Friday, February 7, 2014

No Grains, No Gains - A Day in the Life....


Our topic this month is "A Day in the Life..." and I am using pictures to tell my story (so if you have a slower connection, it might take a minute to load up!). 

I wanted to do a day where I went IN to work, since I mostly work at home, to show you how I prep for heading into an office and classroom with food and such. But, alas, my chosen day was a snow day, so here's my reality! If you notice throughout the pictures, I have all homemade food, but I'll let you in on a little secret... the ONLY thing I cooked this day was eggs! The rest of the time, I just heated up pre-prepared foods. I do my food prep in the beginning of the week, with some little additions throughout. I like it super easy (especially when Chris is traveling, as he was this week, I don't go through so much trouble to make a big sit down dinner) to make sure I have time/energy for errands, work, exercise, etc.

Anyway, here's my day:

I woke up to see this at 7 AM, after getting an email that school was canceled. I knew what this would mean. Shoveling. A day inside. General annoyances. - the storm was bad enough that it really was a "stay inside" kind of day, getting on the roads was dangerous.
This is what I do first every morning... I call it pre-breakfast because it is often only 140-170 calories. Just a snack to get food in my stomach, get the metabolism started, give me some energy. Not a full meal. Also my vitamins and water! (Don't want to take vitamins on an empty stomach)
Typical cat watching me feed the dog his breakfast, wishing HE got canned food, too.
Shoveling.. not my favorite thing (usually a Chris kind of chore) but is a good workout. Takes about an hour to do the front steps, sidewalk, driveway and back patio. Shoveling done by 9AM.
Koda wanted to go out, still, and since I was all bundled up in my snow gear from shoveling already, I figured why not! Notice the woman cross-country skiing down the road.
No one had shoveled yet, really.
Koda really love the snow.
Around 10AM - only thing I cooked that day, eggs. With spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, ketchup and water. The eggs look like that because I sprinkled flax seeds all over them.
Pre-breakfast and breakfast usually add up to under 500 calories, but I was hungry from shoveling, so I added a little more food.
Didn't have to go in to school to teach, so I took the opportunity to settle down at my home office to work on my dissertation. With a mug of coffee with organic creamer (I'm off the chemical creamer, but still using cream - my only dairy I still consume).
My messy but cozy little home office nook.
I don't really eat a MEAL again throughout the day. That's pretty typical for me. I like small mini meals throughout the day. If Chris is home, I will combine two mini-meals into an actual meal to sit and eat with him. This is borscht! Low calories, high nutrition. Water.
Moar working.
Break from working - workOUT! This is a hard circuit and I usually don't make it all the way through to the last plank, hahah. But sometimes I do. This day, I did.
Getting stronger!! I am doing at-home workouts (varying between leg strength, core strength, general cardio and yoga) 6 days a week. It is paying off.
Mini-meal 2 - around 2 PM, sauteed brussels sprouts and onions with soy sauce.
Mini-meal 3: nitrate-free deli turkey and mustard... and my little treat, SELTZER! I had this soon after the brussels sprouts, very hungry from workout.
Shoveling round 2. Another hour here.
Immediate after shoveling snack (SO HUNGRY) - banana and sunflower seed butter. I put cinnamon on top because it's very beneficial to your health to have cinnamon every day. I use a lot of spices and herbs and the like in EVERYTHING, whether garlic or black pepper or cayenne or cardamom or coriander or or or or..... you get the point. Spices make you feel more satisfied with your food and have a myriad of health benefits.
Pretty normal for me to have eaten about 75% of my calories by 5PM... I know already I will up my calorie allotment to 1700-1800 because I worked out so much this day, it is set at 1500 to remind me that I am trying to lose a few pounds. But I rarely stick with the recommended amount.
Cat says I am dumb for going outside at all. So much cozier in bed.
Worked hard today, self-motivated, so I wanted a reward. Lit up a candle....
....and took a bubble bath!!! I've learned I've needed to do these things for myself, especially on weeks when Chris is away. I am not getting the companionship or help that a partner brings to the table, and if I do something nice for myself, it makes it all a little less stressful!

Koda was loving it outside and just played with his ball all by himself in the snow (throwing it and then searching for it in the snowbanks)... he didn't want to come in and pouted whenever I tried to get him in.

Last mini-meal: butternut squash with turkey "mix" - I mix them up and put salsa on top. Really loved how this "mix" came out - nice and flavorful with Mexican-type spices, lots of onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Very nutritious. Once again, this was all pre-cook (the mix and the squash) early in the week so that the rest of my week just entails EATING, little to no prep or cooking. I'll gladly give up a few hours early in the week to enjoy the fruits of my labor for the next six days :)

Settling down for the night... snow all shoveled, words all typed, food all eaten, life all lived... time for dog cuddles.

