What I’ve Been Eating Lately

First there was Whole30. Then there was Zone. Then there was Whole30 again, and finally, a botched attempt at the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I tried, really tried, to get that darn detox off the ground, but it just wouldn’t take. So I decided not to push it, and maybe try again in the fall or winter when fresh watermelon and the ripest farmer’s market strawberries ever weren’t constantly appearing in my life.

But right now, I am not “doing” anything. I’m just eating. Kind of a lot of eating. I eat mostly paleo, but I also try not to be too stressed about it. I am focusing on eating whole foods that make me feel good, that don’t make me bloated or sleepy or give me heartburn. And for this kid who comes from a background of belching, pancake comas, and acid reflux, it is a pretty big triumph to be able to finally know how to feel good about (almost) everything I’m eating.

And, it seems to be working!

//the ascent blog

When I stopped zoning, I was pretty nervous that I would gain back all of the body fat I had lost. I also have found that it is hard for me to “casually” eat Paleo–it seems that it can be either all or nothing. However, though I haven’t re-tested by body fat since January, I have luckily been able to keep the momentum going this time without being too strict about weighing and measuring. Occasionally I will pull out the food scale just to re-calibrate my brain, but really for the most part I’ve found that just keeping the mentality of having protein, carbs, and fat EVERY single time I eat has been huge for helping make my body look the way I want it to. Am I trying to be skinny? No. Do I like being lean? Yes I do. But trying to get and stay lean is my own personal goal. I know that because I have a very petite frame, I have a better chance of looking like Christmas Abbott than Lindsey Valenzuela, and I’m learning to embrace my body type. There are a lot of women out there (including some of my fellow bloggers!) who find that their health goals are best supported by eating high volumes of food. Sometimes, I wish I was one of them… but I’m finding more and more that my body just cannot sustain that amount of intake. And that’s ok.

And of course, there is the occasional chunk of chocolate coconut bark or the probably-should-be-a-little-less-occasional pork belly tacos. And that’s ok, too.

So, here’s a snapshot of the way I’ve been eating lately.

Breakfast: (eaten at about 8am) 1-2 hardboiled eggs + a slice of bacon + 1 apple with almond butter or a small protein smoothie made with banana, almond milk, almond butter, and vanilla protein powder.

Lunch: (eaten at about 11:30am) 1 whole roasted chicken leg + 4ish leaves of kale sautéed in butter

Snack: (eaten at about 2pm) A few handfuls of tortilla chips or cashews + a can of tuna tossed in mayo with 1/4 diced cucumber mixed in

Snack #2: (eaten at about 6pm) 1-2 oz. of cheese, 1-2 slices of turkey deli meat, a few handfuls of baby carrots

WOD @ 7pm

Dinner: (eaten at about 8pm) About 1 cup of pulled pork or 1 filet of grilled fish or about 1/2 cup of ground bison + 1-2 cups of steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts + 1 apple with almond butter or some berries

Looking back over it, that actually looks like kind of a lot of food!

Do you find that you have to be All-or-Nothing when it comes to your diet? How do you find a happy medium?

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twitter-bird-light-bgsDo you eat strict #paleo? @clairechay learned that just eating what makes you feel #healthy can be just as effective. http://bit.ly/18psVUd

  • Gabby

    I kind of love this.

    I’ve gone from being “strict” to being not-so-strict and eating non-paleo things like *GASP* rice and potatoes and my body has been loving it. I think the all-or-nothing mentality doesn’t work for me & I am much better on something not so strict.

    • http://www.journeyofadreamer.com/ Courtney

      AMEN AMEN AMEN! Finding that balance is SO important. For me eating rice, potatoes and Ezekiel bread has made me feel SO good. I feel like I’m seeing some major strength gains and even fat loss. I love having a nutrition coach that isn’t just about strict paleo – I eat well rounded meals. Right now I’m hitting it harder and being more strict to try to get in competition shape, but in the “off” season I’m all about balance!

      • clairechapman

        Yes ma’am! Carbs can be so scary for some people, and I think that the starchier the food, the more important it is to pay attention to how it affects your body–but that being said, for people like us who really monitor the effects of everything we eat, I think that it’s just about making informed choices and not letting it be a(nother) stressor!

    • clairechapman

      GASP! :)

      I have actually gotten a lot of inspiration from you for letting myself remember that the way I eat should be more about my goals and less about just being “paleo” or not. It definitely feels nice to get to a point where my goal is to make informed decisions about my food as opposed to having goals that make me feel guilty for ordering a margarita during happy hour on the patio!

      • Gabby

        Thank you! :)

  • Jennifer Pyle Ryberg

    I’m not even as lean as you but, for me, it’s all about moderation. I love wine and chocolate too much and have the occasional chips and queso as well. I would love to be even leaner. I would love to be at a level where I could compete but, I’m also ok with where I am because I know it’s all part of the process and you also gotta live life at the same time.

    • clairechapman

      Totally! It is all about moderation. I understand that for some people, being strict is worth it–their goals are intense enough that even a few cheat meals could derail their training, and good for them. But for most people, I think that worrying all the time (and passing up on wine and chocolate) is just more stress than it’s worth and there is no reason to miss out on the things you like just for the sake of eating strict.

  • http://www.njpaleorunner.wordpress.com/ NJ Paleo

    Well, I guess I eat a lot. I’m about 5’4″ and 125 lbs and am marathon training, doing the Wendler 5-3-1 weightlifting program, and I do CrossFit type workouts 3 times a week. I like having my wine sometimes, and I like having my (organic) corn chips with salsa sometimes. I guess it would be safe to say that I’m 80% strict… It seems to work. I’m more concerned with feeling good and performing well than looking a certain way, and ironically, when I’m focusing on performance that’s when I look my best. It looks like what you’re doing is working really well for you!

    • clairechapman

      Ha I totally agree – I haven’t weighed myself in months and I rarely make choices about eating or not eating something based on how “fattening” etc it is. Now it is more about, if I eat this will I feel like crap later, or if I eat this now will I have enough fuel to WOD in 2 hours. That mentality has done more for my physical appearance than worrying about counting calories ever did!

  • Patti

    You look fantastic! I love your blog. Keep being awesome!

    • clairechapman

      Thanks Patti!

  • Emily

    you eat bark!?….that’s hardcore!!!……i eat shit sometimes on my bike but not on purpose……this is stevie not emily

  • Jacki

    Definitely an all-or-nothing person. If I open the door a crack (like the first day off Whole30) I fling it open and jump. Currently working on finding a way to let go when it comes to eating, but in a structured way, like 1 non-paleo item a week and only on the weekend kind of personal rule.

  • Simone

    That looks like a lot of food to me!! :)

    I’m still trying to figure out my optimal diet… Whole30 did such wonders for my body, and I’m having an insanely hard time doing 90/10 or even 80/20 now that it’s over — I’m not keeping a food journal, but I’m suspecting I’m only 60-70% paleo right now. Me and Pete are both kind of bummed; last night we were saying we needed to do a “6-day-a-week” Whole30 or something. :P


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