A Day of Calorie Counting

November 4th, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Motivation

Today’s day of calorie counting began with a freezing bike ride to the gym. Well, actually it was 33 degrees so I guess it wasn’t exactly freezing. I’m such an exaggerator sometimes.

30 minutes on the treadmill with some speed work intervals (4 two minute sets at 9.3) thrown in to keep things interesting – a total of about 4 miles. I noted today what the calorie total said and it was about 450.

Treadmill dues paid, followed by a Very Cold (but this time welcome!) ride home for my first calories of the day.

Green juice for two! My serving: 131 calories (based on my numbers from yesterday)

Morning Green Juice

About an hour and a half later I was ready for My Real Breakfast.

Fruit Cereal:

1 1/2 bananas (158 cals), 2 Tbsp ground flax (60), 2 Tbsp sliced almonds (85), 1/2 unsweetened vanilla hemp milk (30) = 333

Fruit Cereal

We had to leave early this morning (“early” as in 9:30!) to meet up with some homeschooling friends for a nature walk.

Nature Walk

We were on a leaf hunt! Maxine was cold and cranky and refused to walk. Carrying an extra 30 lbs for a 30 minute walk. As if I didn’t already run for 30 minutes this morning, kid? Thanks for doing your part Maxine to help these final 10 lbs come off that much faster.

Cold Cranky Max Along For the Ride

Moments after this picture was taken the 3 older girls shrieked in utter delight when they spotted “poison cherries” on a tree about 50 yards to the left.

We're Going on a Leaf Hunt

Before we left we hit up the nature center and did a little research for my new Taxidermy blog. I just need some help coming up with a new name. Any ideas?

The Flying Squirrel?

Flying Squirrel?

Hug a Nut?

Hug a Nut

Play Dead?

Play Dead

I’ve Got Beaver Fever? (I wonder how many calories are in the leaf?)

I've Got Beaver Fever

Meh. I’m still working on ideas.

We had some errands to run after our leaf picking poison cherry stuffed carcass adventures. I packed some snacks to hold us over until we could get home for a proper lunch.

Carrots and jicama sticks anyone? Yours for a mere 70 calories! Yes please!


And how about half a MamaBar at a whopping 111 calories? Sold to the lady with that crazy look in her eye!

Half a MamaBar

My Proper Lunch would be a salad as big as my head (150 cals – for the salad, not my head) and homemade balsamic dressing.

1 Tbsp EVOO 130 cals
2 Tbsp balsamic 30 cals
1/2 Tbsp agave nectar 30
+ s&p

Lunch! 340 calories!

Giant Salad

The Snack: Round 2

2 Tbsp chia seeds 138
1 tsp agave nectar 20
1/2 c hemp milk 30
Dash of cinnamon

Soaked in all it’s 188 calorie glory for about 4 hours to be called chia pudding.

Chia Pudding

Orange you glad I did the dishes after my snack? 70 calories of citrus goodness.

Orange You Glad

For dinner tonight I made a tomato bean soup.

28 oz can of tomatoes: 175 calories
1 Tbsp EVOO: 130
1 can of garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained: 350
2 carrots, peeled and sliced:70
1 onion, diced: 30
2 cloves of garlic: 10
A couple shakes of parsley, salt and pepper: .002568999 calories

Recipe total? 695 calories

Five Cups

It made about 5 cups.

695 / 5 = 139 calories per cup

I sauteed diced onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Added all vegetables, salt and pepper + parsley and simmered on medium heat until carrots were soft, probably about 40 minutes. Stir occassionally and subtract 1 calorie for every spoon revolution in the pan.

1 1/2 cups = 215 calories

Bean Soup

+ a grilled (in Misto’d olive oil) hummus (75) and tomato (10) sandwich on 2 slices of sesame Ezekiel bread (160) for a dinner tally of 460.

Grilled Hummus Sandwich

Today’s day of calorie counting? 1783.

