What I Ate Wednesday: Trick Your Mind

I get bored easily. Or, at least when it comes to food I do. Sometimes I just don’t feel like a salad for lunch or a protein/veg/carb plate at dinner. This week, I haven’t even felt like eating oatmeal (gasp!). So, I’ve made it my mission these last few days to simply follow what my mind is telling me and try something new. If eating the same thing every single day gets tiring, trick your mind by just mixing it up! 

Exhibit A: Make What You Crave

IMG_3972I’ve been dreaming of sushi lately but haven’t gone.  Who said that chicken can’t be sushi? This immediately crushed my craving and was a fun way to eat the chicken I prepped this week. 

Exhibit B: Go For Variety

 

 

IMG_3959I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted for breakfast so I decided to have a bit of everything. Spinach and tomato omelette, peach, and a piece of low carb toast with half-peanut butter, half coconut oil spread.

Exhibit C: Same Ingredients, Different Presentation

IMG_3939Sometimes I eat a Greek yogurt bowl for breakfast or a snack with a bunch of mix-ins. Instead, I took all the ingredients, tweaked the ratios a little and made a giant pancake. This made me feel like I was eating something different and kind of extravagant even though it was the same items.

 

*Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the weekly linkup! 

Have you made anything different recently?

 

 

 

 

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Primal Coconut Flour Pancakes

I never used to consider myself a pancake person. For some reason, the whole pancake-thing never really did it for me. I was always left unsatisfied, always wanting more, not because I was still hungry, just not thrilled.

As I’ve become more of a “foodie,” the idea of different pancakes has intrigued me. You can do almost anything with them–sweet or savory, thick or thin. Big stacks or one big cake. While I never enjoyed drenching my plate in maple syrup, the idea of special sauces on top or in between each fluffy layer is something I think about when planning a new recipe.

These pancakes are simple, healthy and filling with only a few ingredients and minimal effort. If you follow a dairy-free diet, I would think that the yogurt could be replaced with applesauce or mashed banana–other types of pancakes on their own and definitely worth a try!

IMG_3487

 

Ingredients:

1.5 TBL plain Greek yogurt
2 TBL coconut flour
1 flax egg (1 TBL flax+2 TBL water, mix and let sit for 2 minutes)
1 egg
1/2 TBL chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Blueberries

To Top:
Remainder of plain Greek yogurt container or 1/3 of a cup or so if using a larger tub
1/2 TBL peanut flour (or peanut butter/almond butter)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Blueberries

To Prepare:

In a small bowl, make your flax egg and put aside. In another bowl, combine coconut flour, chia seeds, yogurt, egg, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix to combine using a fork. Add coconut milk a little at a time until the batter is thick but can easily be mixed and spooned onto a pan. Ensure all lumps are mixed out. Fold in blueberries and let sit for 2 minutes.

While waiting, mix together yogurt, vanilla and peanut flour in a bowl and put to the side.

Grease a skillet and place over medium heat. When up to temperature, check consistency of batter. If it has thickened, add a little more coconut milk to get it back to the original consistency. Spoon batter into the pan and spread evenly into a circle. It will not expand or rise.

Do not turn until the sides and top begin to cook, then flip. When pancake is cooked completely through, remove from pan. Spoon a dollop (about 1/2 a tablespoon) of peanut butter yogurt onto the top. Repeat with remainder of the batter.

Spoon all leftover yogurt over the top of the pancakes and sprinkle with additional berries.

 

Why I Count Calories

This post has been on my mind for a few weeks now. Do I disclose the information or just keep it to myself?

If you’ve been a long time reader (or if you’ve just scrolled through posts), you know that I am a firm believer in living a lifestyle of eating and not living on a diet. I personally believe that diets set many up for failure because I know that when I can’t have something, I want it even more. I think that mentality holds true for most.

When I realized that my habits had become disordered, I started writing all my food down in a food journal. This was somewhat annoying and didn’t really do me any good. While I could see what I was eating, it didn’t really matter because my problem wasn’t that I ate five cookies and a pint of ice cream in one sitting, it was that I wasn’t eating enough.

That’s when I turned to My Fitness Pal to start tracking my food in the app and on the computer. This made it so much easier because I could see how many calories, carbs, fat and proteins I was eating every day and set a goal.

Since then, I’ve done a TON of research on reverse dieting, which is when you gradually increase your food intake in order to get a damaged metabolism back to normal. It’s a process used often for people coming off of physique competition prep periods so they don’t gain a lot of weight right away and it’s also used for people who have had eating disorders.

In the last few months, I’ve increased my “macros” (proteins, carbs and fat which equal up to calories) each week. Let me tell you, and I hate to say this, but I am so thankful that I started tracking my food.

Doing so makes me see how easily I got caught in the long rut of not eating enough. It’s not that I’m not hungry enough to eat, it’s that the food choices I make don’t have enough nutrients to help my body.

I don’t like counting calories. This is not permanent.

Some days I struggle to hit those numbers and other days it’s easy. Sometimes it’s like a game and I plan things out while lying in bed in the morning. Other times it’s incredibly frustrating to stay within those guidelines.

My goal is to keep increasing until I am eating enough to not only gain my metabolism back but build some lean muscle mass. I knew but didn’t want to believe it that your body cannot build muscle unless it’s in a caloric surplus. Your body also does not burn fat when in too much of a caloric deficit.  I repeat my little mantra often: food is fuel.

Whether or not you choose to count calories, macros, etc., doesn’t matter–the point is to find what works for you each and every day. Find a lifestyle you can sustain because what’s most important is being healthy.