emotional eating


As you can see, I took a break from blogging about food. I also took a break from reading food blogs and generally obsessing over food.  The results were mixed.

I’ve been writing about how I’m stressed and that eating in a healthy way has been a struggle.  I realized that, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been putting *a lot* of time and energy into focusing on food, to the point where I was obsessing over my failures and my accomplishments– and essentially, food was defining my day. Good days were when I ate a variety of healthy foods, bad days were when I ate unhealthy foods or ate when I wasn’t hungry because I was stressed.   I freaked out after my last post because I realized that while trying to be healthy,  food and my perceptions of how I eat were taking over my life.  Literally.

So then I thought about the food bloggers and whether or not this was a community that I could join for support.  I came the conclusion that I want to give it a try, because it seems to be so positive for other people.  I’m going to try and start talking about some other things in posts too, in addition to what and how I eat, to remind myself that I’m a dynamic person and not just the sum of what I eat.

As for food over the past few days, I had a couple of very healthy days and some really, really good meals.  I also binged once and felt like absolute shit afterwards.  Last night was also a disaster.  But that’s okay.  I’ll be back with normal posts tomorrow, and I’m going to get back on  track.

FYI- contests galore!  Check out Oh She Glows’ contest for a chance to win Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Workout DVD — open to anyone, anywhere in the world, so that includes ex-pats like me 😉 Also check out Chocolate Covered Katie’s Jocolat Larabar giveway, also open to people outside of the States.  Not finished yet! Check out Strawberry Shortstuff’s next Simply Bar giveaway— they look amazing.  Finally, just started reading a new blog and she’s already having a contest (!)– check out Krista’s Kravings yummy giveaway….

Not in water, so no worries.
Food is a struggle– some things to celebrate, some things to freak out about.

Tuesday’s Eats:

Breakfast:

  • 2 eggs, sunny-side up, with garlic, crushed tomatoes, and pepper:

img_5426Very, Very tasty!

  • fat-free yogurt with a tsp of lemon juice

Lunch:

  • Best Quick Oats combo that I’ve had in a while:

img_5438I took an apple from work and walked home (well, to the housesitting gig) to make Quick Oats with apple, cinnamon, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, skim milk, and sweet-n-low.  AMAZING.

Unnecessary Snack:

  • Right– so this is the point in the day during which I ate a 400 calorie cinnamon bun.  Why?  Because a co-worker literally put it in my face right after I’d gotten into a screaming match (yes, screaming match) with my boss.  So upset that I did this *again*!

Dinner:

  • Chickpea and tuna salad with zatar and 2 tbsp of hummus:

img_5441Also very tasty!

  • Soy patty with garlic and olive oil

After Dinner:

  • Decaf coffee with a tsp of cocoa powder and skim milk– inspired by Eating Bender‘s coffee cocoa.  Very, very good– but I don’t really need to put cocoa in my coffee.  It feels excessive while I’m battling an addiction to sweets and avoiding chocolate.
  • 200 calories worth of toffee that my roommate left laying on the table.  Ugh.
  1. The good parts of today were the fact that I had a *lot* of water and have been keeping up with that goal meticulously, the fact that I’m still coffee free, and the fact that I made tasty meals that were satisfying three times.  Nothing on the go, nothing mediocre.
  2. It would have been a perfect day if I hadn’t had the toffee and the cinnamon bun.  Your suggestions have been on the mark, and despite the fact that I am *extremely* stressed right now, I need to put them in action.  Today I’m going to  try doing something else when I’m stressed, and making room for *small* portions of sweets to see if that will curb the craving.

Really want to blog about everything that is stressing me out, but I have to get going.  More later.

Got into a draining argument with the boy (not boyfriend– we have issues, which is a whole different story for a different blog) and was feeling sorry for myself all day.  That and the rainy weather (which I absolutely love, but still…) made me really sluggish.  Didn’t do much that didn’t require a lot of sitting, aside from walking  this cutie– the dog that I’m dogsitting right now:

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Anyway, on to today’s food:

Brunch (woke up too late for breakfast):

  • Quick Oats with skim milk, Splenda, and cinnamon– simple, but good.

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  • 2 eggs with onions and spoonful of matbucha— good! And finally eating some protein:

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  • Small salad– which was really just a few lettuce leaves with light vinegarette

Snack:

  • Bowl of Cheerios
  • Decaf coffee with skim

Dinner:

  • R and I made this delicious Garlic Soup— great recipe, recommend using 2 cups of stock rather than 1.5:

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  • Salad– lettuce, tomato, cucumber, fennel (recent obsession of mine), and light vinegarette
  • Sweet potato with margarine– always, always, always yummy:

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  • Israeli couscous– another recent obsession of mine– with a few spoonfuls of tomato paste, garlic, zucchini, onion, and a few sprinkles of all spice:

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I really enjoyed this dinner.  A lot.  Felt satisfied again, not completely stuffed.