I’ve had a couple of revelations today. I know what you’re thinking… already? Yes! Already!

1. I’ve been a little too friendly with the nuts in my life. No, I’m not talking about my husband and children, but the kind that good old Hug a Nut is hugging up there. Me and almond butter have become more than just good friends, we are lovers. Nuts are good for you, but I’ve been a little too eager to be a nutty overachiever. A handful of raw cashews for a pre-dinner snack? And after breakfast? And before lunch? Hello lady I just figured out your problem. Well, at least your nut problem. Now let’s get to work on your sense of humor.

2. Intuitive Eating, Thrive and the Raw Food Detox Diet have made things a lot easier for me. First, as I’ve said many times before, if I don’t eat stimulating foods, I don’t crave them, so eating like I did today and most every day is pretty effortless. I don’t feel like I’m deprived of anything. But most importantly, if I’m hungry, I’m going to eat! When calorie counting in the past I would often make myself wait just a little bit longer before finally getting something to eat. None of that now. If I reach for fruits and vegetables instead of dates with almond butter or a handful of raisins and cashews every time I feel the need for a little something, I think I’ll easily obtain a calorie deficit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to eat nuts – I’m not crazy! I’m just going to stop slathering nut butter on dates or anything and everything without a pulse like it’s going out of style.

3. Thanks for all the recommendations for The Daily Plate! It’s easy, I like it! I entered in all of my data for today and I especially like being able to see the fat, carb and protein totals, fiber too.

Thanks to everyone for your supportive comments. Like a number of you said, I’m using calorie counting as a tool to reach a goal, not an excuse to obsess over food and go nutty with. I’ve already had quite a few clues as to where I’ve been going wrong and this is exactly what I needed. A wake up call! And thankfully not one that involves a horse head in my bed.

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23 Responses

  • Yep, those nuts and nut butters have played a number on me too. *sigh*

    I made that chia seed pudding today. WOW. It was SWEET!! I see you’ve used only 1 tablespoon of agave. I’ll try that next. It was GOOD, though. I’m LOVING it. I got some weird looks, though. Can’t imagine why anyone would think chia seed pudding is odd, can you? Whatever. LOL

    SO glad you’re getting things figured out. I’m going to have to kick it up a notch, too. Seriously. I’ve lost over 100 pounds but I’ve become lazy on getting rid of the last of this fat that loves to stick around. It’s time to make it move out. For good. 😀

    As always, you’re so creative and fun!

  • Bernadette says:

    Not too shabby girlie! You got alot food for those calories!! The only thing that really surprised me was how many calories were in the Chia seeds. Those are a new addition to my diet so I never really thought of them in calorie value before, intellesting, velly velly intellesting!

    Oh, and on the Taxidermy blog…for your first post can you tell us what those animals in the background of your Beaver fever picture are doing???

    Have a great night!

  • I think your food looks great today! I have a tendency to snack too much on nuts, too. Cashews are my favorite!

  • Erica says:

    Great job today! Lots of good, filling, healthy eats! I love jicama so much (can’t get enough) and your soup looks fantastic. I need to get a bike so I can ride to the gym! I love that its good for the environment and the body (bonus!) Hope you’re having a nice week

  • Cindy says:

    I also loved the information journaling does for you!

    I still have my Excel spreadsheet that I use but the topics change constantly. It’s how I figured out my abdom. pain issues! Yay for personal discovery huh?

    LOVE your eats today! Lots of good nutrition though!
    1700 calories never tasted so good or fed your body so well!

    holy cow stuffed animals gives me the willies!

  • Sounds like you have the right mindset and that calorie counting is going to work for you (without making you “nutty”).

