Not What You May Think…

by jenna on August 14, 2008

Hi guys!

Pleased to report there was no “it’s 3:30 and I am pulling my hair out” moments at work today! That extra snack of celery and almond butter actually went a long way and I felt more energized throughout my entire day because of it. I’m so happy my diet has sparked such interesting discussion all day! To play along a little bit and because I was just plain curious, I tracked my calories, fat, protein, fiber…all that…all day long to give you a final number. I don’t want to get in the habit of doing this, but I just wanted to see what it really added up to because some of you obviously think I eat so much!!!! I’ll give you the final numbers at the end of this post ;)

For dinner tonight I didn’t really feel like cooking at all. I forgot to mention that Dexter woke me up this morning at 5:45 and I never really fell back asleep. I made the coffee at work extra strong to compensate but I’m still a little poopy. I better buck up though because I have a feeling it’s going to be a long night tonight!

So, for dinner I made tuna melts with broccoli and toasted almonds and kiwi slices on the side:

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Basically, I just combined a 2 oz can of chunk light tuna in water with about 1 tbsp of nayonaisse, a pinch of curry powder and 2 celery stalks and spread it on a toasted Ezekiel english muffin half with spinach underneath and a cut up light string cheese on top. I stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes and pow! it was melty and delicious. As for the broccoli, I just plain steamed it and tossed about a tbsp of toasted almond slices on top to make for a little crunch. :) I also had a dark chocolate for dessert.

For a snack later, I think I’m going to pack one of my peak protein granola packs. These always hold me over well and I love the chewy cranberries in them.

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So here’s the stats for the day (again, this will NOT be the norm as I don’t count calories usually):

calories (including granola snack for dessert): 1,779

carbs: 219 grams

fat: 52 grams

protein: 121 grams

fiber: 50 grams

……So there you have it. I didn’t even hit 1800 calories and it looked like I did eat a ton of food! The fat is mainly the good kind from nuts, and that’s fine with me about all that protein because on lifting days I aim to eat about 1 gram per pound of body weight. I could even stand to add about 200 extra calories in to make a 2,000 calorie day.

The real moral of the story here is, please guys don’t hesitate to add a snack if you are hungry! You are probably eating less than you think anyways. If you have that “hit the wall” feeling and are truly hungry, you need to eat. Don’t be scare of it, just choose healthy options with protein and complex carbs!!! :)

And for those wondering how I computed all that, I have a software program on my laptop that does it for me that I got when I became certified as a nutritionist. I had to use it for some school projects in nutrition last fall as well. If I ever have any real clients other than my boyfriend it will come in handy! haha :)

Off to school!

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

runnershigh August 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I was actually thinking quite the opposite–that you may not be hitting your calorie goal! You seemed to be eating a high volume of low caloric density foods (aside from the healthy fats). Perhaps that is how some of your readers got confused!

In any case, I adore your blog. Keep up the great work without getting sucked into the calorie counting madness!

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jenna August 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm

runnerhigh,

oh no—i do not count calories in the least bit. I think its a horrid cycle and life is way to short, which is why I said I won’t be doing this regularly..just to show people how much I ate because it was of some discussion. Life is waaaaaay to short to count your grapes ;)

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ald August 14, 2008 at 9:41 pm

So interesting!! When you work out so much, you need fuel! Snack on, I say! Have a great night at school – I hope you don’t have to go in tomorrow!

There’s also a great website that’s free that calculates your nutrition stats (and activity and weight loss) its called http://www.fitday.com – its a great tool to really track your progress!

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Amanda August 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Jenna, when you make lentils and brown rice, do you add any seasonings to the lentils?

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rachel August 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm

wow! that’s a lot of protein. more than is recommended for elite athletes.

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runnershigh August 14, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Agreed :) It has taken me five years to recover from my eating disorder and figure that out.

Kudos to you for spreading the message!

PS–my dietician suggested that I combinine my egg whites with a full egg once a week. The yolk is packed with vitamins A, D, E, and K and helps bump up caloric density. Just an idea.

