Crowding Out

Wow.. didn’t mean for today’s post to get so long, guess I’m making up for the lack of posts over the last couple weeks ;-) On to it!


Around lunch time I moseyed my way over to my apartment gym to get in a bit of a workout. I had it in my head that I would move 3 miles on the treadmill. Of course ideally, that 3 miles would be in the form of a jog.. but my cardio sucks.. so it ended up being ~2 miles worth of jogging (6.0-7.0 mph) and 1 mile worth of inclined walking (usually 8.5-10% at 3.8-4.2 mph). I haven’t been wearing my heart rate monitor lately, so no idea how much I burned.. but it felt pretty good. I really like what Susan, from the Great Balancing Act, had to say about going ‘gadget-free’.. it’s definitely a step for me towards not obsessing so much about workouts and just enjoying working out for the feeling of it and not for the specific # of calories burned.

Post-cardio I did a quick upper body workout.. ‘quick’ certainly being the operative word.. hitting Shoulders (Arnold Presses), Upper Back (DB Rows) and Triceps (Bench Dips).


Crowding Out

Variety, they say (who are ‘they’ anyway?), is the spice of life.. but I would add that it’s also a crucial element of a balanced, healthy diet.

One of the best lessons I’ve learned in my pursuit of a healthier self and better relationship with food is the amazing difference a little variety makes.

Like I tell my clients, and have been much better about following myself, there’s no need to subtract, just add add add!

In college I was all about the one dish meals. And that would have been all fine & dandy if that one bowl was a big salad with a lean protein. But no, most of the time it was a big bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (without the butter of course, haha) or a big sandwich from my favorite cafe made with a non-whole grain bread and only containing Turkey & Avocado (I’d always have to confirm 10x that yes, I really just wanted those 2 things on it!). I could certainly eat the whole box of Mac & Cheese and the Sandwich stood no chance.. in retrospect, that really isn’t surprising considering the lack of substance to those meals. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with either one, but portion-wise and calorie consumption-wise, I was way off. Now days.. give me the Mac & Cheese but only a small scoop, then please add a giant Spinach Salad with Tomatoes, Artichokes and whatever else and perhaps a little Ground Turkey, or maybe Tempeh.. depends on my mood ;-)

It would be a rare thing (though lord knows if anyone would, I would.. ok, fine, flashing back to inhaling large amounts of grilled Tilapia.. but that’s besides the point, I was in competition-prep and starving!) for me to overeat on veggies or whole food lean protein, but those carbs and creamy fats?! Pasta, bread, cream sauce, peanut butter, sweets, sugar.. more sugar.. those were (.. are!) my weakness. But us humans are naturally rebels. Often times the best way to get us to do something is to tell us not to.. it’s just the way we are. So when someone (whether it’s you, a trainer, doctor, dietian, magazine, whatever) tell you not to eat something, consiously or not, it’s likely to make you want that even more! After my fitness competition, I found myself wanting all sorts of foods I don’t even particularly like anyway (i.e. I’ve never been big on fast food or fried food but suddenly I wanted to order everything on Taco Bell’s menu and eat a dozen donuts.. what?!). Rules are made to be broken.. set food rules for yourself and chances are decent that eventually you’ll want to break them.

There is something awfully liberating about knowing you can have anything you’d like, no restrictions. At first it might be tempting, and perhaps it’ll be worth it to give into that temptation, to eat all those things you’ve been denying, but after a while, knowing you can have those things is sometimes enough. Slowly but surely logic comes back into the equation. And you may find your thought process start to change to something like this:  ‘well, I would like to eat a dozen donuts, but afterwards I’m going to feel both guilty and physically sick, and that will pretty much ruin my day, put me in a bad mood, leave me unproductive and just plain unhappy… I’d rather be happy & energetic.. so I guess I’ll go with 1/2 a donut with a little greek yogurt and fruit.’

Or maybe that’s just me :lol:

And of course, beyond the psychological benefit of variety, is the plain old balanced meal aspect. Of course a meal with a little bit of everything, especially if it has a healthy fat is going to be more satisfying in the short-term and keep you full longer. As a general rule carbohydrates digest the fastest  followed by protein and then fat.. so have a little bit of each.. and simply enjoy!

In Action

So today was an in-action example of how my above theory has been working quite nicely..

I’ve been known to have over-indulgence issues with sweet breads.. Banana Bread? Pumpkin Bread? Zucchini Carrot Bread? .. yes please, and yes the whole loaf magically disappears in a shocking amount of time. The thing is, I HATE when that happens, because then I feel guilty and don’t want to eat it or have it around for a while. I feel like I ruined a food for myself. But there’s a solution.. crowd that meal! I’ll have a little piece of that treat, then a whole lotta other tasty stuff to go with it.

Since the moment it came out of the oven last night, I knew PB Chip Pumpkin Bread was going to be a part of my breakfast. In order to keep it to a reasonable serving, I enjoyed a small slice with a Chocolately Green Monster (1 cup Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Breeze + 1/2 scoop Chocolate Vega + 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Grass + a couple handfulls of Spinach + Ice) and ~1/4 c Goat’s Milk Yogurt. Just perfect :)

My baking kick.. or more specifically, my fall flavors baking obsession, continued today with 2 more Pumpkin recipes. Both of these were taken directly from blog land.

First, Healthy Pumpkin Butter from Danica’s Daily.. Instead of using Agave or Honey I just used 1/2 c Walden Farms 0-calorie Maple Syrup..