    Great point about going a bit too “nutty” with the nuts. I very easily go overboard too… And those good fats & calories add up so quickly… Thanks for the reminder. I already knew it but sometimes choose not to think about it… :)

  • I dont count calories but I do know instinctively that nuts and nut butts are very high fat. High nutrition but also high in fat cals. So I eat them, but dont go hog wild. Plus for me, nuts make me too bloaty and funky digestion so I take it easy anyway on them and the extreme use of nut butters. Good luck finding Your Path. It seems that just about the time we find something that works, then something changes and we have to keep tweaking.

    I did yoga du jour for you today my love :)

    • Alison says:

      Ugh, yeah – I know nut butters are high in fat and calories, I keep getting wrapped up in that “oh, it’s ok – it’s healthy” mindset. Live and learn!

      Thanks for your downward dog post – LOVED IT!

  • wow you’re good at math 😉

  • Shari B. says:

    Hey Alison!

    I thought for sure your day would total up to more than 1700 as I was reading along – I was surprised! wahooo! When you talk about nuts and nut butters, I think that’s the thing that keeps me from making all these beautiful foods/desserts I see in some of the vegan and/or raw cookbooks. Many seem to start with a base of some sort of nut like cashews. Deep down I think I still have some of the mindset of a calorie counter. (When I eat Newman’s Ginger O’s, I think “one cookie is almost ONE mile on the treadmill.. do you really need 5 cookies shari?”)

    Thanks for sharing all of your calorie counts… The thought of trying to add up all the parts and pieces that go into my salads and green smoothies gives me the ‘obsessive heebie jeebies’ – now I can be lazy and get an idea of the calories from you 😉

    have I told you lately that you’re the Awesome-est?? Thanks for the great blog!

    • Alison says:

      hehehe thanks Shari! 😉

      I think the same way… eat a handful of M&M’s and it’s like running the length of a football field. It much easier to just NOT eat them!

  • Christina says:

    ive been contemplating buying chia seeds for some time now- how good is this chia pudding? anything you relate it to?

    • Alison says:

      Tina I was iffy on chia pudding, but I like it! The consistency is similar to tapioca, but it tastes like whatever you put in it! I love it with vanilla nut milks, a little cinnamon and agave – it’s the perfect snack.

  • brandi says:

    I think that looks like a great day for that number! Isn’t it crazy how some foods add up? I thought it would be more than that by the end of the day, but it’s not!

    That’s the best thing about eating those types of foods – they make me happy and fill me up without being a ridiculous 1,000 calories per meal, you know?

    Sounds like a fun day with that nature walk!

  • Yes nuts are a fabulous thing, but too much of anything doesn’t=good.

    Looks like you had a fun day whilst counting calories:)

  • Matt says:

    The taxidermy pictures are hilarious!

    I am still fascinated by the Thrive/stimulating foods thing, but I just love having caffeine in the morning. I never need it, I just love it! Do you not drink coffee?

    • Alison says:

      Nope, not regularly at least. I use to have a cup every day – but I kicked the habit and now just enjoy an occasional cup of coffee, usually if we go out to a restaurant. I definitely notice a difference in the lack of food cravings without it too.

      I love it too though, I can totally relate.

  • 33 degrees is absolutely freezing on the bike!

  • liz says:

    your nature walk looks like fun :)

    just btw, a lot of calorie sites say that oranges have many fewer calories than they really do, since navel oranges can be quite a bit bigger than “average” (at least hte ones i buy are) i found that out cause i once weighed my orange and calculated the calories by oz and it turned out to be like 120! or something and i was super shocked!!

    lol i dont mean to sound like a snob, i just hope this was somehow helpful :)

  • Erin says:

    You are making calorie counting + math look super fun. How is that possible?? Oh wait, it’s you. Makes sense now.

    I loved Hug a Nut. Could be used in so many appropriate and inappropriate situations!

    I hear you on the almond butter. I realized that I’ve been going a bit almond crazy lately. Good to figure that out so you can reign it in!

  • Lizzy says:

    I bet you new i was going to say how amazing your salad for lunch looked, cause duh, i love me some salad! num num num!!!