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Matters of the Heart in Story Format – Tales of a Vancouver Girl

Category: Food

The Top Three Things I’ve Learned from Changing my Diet and Counting Calories

I mentioned before that I’m counting calories as a means to reset my diet after my San Fran trip. However, it has turned into a lifestyle change and I have learned so much about good eating habits, of what works for me and my body, and of eating balanced meals.

ONE: I NEED MY PROTEIN AND FATS IN THE MORNING

I’ve had breakfasts of fruit and oatmeal, muesli and hemp milk, smoothies, fresh pressed juice and yes, it all does feed me, and I am full for the moment. However, I feel unsatiated during my other three to four meals that happen later in the day.

I am mostly vegetarian and I have found that if I eat my day’s portion of protein (and maybe fats) in the morning, I’m pretty much not hungry when I have my other meals (although, I eat anyways).

So what do I eat? Well, a single egg along with whatever else I’m eating. Alternatively, I make an egg sandwich.

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Baked Egg with Vegetarian Ham, Cheddar and Spinach with a side of cherry tomato’s and red bell peppers. yum.

I was actually baking my eggs with some spinach in a muffin tin…but then that proved to be a mess to clean. So then I switched to silicone muffin liners which turned out to be a pain in the tooshie to clean also. I may just hard boil the eggs from now on. I make my egg-spinach sandwich with vegetarian ham, and cheddar cheese on a Weight Watchers Multigrain Flat Roll. I also have veggies with my brekky sandwich. This breakfast is usually 350 to 400 calories (a little more if I throw in a piece of fruit).

TWO: VEGETABLES ARE CENTRAL TO MAKING THIS ALL WORK

They say adult females should eat 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That is actually a LOT of bulk. As a result, it keeps me quite full. I am counting calories so the best bang for my calories-buck is to eat veggies. Specifically veggies and not fruit so that I do not go over what is acceptable for daily sugar intake.

I’ve also found that the more raw vegetables I eat, the less I crave things like chips, chocolate, candy, and grease. If I eat more fruits than veggies, I crave sugar again later in the day like a crazy person.

My favourite veggies to eat are sugar snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, red radishes, bell peppers, and broccoli. Bean saw my Ziploc container of veggies and said that what I had was enough veggies for a week. I was actually kinda scared that it wasn’t enough for the day. Carnivores have a funny perspective.

THREE: COUNTING CALORIES HAS HELPED ME FIND INTERESTING THINGS TO EAT

With an allotment of calories per day and a mostly vegetarian diet, I needed to find ways to get my nutrients. Basically, I have to be smart about what I eat.

I found this awesome recipe for black bean quinoa patties from Runner’s World. Yes, it has Black Beans, and Quinoa, which are good foods to eat for iron and protein. However, this recipe also calls for Nutritional Yeast, which is high in Vitamin B12 (typically found in meat and soy products).

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homemade black bean quinoa patties

If you’re wondering whether or not they’re tasty, Nathan ate three of the four patties (not at once). I only got to eat one.

Another thing I like to eat is chia-seed pudding. I take two tablespoons of chia seeds (yay for Omega-3) in 5 tablespoons of chocolate almond milk (yay vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium) and leave it in the fridge over night. I top it off with fruit in the morning.

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Chia Seed “Pudding”

CHALLENGES

There are challenges to changing my diet. For one, I am not getting enough sodium. Sodium gets a bad rep, but our body does need the appropriate amount of sodium to function properly.

Another challenge is to plan my meals out the night before. Sometimes earlier if I need to hit up the grocery store. This task does get easier with experience though.

RESULTS

I feel fantastic, and am performing better athletically-speaking. My scale hasn’t budged much, but I am less bloated, and my tummy is looking a bit more toned.

I enjoy what I eat now over what I used to eat. Now when I go out to eat, everything tastes too salty, sweet, or overdone. I find that I prefer the natural sweetness of plain raw carrots, the texture and light taste of cauliflower, etc. I still let myself cheat though. Even when I cheat, I still plan for it. It’s rarely spontaneous. I still want to get close to my daily nutritional needs even if I cheat; thus, I do plan.

Knowing how great I’ve been feeling the past month, I say don’t wait to start eating for the better if you’re considering it.

Hell hath no fury like a man who’s had his burrito stolen

Ronaldo and I ventured out for food during the work day, and we happened upon a place called Padre Tacos in Bentall Centre. This little hole in the wall serves Korean-inspired Mexican food. Ronaldo got a Seaweed Taco (which is really a burrito), and it was made with a tortilla, seaweed, spanish rice, cheese, bulgogi beef, lettuce, tomato’s, and cucumbers.

