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Intermittent Day Eating

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.
Intermittent Day Eating, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

10 Unique 100 Calorie Snacks that Satisfy

Dear Diary,

It’s 3:00 pm and I feel that familiar rumble in my belly telling me it’s snack time. I open the fridge, I open the freezer, I look in the pantry…then I head back to the fridge. Hmmm…I see cheese. I love cheese. I can eat a lot of cheese. I saw some crackers in the pantry. I can eat a lot of cheese and crackers. Yikes, better not get that started. What else, what else? Apples, melon, sliced red bell peppers, carrots, greek yogurt? Argh! None of these snacks are appealing all on their own. I need something more satisfying, pronto!

If I could reverse time, a good plan would have been…to have a plan. A little planning ahead, before cravings and hunger strike, helps to not eat a snack that is as calorie dense as a meal. Snacks can mean trouble. A lot of planning goes into meals, but little planning or thought goes into snacks. I must avoid panic snacking or risk taking a full cracker box to an empty cracker box!

If I restart an Intermittent Day Fasting Plan such as 5:2 or 4:3, these snack ideas could also help me get through those rough days. The recommendation is 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on low calorie days. If I put five of these snacks together, a 500 calorie day is looking a lot less intimidating. This is a huge revelation, Diary, HUGE!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls  Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to "pickle" them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls
Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to “pickle” them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip
Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Mini Pepperoni Pizza Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila...you just got your pizza fix!

Mini Pepperoni Pizza
Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila…you just got your pizza fix!

Deviled Eggs One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg – remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste. Add yolk mixture back inside the white and top with chopped green onions and a little dill.

Turkey Roll-ups Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Turkey Roll-ups
Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers
One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies
1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup
One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread
Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers 4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers
4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

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Intermittent Day Eating, Recipes, Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Thai Spiced Cucumber Salad

Dear Diary,

Thai food, hands down, is one of my favorite cuisines. Just thinking about Pad See Ewe, dripping with black bean sauce and cozied up to giant broccoli florets, has my mouth watering. Don’t even get me started on Yellow Chicken Curry and Pad Thai! It has become my go to comfort food in Southern California and I am known to scour Yelp and other review sights for top restaurant picks. As with all cultural food, some of the dishes can be high calorie and portion control is an absolute must when monitoring your calorie intake.

I started seeing some Thai Salad recipes pop up on Pinterest and decided I needed to create my own version. This salad is a great side for my pork tenderloin recipe or as a main dish on a low calorie day…hint, hint for my fellow 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating crew. I also needed to perfect using my handheld spiralizer, which is a bit of a daunting kitchen gadget if you haven’t used one before. Zoodles and Coodles are great ways to replace high calorie pasta with Zucchini and Cucumber “noodles.”

I have not cooked in a couple of weeks while traveling and hanging my hat in Michigan for the summer. I have to admit, it has been nice to step away from meal planning and preparation. While I appreciate the break, I am now starting to feel the pull of my kitchen back in California. For now, I will take inspiration from friends and family that are kind enough to feed my body and soul.

Thai Spiced Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large English Cucumbers, spiralized
  • 1/2 to 2/3 each Red, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, spiralized
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cold, shelled edamame
  • 3 tablespoons Island Soyaki
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 2-3 fresh limes, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds, optional

Directions: In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, green onions, cilantro and edamame. For instructions on how to use a handheld spiralizer, watch the video from Raw Nutrition Kitchen below. In a small bowl, combine Island Soyaki (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s but it is also available in most local supermarkets), honey, peanut oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Toss the sauce in with the vegetables and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Garish with sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Tips: Peanuts can also be sprinkled in just before serving for added crunch. Before spiralizing the cucumbers and carrots, slice half way through the vegetables, lengthwise, to create shorter and easier to eat “noodles.” Peanut oil can be replaced with sesame oil. Delete or increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to control the spice level.

 

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Intermittent Day Eating, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #7 – Flex Your Muscles

Dear Diary,

I officially ditched the “weekly” part of my check-in title. I couldn’t handle the added pressure that “weekly” implied, although, I am hopeful that I will return to blogging weekly. In a magical world, where time does not exist, children do as they are asked, healthy food cooks itself, and exhaustion does not prevail; that’s the world that I could blog in on a weekly basis…heck, daily might even be possible! Fingers crossed on the magical world thing. Once again, Diary, I digress.

Last time I checked in (my version of a gut check, literally and figuratively) I wrote about leaning into the chaos of life and not being afraid to prioritize myself when crisis hits. The more you do something, the easier it gets. It becomes woven into your being if you stick with something long enough and starts to feel like second nature. Take starting a new job, for example. The first couple of weeks are filled with anxiety, frustration, and fear. But slowly you get to know your co-workers names, you locate the secret pen stash, and you no longer have to write down every new password you are required to use, for each different system and application (why, oh why, do I have to use a capital letter AND a symbol AND a number). Oh yeah…thanks Sony.

