Posted in: Nutrition / Nutrition Talk

Day 21/30: Cooking more and Eating Less Processed food

Hi! Overall, I'm cooking much more frequently, and my eating out has fallen to once a week. I've noticed that on days I don't take anti-depressants, those are the days I tend to eat-out, which makes sense since SSRIs give the serotonin that I usually get from food.

I made palm Heart Pasta with ground beef for this week. I have leftover lentils, too. I also made lavender syrup to make my own lavendar lattes, and it was really easy and cheap to make. I made chocolate lavendar scones, which didn't cook very evenly (mainly the chocolate). Regular lavendar scones took forever to finish, but I polished off 6 of the chocolate lavendar scones over the weekend. I think that chocolate is the one thing I do have a hard time regulating. Ironically, I hate chocolate and candy, but I do love chocolate in baked goods.

I exercised far less than I normally would to sleep more/sleep earlier. It's harder to do that naturally, so I've been using Ashwaghanda to sleep earlier. I'd normally sleep by 12, but I was able to be in bed by 11 last week. This week is by 10, though I may aim for 9:45.

I'm reading a book on Kindle called "Fat Chance" that has been discussing the cortisol-insulin response, especially that chronic cortisol leads to telling insulin to store fat in the midsection, which is where I struggle to lose any lbs. I'm hormonal this week, so will just aim to do Reformer Pilates every day since I'm finding my motivation to do at-home workouts quite low (there are multiple levels from stretching to advanced reformer offered everyday, so moving between the classes based on how I feel). I find that my PMS symptoms almost evaporate when I do heavy strength training and/or Reformer before and after the menstrual cycle, so 2 weeks. But my strength training is done through FitnessBlender and I somewhat lack the focus to workout at home when work is stressful/find time, at least right now.

I also have a major deadline next Monday and had family come to town, so it's a very stressful time altogether. I do have food prepared, so that's good! I've been eating more or less of the same thing this week:

Breakfast: egg whites, feta cheese, spinach, sometimes mushrooms. i'm out of spinach so just mushrooms tomorrow. and green goddess dressing since I hate salads and this is a way to eat more vegetables. Pop and Bottle Oat Latte.

Snack: cheese stick, scone with Greek yogurt and granola (feel languid after that, so will remove the granola/chocolate in scones)

Lunch: Lentils and Palma Pasta Spaghetti with Ground Beef. And feta cheese

Snack: Protein Drink (Plant based - Remedy Organics Cacao)

Dinner: Same as lunch

I'll be eating that for the rest of the week, so at least until W/Thursday. I'm going shopping tomorrow for some more ingredients like spinach, mushrooms, protein drink, oat latte (https://www.popandbottle.com/collections/oat-milk-latte)

The oat lattes in particular are much healthier than starbucks and have far less caffeine than normal, so that's been fantastic to add. I also want to aim for eating 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds this week since I want more fiber. I started tracking on Myfitnesspal for protein and fiber, and I definitely can do a better job with both.

I think my chocolate fix is helped by the protein drink.

Sugar and caffeine are the biggest deterrents to eating healthier/cooking/eating, so only eating homemade snacks and chocolate have been helpful! I don't think chocolate scones are good for me since I ate too much of them and have run out. I'm also out of all-purpose flour. I like cooking much more than baking, so will stick to remedy organics protein drinks for "sweets" this week and see how it goes.

I've been noticing a lot of improvements in other areas of my life: I've been doing laundry more, my place is so much cleaner (making the bed every day), and I'm just tidier altogether. I'm also sleeping earlier, too. It still takes me 90 minutes to get out of bed, but I think that maybe having the anti-depressant next to me when I wake up may be the most helpful - I can't get out of bed without it. I've also started to journal and have been tracking habits (making bed, journaling, working out, etc..) on a board, and sort of doing a to-do list.

With eating less ultra-processed Food, I've been saving so much more money and have been aggressively paying off debt/actually coming up with a plan to do so. I've also locked all my CCs and won't eat at the office. I'm also having break-throughs in therapy, too. I definitely have stress after work/with work, and so I've been taking "fun" days to read books and do other things I ordinarily wouldn't. Binge watching TV has sort of decreased. I would like to better track my time since I'm sure I could carve out time to workout at home, but I procrastinate on it forever and then just give up. If I don't workout by 9 PM now, I'll call it a day and start on a night routine.

I've been drinking a gallon of water a day, too, which has been helping. And increased steps to around 4K/day (except on days where I have chocolate chips).

All in all, a lot of fantastic changes in both diet and other areas of my life! I think binge-eating ultra-processed Food definitely messed with my dopamine/serotonin pathways and even my gut microbes (almost no fiber).

I'm also not as stressed out at work anymore, though I am stressed out from deadlines and presentations at the end of the week, but I'm less stressed out with my manager and actually get along with them much better; I'm far less anxious than before.

I do notice that I get more anxious with chocolate, so that's something I need to reduce. I can't handle caffeine at all, and chocolate is a mixture of both sugar and caffeine. I can handle 80 mg of caffeine, but only with adaptogens, which is probably the only reason for the lack of anxiety.

My coworkers have been very complimentary of the food that I bring (the cafeteria food is truly awful), so greater cooking reinforcement.

And that's it! I'll expand past 30 days, but write an update every 1-2 weeks on here. Thanks for reading and the advice, the accountability has truly helped!