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rachel August 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm

cont…

i am all for increasing protein intake to build muscle–i agree that feeling strong is a wonderful feeling! but you need to be careful about overdoing your protein intake. From a medical perspective, too much can be stressful on your body and result in increased urinary calcium excretion. This happens because too much protein results in excess that your body cannot use.

Anyway, my information is primarily from Public Health Journals, Nutrition Journals, and other peer reviewed journals–while I respect the advice of personal trainers and nutritionists, they do not have nearly the same amount of knowledge (through applied research) as academicians and physicians who are in the nutrition field.

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polly August 14, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Yay Jenna, I love your blog and that you are eating lots of good stuff and showing that you can be lean and mean (you are not mean, very sweet but you know what I mean!) and you can EAT. EAT! I love that normally when you eat almond butter you just say a BIG GLOB… I do that too, and I bet it’s usually 2-3 tbsp at least. Good fat, good protein, good stuff.

Have a wonderful night! Oh! I eat 1-2 WHOLE eggs everyday. They are very healthy, and the Egglands best are great.

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Nadia August 14, 2008 at 10:52 pm

I was shocked when I tracked my calories for the last couple of days…thought I was eating a ton and realized I was only eating around 1400!! I def. need to incorporate more food into my day since although I dont work out consistently I’m super busy at work and running around most days. Thanks for the snack ideas…I’m vegetarian (mostly follow a vegan diet though since I’m lactose intolerant) and the lack of protein may be why I feel sluggish at work. Does anyone have any other ideas other than eggs (dont really like eggs) that have a good amount of protein? I eat nuts occasionally but the only nuts I really care for are almonds. Not really a fan of nuts.

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Pam August 14, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I eat whole eggs, too! I’m a huge fan of the good fats from the yolk.

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Sue August 14, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Hi Jenna,
I’ve been reading your blog since this year and i really enjoy it! ;)
This is the first time to say hello to you and i have a question that has bothered me for like entire of my life. One of my friends said, if you’re on your period, then it is kinda hard to lose weight than usual days. Is it true? She means, although you work out as same amount as you do usually, your body is likely to hold much nutrition for your hormone? body? or womb?:) i’m on my period right now and i’m on a diet.

-Sue from Korea(you should know ppl from other than America are reading your blog as well!!)

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polly August 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Nadia, I can’t do dairy either. I do lots of almonds in the form of almond butter. As I mentioned… a GIANT smoosh on a plate with cut up apples. Do you like soy? Edamame in salads and black beans in wraps. Maybe try toasting pecans and add them to oatmeal. Nuts are way yummier toasted. Hope that helps!

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jenny August 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm

haha i am a teenager and my mom gave me some skinny genes so my metabolism is EXTRA EXTRA fast! i would have to eat double of what you use to eat. XD

nadia,
why dont you try some beans? i hear they have a lot of protein.

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Christie August 14, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Yes that is alot of protein but i think it is def important to listen to your body and every once in a while do a calorie count to make sure you are eating enough and the rigth amounts (ballpark) there is no need to get crazy about each food group but just dont overdue or restrict one.

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Alex August 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Jenna,

This post was really encouraging! :-)

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Kelley August 15, 2008 at 12:53 am

I am kind of confused Jenna, a month or so ago I remember you saying you hated weightlifting and wanted to just take long walks and do yoga? What changed your mind?

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Kelly L. August 15, 2008 at 1:38 am

As for the discussion going on, I don’t particularly think Jenna eats that much. She eats balanced meals that aren’t big so she eats more throughout the day. Everyone is different. Some people like to have one or two huge meals (not recommended). She doesn’t even hit 2000 calories most days. Perhaps those that are trying to lose weight and say they don’t eat that much aren’t eating ENOUGH? Think about that. So often women feel they need to restrict to lose weight but they only end up slowing their metabolisms. If you listen to your body and give it what it wants (along with treats) you’ll get to where your body wants and should be.

Yes, I did repost this from earlier today.