I felt like I ate well today in the sense that I had two meals that were tasty and healthy.  I didn’t eat anything on-the-go (probably because I was a complete blob all day and didn’t really go anywhere!) and it’s just a simple fact that I really enjoy my food a lot more when I put some effort into it.

I’m still housesitting for another week, but I’m going to make a real effort to not slack when it comes to cooking and healthy (not dull) eating.

Over 3 weeks and I’m still coffee free! Pretty soon, I’ll have gone a week without chocolate, also.

Today’s biggest accomplishment, by far, was not eating something unhealthy or unnecessary just because I was stressed and upset about the previously mentioned boy.

On to my exercise problems– I’m supposed to run a 10k in 1 month and a half and I am so exhausted lately and slacking in the running department.  I need to run that race 😦

Today’s Food:

Breakfast (on-the-go):

 

  • Hot vanilla at Coffee Bean– sugar-free and with skim
  • Croissant 

 

Lunch:

 

  • Omelette with 2 egg and matbucha (<— try this!!!)
  • 1 fat free yougurt

 

Before dinner Drinking:

 

  • 2.5 glasses of merlot

 

Dinner:

 

  • Had dinner reservations with Rachel!
  • 3/4 of a roll (MAN I love bread! ugh!)
  • 1 glass of wine
  • small green salad
  • Chicken breast with mustard sauce!

 

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It was *very* yummy, and it was definitely the healthiest looking option on the menu.

Dessert:

 

  • Despite our hearty meal, we couldn’t resist– so we shared a creme brulee– very good.  We were at a kosher meat restaurant, which means that the dessert had no dairy products, so I’m not quite sure how they made it.  Anyway, sharing a dessert was a good move, because I’m sure that I would have devoured it on my own..

 

img_5385^ Creme Brulee that we shared

  1. 2/19 started out as a beautiful day; I’d had a great night the night before — with a certain someone, even if we’re completely dysfunctional and don’t know what we want– and I left his place in the morning, you know, sort of bouncing– totally ready for the day.  I think that it helped me make relatively healthy choices through lunch.  My mood SERIOUSLY affects what I eat.
  2. The croissant wasn’t the healthiest choice, but it wasn’t  too big and it didn’t have anything in it.  Still, just empty carbs and calories and I didn’t feel satisfied after eating it.  I’m going to make more of an effort to pack breakfast when I’m on-the-go.  Still, I need some suggestions for breakfasts on-the-go, because sometimes it’s inevitable… anyone?
  3. Eating out went well, I think.  The only thing that I wish I’d skipped was the 3/4 of a roll.  Very unnecessary, and it was white bread, too.  The problem was that it was out there before the food and I was *so hungry*.  Anyone have an strategies for avoiding before meal bread at restaurants?  I ended up eating the whole main course and not taking any home, but honestly– I wasn’t stuffed. I was full. And satisfied.
  4. Drank 3.5 glasses of wine, which is a lot, but if I only do that when I go to nice restaurants, I’ll allow myself the indulgence.  Same goes for splitting a dessert.

All in all, I feel good about today.  Eating a decadent meal at a restaurant didn’t make me feel guilty, mostly because it’s such an infrequent thing.

I came home to my laptop charger having been fried! I have to replace it, but I don’t know how or when, so bear with me if my posts are less frequent.  Probably not, though– I always find a way.  Anyway, stressed about this.  My computer is my right hand!

I’m thinking about what I need to do about my lactose intolerance.  Stop eating dairy, or lactaid pills.  Leaning towards the lactaid

Cheers to all 🙂

Today was a good day in terms of staying healthy. I’m not at home right now, I’m house sitting at an apartment without all of my regular food and kitchen supplies, and so I’ve been kind of unmotivated to cook. Last week was full of new recipes and exciting healthy adventures– this week has been dull. In any case, I’m happy that I didn’t engage in any stress eating or emotional eating today and I’m getting ready for bed feeling like I can stick to all of this and accomplish my goals..

Today’s food:

Breakfast:

  • oatmeal (real, not instant!) with skim milk
  • decaf coffee (we’re approaching 3 weeks of being coffee free!!!)

Lunch:

  • whole wheat pita, 2 pieces of light cheese with tomato
  • small mug of tomato soup

Snack:

  • Light soy chocolate milk (box– see photo from previous entry– very good, and it’s not real chocolate– still chocolate free!!!)

