How I Eat

I eat a high-protein, lower carb, moderate fat diet whether I am maintaining or losing weight. I was a pescetarian vegetarian (meaning that I ate fish and seafood but no other meat) for 9 years but reintroduced chicken in November 2011 so I would consider myself a semi-vegetarian although I might reintroduce red meat too eventually. Here are the current staples of my diet—most of these I eat almost every day. This isn’t EVERYTHING I eat, just the foods I feel like I have to have or else my cupboard is bare! Also, many fall into more than one macronutrient category, but I grouped them for convenience:

Proteins:

  • Chicken Breast: Started eating chicken over in France in November 2011 and fell back in love immediately! There I bought it fresh every couple days; back here in the states I buy frozen chicken breasts and cook them in the oven then cut them up and stir-fry on the stove for a more blackened taste. In restaurants I will order grilled or blackened chicken. (Also source of fat)
  • Seafood: I love any and all seafood! My every day staples are salmon, tuna steak, and tilipia—anything that I can buy frozen and cook easily in the oven. At restaurants or at the beach I love peel-and-eat shrimp, clams, mussels, grilled calamari, crabs-pretty much all of it! (Just not fried.) (Also source of fat)

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  • Plain 2% or 0% Greek Yogurt: I don’t like regular yogurt, but I discovered Greek yogurt through the blogging world in March 2011 and fell in love. I couldn’t find it overseas and I think it may have been the number one thing I missed about America! I’ll eat 0% or 2% but I only like plain. Typically I eat it with frozen berries and walnuts or almonds. (Also source of fat and carbs)
  • Eggs: Eggs are literally nature’s perfect food. They are a complete source of protein as well as cheap, easy to cook, versatile, and delicious. I typically eat 2 whole eggs plus 2-4 whites but will vary the ratio depending on the taste I’m going for. I like to scramble them with veggies and sometimes cheese; I also like hard-boiled egg whites with hot sauce (I don’t like the texture of hard-boiled yolks though) (Yolks are also source of fat!)
  • Vanilla Whey Powder – for smoothies.
  • Veggie Patties – I tend to avoid buying these because they’re more processed and less of a good source of protein but I always get them at Subway!

Fats

  • Feta Cheese – I have an on-and-off relationship with cheese; sometimes I’ll eat it on a daily basis and sometimes I’m not feeling it for weeks. I really only buy feta but will eat mozzerella, parmesan, shredded jack/cheddar etc too. I don’t like brie/cambert or anything stinky! (Also a source of protein)
  • Walnuts – I eat them sprinkled on greek yogurt or berries (Also source of protein and carbs)
  • Natural Peanut Butter – great source of healthy fat but because my preferred serving size is 4-8 tablespoons (you need enough to cover an apple!) I only eat it about once a week. (Also source of protein and carbs)
  • Dark Chocolate – At least 60%, preferably 72% or 85%. I eat some almost every day. Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips are good for when I just want a few.

Carbohydrates

  • Protein Bars – yes the word “protein” is in the name but for me they’re actually a major source of carbs so I’m putting them here. I shoot for a bar with roughly 1 gram of protein for every 10 calories and ideally 30 or less grams of carbs. Right now I’m liking ThinkThin and Met-Rx Protein Plus bars. (Also a source of protein and fat)
  • Fruits- I’ll eat pretty much either fruit but my staples are frozen berries for greek yogurt and frozen mango or peaches and bananas for smoothies, and apples. Fruits are high in carbs and sugar so I try to limit myself to 2 servings per day while losing weight but I’ll eat 4-5 servings during maintenance—which conveniently coincides with watermelon season!
  • Vegetables – Spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers are my staples but I also eat brussel sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, onions, squash, eggplant, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, sprouts…literally all of them!

Liquids

  • Plain Unsweetened Soymilk – I don’t like regular milk and started drinking soymilk exclusively by age 13-14. Plain unsweetened (but not light!) is my preference but I’m not too picky about this. I drink at least a cup a day in my tea and I also add it to iced tea, crystal light, diet soda (don’t knock it until you try it—it’s really good!)
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk – I started drinking almond milk in February 2012 and realized that I liked it better than soymilk except in tea. I use it for smoothies and over frozen berries.
  • Hot Tea – I drink SO much tea.  Chai is my favorite.
  • Zero-Calorie Liquids – Basically any: diet iced tea, crystal light, fizzy water, Fuze, and yes, diet soda. Sue me.

There you have it! Remember, these aren’t ALL the foods I eat, just the foods I always BUY on a regular basis.

Basically what I DON’T eat are starchy foods: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal, crackers, etc. This is why:

  1. They’re not very nutrient-dense and don’t leave me satiated–I’d rather have a protein, fat, or fruit
  2. Starches make feel lethargic and uncomfortably full
  3. They also can trigger me to binge eat
  4. Most of them taste too bland and “eh” to me; I might be the only blogger alive who genuinely doesn’t like oatmeal

That being said, I don’t believe in depriving myself. If I genuinely want a carb-y food then I’m going to have it; and in the case of my grandma’s pumpkin bread or Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, the answer is heck yes! But 95% of the time I genuinely don’t want it.

Anyway, this is what works for me and I have never looked or felt better than I do eating this way! If you have any questions I would be so happy to answer–just leave a comment or shoot me an email at shannonmarie1023@gmail.com!

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