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caitlinbo (see bride run) August 15, 2008 at 2:35 am

jenna great post, as usual :)

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Jaimejoy August 15, 2008 at 2:50 am

I cannot see how anyone could think you were “eating a ton” every day, Jenna! If anything, I have always looked at your total food intake as just enough to cover your active lifestyle and busy days. Women need to realize that it is NOT a bad thing to eat throughout the day in order to keep your metabolism up, and therefore burm more fat. If what we put in our bodies is healthy and natural, and if we are active and taking care of ourselves, we should not have to worry about counting calories and obsessing over food. Food should be enjoyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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cupcakes August 15, 2008 at 3:03 am

I second kelley’s question!

Firstly I want to say that I think, Jenna, you’re doing a great job on the blog!! It is so inspiring to read. However, I’m also curious about your change! You’ve come very very far from a very “French” way of viewing food and exercise. Your diet has definitely gotten a lot more clean, and your workout very strict!! (Let me say again that I think this is fab since you’re clearly enjoying it and your health is benefiting, but there has definitely been a BIG change!)

I’m just raising this since I think I identified with your previous attitude a lot more. I do regular pilates, yoga and walk absolutely everywhere! I also eat largely healthy foods, but also allow myself treats, i.e. pastries, proper hot chocolate (i.e. not just cocoa powder & milk but also real chocolate!!) etc. I also love to eat quiches, crepes, croque-madams, and do so regularly!! So I think I noticed even more how your diet has cleaned up so much! I don’t think you eat a huge amount of food (about the same as me), but they’re all sooo clean & healthy. Very inspiring indeed! Can you explain a bit more how you can get so strict with yourself? Thanks :)

I also have a very fast metabolism (5’7″, 110 lbs), but since I exercise regularly (4 xs a week) and eat a healthy diet, I’ve never tried to “whip” my body into gaining more muscle mass. Instead, I’ve just embraced my natural figure (my body’s clearly very happy where it is, my weight never flucuates more than 3 lbs). It seems like so much work to gain weight!! What motivated you in particular?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks so much Jenna! Keep up the good work :)

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jenna August 15, 2008 at 3:18 am

Kelley and cupcakes,

Great discussion and I’m going to be totally honest. If I had my IDEAL life it would probably be me living in Europe going to Bikram yoga classes 3x a week and having crepes with nutella. However, the fact of the matter is that I live in a tiny apartment in Orlando, can’t walk anywhere (because its um dangerous) and can’t afford to go to a gym OR yoga classes right now. I’m just like everyone else on this planet and I go through many phases with my eating and exercising. I LOVE yoga but I have to work with what I have now. and what I have now is a dingy apartment gym with some dumbbells and two treadmills. I’m sure this will change in the future (hopefully haha)! I have been practicing yoga AND lifting weights for about 6 years now regularly and have struck a great balance that works for me. Yoga will always be my favorite, running is great and weights release a ton of tension for me.

I’m not going to lie, I LIKE feeling tight, toned and very fit and that’s how I feel when I eat a clean diet and work out so much. I don’t consider it being strict with myself at all though because I eat whatever I want. I just don’t want donuts. If I want something I eat it. Simple as that. Last weekend I wanted an ice cream cone so I bought one for myself and loved it. But for the most part I know that if I eat junk I will feel like junk so I eat clean. This is why a year and a half ago I started studying for my nutritionist certification :). It’s a passion of mine! I’m not trying to whip my body in shape. I know I’m in shape. I just like going to the limit and challenging myself. That’s why I started training for long distance races way before I started this blog. I would run 10-15 miles on the weekends and loved it because it pushed my body to new limits.

oh–and what you probably think is very strict just might appear to be because I only just started actually telling you all what I do at the gym. Before I just said it was “lower body” or “upper body”, I never gave details. I pretty much did the same thing then that I do now, maybe just adding some more weight on because I could!

Hopefully this answers your questions!

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Andrea August 15, 2008 at 3:19 am

thanks for such an upbeat post jenna! i’ve been trying for so long to gain more muscle mass/definition& lose some weight and your positive encouragement is so empowering!