Oh, but first, a little treat.... hot cocoa with vanilla almond milk. Settled down in front of the TV for the night, with the dog, with my cocoa. Kind of made the semi annoying cooped up day worth it :)

So this is how I ended my day... calories are closer to 1700 actually because I ate an extra bite of sunflower seed butter after taking this picture, hahahaha 

This is generally how I like my nutrient balance to be every day... ideally, I would take 5% from the carbs and put them in the fat category. But not every day can be perfect. Some days I eat more fat than carbs. I was super hungry today due to all the burning, though, so the higher carbs are normal.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd the climax of my evening - CRIMINAL MINDS!!! <3 JJ

So, this was actually a pretty normal day for me. I usually will, you know, LEAVE THE HOUSE and do some grocery shopping or errand running or work or visit a friend, whatever. But the snow made that not happen at all.

But as far as the food, exercise, and animal shenanigans.. that's all the norm. I prep TONS of vegetables, at least one meat/veggie mix, and other assorted snacks for the week. I eat mostly veggies, peppered with lean proteins and fruit and fat (like the avocado). I aim for COLOR, COLOR, COLOR :D Seriously, it's a goal, because then I feel comfortable that I got a well-balanced day of nutrition. I also aim to eat my GOMBS everyday (Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds).

I always walk the dog and I always do a workout (some days it is less intense though!). 

I always drink tons of water. Water with every meal and snack.

These are just things I have taught myself to make habits. It took a long time to teach myself these things. I adopted a new healthy habit (like taking a vitamin or always having a cup of water with food) every few months. Until, after a few years, they were all just there. And all my days were healthy, and my weight was consistent, and I felt really great. And those days where I don't do so well (like my impromptu girls night) don't really matter that much - because 95% of my days are filled with good habits.

It's not so hard, in the end. Ten years ago, I would have looked at this pictorial spread and go "OH MY DEAR LORD - that seems AWFUL!! That woman must be SO HUNGRY and tired and BORED!!!" But the exact opposite is true, though I would never have believed it. I wake up with energy, gain energy throughout the day, and just plain-old feel awesome. There is no bloaty, inflamed, lethargic crap dragging me down, like when I used to eat a more Standard American Diet.

And I am grateful for these healthy habits that gave me this healthy body. I will never forget that I am alive and well today because I kept my body strong. I get to cuddle with my dog and talk to Chris and laugh at dumb Facebook stuff because I put the effort into being healthy.

I love my days (most of the time!).

If you want to see how other women who follow a paleo/primal template live their day-to-day lives, give my fellow bloggers a read:


  1. I love it! I don't love the cold and the snow but I think I can learn from your day. Certainly I must set myself up a circuit - I can do that and I will do it!! I also love you comment about 'Oh Dear Lord, that seems awful'. I would have said the same thing about my eating these days but like you, I love it!! Thanks for sharing your day.

  2. Awesome! We got the same snow and Wednesday was a snow day for me too! I managed to clock a 6K run during the worst of the storm, it was my hardest run to date:) Koda is so adorable. Finn would have loved this winter with all the snow. That was the husky in him. Thanks for sharing all those pictures:)

  3. Love all the pics!! That snow looks so freakin' cold!! I'm glad Koda is liking it though.

  4. "No Grains, No Gains"

    Thank you so much for sharing your day, and I love your pictures, an interesting second instalment. It is much appreciated, because it takes time to sit and type out - plus your pictures. We all strive for a healthier life and it's only by sharing our experience can we learn, pick up good tips etc.

    Power to you and the other 'gals'

    I just love seeing Koda, he is just great.

    Have a brilliant weekend

    All the best Jan

  5. Great job, Jeanette! It's clear I need to cook for the advance...more. ;)

  6. I love the pics of what you're eating, no one seems to do that any more.

  7. That is exactly how I cook.

    Slightly under cook about 3 lbs of green beans a week. Bake a big pan of skinless, boneless chicken breasts (as soon as I walk in the door from the store). Slightly undercook 3-4 bunches of asparagus. Roast a bag of carrots, several white onions, 6-9 small red potatoes, whole tomatoes. Etc.

    I order a box of organic fruit a week (most veggies I can get organic from store, but use service mostly for fruit, I do order some veggies too). My order is based on how many of us are at home. Right now it is 3, so 3 pears, 3 apples, 3 mangoes, etc.

  8. Loved, loved , loved the photos of your day. :) Batch cooking and re-heating makes sense. So does eating more carbs when you are really physically active. I like that part of being grain free and mostly processed sugar free. When I'm truly hungry, then I eat. No (or very few) false hunger signals.

    My cats "circle" when there is raw meat. They come running. They'll hang around a bit until they figure out they are not getting anything. Thanks for sharing your day with us. Love it!!