Day 28: Why I Now Pause Before I Act

Jeez. Burned just 9 calories today? While this may be inaccurate, it does paint a picture of a sedentary me. A very sedentary me.

MyFitnessPal app (linked to my iPhone’s digital activity tracker) tells me I walked 1,506 steps = 9 calories. No points today for cleaning nor cooking as I didn’t do them today. Driving does not count.

Here’s how I fared today:

July 4, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1398 calories

+Exercise: 9 calories

=Remaining: -189 calories

It’s the 28th day of my weight loss project, and I’m telling you, each day presents a new challenge. Today, it’s about eating out.

I had a scheduled 5:30pm meeting at Starbucks. My first challenge: what to drink.

Here’s how my mind flowed from one idea to another:

“I’m at Starbucks, I should get coffee.”

“Naah, they have a lot of non-coffee drinks.”

“How about some hot green tea like what you had the other night?”

“Naah, it’s too boring. I want something I enjoy drinking. Like maybe a Caramel Macchiato?”

“But milk has so much fat!”

“But I can have it non-fat, right?”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t taste good.”

“True. How about one of these bottled fruit juices? It says, “no added sugar”.”

“Naah, it still has sugar. It’s a fruit.”

“Fine. How about this soy milk? I love soy milk! It’s been a while since I had one of these.”

“Oh yeah, this is something I would enjoy.”

“Soy milk is healthy. It’s a good source of protein.”

“Great, I’m getting the Vanilla.”

Turns out, this is the nutritional content I got from my Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla:

Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk Nutrition Label

So I finally had something to drink. I looked around and there were no available seats left. Had to move to the cafe next door, which was virtually empty: J.CO Donuts & Coffee.

My next challenge: what to eat.

Whenever I am at a J.Co store, I only buy Alcapone. It’s the one with almond slivers on a blanket of white chocolate. Happens to be their bestseller too. So I got a piece.

After paying, I realized they also sell J.Cool Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt.

“Oh, yogurt. I need probiotics in my body!”

“Hey, not all frozen yogurts are health. Haven’t you read all the myths online?”

“Nope, but I think this is better than a donut. Don’t you think?”

“Well, yeah. Maybe.”

“Oh, and I get a free topping. What should I get?”

“Forget those KitKat bars. Get some fresh fruits.”

“How about strawberries? They’re sexy AND healthy.”

“Just order.”

You see, conversations like this happen in my mind many times a day. And more often than usual whenever I’d eat out.

But I guess what’s important is the act of pausing before acting. Don’t just let impulse take over, but take that pause to reflect and think a bit. I’m sure you’ve read all the stuff out there about nutrition, what to eat, what not to eat. Ultimately, the choice is yours alone.

Finally, here’s the rest of what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, cheese bread

Lunch: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil

Afternoon Snack: Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla, J.CO Alcapone, J.COOL Frozen Yogurt with strawberries

Dinner: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil, homecooked Gambas Al Ajillo, Starbucks Banoffee Pie

Water: 1000ml

After 28 days, I feel like the same person who has a voracious appetite. But what I notice is I now tend to pause before I decide on anything food-related.

It allows me that fraction of a second to use my reason, along with my heart, in making decisions.

And for me, that’s progress.

Day 26: Ole for Spanish Food!

As I promised, today I’ll be logging in how much I now weigh: 136.1 lbs

I’m targeting 125 lbs so I only have about 10 lbs to go. Woohoo!! 🙂

The thing is, I haven’t even done any major exercise yet. I just watch what I eat, and make more deliberate choices when it comes to food. I’m not even too strict to myself. I enjoy the process and don’t stress over it.

When someone offers me ice cream, I eat some, enjoy it, and adjust my food choices afterwards. It’s really quite simple.

Anyway, here’s what I scored today:

July 2, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 925 calories

+Exercise: 164 calories

=Remaining: 439 calories

As usual, I did a lot of cooking today (60 minutes = 125 calories), cleaned my apartment (15 minutes = 39 calories), and did a lot of driving (too bad there’s no driving in the choices in MyFitnessPal).

Today I prepared some Seafood Paella (using brown rice, since it’s what’s available) using the shrimps and clams in my freezer.