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I’mma eat you!

We thought it’d taste bizarre, but I snuck two bites when Ronaldo was looking at his monitor and it was amazing. If he does CSI on my teeth marks, I’m in trouble. Hell hath no fury like a man who’s had his burrito stolen.

I was chatting with my iBff, 6pence2life, (that’s Internet Best friend forever. Everybody needs ones), and told her of this amazing concoction. The following conversation ensued…

6pence2life: Dammit. Now I want a burrito!

Me: It’s all Ronaldo’s fault.

6pence2life: Yeah, tell him he sucks. Hahaha!

Me: Ok, I did. When I told him, he picked up his burrito and started petting it.

6pence2life: If I worked there, he would be petting a ransom photo of the burrito.

This made me bust my gut, which gave me more room for that oddly delicious little donkey (aka burrito).

Ma’am, please refrain from frenching the public art

Heavy rain in Vancouver the past two days and I believe it’s going to continue into next week. The galoshes are out in the city! Myriad of colours crossing paths, reflected in puddles. I love seeing them meet and I imagine them saying, “How do you do?”. It’s very “What a Wonderful World” a la Louis Armstrong — civilized and such. Despite their mild manners, I change out of them and into my loud obnoxious blue velvet shoes once I get into the office.

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From mild mannered, to loud and obnoxious. These shoes do not get along.

Honestly, the rain doesn’t stop me from doing what I’d typically do on a rainless day. Such as snap a photo of public art. Public art in the rain? Basically, same as public art in the sun. Check out the photo I took of the headless body statues by Broadway-Cambie station yesterday.

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I think Vancouver Public Art is peculiar. You can hug them, but no kissing them on the lips.

A little peculiar, no? You can hug them, but I’m not sure how you would french kiss them. Maybe don’t attempt the latter. Because THAT would be peculiar.

Shortly after attempting to french kiss these torsos (kidding), I met up with my sister, Krys. We went for tea and green onion pancake at Bubble World — which isn’t the best place for this, but we were cold, wet, and hungry. Actually, we came from her car with heated seats, so if I were to tell the truth, we were warm and I was hangry (angry from hunger). I think I may have even been HULK HANGRY!

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Tea and Green Onion Pancake

Speaking of green onions, did you know that you can regrow whatever you have left after using up the green parts? I stuck mine in a glass of water, and in two days, look at how much it has grown.

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Actually, the growth is not that impressive, but I am saving myself at least 35 cents.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent there. I was trying to save you 35 to 75 cents. It’s a neat experiment regardless.

Shortly after, Krys and I had food, we played our usual game of 15-minute-Walmart. To participate, you give you and your buddy 15 minutes to shop at Walmart. When we created this game, it was to basically buy only what we needed. The reality is, with 15 minutes, we buy whatever we can get our hands on. “Twenty foot foldable ladder? IN MY CART YOU GO!” Worry not, we end up returning half of what we buy a week later.

Rainy days in Vancouver? The city waits for no one. Carpe Diem.

With this Yoga Hand, I eat Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Nathan and I met up with Bean and Miana for a beautiful 1.5 hour hike at Mosquito Creek this afternoon. This hike included sliding down the side of a mountain (on unpaved path…in my sneakers), crossing moving water, and climbing up a steep mountain that made me feel like as though a disco inferno was happening in my glutes, hammies, and quads. There was John Travolta action happening in those muscles – white jumper, greased hair and all.

To encourage me on this hike, Bean and Miana would say, “My mom did this hike.” Miana’s mom is retired and a senior. That just made me feel…old? Nope, that cliche does not work here.

Clockwise from top: Heritage Tree, Moving Water, View after the Hike, tiniest Pine cone ever!

Clockwise from top: Heritage Tree, Moving Water, View after the Hike, tiniest Pine cone ever!

There were plenty of Heritage Trees on this hike. Heritage Trees in BC are trees that are a hundred years of age or older and are protected from being chopped. It’s like The Untouchables, but less mafia, and more trees. From the looks of these beauties, they were older than 100. This tree grew AROUND a boulder. Who does that? This tree does!

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This tree grew around a boulder. This tree gives zero futz!

At a point where Bean was taking gorgeous photos of waterfalls (I will see if I can post them later), Miana and I were getting our yoga on. She took a pretty epic shot of me in my exalted warrior and warrior 2.

hiking and warriors

It’s epic because of where the sun hits on my leg. It’s also epic because in the first pic, my hand looks like it’s saying: “With this hand, I eat grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers!”

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