Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nutritional Self-Esteem

I have no idea whether "nutritional self-esteem" is an actual term, but it describes a construct that has been prominent in my mind this week. Allow me to explain.

I feel like my diet has gotten progressively poor in nutritional quality lately, with far too much sugar and sodium than I would prefer. For example, on the Early Show this morning, there was short segment about various sweeteners (sugar vs. HFCS), in which they stated a sugar intake guideline--I think I had consumed that much as of 10 AM this morning. Granted, some of those were natural sugars found in milk and fruit, but I have a hard time justifying the sugars in that Z-bar and sweetened yogurt. What happened to the health-nut I used to be?

Just to be clear, I am not indicating that I feel guilty about kcalories or that I "feel fat" today. Rather, I am merely concerned that my diet's nutritional quality is not as satisfactory as it has been in the past. I am thinking that I should endeavor on a "crap-free week" in the near future, although it may have to wait until the chaos of school comes to a close.

On a lighter note, I received some great suggestions for my next oatmeal challenge. Here are a few ideas:
-Premium Ice Cream (a la Ben & Jerry's)
-Savory oats
-Exotic fruits
-Clif flavors
-Tea varieties

Here is my idea: Alphabet Oats. I could incorporate ingredients with every letter of the alphabet into my oats, sweet or savory. For example, "A" could include apple, apricots, almonds...What do you think? Suggestions are welcome (especially for those pesky letters like Q, X, and Z).

Whew! Enough jibber-jabber--onto the food!

After my test on Monday, I came home in the food for some produce. So I made a quick Waldorf salad out of chopped apple, dates, walnuts, and vegan mayo. I used dates rather than raisins just 'cuz I am on a date kick these days. I also had some Ak Maks and veggies with (storebought) hummus.
Continuing with my attempt to break out of my snack rut, here's a new one: cinnamon graham cracker sticks with almond butter.
I stopped by the salad bar after my dining committee meeting and came home to prepare some quick BBQ tofu. I just slathered some pressed tofu with Whole Foods brand BBQ sauce and baked it in a 400* oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. I also had some corn, melon, and added Goddess dressing to the salad.
The smoothie of the evening featured mango, strawberries, vanilla rice protein, and soymilk. I used more of that Bear Naked mango granola for crunch.
Inspired yet again by Clean Eating Magazine, I made some pumpkin pie oats, although I changed up the recipe a bit--their version included the protein powder as an "icing" mixed with water. I thought that sounded a little gross, so I just mixed it in with the oats. I don't think I am a fan of protein powder in oatmeal--it changes the texture too much. It might also have been this brand of protein powder; I am glad I didn't buy a big drum of this! This made a LARGEbowl of oats, but I managed to pack it all in;)
As part of my dining committee duties, I had to evaluate an on-campus eatery yesterday. I ordered their Greek salad ("The Parthenon"). When I got back to the apartment, I added a protein component by whipping up a batch of roasted red pepper hummus with chickpeas, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, garlic, ground red pepper, and tahini. I served it with whole wheat mini pitas and an apple.
My snack creativity continued with a kid-food craving: ants on a log! PB, celery, and raisins, plus a string cheese.
For dinner, I made a Mexican Pizza. After spreading some refried black beans on a flatbread, I baked it for about 10 minutes. Then, I spread the guacamole and sliced tomatoes on top with a little chili powder. On the side, I had a salad with chopped pear and raspberry vinaigrette. As a side note, these refried beans have been a pantry staple for me, ever since my dorm cooking days. I highly recommend them!
Another mango-strawberry concoction, this time with Pina Colada Spirutein. I topped it with coconut and Mango-Almond Melange.
Continuing with Chobani Week, I made another concoction featuring Greek yogurt this morning. I combined blueberry yogurt with bluberries and almonds. I dipped blueberry mini waffles into the mixture. (I also had a blueberry Clif Z bar this morning as my pre-workout snack--totally intentional, of course).
Before we part, a few reminders:
-Julie from Julie GoLean is giving away a few of her favorite goodies! Enter by March 29th at 11AM, EST.
-I'm not sure if the contest is over yet, but Courtney from the Hungry Yogini is giving away Barney Butter, a product I've never tried, oddly enough. I'd like to give it a whirl though! Enter by March 25th.
-Em at The Health Nut is giving away an *awesome* "I Love Oatmeal" shirt. I can think of severeal food bloggers, including myself, who NEED this shirt:) Enter by March 27th at midnight, EST.
-Jaime at Fearless, Fabulous, and Full of Life is giving away Oikos coupons! I am on a mission to sample every as many brands of Greek yogurt as possible, so I want to win this one! Enter by March 27th at 11:59 PM.

C. Yode, out!


Danielle said...

I love your ABC oats idea! But those letters would be hard, I'll try to think of things for you!

