If you read my last post, I’m sure it was easy to deduce that calorie counting is my preferred method of weight loss. While I stand by the fact that the ONLY way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than your body uses, there are many means to that end. Whether it’s portion control, exercise, low carb, what have you, if you’re losing weight it’s because you’re eating at a caloric deficit. I prefer to count my calories because I am kind of a perfectionist. I know it’s not for everyone, but I like knowing the exact number of calories that I’m eating– that way I have a really good idea of how the scale is going to move. Some mornings I step on and it’s gone up, but I know that I’ve eaten within my budget so I know it’s not fat that I’m gaining.
I like to be precise. Calories better watch out, because I don’t let many slip by me! I use a food scale in conjunction with Myfitnesspal (Are you on there too? Add me!) If you’re going to count calories, a good food scale is really essential because it’s the only accurate way to measure your food. Take a tablespoon of peanut butter, for example. You can measure it one of two ways: with a measuring spoon or with your food scale. According to the jar, a tablespoon is 16 grams of peanut butter. Even if you measure the most level tablespoon possible, it will often weigh more than 16 grams. I’ve experimented a bit, and I’ve seen as much as 25 grams, which is actually a lot of calories to be sneaking into your diet each day!
But I digress. So, armed with a food scale and MFP, I thought it might be fun to show you a day in the life of, food style.
I am the worst when it comes to waking up in the morning. Always have been, probably always will be. Ideally, it would be so nice to sit at the table and sip a cup of coffee while eating breakfast with my daughter with the news playing in the background, but realistically I like my sleep. A lot. On a work day, breakfasts are always rushed. Since I’m currently following Whole30, my breakfast is usually eggs or chicken and apple sausages by Aidells. Yesterday morning I was running especially late, so I scrambled up some eggs and cooked them in the microwave. Not ideal at all, but it did the trick. Harissa sauce on top made them slightly more bearable.
CALORIE COUNT: 230
Lunch is a toss-up for me. Honestly, I’d rather have a tiny lunch and a big dinner. It’s just what I prefer, and it seems to work a little better with my husband’s diet, too. He’s 6’10” and has a TDEE of approximately one million. I always keep a can of sardines in my purse as a backup, but yesterday I was hungry and wasn’t feeling like canned fish. So I ran to The Habit Burger. I got a lettuce wrapped burger with mustard, extra onions and tomatoes, and mashed avocado. It was okay. I try to avoid fast food as much as possible because it’s really hard to find Whole30 compliant options, AND because the sodium level is so high. My weight will probably be up a little bit this morning because of it.
CALORIE COUNT: 450
Okay. Have you ever had a meal where you have to triple check all of the ingredients because it just tastes too good to be true? This is that meal for me. Shrimp coconut curry with broccoli slaw noodles. It is so much more amazing than it sounds. I could literally eat this every day and be happy. If only shrimp weren’t so expensive. I’m going to teach you how to make this. And you should. Like tonight. It’s that good.
CALORIE COUNT: 607
Total Daily Calorie Count: 1287
That’s all I ate yesterday, and I never felt like I was starving. When you’re used to snacking, three meals may not seem like a lot. I used to be a compulsive snacker, and I found that I’d much rather save my calories for a satisfying meal. So I kind of broke myself of the habit. I rarely have the urge to snack anymore, and if I do, a glass of water usually does the trick.
This is what my food diary looks like on Myfitnesspal for the day. For my dinner, I log each individual ingredient. It might seem tedious, but it becomes second nature. Plus, since I use a lot of the same foods often, it keeps them right there in my history.
Have you ever kept track of your calories? Was it something you felt that you could keep up with?
THAI SHRIMP COCONUT CURRY WITH BROCCOLI SLAW
- 1 T Coconut oil
- ½ Yellow Onion, Diced
- 1 T Yellow Curry Powder
- 2C Broccoli Slaw (I used Archer Farms from Target)
- 2/3 C Coconut milk (mine was canned, lite. I prefer whole fat, but it’s what I had)
- ~1/4C Water, depending on how thick you’d like your sauce. I used closer to 1/8 C because I like my sauce to be thick and creamy.
- 1/4 t Cumin, or to taste
- 1 t crushed garlic, (I used garlic powder only because I ran out of the crushed jarred garlic)
- 6oz Raw Shrimp
- Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste.
Gather all of your ingredients so you can… you know, take a picture.
Heat your oil over medium heat in a decently size pan. I like the one that has tall sides. I have no idea what it’s called, but it keeps everything inside quite nicely. Once your oil is melted, add your onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add your curry powder, and mix well until all the onions are coated with curry deliciousness. Be warned, your house will smell like curry for hours. And onions, too. My husband whined that his eyes burned three hours later.
Add the garlic and let that cook for three minutes or so, stirring, making sure your onions don’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
Add your broccoli slaw, coconut milk, and the rest of your spices: salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. I like this to be pretty spicy, so I dust generously with cayenne.
Stir really well so everything is coated and mixed. Cover and let cook for a few minutes. There’s no exact science here, this really was just a happy “thrown-together-at-the-last-minute” dinner that turned out so good I had to make it again immediately for lunch the next day. And take pictures.
Okay. So, the broccoli slaw should be getting a little bit soft by now, and your coconut milk should be thickening up a bit. If you think it’s too thick, add a tiny bit of water. It’s not necessary, though. It’s up to you.
Add your shrimp, stir, cover again and let cook for about five minutes, or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. I stir every thirty seconds or so just to make sure nothing’s sticking.
And that’s it! It takes maybe 10 minutes start to finish. And let me tell you: something magic happens to the broccoli slaw when it’s cooked in the coconut milk. It turns into this amazing, delectable, decadent dish that will fool you into thinking you’re eating noodles. I’m not kidding. I’ve had spaghetti squash and spiralized zucchini. Frauds in the faux noodle world compared to this dish. And with broccoli slaw, who knew!? I just threw it in there last minute because I thought I needed more veggies.
I swear, you will think this set you back at least 1500 calories. It is so creamy, you’d be shocked that the whole thing is only 600– and you can easily cut it in half. I ate all of it, because I had it in my budget, but it was a lot of food.
Let me know if you try it! Hopefully you’ll think it’s as good as I do!
Have you tried any good noodle alternatives? Any recipes to share?