several of these including HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, and Plated. By far, my favorite one is Plated where this recipe came from, and the top photo is from their recipe card. Apparently there’s no way for me to refer you to them and get credit for it, so this post is free of commercial interest.
Although I’m known at work as a mild-mannered pharmacology nerd with mad computer skillz, my first love is “extreme” sports and physical challenges. Recently, Jen treated me to two fun physical challenges, flying trapeze and flyboarding. Here are the videos:
This was my first time flyboarding. It’s really fun, but has a bit of a learning curve. This video is the result of a 25 minute session cut down to two and a half minutes. The key is to somehow lock your ankles and knees but keep your body relaxed. You can see on my better attempts that my ankles/feet stay in the same position. On my less stable attempts, you can see how unstable my ankle angle is. I hear that the second and third time sessions are dramatically easier than the first attempt. It’ll be fun to do this again. This was at SoFlo Flyboarding. Kids have to be 80 lbs minimum. Can’t wait till the kids are little heavier…Jen! Can we feed Logan more?
This was actually my second time doing the trapeze, but the first time was more than two years ago. This was an Aerial Trapeze Academy Groupon. With the Groupon, you only get to do the beginner session, which is three practice swings, where you try to get into the knee hang/transfer position. If you can successfully get into that position, then on the fourth swing, you get to to try for a mid air catch. They also do birthday parties and private groups. Kids can do it as young as 4 years old, and they work with autistic kids. Once you’ve done the beginner session, you can do more advanced stuff. This is really easy and fun if you have any amount of athleticism/body control. Highly recommended. PSA: Hanging from the bar with your knees can give you friction burns. If you have leggings or tights, you should wear them.