Dinner (didn’t feel like cooking, so we prepared kind of a free for all):

  • couscous-type-stuff with some tomato paste, oregano, and garlic
  • whole wheat pita w 1/4 can of tuna and parsley and tomato
  • small green salad with light vinegarette
  • an egg (protein, finally)

Post-Dinner:

  • decaf coffee
  1. Again, really happy that I ate reasonably today, when I was hungry– *not* just because I was stressed. Also celebrating giving up coffee and chocolate. More on that later…
  2. I focused a lot on water today. I had a little more than 1.5 liters and I really feel the difference. I’m usually dehydrated on some level. The water also helped curb the desire to snack when I was kind of bored. I’m going to try and keep up with drinking this much water daily.
  3. I’ll be house sitting for another 8 days, and so I really need to force myself to continue to cook and try new things even though I’m in a different place and feel less comfortable. Making the same, easy stuff all of the time makes being healthy less exciting than it was a week ago. I don’t want boredom to be my downfall…

Like I said in previous posts, I gave up coffee for health reasons. I am *really* affected by caffeine– my heart races and my sleep schedule was totally off. Now my sleep schedule is completely normal and my body feels better, healthier. This was one of the best and healthiest decisions that I’ve made in a long time. Giving up chocolate has also made me feel healthier. Eventually, when I no longer use it as a crutch and find healthier ways to deal with stress, I’ll slowly integrate it back into my diet. For now, I’m still happy with this choice..

I’ve been perusing the foodie blogosphere recently and am picking up all sorts of ideas for healthy meals and lifestyles– it’s exciting! A couple of things that today’s perusing has brought up for me:

  • People seem really into lara bars and other bars as snacks or parts of meals. I’ve never gotten into the whole bar thing, but I’m thinking that it might be a good snack to try. I’m trying to figure out which to try, and which aren’t *too* expensive.
  • Support really is crucial. The food bloggers have this entire network of people that support them, and given my earlier post today re: friends that aren’t supportive, I’ve realized that I need to do a better job for creating a support network.

Hoping that tomorrow is also a success! Day by day, I think, is the best way to handle all of this.

2/15 was a strange day in terms of food.  I do weird things when I feel like I’m losing control.

Breakfast:

  • 3 cookies and a lemon bar– the baked goods that I brought in for co-workers.

Lunch:

  • Went out to lunch with people from the office and it was a disaster: chicken breast with tomato and olive oil
  • Small green salad with olive oil and pepper

Before dinner snack/meal?:

  • Was really stressed out when I got home and thus, ravenously hungry– 1 small bowl of cereal with skim milk
  • 1/2 whole wheat pita with light strawberry jelly

Dinner:

  • Part 1:  5 heaping spoonfuls of Roomie’s pasta with whoknowswhat in it
  • Part 2: tiny portion of what should have been my entire dinner– rice with olive oil, avocado, cucumber, tomato, and some spices
  1. I’m really proud of the fact that I found the healthiest thing on the menu and was totally fine eating plain chicken breast with tomatoes while everyone else was eating decadent pasta dishes.  Definitely an accomplishment.
  2. My meal/snack before dinner is something that I want to be able to avoid.  I was completely stress eating and even though I didn’t eat anything really unhealthy, it was extra food that my body didn’t really need.  I need to work on this.
  3. I got home and felt stressed/rushed and ate 5 heaping spoonfuls of Roomie’s pasta surprise with every unhealthy thing in the book.  More stress eating, which was extra-unhealthy because it caused me to feel guilty.  The guilt made me skimp on the delicious, healthy dinner that I prepared with a friend.  I had a tiny serving, didn’t feel satisfied.  I need to stop ‘punishing’ myself for mistakes by skimping on healthy food.
  4. This was Day 3 of NO chocolate.  Excellent.
  5. My disgusting ‘breakfast’ was the result of me skipping breakfast at home, AGAIN.

2/16:  A Better Day

Breakfast:

  • B-fast burrito with an egg and some rice.  Sounds gross, really good.

Lunch

  • Big salad with sweet potato and tuna; light vinegarette dressing.  VERY tasty, and not so expensive.
  • 1/2 of a whole wheat roll

Dinner

  • 1 whole wheat pita with two pieces of light, cholesterol free cheese– a little bit of tomato.
  • 1 light soy chocolate milk (addendum to my chocolate law, see below)
  1. I ate a lot of healthy food today and felt satisfied.  I managed to skip stress eating, even though today was stressful.
  2. light chocolate soy milk…. has no added sugar and contains *fake* chocolate.  I decided to allow myself to have this from time to time since it’s 1) tasty 2) healthy– no added sugar and very low calorie and 3) doesn’t contain real chocolate…

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Sorry for the crappy cell photo.  My camera needs to be charged.  Anyway, you get the idea!

