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Food Journal vs. Intuitive Eating

Goodafternoon blog friends :)

My favorite part about this month….JUNE GLOOM. Overcast mornings are unbeatable for 5:00am runs & I welcome the clouds!

As I blogged about last week, my summer workout schedule is off to a cardio-crazy start. Most days I run before and after work, squeezing in as many miles as I can on and off the treadmill. My goals right now for the summer:

  • get into the same running condition I was in last summer. Avoiding injuries of course ;) I was able to run 16 miles at a comfortable 7:25min/mile pace, and always felt proud and accomplished with my workouts. This summer I will log miles to build my “base,” increase my long run distance, and train for a few 5k races this fall.
  • Undo a few lbs. I added during the last month of school from stress & social eating. Back to the clean routine and it feels good!

A few key things? ‘Injury prevention,’ ‘hydration,’ and ‘nutrition’ are BUZZ words for athletes. We cannot get enough info & lectures on each. Because they are so ridiculously important!

Injury Prevention is a topic for another day.

Hydration is pretty easy.

Nutrition is my favorite thing to read/learn/experiment/talk about.

Food Journaling vs. Intuitive Eating (stronglikemycoffee.com)

I am a fan of keeping a food journal. The easiest way for me is to use an Excel spreadsheet to track my meals, calories and workouts. Though my meals and snacks are usually nutritious and healthy, overeating or oversnacking will inevitably lead to incremental weight gain. Even if “extra calories” come in the form of something clean and nutritious such as cashews or avocados. More calories consumed than burned = weight gain.

Many fellow bloggers have been praising the Intuitive Eating style. I recently started noticing a trend which abandons calorie tracking, using “intuition” or “instinct” to dictate when/what/how much we eat. Yes, some people find calorie counting or food journaling stressful or time consuming. I think there are pro’s to both approaches of nutritional decisions. But speaking for myself, if I were to use “intuition” to dictate my diet, the results would be ugly. Hormones and cravings would “instinctively” tell me to load up on sodium, carbs, sugar, fat. Stress and boredom would lead me to intuitively decide I am in need of triple chunk peanut butter mocha brownie ice cream.  The mid-day sleepies would yell at me to chug another latte….and better grab that peanut butter cookie there just in case. Protein, ya know.

What I mean is, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between my body’s instinctive request for certain nutrients and pure hormone-driven cravings. Anyone else feel the same? The sweet tooth is way to active to be trusted for “Intuitive Eating.” ;)

Because of my work schedule and commute, I am gone from home from 7:00am to 5:00pm. That is 10 hours, 2 meals, and a couple snacks. In order to bypass vending machines, break-room snacks and impulse buys, I pack a cooler FULL of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, oatmeal, nuts, and other snacks.

Clean Eating - packing meals and snacks for work (stronglikemycoffee.com)

A typical week-day looks like this:

  • 4:40am Coffee with almond milk the instant I wake up
  • 6:00am 1/2 Luna bar after a run/HIIT workout
  • 8:00am Breakfast: Oats with berries or banana slices
  • 10:30am Apple slices
  • 12:30pm Lunch: Yogurt with fruit and almond slivers; veggie slices and homemade roasted red pepper hummus
  • 2:30pm Snack: Protein bar OR crackers OR mixed nuts; plus another piece of fruit (grapes, pear, peach, pineapple, watermelon)
  • 7:30pm Dinner: typically 2 vegetables, a lean protein (with some sauce or seasoning), brown rice or sweet potato
  • Post-dinner: right now, nothing. Only until I reverse my end-of-semester splurges ;) when I’m at my goal weight, desserts vary from popcorn, a cup of hot chocolate, Dove dark chocolate squares or a big bowl of strawberries!

Clean Eating Fiesta Sweet Potato (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The amount of produce my family buys is unreal. This week we have blueberries & strawberries for oatmeal additions. Bananas for yogurts toppers or smoothies. Grapes and apples for midday snacks. Carrots, bell peppers, celery and cucumbers for hummus-dippers and salad-toppers. Tons of other veggies to steam, saute, roast or grill with dinner. Plus watermelon and cantalope for desserts. Our fridge is so colorful!

We are so fortunate to live in a country where this abundance of healthy fresh food is available.

Food journaling helps me stay on track to reach my goals. It provides a clear picture of how my calories/carbs/proteins/fats are distributed through out the day.

Are you team Food Journal or Intuitive Eating?

 

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