Friday Refine | Food.

It’s Friday! Our office is having a little Cinco de Mayo potluck party today, so I offered to bring a baked good. Confession whenever we have potlucks, I use these times as an opportunity to get rid of some unhealthy foods that have somehow made their way into my apartment. I hate throwing food away, so I decided to make up the package of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies that have been teasing me in my fridge for a while now. They’re teasing me this morning, too. You just can’t beat that fresh out of the oven smell that cookies always create…

What a tease early in the morning. But I’ve resisted!

I can’t believe it’s been an entire week since I post about refining my goals. To refresh, there are four areas in my life I’d really like refine, refocus and reevaluate in order to make sure I’m continually making positive strides in healthy living. These include fitness, food, finances and love. This Friday I’m taking a look at the category of Food – where I’ve been, and where I need to take it for even better health.

In the past six months, I’ve really reshaped the way I eat.  I’ve made great strides in this area of my life by focusing on mindful eating, taking note of the nutrients my body is taking in or lacking, and I’m cutting out processed foods by choosing foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. I’m eating as many home cooked meals as possible so I can control portion sizes. More importantly, home cooked meals allows me to control each ingredient that goes into a recipe. I’ve also learned that I’m a Flexitarian. A Flexitarian is a semi-vegetarian– a person who eats a vegetarian diet much of the time, but will include animal foods in the diet when convenient or because she enjoys these foods occasionally. And by occasionally, I mean rarely, except in the form of tuna or salmon or eggs.

These are all great things I’ve focused on. Making smarter food choices has improved the way I feel, improved my mood, given me more energy and keeps me focused. I have come to a place where I can say “no” to refined carbs (free breadsticks or rolls at restaurants, cupcakes at the office, sugary cereals, etc.) and I’ve also found the powerful benefits of adding high protein foods to my diet, especially on workout days.

While I’m happy about where I’ve come from and what I’m currently doing to live healthfully in the area of Food,  there’s always room for improvement. Here’s how I’d like to refine the area of food:

1.) I’d like to incorporate food challenges into my diet and blog. Earlier this week, I, for the first time, baked tofu using a personally created recipe: Salsa Lime Tofu. It was delicious and the leftovers offered me healthy lunch options throughout my work week. I used to be so intimidated about making this food, but I challenged myself and the results turned out amazing. Food challenges would help me incorporate a variety of health and super foods into my every day diet as well as allow me to get creative in the kitchen. Some foods I’m going to challenge myself to make include:

  • Quinoa
  • Homemade Larabars
  • Steel Cut Oats / Overnight Oats
  • Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Be on the look out for Food Challenges where I’ll get creative in the kitchen and offer you healthy recipes.

First Food Challenge | Salsa Lime Tofu

2.) I’d like to review restaurants, cafes, grocery or food specialty stores once a month. Similar to reviewing The Corner Cafe, this will allow me to get to know what health gems that Lexington offers. Be looking for more “Lex Eats” reviews and recommendations.

3.) I’d like to continue logging on Lose It. This truly is a supportive online community. It’s also an amazing health tracker. You easily log what you eat every day and you can run nutrition reports on any given day. You can evaluate your day or overall week. It’s very insightful, especially on days when I’m working out and need more protein.

4) I’m going to focus on drinking 8 glasses of water and aiming for 90g to 100g of protein everyday. Being almost vegetarian, I have to work hard to ensure that I’m getting enough protein for someone who works out almost every day. I feel best overall when I am on a high protein, lower carb diet and I need to be more mindful of my carb intake by limiting refined carbs, not eliminating my carbs.

5) I am going to stick to a strict grocery budget of under $35 per week. This is plenty for a girl living alone and it restricts impulse buys, which are usually unhealthy choices. I need to make better use of coupons for items I use weekly, too. For the sake of transparency among my readers and for accountability for me, I hope to report my weekly grocery receipt total to you each week.

And finally….

6.) I’m going to begin meal planning at the start of each week instead of prepping everything the night before. This gives me better control of my health choices for the week ahead, and it will reduce stress when I’m in a time crunch. Having a meal plan will help me know what I need to purchase at the grocery by forcing me to take stock of what I currently have in my fridge/freezer/pantry versus what I need to put a meal together, ultimately saving money.

Those are a few realistic aims I’ll be working on in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know how I progress. When I get to work this morning, I’m going to print off this list and hang it on my fridge later to serve as a visual reminder of my goals. Next Friday, I’ll take a look at a different area I’d like to refine.

On a side note, this is what I’ve been enjoying this morning for breakfast:

This morning’s breakfast included a simple egg white omelet with kale, fresh sweet basil, crushed red pepper, Roma tomatoes and Vidalia onions. Because the Derby is tomorrow, I’m also enjoying some chocolate truffle coffee in my Kentucky mug. I’m probably going to have a little greek yogurt before I head to work, too.

I hope you have an amazing Friday. Wishing you the best. katie

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

What choices can you make to live a more healthy life when it comes to the topic of Food?
Do you have any suggestions for a girl on a budget?
What foods would you like to see featured in a Food Challenge? 

(LEAVE A COMMENT: I’d love to hear from you! To comment click on the comment/dialogue box at the top of this post. Or visit my Contact Me page. You’ll find information  on following me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more.) 

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