Tag Archives: Protein

Grocery Haul Line Item

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Hello and happy Sunday, blends! I’m back at my little apartment for a long, blissful, peaceful, relaxing week of… class. Whomp.

Anyhow, I haven’t written about my grocery shopping exploits in awhile, so I thought it would be fun to update you on what I’m eating these days, how much I buy to feed a household of one, and about how much I spend per week on food. Here goes, in no particular order!

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I was falling a little behind on my TP supply. Get it? 😉 ($7.99)

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My fridge is always stocked with Chobani. This week, all Chobani was 10/$10, so I even indulged in a few Flips.

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In the grains department, organic frosted flakes cereal ($2.50), store-brand whole wheat rotini ($0.99), spicy blue corn tortilla chips ($2.79), and 100-calorie whole wheat sandwich rounds ($3.19).

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My “shame buys”: basil pesto ($3.69) for chicken pesto pasta this week, and soups ($2.69 each). I try not to buy these types of items often, because pesto is so high in fat, and because brand-name soups have a tremendous amount of sodium (34% RDV in just one of these cans!).

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In the beverage department, my impromptu purchase of Metro Mint water (on sale 10/$10), practically sugar-free and low-cal cranberry-pomegranate juice ($2.74), and store-brand skim milk ($2.19).

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I thought I was in desperate need of Orbit gum (2/$3), but it turns out there were two packs of strawberry flavor waiting for me in the pantry. Oops!

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Not-quite-ripe bananas — just how I like ’em — ($0.59/pound = $1.20), organic strawberries ($2.28), and white grapes ($2.99/pound = $5.20).

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As far as veggies go, one green bell pepper ($0.78), two Roma tomatoes ($2.28/pound = $2.51), one cucumber (4/$3 = $0.75), one Vidalia onion ($0.99/pound = $0.64), whole carrots ($0.79), baby spinach ($2.99), and Steamfresh frozen peas ($1.39) and a veggie blend ($2.69).

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One-half dozen grade-A large store-brand eggs ($0.99) and feta crumbles ($1.89).

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And last but certainly not least, my protein department: antibiotic-free, hormone-free, 100% vegetarian-fed, cage-free-raised chicken breasts ($3.95), and farm-raised boneless and skinless tilapia fillets ($3.99).

Drum roll, please……

My total haul for the week cost $83.42, and I saved $12.35 using my store points card. Woohooo!

Some of these items will last me longer than a week, such as three chicken breasts and four pieces of tilapia, a carton of juice, the TP (I should hope!), pesto, pasta, and gum. I needed to make a large grocery shopping trip today since I haven’t been at my apartment for a month and the fridge was looking pretty bare. That explains my high bill, as a typical weekly trip ranges from $40-$60. However, my fruit and veggie haul for this week was pretty typical, with some items varying depending upon weekly sales (e.g. grapes instead of pears, baby spinach instead of a butter bibb blend).

That about wraps it up! I’d love to hear from YOU about grocery shopping! Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I love seeing what other foodies and health nuts buy each week.

Lara vs. Luna

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Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygoshhh!

I JUST found out – while I was at my Practicum site, no less – that I was selected as one of the Chobani #lovebites winners of a case of Chobani Bite!!! I have yet to be able to taste these coveted little Greek delicacies, so I am BEYOND ecstatic right now. Partially because I never win anything… much less something as cool as a case of Cho!

Now, on to business as usual.

Contrary to the title of the post, I don’t mean for this to be some kind of “showdown” between Larabars and Luna Bars. In fact, I used to have a pretty strict allegiance to KIND bars. Once I discovered those babies, all bets were off. I couldn’t get enough of flavor combos like pomegranate, pistachio, sea salt, dark chocolate, macadamia nut, cinnamon… you get the idea. But eventually, I knew I’d have to branch out, if only for the cost (my grocery store typically carries them for $1.79 a pop!).