This recipe is so easy, and it turned out so good! Not to mention it make a big portion that will last me a while and is MUCH more budget-friendly than the $5 mini-jars at the store.

Then I made HEAB’s Pumpkin Cornbread (this recipe + 2 scoops of Pumpkin in place of 1 egg)..

The Pumpkin flavor is definitely very subtle, but the texture was just right. I had a little sliver with what I’d like to call a ‘What Season is this?’ Salad.. from summer there is Mixed Greens, Strawberries and Raspberry Vinegrette, and representing fall is Granny Smith Apple & Cornbread.. and of course a few ounces of grilled Chicken Breast for protein..

Restaurant Week

Today was the last day of Austin’s Restaurant Week, and I caught it just in time with dinner at Paggi House. The specific restaurant week menu was pretty impressive, but I ended up going with..

Bella Verdi Spicy Greans with Bosc Pears, Marcona Almonds, Maytag Blue Cheese, Kumquat-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette..

Braised Short Ribs with Beets and Grits..

And the Bread Pudding with Espresso Ice Cream..

Everything was fantastic! I rarely eat red meat, but I the Short Ribs just sounded so good, and it’s something that I would never make at home, so I decided to go for.. so glad I did.. but I’m stuffed!

Time to curl up with a movie and hopefully crash early than I have been. Hope you had a great Hump Day!

What’s is your #1 potential to over-indulging “danger” food? Do you avoid it all together or you able to enjoy it in moderation?


  1. Moderation is always a problem for me, all mental I believe. It seems if it is in front of me I must indulge until it is gone. So sad. I am trying so hard to be healthy and realize that we live in an abundant world & it will all be there for us tomorrow if we choose to seek it out.

  2. Yes, love the "add, add, add" approach to eating! That is so right! I've never thought of it that way, but when I eat like that I always feel more energetic, more healthy, I get food from more food groups and I enjoy food more! So aaamen :-)

  3. Um – you should know the answer to my over indulge food – pizza. I don't avoid it. I try to just eat my own homemade healthier pizza.

  4. I used to struggle with the whole everything in moderation concept, but I've gotten a lot better. In the past, I would say "no" to anything I deemed unhealthy, but you're so right. It's so liberating to know you can have anything. For instance, if I feel like baking a dessert, I'll just eat a little of it atop a bowl of Vita-Mix ice-cream or some oat bran rather than eating 1/2 the dessert itself.

    So glad you enjoyed the pumpkin cornbread. Mine is all gone, and I want more! :)

    • NourishedFit
      Twitter: NourishedFit

      Funny.. I was literally eating a big piece of it, topped with Goat's Milk Yogurt, Pumpkin Butter and a PB Flour + Cocoa paste when I saw this comment.. thanks too you! Loved the combination.. my kind of breakfast! :)

  5. "What’s is your #1 potential to over-indulging “danger” food? Do you avoid it all together or you able to enjoy it in moderation?"–

    It's not food. It's coffee. I could drink coffee….forever…..and keep going. Til I am wired up and have no appetite and so I just have to pour my mug and say NO MORE!

    The food looks great and love your gadget free insights. I got that Polar F6, the pink one that you and I talked about and I think you have it, anyway, I have used it…once. I have determined I am just not a gadget girl and that's fine by me. I wish I knew my stats, what I was burning, doing, using so I knew what to refuel with, but I just wing it…on my intuition.

    Restaurant Week…San Diego just had theirs! About 5 yrs ago Scott and I really got into it before we had a child, i.e. major babysitting$$$ to go out to dinner these days, but yeah, Restau Weeks can be sooo fun!

  6. "there’s no need to subtract, just add add add!"

    I love this. When I first started losing weight, I quickly became frustrated that I could no longer eat many of my favourite foods. Things started to click when I realized it wasn't about cutting stuff out, but ADDING stuff in. I could still eat many of my favourite meals, just plumped up with more veggies. Or maybe subbing out high-calorie ingredients like oil with lower ones like lemon juice. When I saw Brendan Brazier speak he talked about how he doesn't practice portion control. The foods in his vegan diet are typically low calorie and so filling that he doesn't worry about it! Clearly, he doesn't eat as much chocolate as me 😉

    Yaayyyy gadget free! 😀

  7. I love that mindset! Its so important to not feel restricted. I find whenever I tell myself I cant have something it ends up being all I want and I cave and go overboard. Plus knowing you can have something makes you really only want the things that are truly worth it. Not a crappy, dry, stale cookie just because its there. Great post!

  8. what a great post!! unfourtunatly right now I am subtracting (but you understand why, right?) however in the whole scheme of life i love that outlook, if I wasn't training I would have this mindset. I am all abotu balance. life isn't about cutting out entire food groups that just doesnt make sense. If we restric ourselves to only certain foods we are goingt o end up indulging. Life is about moderation and learning how to use that!

    omg that pumpkin corn bread!!!!

  9. WOW ~ as if I didn't already have enough pumpkin cravings kicking in for fall – PUMPKIN CORN BREAD – that is just one of those titles you hear and you know you are going to want to make. I am totally adding it to my list of must tries!

    I honestly think you had a delicious day and you do an excellent job of balancing everything out – a lot of the good for your stuff with a little of the "good" stuff :)

    P.S. I am so glad you liked the pumpkin butter – it's my favorite way to have pumpkin and it's awesome in recipes too as a fat substitute, straight up, in oats, pancakes and pumpkin/almond butter sandwiches. Thanks for the link love :)


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