Lauren said...

How about quinoa in the oats for q? Might add an interesting textural element, and certainly a nutritional one :)

carolinebee said...

i agree with u on the sugar intake- but i do love it so!! I love those chobani flavs..esp peach, but I usually go with plain, just so i can add in my own sugars for other treats- ahem dark chocolate :D

VeggieGirl said...

Hooray for Clean Eating Magazine, for sure!! :-D

Anonymous said...

Why are you so worried about having the perfect diet? Isn’t that stress in itself unhealthy? Plus that guideline is for people who sometimes go way overboard with sugar (i.e. eating a piece of cake with icing, a coke, ice cream, etc. all in one sitting). People like that (normal eaters) should watch their sugar most days. But you don’t seem to ever eat an excessive amount of sugar, so I’m sure you’re fine. What do you think will happen to you if you eat more than 8tsp per day anyway? You won’t get fat, your teeth won’t fall out, etc. Sugar is not the devil, nor is it an unhealthy food just because it isn’t a healthy food. The problem is that people replace nutrient-dense foods with sugary ones and thus miss out on nutrients. But if you’re getting all your nutrients anyway, then the sugar will not hurt you. (As a side note, lists the amount as being 10tsp, not 8.)

Also, please remember that many of your readers have eating dirorders and can therefore be influenced by numbers. Can you please take down the “8tsp per day” reference in your post? I don’t want to see any of your readers read that number and then start calculating their daily sugar intake every day. It’s bad enough they are slaves to calorie-counting. Please have mercy on the poor girls!

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: I am in no way striving to have a "perfect" diet, and I do not intend on calculating how many teaspoons of sugar I consume per day. Rather, I meant to emphasize that I have been a bit too lax lately with how much sugar and sodium I consume. No, these foods are not "the devil," but they are things to be consumed in moderation, which I feel I have not been exercising as of late.
I will take down the reference to numbers in my post because I do not want people to focus on them, but I don't particularly like your tone in your request. You make it seem as though I am intentionally inflicting obsessions upon eating-disordered girls, an accusation I do not appreciate. You might consider revising the way you phrase your "suggestion comments" such as this one.

Anonymous said...

No no, I'm sorry. I didn't know how else to word it, and I was very worried because I can see girls like how I used to be (eating dirordered) fixating on that number. Thank you for taking the number down, and like I said before, I truly did not mean to sound rude or imply that you are anything other than a very caring young girl. Please accept my sincerest apology. Sometimes it's hard to hear one's tone through an email comment, but I respect you and thank you so much for your kindness and for taking the time to respond to me.

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: Glad to know we understand each other now! I appreciate your looking after those with ED.

Marianne said...

I don't think your diet seems all that high in sugar at all! You definitely can't bother to count any naturally occurring sugars, unless that's all you ate, because then you would miss out on all the good nutrients contained in those foods as well. And some days will be higher than others, just like some days you'll eat more fibre, or more calcium, whatever. It's about overall balance. You could eliminate the "processed foods" from your diet if it really bothers you, but honnestly, it doesn't seem that bad, to an outsider looking in anyways.

ksgoodeats said...

I'm glad you emphasized nutritional quality because I feel that is lacking in a LOT of people's lives - diet or not people need to focus on WHAT really their eating. I like your alphabet oats idea too - good luck :D

Those graham crackers are out of this world delicious! Love BBQ tofu! CHOBS!! I've got to say, I love that you're including some of your snacks :)

Anna said...

Interesting reflections about the sugar. I've been taking a closer look at my sugar intake lately myself... it was quite eye-opening!

Maggie said...

Good luck with a CFW if you decide to do it! If you want to chat about it let me know - I did that macrobiotic thing a month ago and I'm still not really eating sugar anymore (no sugar and no dairy has cleared my skin for the first time in YEARS). It looks like you have awesome skin but you might be surprised at some of the changes that a CFW can bring.

Erica said...

I hear ya on the not so great eats- thats why I started my clean month! Honestly, I feel so much better!

shelby said...

Mmm, I love that waldorf salad!

I was thinking of Quinoa Oats for Q and I love all of your ideas! Can't wait to try them out =)

FoodsThatFit said...

I love the Clean Eating Magazine and just got my new issue today, YEA! I do love pumpkin and haven't tried that recipe yet, but I will now!

flower said...

I seem to go through sugary phases in my diet too, sometimes I think extra sugar is just needed.
I looooooooove the idea of premium ice cream oats, what a fancy way to start the day :)

orangepop said...

SORRY I'VE BEEN SO ABSENT! I am happily catching up on your blog.
I think it may not be the best idea for you to be so worried about your eating!!! I hardly see a problem!!! You eat a great variety & nutrition for sure. Fruits, veggies, milk, protein, anti-oxidants... you ROCK!
I love your OATS ideas. Alphabet- that could go on forever!!!
I love those graham snacks, too. And I'm jealous you get to review such good food at your school :)
I'm still reading Chickpea!

eatingbender said...

