Epic IRISH meal time.

Epic meal time

Epic IRISH meal time.
Epic IRISH meal time.

No, this post is NOT about the YouTube sensation. (Although I did recently introduce my sister to the series…and she was wildly entertained.)

That being said, if I’ve learned anything about myself over the last few months, it’s that I do fairly well when left to my own devices. As in, I think I’ve mastered the art of maintaining my weight—both tracking and not (think: Ireland)—although I’m about 40 pounds too soon from needing to maintain my weight.

And if I’ve learned anything about myself over the last few weeks, it’s that diet, while I don’t want to admit it, is 80% of my success, and the exercise component is 20%. So really, my continued success is a balance of the two, but what I put in my mouth really is seriously important.

I’m good about making good choices when I go out to eat. I’m spending the next six weeks with my family in Portland, and I’m not so worried about the temptations that come with happy hour (although they do make some mean craft cocktails over here!), but I’m still worried. Mostly because I stay with my family.

My family is very, very supportive of my life transformation. Hell, my mom has been trying to get me to change my ways my entire life. This is practically her dream come true!

But this does not change the fact that the things my family considers healthy are not necessarily the things that I consider healthy.

Case in point: My family has an entire drawer in the kitchen devoted to chips. It’s the easiest go-to if you’re looking for a snack. Today, it contained black bean Tostidos, kettle chips, pretzels, roasted seaweed (which they won’t eat anyway), sesame crackers, caramels, dried mangoes, and chocolates. The kitchen pantry contains a box of Honey Smacks, granola, and an array of hot cereals. The pantry downstairs has more chips and crackers, and to my horror, HUGE boxes of both Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cereals—my two favorites, obviously. Oh, and cookies and ice cream in the freezer.

You see, my apartment is a very controlled atmosphere. I don’t keep things in there that I “can’t” eat—and by “can’t,” I mean, “foods I really like, but know are not good to me or for me.” I always have LOTS of fresh vegetables and berries, lots of lean fish and chicken, almond milk, coconut butter, gluten-free hot cereals, and popcorn. I have a drawer of high-quality chocolate, and I treat ice cream the same way.

It’s SUPER difficult to be in an environment that makes picking on foods that will just cause me to be perpetually hungry and inflamed easy.

The other problem is, I’m at that place where I feel hungry often. I feel like this happens more at home, too. Yesterday, no matter what I did, I could not feel sated.

This has happened when I’m in Albany, but that generally occurs when (a) I’m exercising a lot, and (b) not eating the way I should.

Wednesday, it certainly was not from (a).

Here’s what happened:

I woke up EARLY (around 5:15 a.m.) and took our dog for a four-mile walk around the neighborhood.

When I got home, I was STARVING, and made a breakfast of seven egg whites (count ’em) and a bunch of cantaloupe. I polished off the cantaloupe and learned that I had also polished off all the fruit we had in the house.

About two hours later, I’m not just munchy, but I’m once again STARVING.

Unable to find any more fruit to snack on, I make some brown-rice farina hot cereal with frozen blueberries.

About 45 minutes later, I’m STARVING again. I make and eat some popcorn.

Then, I essentially try to bide my time until dinner.

At dinner, I use all the vegetables I can find in the house to fill myself up. I barbecued homemade turkey burgers stuffed with zucchini for volume. Guacamole, bacon, grilled onions, and lots of spinach.

A half hour later? I’m g-d STARVING. AGAIN!

I end my night with a latte and some freaking Honey Smacks, and I’m STILL hungry.

Epic meal time? You betcha!

I do NOT like days like this. I usually try to be a good judge of deciding when I’m hungry and when I’m bored. Today, I was both, but I was definitely hungry for much of it—which is very important to figure out.

In the days to come, it’s going to be important for me to not lose sight of my ultimate goals. Starving myself will also not be a solution. It’s going to be important for me to try to keep fresh fruit and vegetables in the house, and for me to fill up on those—not chips and cereals.

When do I feel best? When I’m eating healthy and have cut out most grains.

It’s not going to be impossible for me to stick to my eating plan while I’m in an uncomfortable food-vironment, but it will certainly pose a challenge. I hope that this will be just another peak that I can victoriously conquer….

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Danielle

Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

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