MoJo Update Week 6
In the past year, I’ve eliminated all ultra-processed foods from my diet, and now only eating whole/real foods. I’ve lost weight, increased my running performance and have a more positive mental outlook. But that doesn’t mean I don’t snack. Here are my 7 go to snacks.
A Sweet Tooth
It’s amazing what happens when you eliminate highly processed, sugar-loaded food. One fact you don’t hear much about is that your tastebuds can change. For example, the sugary sweets I used to love (M&M’s and Reese’s were my binge treats) I now find I’ve no desire to eat these, and can easily pass them by. The thrill, or craving, is gone, and so is the crash that came after the sugar high.
For My Sweet Tooth
- Deglet Noor Dates. These knock my socks off with their natural sugar sweetness. Just a few will take care of any candy craving.
- Dried Smyrna Figs. When I need something a bit “meatier” these are the ticket. I used to love Fig Newtons as a kid, now I get the natural fig goodness without any processing.
The Savory Side
- Nuts of all kinds, but my go to are unsalted, organic cashews. I’ll also go with almonds and walnuts.
- Popcorn. I use organic popcorn, made on stove using coconut oil. I’m sure you could save some calories using an air popper, but remember, I don’t count calories. Oh yeah. I put some melted butter on it as well.
- Corn Tortilla Chips. Who can resist a bit of chips and salsa. Again, look for chips that come from organic corn, and don’t contain nasty chemicals. Pair with some fresh salsa (or homemade guacamole) and you’ve got your hunger covered.
- I look for minimally processed, no additive bars. My favorites are Health Warrior Chia Bars, RX BARs and LARABARs. Trader Joe’s also has some Nothing but Fruit & Nuts in Fig/Walnut and Date/Hazelnut/Cacao combinations that are perfect to stick in your pocket for an energy boost.
The Beer Replacement
- Kombucha. I never thought I’d be saying that I drink it, but it’s a great stand in when you want a bit of flavor and a natural fizz. One can drink only sooo muck water (I gave up soda a few years ago). I’m surprised at how many companies produce kombucha, each with a variety of flavors. Tip: don’t give up on kombucha. It took me trying four or five different ones until I found what worked for my tastebuds.
Cravings Nearly Eliminated
I still get a craving or two, but these 7 snacks have gotten me through most situations. Of course when there’s a special occasion (like our new tradition for making cupcakes on New Year’s Eve) I can choose to partake, but that counts on the “beer/fun” measure. All the snacks above, since they are considered minimally processed, real/whole foods, are snacks I can have at will.
I had a plan for the week, and stuck to it. I knew I’d have 2 meals out based on my social schedule, and with the prior week’s travel and fun, I wanted to really pick it up on the exercise. Especially as I look ahead to more travel. The formula is really helping me understand the role of nutrition and food in my overall weight and performance.
2018 Lifestyle Tracker
|Week Ending||Whole Food Nutrition (out of 21 possible)||Weekly Exercise||Weekly "Beer"||Formula Result||Actual Result|
|1/6/2018||19||5||6||Weight Loss||Lost 1 lb.|
|1/13/2018||20||5||4||Weight Loss||Lost 1 lb.|
|1/20/2018||19||6||5||Weight Loss||Lost 1 lb.|
|1/27/2018||17||3||5||Weight Gain||Gained 1/2 lb.|
|2/3/2018||19||6||2||Weight Loss||Lost 1/2 lb.|
|2/10/1018||20||4||9||Weight Gain||No scale for weighing|
|2/17/1018||19||4||2||Weight Loss||Potential Loss (assumes gain in prior week)|
Monday Journal Background
I’m on a path of gradual weight loss, a continuation from a surprising 2017 realization about my relationship with food it’s impact on exercise, physical and emotional well-being. If my theory holds, I’ll see positive improvements in all categories and an overall improvement in my work performance.
I’m testing out a simple formula to confirm my body’s response to eating meals made with real/whole food ingredients, and to understand the impact of balancing exercise with the consumption of “unhealthy” snacks and drink.
Each week I report my success or failure. I don’t count calories, read labels or have a maniacal exercise plan. I’m hoping to prove that a simple lifestyle change can bring about a healthier life with higher performance, even as we age.