As I continue to become more comfortable with following a 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating plan, I have more lessons to share. Is it possible that an eating plan can also have benefits in other areas of your life? Me thinks it does.

Lesson #4: Denying oneself is difficult and indulgence is tempting. The balance between the two is about as easy as a grown woman teeter-tottering with her 3 year old. It’s awkward and forced, yielding little pleasure on either end. The key is to find the right balance and knowing whether to bail out or stick with it.

Lesson #5: Each time you strike the right balance, you flex your discipline muscle a little bit more. You find that sweet spot where it feels just right. Someone says, “Oh, just eat it, it’s soooo good…you only live once you know.” And here we are at the crossroad. Here is where you make your choice to either flex your muscle and build it or allow it to atrophy like a deflating balloon. Two paths in the woods…do I take the one less traveled? YES. Tomorrow I eat normal. I can do anything for a day…it’s just one day. Flex that muscle, just like Popeye when he sees Olive Oyl. 

Lesson #6: Hunger is temporary. The first couple of weeks of eating (attempting) 500 calories or less, two days a week proved to be difficult for two main reasons; hunger and feeling light-headed. My body was used to me eating often, which unfortunately was causing too many calories to stack up by the end of the day. After 5 weeks though, I no longer get those aggressive hunger pangs and a few slugs of chia seed water keeps me chugging along. Nice, deep breaths and keeping busy certainly don’t hurt either.

Finding balance, and using discipline within my diet, has also helped me to find both in other aspects of my life. Just like with eating though, it’s something you have to tackle one day at a time and keep learning from the journey instead of just focusing on the destination.

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A Schedule is back to normal and sleep is back on track
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking My two 500 calorie days per wk are on track. I am over on my “normal” calorie level on weekends which is slowing weight loss B Make some egg muffins on Sunday and scale back on my calories on the weekends
Exercise Still need to commit to a local 10K race and get back into consistent 3 days a week at the gym B Back to the gym for cardio and walking at the Rose Bowl. Just sign up for the damn race already!
Write Down What I Eat I figure out my calorie intake in my head throughout the day so for me, writing down is not as key as it is for others N/A Nope, can’t do it. I do recommend to others though.
Weigh Weekly Maintaining my loss of 2.3 lbs but no further loss. B Weekend eating (and drinking) = too high of a calorie intake on my “normal” calorie intake days…planning to scale it back
Get & Give Support Received an email from someone in the UK that is researching Intermittent Day Fasting and she is following my blog as well as provided me with a link to a research article…wow, someone reads it? A My next blog post is already in the works that will include 3 different sources I have been researching on Intermittent Day Eating…stay tuned!
Stress Management I NEED YOGA IN MY LIFE! It is so good, for so many reasons. Oh, and I have been snapping a bit lately at people…always a sure sign I need improved stress management. C The gym does not have classes that fit in my schedule so I need to bite the bullet and fork over some cash. Goal is to sign up in the next 7 days…

 

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Intermittent Day Eating, Metabolism, Recipes, Uncategorized

Size Matters…When it comes to Food Volume!

Dear Diary,

So much has been learned over the past couple of weeks as I continue to take Alternate (aka Intermittent) Day Eating for a test drive. I have purposely replaced “Eating” for the word “Diet.” I don’t care for what the word “diet” symbolizes in the American culture. Scientifically speaking, I like the idea of tricking your metabolism and keeping it guessing as to how much it should burn or conserve. Low calorie days became easier each time, and I am having fun learning how much volume of food I can get for the least amount of calories. Yes, I realize that there are few people who have “fun” playing around with calorie intake. Be careful, Diary…I wouldn’t want you to be judgey of my nerdy nature.

So, here are a few lessons learned on my journey thus far…

Lesson #1: If I am going to be successful on a low calorie day (goal is 500 or less), I can’t have my first meal until 1pm. Prior to 1pm, I have coffee with 1/4 cup of milk and water with chia seed. I found this out when I attempted a protein packed breakfast at 6:30 am and ended up starving all day.

Lesson #2: Testing out what works for you and what doesn’t, is essential to success. My friend Jennifer eats a late morning breakfast and that works for her. Everyone is different and everyone will find what works if given enough trials and time.

Lesson #3: The 5:2 system currently works for my lifestyle. Five days out of the week I eat according to my normal calorie intake and pattern for meals and snacks. Two days a week I have a goal of 500 calories or less and I eat between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

The motto that gets me through tough moments? I can do anything for a day…it’s just one day. This fits perfectly into my new life philosophy of truly taking one day at time and enjoying the journey without obsessing on the destination.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

2 cups Cauliflower Rice*
2/3 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
2 Eggs (1 whole egg, 1 egg white)

Black Pepper to taste (optional)
Green Onions

For Sauce:

1/2 teaspoon Hoisin Sauce
1/2 tablespoon Less Sodium Soy Sauce
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tablespoon water

Directions:
In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add cauliflower rice*and frozen vegetables; stir-fry for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Mix together ingredients for the sauce and add to the skillet; stir-fry another 1-2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white over the cauliflower rice and vegetable mix and sprinkle with black pepper; stir-fry another 1-2 minutes and serve warm sprinkled with chopped green onions. Recipe makes 1 serving and provides approximately 225 calories.

