Archive for the Nutrition & Diet Category

Back on track with a basketful of fruit

Posted in Body For Life, Nutrition & Diet on 12/15/2008 by ganns

After a week or so of little to no concern for my health – you can tell because I’ve blogged only thrice in December so far – I bit the bullet and am plunging back into the fitness program.

When I fail to exercise for a good period of time – three days is the minimum – I like to get back into the swing of things with a good cleanse. I achieve this with a two-day fruit diet to get the ol’ colon moving. That means tomorrow and the day after, I’m eating fruit only until lunch and having high-fiber meals at lunch and dinnertime, with lots of water.Snacks consist of granola, some fresh nuts, maybe, and more fruit. The fiber balances out the fructose in the fruit, which creates a slow release of energy and not the shocking burst that most sugar highs produce.

I purchased some terrific apples and oranges from my favorite fruit vendor at Grace Christian – she noticed I’d not swung by in a while, so I knew it’d been a while since my last run, because I always pass by her fruit stand to buy an apple or banana to eat after my run – and a bagful of mini-ponkans, which are like tiny oranges. I had some earlier tonight, and they are delightful! Just the perfect mix of sweet and sour. I love it, and I should probably buy more.

I’ll also resume my Body for Life weight training tomorrow. It feels like I’m going to start from scratch, and for the most part, I am. Since Wednesday is a leave day, thanks to Nathan’s school presentation, I intend to run in the morning.

It feels good to be back!

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Chowdown at Cyma’s

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on 11/15/2008 by ganns

My wife took me to Cyma’s today at TriNoma. This Greek restaurant has been getting great reviews, and Cathy, having eaten there twice in the past three weeks, which is phenomenal for my notoriously loyal-to-home-cooking spouse, was adamant I eat there.

Greek cuisine is one of the world’s healthiest cuisines, with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The Cyma menu reflected this, with salads, soups, appetizers, and a slew of main dishes that were simply mouth-watering.

We settled on an appetizer, tsatziki, which is a cucumber, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and Greek yogurt blend served with pita bread. I was absolutely blown away by the contrasting flavors of the sour yogurt and pungent garlic, made even more delightful by the coolness of the cucumber. I loved it!!

Cathy chose the baby clam pasta, something she ordered before. It was quite good, although I personally found it a little bland compared to the tsatziki. I had chicken kebabs, the Greek name for which I kinda forgot, which were amazing! Tender and juicy chicken breasts with a blend of herbs and spices, barbecued with tomatoes and peppers, and served with a mildly spicy yogurt dip.

I really enjoyed this Cyma meal, and I am definitely going back. I don’t know how many calories I took in for this meal, but I can’t imagine it being particularly low. Nevertheless, nothing was fried, everything was fresh with a stunning selection of flavors, and just a little went a long way. Tomorrow, a 5K jog to get back in shape for Race For Life. Woot!

Darn you, carby Italian food!

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on 09/30/2008 by ganns

Earlier this evening, my wife and I ate at Sbarro. I wanted to eat at Pho Hoa – what else is new? – but my wife said that she had Vietnamese coming out her ears (a more subtle, diplomatic paraphrase of what she really said), so we had to eat elsewhere.

That elsewhere was Sbarro, and we left both unsatisfied. She ordered a pasta dish she considered too expensive, while I ordered a vegetarian pizza I knew was too carby to make me feel good. To make ourselves feel better, we had a small Dairy Queen Blizzard afterward. (Yes, I’m bad.) It made me feel much better, but I know it wasn’t good for me. I am not making this a habit, I promise.

Tomorrow, I run. Not just because I want to, but thanks to this unsatisfying dinner, I have to. Darn it. I am both unsatisfied and bloated. Bleh.

Update: Shucks, umulan! I just did an upper body workout and some abs exercises. Darn it!

Cheat Days

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on 09/28/2008 by ganns

Mondays are my cheat days.

According to Bill Phillips, everyone should get a cheat day, a day when a person can eat pretty much whatever he wants. (To paraphrase the book, if you want two Big Macs at lunch, have two Big Macs at lunch!) Six days a week, you’re on your best behavior, but on that one day, you can enjoy the foods that you know aren’t necessarily the best for you.

While I do like the idea of a cheat day, I found that my inclinations tend to rest with the advice in this article from BNet. I have a tendency to binge, especially when I’m at home. So the 80/20 rule advocated in this particular article made sense to me. Until last Saturday.

Last Saturday was my son Nathan’s fifth birthday party. My wife and I went to SM North EDSA, where we ate at Pho Hoa for lunch. After my usual delicious chicken salad – with side salad; I wanted extra greens – and two glasses of cool water, we headed home. But not before a scoop of Sebastian’s ice cream. (Cookies Ater Midnight flavor. Sugar-free.)

What happened next for the next five hours was a war inside my stomach. Suffice it to say that I made several bathroom trips over the course of the next five hours. Ouchies.

I’m not sure if it was my body reacting to the artificial sweetener of the ice cream (which was delightful, by the way) or the combination of dairy with the greens. I’d never reacted this way to Sebastian’s before. I was so drained from the afternoon that that night, I scarfed down some spaghetti, a few deep fried spring rolls, and a few meat balls. Ugh. Portion diet fail.

Methinks I’ll have to focus more on the healthy eating part if I’m going to succeed at this diet. A little setback, no biggie. Meanwhile, on today’s cheat day, I’m driving around to search for a school for Nathan. Getting out of the house = getting out of harm’s way = more moving around, less snacking = good healthy cheat day.

Healthy restaurants

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on 09/25/2008 by ganns

For the past few months, I’ve been packing lunches to ensure that the food I eat while at work is mostly in line with Bill Phillips’ Body For Life program. Occasionally, I am unable to pack a lunch, so where do I go?

Where do you go for healthy meals?

Pho Hoa or Pho Bac. My favorite restaurants are Vietnamese restaurants because of the nature of the food they serve. Their chicken salads (Goi Ga) are made of shredded chicken breast, lettuce and cabbage, topped with peanuts, basil leaves, and roasted garlic, and served with a spicy-sweet honey-vinegar dressing (I hesitate to call it a vinaigrette, given that it doesn’t have an oil base). You get your protein, a ton of healthy fiber-rich vegetables, and wee amounts of sugar and fat. You can also try their pho’s (noodle soups), but they’re so delicious that I start to wonder about their MSG content.

Kenny Rogers Roasters. This franchise has created a market on healthy eating, and for the most part, they’re faithful to their advertising. When here, I like to get their tomato, pesto, and mozzarella sandwich, which is served on a delightful grilled whole wheat panini. Their chicken’s good too, obviously, but I’m not too hot about their carb-laden side dishes.

Pollo Loco. Surprise, Pollo Loco is actually a pretty good alternative to the chicken restaurants. Their chicken is also spit-grilled (albeit basted in their oily juices, but whatever), plus they serve it with salsa instead of gravy. Their side dishes are less carby than KRR, and include corn and carrots, my personal favorite.

Where do you like to eat when you’re watching your weight?