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jenna August 15, 2008 at 3:19 am

Amanda,

I’m a cayenne girl all the way!!!!!!!! Tons and tons..plus Sriracha chili sauce! ;)

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jenna August 15, 2008 at 3:33 am

this WAS a ton of protein today. Its funny that you really wouldn’t know unless you did the math. I mean, I had soup, yogurt and a peach for lunch! It makes me wonder how those crazy bodybuilders eat 4 oz of chicken at every meal…I would go nuts!!!!!!! Tomorrow I will balance it out with less protein and more carbs although no more counting calories. A girl just does not have time for that! ;)

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Meghan August 15, 2008 at 3:55 am

Jenna, I feel kinda bad analyzing things such as this but I’m truly curious as to why you do it (because I used to do it too and I don’t count calories either!). You used to say that you didn’t measure out cereal and you would just dump some in a bowl, but now you’re measuring out cereal for snacks and things such as cottage cheese. I got kinda sick of hauling out my measuring cups when I wanted to eat something, so now I just try to do things like estimate my 4-serving cottage cheese container into 4 servings and I don’t even bother measuring out cereal (mainly because I’ve read that measuring as opposed to weighing stuff like cereal won’t give you a good idea of the true amount your eating anyways). So I guess I was just wondering if your doing this for the blog, or for yourself.

On another topic, that tuna melt looks delicious. I’ve been craving tuna lately and this looks right up my ally!

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Kristie August 15, 2008 at 5:34 am

I can’t get over how good that tuna melt looks…

Regarding the rest of the post, I’m really glad you did that counting just for a day, just because in seeing all of your meals on a daily basis, it’s nice to have a general ballpark as to what that kind and amount of food roughly adds up to. It’s also great to hear that in finding out you were slightly low on calories and in adding the extra snack, it made such a difference in your energy levels. Amazing how such a small tweak in a day’s food consumption can affect you!

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smjohnson30 August 15, 2008 at 11:39 am

Hi Jenna,
I love the picture of you smashing your cake, although I think the cake looks fabulous! and I’m sure I would’ve snuck at least a few bites of it before I tossed it :) You have some serious self control!

Thanks for posting your workouts and a breakdown on a day of your eating. An easy way that you could add in some extra nutritious calories would be just using a whole egg or two when you have your eggs at breakfast, there is lots of good proteins and vitamins in the yolks that are not in the whites. Also, trailmixes with nuts and seeds mixed in with your protein kashi cereal will help boost those calorie values a little more too. I find it hard to eat a lot of calories in one meals, so like you, I space everything out every 3-4 hours, so that just means eating a little more at your “snack” times and you should have no problem getting a few extra calories in and preventing weight loss. Hope this helps; keep up the good work and enjoy your weekend! :)

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jenna August 15, 2008 at 11:55 am

Meghan,

I think you might be confused. I don’t measure anything ever out. I didn’t measure anything out yesterday! I ballpark things because I have to because I put my life up to be scrutinized on the web. I suppose you don’t have to believe me but yesterday when I did the calorie thing for you guys, I estimated every thing. That’s all. I’m sorry you are confused! I have individual cottage cheese snack packs that are each 1/2 cup…..so that’s what I tell you guys. I’m not hiding anything! When I say 1 tbsp peanut butter it means 1 spoonful, I don’t actually use a measuring tablespoon. Sorry if I have mislead anyone here!!

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Meghan August 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

oh jenna, I didn’t mean to scrutinize your portions, I was just curious because as I said before, I used to measure stuff out and then I was caught myself and I realized that if I wasn’t counting calories that I needed to relax!

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jenna August 15, 2008 at 12:31 pm

You’re fine :) I just didn’t want readers to get the wrong impression of what I do. The only real time I measure is when I cook or bake! hehe

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Heather August 15, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I think you have a great outlook on food/exercise/health, Jenna. Like you said: if you want something, eat it. I also agree that I feel 100% better when I stick to clean foods (but sometimes that’s SO HARD). I guess the key is to just get into the habit.

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