*Cauliflower rice prep: Place ~1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets in a mini food processor (I use Black & Decker’s Mini Prep Food Processor) to make approximately 2 cups of cauliflower rice. Pulse several times until cauliflower resembles rice.

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Intermittent Day Eating, Uncategorized

DIET…A Four Letter Word

Dear Diary,

Diet. One little word that brings many things to mind. For some people, it brings up negative feelings and connotations like deprivation, hunger, restriction, and sometimes even anger or frustration. Diet used as a noun is usually positive (or at the very least neutral). Diet used as a verb though…now that can get people all fired up and possibly inspire a heated debate. Ones diet and beliefs about food can be a very personal thing; right up there with politics or religion. I need a true definition here so I can wrap my brain around what’s what.


di·et /ˈdīət/

noun: diet; plural noun: diets

  1. the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats; “a vegetarian diet”
  • a regular occupation or series of activities in which one participates. “a healthy diet of classical music”
  1. a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. “I’m going on a diet.”
  • (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content. modifier noun: diet “diet soft drinks”

verb: diet; 3rd person present: diets; past tense: dieted; past participle: dieted; gerund or present participle: dieting

  1. restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. “It’s difficult to diet.”

So, I have now defined it…actually the dictionary defined it and I copied and pasted. The question I get from people often is “What diet works?” What diet works, indeed, is the ultimate question that really only has one clear answer. The diet that works is…drumroll please…is the diet that is right for you and works with your lifestyle. It’s the diet (and I am using it as a noun, not a verb) that can be maintained over the long haul and has little or no negative side effects.

Does the Paleo Diet work? Sure, for some people. Does a Gluten Free Diet work? Sure, for some people. The bottom line is, can you successfully lose weight or improve your health AND maintain that loss or health improvement over time? Weight loss maintenance over 10 years or more is much more difficult to accomplish for most people than the actual weight loss itself.

My friend Victoria recently invited me to an Alternate Day Fasting group on FB. I was intrigued. Then a few weeks later my friend Jennifer told me her sister had lost a significant amount of weight over the past year using the same method. Victoria has been following the diet for some time now and Jennifer was looking to enlist the buddy system to see if Alternate Day or Intermittent Fasting could work for her.

I’m in. I want to shed that extra 10 lbs I originally started with when I birthed this blog. I also want to see if this type of a diet could work for some of my future clients. The Dietitian is officially trying out her first “diet” plan at age 40! The crew on the Alternate Day Fasting Facebook page have given me some good ideas and last week I had 2 of my first ever DD’s. I learned that’s an abbreviation for Down Days and UD is used for Up Days. I also did some research into the science behind the diet.


Intermittent Fasting

Some of the most recent research was conducted by Dr. Mark P. Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at John Hopkins University. The researchers, who also included the BBC’s Michael Mosley, reviewed previous studies on intermittent fasting and concluded that this type of eating could be healthier than eating three meals or more per day. Their work was published, and has been published many times in the past. Some of those studies are linked later in the article.

One recommended way of doing it, is known as the “5:2 Diet.” On the 5:2 plan, you cut your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories on fasting days (about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women), along with plenty of water and tea. On the other five days of the week, you can eat normally.

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Although major research efforts have focused on how specific components of foodstuffs affect health, relatively little is known about a more fundamental aspect of diet, the frequency and circadian timing of meals, and potential benefits of intermittent periods with no or very low energy intakes. The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective.

Emerging findings from studies of animal models and human subjects suggest that intermittent energy restriction periods of as little as 16 h can improve health indicators and counteract disease processes. The mechanisms involve a metabolic shift to fat metabolism and ketone production, and stimulation of adaptive cellular stress responses that prevent and repair molecular damage. As data on the optimal frequency and timing of meals crystalizes, it will be critical to develop strategies to incorporate those eating patterns into health care policy and practice, and the lifestyles of the population.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


I have to say, the first day was difficult. My goal was 500 calories and I ended the day closer to 700 calories. Day 2 proved to be easier and I ended the day at 600 calories. I noticed several things and also took notes like a college student from the Alternate Day Fasting group. Chia seeds in a large glass of ice water became my BFF. Also, I felt less hungry on my “Up Days” which I did not anticipate. Deprivation of a reasonable degree is allowing me to not “give in” to every minor hunger pang I feel.

I have always relied on intuitive eating and my extensive knowledge as a Dietitian to guide my eating. I will continue to blog about my endeavors into this new world (for me) of a more planned eating regimen. I will also post some recipes that help fill up the belly while keeping calories very low.

Cheers to trying something new and boldly going where few Dietitians have gone before!