Still not getting enough exercise. I *will* run tomorrow!


I’ve been doing some thinking. Recently, there was a period of a couple of months when I lived a life that I would call healthy. Sure, I screwed up from time to time, but in general, my diet was great and I was running on a regular basis. Not just running, but running and challenging myself to the extent that I made noticeable improvements. I want to go back to that period, but with a few minor adjustments (cooking meals instead of downing yogurt 3 times a day, and not obsessing to the extent that my ‘healthy lifestyle’ ruins my social life and my mental health).

It seems, though, that I keep slipping up and I’ve been thinking about why. That aforementioned period of time came when I’d just about had it with myself and my body. My whole life seemed to be falling apart, and this was one area in which I had control. I figured, if I could be thinner and healthier, the rest might just fall into place (irrationally). Now, I’m much busier and I’m making strides in other areas of my life. I don’t feel healthy, but I don’t have much time to look in the mirror and say ‘ugh.’ Basically, my health has taken a backseat to, well, everything else– work, men, friends– you name it. I’ve realized that if I want to be healthy again, it’s time to readjust my priorities.

I come from a family where we know amount of truth within the cliche– “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” Emotional eating isn’t healthy. Getting almost zero exercise isn’t healthy. Drinking too much isn’t healthy. Eating until I’m stuffed rather than full isn’t healthy. Skipping meals to temporarily feel better isn’t healthy. If I continue to do all of this, my weight will continue to suffer, and my cardiovascular health (which is of great concern to me) will suffer. At the end of the day, I won’t feel good about myself and I won’t feel healthy. I can’t just keep a food diary and be apologetic– I need to put my *everything* into this.

I figured that a good way to start is to go over recent accomplishments that help me feel more capable than I’ve been feeling lately.

  • I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over 2 weeks. I have an extremely strong addiction (psychologically and physically) and due to anxiety problems and potential cardiovascular issues, I cut it out completely. This has already improved my quality of life and I’m really happy that I made this healthy decision.
  • I’ve stopped putting myself to sleep with Tylenol PM. I used to take Tylenol PM once every couple of nights to fall asleep. When I didn’t have it, I tossed and turned *way* too much. This started almost immediately after I stopped smoking pot on a regular basis, which is how I taught myself that I needed to self-medicate to sleep. Now, I make sure that I get up on time and that my days are full. My head generally hits the pillow at a reasonable hour and I sleep soundly.
  • I’ve cut down on my binge drinking. It used to be a once-a-week activity (and for years, even more than that) and I’ve realized that 1) it’s not healthy and 2) there are other things to do.

So all of that is a start. Now, it’s time to have concrete goals, and I am a firm believer that no one can do it all at once.

  • I will run (or go to the gym) 3x per week.
  • I am giving up chocolate. Yes, those of you that know me read that correctly– I want to give up chocolate. Not forever, but for a long enough period of time that it can cease to be my default when I’m stressed or when I just need something sweet. So many times, I walk past the corner store in need of a pick-me-up. I eye the fruit and the juices and contemplate, but something chocolate always wins me over. Like coffee, I need to remove my dependency.

That’s enough for right now. If I can make those two things habitual, my list of accomplishments will increase and I’ll be ready to make more strides.

All of that being said– food diary from 2/14:

Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal (not instant!) with skim milk and cinnamon
  • Decaf coffee

Mid-morning snack:

  • 1/2 whole wheat pita with 1 piece of melted light cheese

Late lunch:

  • 2 light corn shnitzels (basically soy and corn in a patty, 70 kcals each and pretty tasty)
  • Avocado salad with 4 light, unsalted rice cakes

My friends were late for dinner:

  • 3 medium-sized crackers with light, sugar-free strawberry jelly

Had dinner guests and that’s when it sort of went to hell:

  • 2 glasses of white wine
  • 1 modest portion (!) of pasta with sauce (sauce had eggplant, onion, garlic, oregano, and crushed tomatoes)
  • um, too much cake

The cake is the only thing that I’m not proud of. It was chocolate, too.

Anyway, I mentioned the avocado salad. I love avocado and I’m always toying with different ways to make it. Today, I realized that simple is better. Avocado has an amazing natural flavor and there is no need to treat it like tomato sauce. So, my final recipe is:

Best avocado salad only has 3 ingredients!

Best avocado salad only has 3 ingredients!

  • 3 small avocados (makes more than one serving), mashed with remaining chunks (I find that it tastes ‘richer’ if you don’t mash the avocados to death
  • 1 small *red* onion, diced into incredibly small pieces
  • a drizzle or two of lemon juice

And that’s it. Really, it’s perfect !

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