As you might know, I am cutting back on the "added sugar" intake in my diet lately. It really has made a world of difference - I feel so much better on the days where I make the commitment and see it through! I'll be excited to see if you start a "crap-free week" :o)

Love all the ideas for your oatmeal challenge. The ABC Oats sound great! I'll have to think about Q, X, and Z. Maybe you could add some quinoa one day? And of course...ZBars! X is a toughie!

I love how thick your BBQ tofu is! And the pumpkin pie oats look just fab! Ooh and last but not least, you totally reminded me that I need to get my hands on some of those WF mini pitas again!

Love the new "C. Yode" sign off!!

dailydulcie said...

I love your new idea for the oats!!

Hmm I came up with ideas for q, x, and z.. They aren't that good, but it's hard to think of foods with those letter!

Q: quiche.. savory maybe?
X: xxx stands for kisses.. so maybe you could incorporate chocolate kisses
Z: zucchini bread.. could be interesting!

Love the ants on the log. Yay for kiddie food!!

jesslikesithot said...

Those oatmeal ideas sounds really fun!! I cannot wait to see what you whip up!

And oh miss future nutritionist you are too hard on yourself, the sugar intake is mostly natural, you seem fine silly girl!! But hey, if you want to cut back on the sugar some days then you totally can, do whatever works for you! :)
It would be interesting to see how you make minor changes to decrease the sugar intake somedays too!

Lauren said...

I love your blueberry eats :)

Thanks for the silken tofu suggestions... tofu-banana french toast sounds especially awesome!

howunremarkable said...

That Mexican Flatbread looks amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try that one of these days!

Mo said...

I think you have a very healthy diet! From what you post here, it seems like you eat A LOT of fruits and veggies, good sources of protein, etc. It seems like very rarely do you eat "added sugar", instead getting your sugar from natural, good-for-you sources (like fruit and milk, which you mentioned). But, the most important thing in how you feel. Do you have energy and do you feel healthy on the diet you have now? Then you're doing well!

Also, I love your A to Z oatmeal idea! Q = quorn (fake meat thingie)

Keep up the good eating! Your an inspiration to many people. :)

annie said...

its crazy how much sugar is in everything! especially the bars, but who can give up bars? haha
that greek salad looks REALLY good.

luckytastebuds said...

i looove your eats. Even that pumpkin oats that you didn't enjoy still looks AMAZING!! :)

Katie said...

I totally get what you mean about nutritional self esteem. Love the idea for ABC oats.

Anonymous said...

Please, I'm begging you not to do this crap free week. You don't want to have worked so hard to have gotten over anorexia just to go down the equally dangerous path of orthorexia! It is just as sad a fate. Please enjoy your life an don't worry about your sugar. You seem to eat fine!

Danielle said...

Oh my, I've been feeling exactly the same way! It's so hard when you're on a budget and you have unlimited options! Not to mention half of your meals are determined by a host family... hang in there girlie, you look like you're eating very well. I'm sure we could both clean up our diets, as we feel necessary, in the near future :).

Anne said...

oats and..
q- quinoa and quorn cutlet (savory obviously :-P )
x- xtreme fruit filled bowl?
z- z-bar!? and you could use like chocolate sauce or something dark to make zebra stripes on the top!

haha hope those help!

i've been reading your blog since it started but never commented before until now. i'm currently in recovery for an ED but don't really blog much about it. i'd be honored to have you read what i do blog though!

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

ABC oats - I love it. You could do a savory bowl for "Q" and add some Quorn chick'n and maybe mix the oats with a little cooked quinoa. Then top it all off with some Q-sauce (BBQ sauce). :)

Ugh, sugar. Makes me feel so gross. It took me a while, but I've totally weened myself off sweetening my oats, and once you get used to plain Greek yogurt, the flavored ones taste way too sugary. My one problem area is coffee. I can't stand it black - my mug always gets some SWEET love!

curlytop said...

I think my sugar intake is a tad too high as well. But my real enemy is sodium! I just love my salt...

Oh well. Something else to work on.

ABC oats sound fun. A for almond, B for Banana, C for cinamon, d for dulce, e for everything, f for fig, g for gingerbread... I could go on and on!

With Love,


Anne said...

i will now :-)

vegetariandisciplinarian said...

Holy crap! ABC oats would be HUGE! I would definitely get a stomach ache, unless I thought of really creative words for Oats - that's an O, Meal comma oat, that's an M, Grain comma oat, that's a G.... haha

erinbee said...

i definitely agree on quinoa and zbar oats.

and uh..xanax oats? no? ill keep thinking.