As an appetizer, I made some pan-fried tofu cubes with some spicy sweet soy sauce. I combined some honey, red pepper flakes, lite soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame oil.

Made some clam soup too, just the basic. Clams, garlic, ginger.

For dessert, some leftover ice cream.

Lunch is served!

Here’s the entire meal for the day:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffin

Lunch: Clam Soup, Pan-Fried Tofu with Spicy Sweet Soy Sauce, Seafood Paella, Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Snack while driving: Boiled sweet potato, 1/4 cup of vanilla milkshake, 1 piece of Filipinos chocolate-covered biscuit (made in Spain)

Late evening drink at Starbucks: Teavana Emperor’s Clouds and Mist Green Tea

Water: 1000ml

Oh by the way, today I added a new beverage to my usual, aside from coffee. It’s green tea! A very highly-recommended drink for weight loss. So when I stayed for some minutes at Starbucks to write an article, I ordered their green tea. It’s Teavana Emperor’s Cloud and Mist Green Tea. It was okay, not a huge fan of green tea.

They served it with a pack of honey on the side, but I skipped it. Drank it unsweetened, zero calories. Next time, I’ll have it on ice.

Day 12: How To Eat Healthy at Starbucks

Yesterday I talked about beans and the important role they now play in my diet. Well, I think I cooked waaaay too much –so today I’m having tons of leftover beans. And I finished them all today finally.

Because of these beans, I hit my fiber target of 25g (I consumed 33g today!) and added more to my protein requirement.

But what “scared” me today (scared in a sense that I will be ruining my diet) was spending the afternoon in Starbucks. But before I tell you more about how I managed to limit my calories while I was there, here are my metrics for today:

June 18, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1294 calories

+Exercise: 90 calories

=Remaining: -4 calories

I happily burned 90 calories today by doing some light/moderate cleaning for 20 minutes, and walking at moderate pace for about 10 minutes.

No, working on my laptop does not seem to count. I couldn’t find it under any activity category at MyFitnessPal, whether under cardio or strength.

Back to my Starbucks story. So, Starbucks was my office for this afternoon, and while working I was sipping on some cappuccino with some brown sugar -just finished half of my 80z drink. Then, I ordered the banoffee pie, and ate only the bananas (with some chocolate) and left all the rest (whipped cream + graham crust).

I was still feeling a li’l hungry and wanted some meat. Yes, the meat lover me is ever present. I looked for some sandwiches and found a turkey ham sandwich (using a whole wheat bun with some seeds on top, probably flax seeds) with an herbed egg white omelet and some fontina cheese.

Craving satisfied.

You can really find healthy options at Starbucks. It’s just there!

Breakfast: coffee + a slice of hungarian sausage I popped into my mouth

Morning Snack: roasted almonds, 20 pieces

Lunch: Brown rice, Green Mung Beans Soup with Moringa Leaves

Afternoon Snack: Starbucks Cappuccino, Banoffee Pie, Turkey Ham+Egg White+Fontina Cheese Sandwich

Dinner: Brown Rice, Green Mung Beans Soup with Moringa Leaves, Salad (green lettuce, grilled chicken breast, avocados, apple cider vinaigrette), a few pieces of Chippy

Water: 1500ml

You may ask, “What’s Chippy?”. Well, here’s a confession. I’m so addicted to Chippy. The Original Red variant is my fave chip of all time! I can’t imagine my life without it so I found a way to work around this. Portion control.

I used to gobble an entire 110g-pack in just 30 minutes, which is pretty extreme. As I age, I realized I need to make progress in controlling how I consumer this sodium-laden snack popular labeled as junk food.

Today I consumed 1086 mg of sodium, which is within allowable.  Major health organizations recommend the following:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg
American Heart Association (AHA): 1500 mg
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg
American Diabetes Association (ADA): 1500 to 2300 mg

Another change that I made because of this weight loss project: I stopped using bouillon cubes.

Just so you know, 1 piece of Knorr Chicken Cube contains 2260 mg of sodium

I used to love this product because an instant bouillon cube is very convenient. But then again, there ARE other ways to enhance the flavor of food when cooking. If may take some extra steps but in the long run, it’s worth it.