I had tried both Larabars and Luna Bars before, but I hadn’t gotten hooked like I immediately did with KIND. Ever since I recorded my per-diem nutritional intake, I’ve been on the lookout for sources of higher protein and higher fiber. I’m hoping that once I finally find the culprit behind my weight-loss plateau, I can get back to being a slow-and-steady loser 😉

I want to just take a minute for Confession Time. I, A.K., admit it – I’ve totally thought about succumbing to the easy and alluring nature of Weight Watchers. I’ve looked into weight-loss programs that boast untold health benefits, such as Whole30 or going gluten-free. I’ve even considered picking up one of those ridiculous “supplements” that Kim Kardashian or someone else as equally flimsy in nutritional advice endorses. The thing is, none of these solutions are me. They all require one or more factors I’m not willing to uphold: drinking 64 ounces of water per day (wildly unrealistic for me), counting points (I’m not hatin’, “because it works”), scouring labels for low-fat or fat-free options instead of seeking out wholesome, natural ingredients, and perhaps worst of all in my mind, severely and unnecessarily restricting my diet (everything in moderation, not moderation of everything). I discussed with my doctor diets that require the elimination of certain foods or food groups (e.g. gluten, dairy, fats) and her take was, if you don’t need to do it, don’t do it. I agree!

Anyway, I digress. So, back to bars. I recently picked up some Luna Bars that have as much as 12 grams of protein in one bar! Many have 9g, which is still impressive to me. Neither variety really has cons, just pluses and even bigger pluses. For example, Luna Bars are tasty, they’re not saturated with fat (get it?), and so many of the flavors are chocolatey goodness. Larabars have a list of ingredients that is both short and sweet (get it?!), plus they’re soft and chewy even after having sat against the ice pack in my lunchbox for a few hours.

I’ll be real with you – the calorie count in some varieties of bars scares me, so I tend not to buy any that have 200+ calories. The fat content can be scary, too, especially because bars boasting some of the yummiest flavors or seemingly “healthiest” ingredients may be as much as 190 calories with 170 calories from fat. Yikes!

I’ve also learned that one has to be careful when buying protein bars; the label may read “X calories per serving,” and there might be two servings per bar. Who would’ve thought that one bar wouldn’t be one serving?! Sugar can also be a tricky animal. Flavors with “real” fruit, oats, bran, and whole-anything in the label can sometimes pack as much as 20g of sugar in one tiny bar. #WTF

I love my Luna Bars, my Larabars, and my KIND bars (almost) unconditionally, for different reasons, but I am also willing to branch out and try new bars. If you have suggestions for high-fiber and/or high-protein bars, I’d be super grateful! I love to throw one in my lunch, eat one at the break during class, or eat one 30 minutes or so before I do a heavy cardio workout.

Question: What’s your favorite variety of bar? Have you tried Chobani Bite yet?

My Personal “Hunger Games”

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Maybe I live an insanely blah life, or maybe I tend to enjoy things that other people loathe, but perhaps the only thing I like one of my favorite things about starting a new semester is renewing myself from the inside out.

Last semester, I wrote about my near-constant hunger. I consulted my doctor and had bloodwork done, but I only experienced relief for about two months. Of all of the factors we discussed that could have been contributing to my hunger, my doctor and I never discussed whether I was eating enough of the right stuff. For example, I know my diet is full of leafy green veggies, water, fresh fruit, and a variety of bright colors… but I don’t know whether I’m consuming enough healthy carbs or sufficient protein.

At the beginning of this semester, in order to combat my baffling hunger, I’ve decided to keep a log of the (measurable) carbohydrates, total fat, and protein I’m consuming during the week. Being that I’m not a registered dietician, nor am I in the habit of driving myself insane, by “measurable” I mean that raw, fresh, and whole foods will not be included (unless they are supplied with a label) — because I don’t want to measure the number of raspberries on my cereal or Google the nutrition info for one-third of a cucumber. This also means that I won’t count meals eaten out (which are typically on the weekend, anyway).

I am NOT counting calories. I hate the idea of a restrictive diet; I prefer to make an attempt at eating as many whole, fresh foods as possible to strive for balance. Sometimes, I eat what I want when I want to eat it. C’est la vie. I’m not going to get my panties in a wad over a cookie or a Diet Coke.

I am also NOT turning this exercise into one of my myriad “challenges.” I do not intend to alter the foods I normally eat to fool myself into believing my carb/fat/protein consumption is sufficient or over-and-above. I’m simply making a record so I can ascertain whether my consumption is compatible with my RDV and my level of exercise.

Not because I think you’re on the edge of your seat biting your nails with anticipation, but because blogging is an easy way to hold myself accountable, I’ll be reporting back with stats!

Here’s to (hopefully) solving my hunger woes, and to being one step closer to a fitter, more nutrition-oriented me! 😉

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Could there be a cuter way to take notes?!

[Edited to add: Today I consumed 164g carbohydrates, 39g protein, and 8g fat. Low on all counts.]