Babybel sent me a Snack a Little Bigger Back-to-School kit to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.
I had never attended BlogHer Food before, but this past summer it was practically in my backyard so I jumped at the chance to volunteer at the conference. The sponsors and expo had lots of my favorite food peeps in attendance -- Jamba Juice, Applegate, McCormick, Aldi, Wyman's, Pompeian, among many. Babybel was also at the expo, and I love their brand because it's real cheese in single-serve portions.
Everything is a single-serve container to me. A little, red wax-wrapped cheese, a 100-calorie pack of almonds, a pint of ice cream ... yeah ... I need to keep the single servings small. As long as the single serves are individually wrapped, I totally stop at one. Great for Babybel, bad for ice cream.
Babybel sent me a Snack a Little BiggerBack-to School Kit that included samples of Mini Babybel flavors, a copy of Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord, a Visa gift card to buy lunch supplies and a really cool collapsable lunch box (I found a similar one on Amazon).
In keeping with the Snack a Little Bigger them, I came up with a snacky lunch, which is actually my lunch. My teenager brought his lunch all last year but this year he's giving the cafeteria a try again. I like the idea of boxing up my food, even though I work at home and my lunch technically doesn't need to be packed. But then again, single-serve and all.
I have a peanut butter and raisin sandwich on whole wheat bread, which is a more interesting version of a PB&J. Just a sprinkling of raisins gives the sandwich sweetness and texture and fewer sugary calories than jam. Banana slices are also a great addition, too. A Babybel Gouda (because I'm fancy) goes in the upper left with some carrot sticks, and my fave new thing is in the bottom left -- homemade dried fruit.
I got a food dehydrator last month, because I was channel surfing and stopped on HSN where I watched the presentation and thought "OHMYGODWHYDON'TIHAVETHIS." But instead of the usual dried apples and strawberries, I got tropical and dehydrated starfruit and kiwi. Those two would be great for older kids who like sweet-and-sour things. The starfruit and kiwi came out great and are great together.
I'm not a big fan of making elaborate sandwich animal faces or overly involved creations. I don't know if all that work is truly appreciated, and I'd rather the food just be really tasty and healthy with a little fun thrown in.
Some other lunch additions that are great for kids as well as mom and dad:
Spread some peanut butter on a whole-wheat tortilla, stick a peeled banana on one end, roll it up and slice into small sections for a fun PB and banana rollup.
Instead of a bag of chips, throw in a bag of popcorn. Boom Chicka Pop sells big boxes of single-serve bags at Costco in sea salt or kettlecorn flavors for either 90 or 140 calories each.
Use guacamole or hummus as a sandwich spread instead of the usual mayo or mustard. And speaking of that, here's a recipe for Avocado Hummus from Weelicious Lunches that combines the best of guac and hummus:
I just got back from Target, where I bought a Flash superhero T-shirt for the teenager (tomorrow is some sort of superhero spirit day), a dollar's worth of Dr. Seuss erasers, some fancy striped drinking straws (props for photo shoots) and a 2.5-pound bag of skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
I added up all the protein in that bag and thought to myself "No way in hell am I supposed to eat this much protein in one day!"
I had a check-in with a trainer who was giving me eating pointers and she threw out this figure -- eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
For me, that comes out to a little more than 200 grams of protein per day, which seems a bit nuts. Now she's not a registered dietitian and said that she was not an authority on eating, so I did some Googling and apparently the 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is something that was recommended to musclehead bodybuilders way back in the day, but for the most part no one is recommending that anymore.
It's more like 1 gram per kilo of body weight (about half of what I was trying to shove down yesterday) or 1 gram per pound of lean body mass (also around the same number).
Chickens can rest safely now -- I am not coming to get you.
Needless to say, eating yesterday was stressful, thinking that I needed to slaughter entire fields of chickens to get through the week.
AND I DON'T WANT EATING TO BE STRESSFUL! AAAAAYEEEE!
(Stressful eating makes me, ummmm, eat, and not hard-boiled egg whites. More like fistfuls of Cheerios.)
But I did get a good takeway from the trainer meeting, and it's something I already knew from Robert Ferguson's Diet Free Life program. It's all about keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day, because those rollercoaster peaks and valleys encourage fat storage and cravings.
The trainer's recommendation is not to go carb crazy at breakfast, which is what a lot of people do. Instead of a superfruity smoothie or a bagel, I should reach for protein, fat and non-starchy carbs to kick the day off with a smoother start, blood-sugar wise. Her recommendation is to leave the starches and fruit to mid-day, and get back on the low sugar/starch bandwagon at dinner again so you don't wake the craving monster.
It's funny when I look back over posts I did a couple years ago (like that polar bear one). While I'm glad I got over that plateau, I always wonder why I don't follow that great advice I dished out in 2012 for more than a minute.
(Aww, man. I set out to write a post about protein and this life lesson dumped itself on my keyboard.)
This is one of my constant regrets (is it a regret or a frustration? regret sounds so sad and I ain't sad), something that itches back in the recesses of my psyche.
Why is this taking so long?
Why don't I pick something and stick to it?
Why do I sabotage myself?
Why do I start some thing and see the scale go up instead of down?
How do those people lose all their weight in a year or two?
My exercise is spot on, I eat super healthy food, my water drinking is way better than it's been in years, I'm going to bed at a reasonable hour now and getting around 8 hours of sleep a night, I log nearly all my food ...
... nearly all my food ...
(Cue the INXS-themed blog post from two years ago...)
This song got stuck in my head yesterday and I woke up with it noodling around in my head this morning at 6:45. Yes, 6:45! But man! Transitioning back to becoming a "morning person" is hard! I just dozed off while watching the "Today" show. Think I'll force myself to go for a walk in the swelter.
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