Health & Wellbeing

What I Ate to Lose a Stone in a Month

For as long as I can remember I’ve led a healthy lifestyle which includes working out and eating a pretty healthy diet. While I’ve been running and working out consistently, my diet for the past year or so hasn’t been up to scratch and I found myself eating chocolate on a regular basis for breakfast because I hadn’t been organised enough to prepare something the night before. I’d then feel really hungry by lunchtime and grab something else unhealthy and feel that I’d ruined the whole day and may as well have something equally unhealthy for dinner too! I finally decided that enough was enough! I’m a fully-functioning adult and I know what I should and shouldn’t be eating and it was about time I started looking after myself a little better.

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I wanted to share with you all exactly what I ate in a month and I’ll tell you, I found it easy and I said on multiple occasions that I didn’t understand why I hadn’t been eating this way forever because it was easy to maintain. While I did lose a stone in a month eating this way, please do bear in mind that everyone is different. I am very petite so do not need to consume as many calories as someone who may be considerably taller or more active than me and I am also no dietitian or doctor but this is just what I ate, which I believed to be a fairly healthy selection of foods.

So what better way to share with you what I actually ate than to show you photos of every morsel that passed my lips, even if it was something small. I also tracked my calories on My Fitness Pal and tried to stick more or less to the recommended calorie limit, however, I always find it much more representative to look at what I’ve eaten. It’s fine to just track calories and see a number at the end of the day but I could have eaten anything (I find mostly beige foods are the culprit) but that doesn’t mean WHAT I ate was particularly nutritious food and that was my main goal. If you’ve never taken photos of what you’ve eaten I’d urge you to try it, you might be surprised how ‘healthy’ your day was.

I’ll give you a little breakdown daily of what it was that I ate and anything else that might be particularly pertinent to my day such as workouts or how I was feeling. Also, I wanted to share that my main aim was to eat much healthier and weight loss was not the main goal here.

I found that eating these foods made me feel much less hungry generally as I was eating more healthy foods and more food too! So here goes…..

Day 1
Didn’t start off great as I didn’t have much food in the house so I had to go through the cupboards and improvise. It’s bank holiday today so none of the shops were open! So far, so good….

1
Protein berry almond smoothie, scrambled egg + toast, veggies + cous cous, homemade popcorn, nutrigrain bar, 4 peppermint teas + 1 pint water


Day 2

Another ‘what I had in the cupboards day today’ kinda beige… I can’t wait to go food shopping tomorrow!

2
Protein + almond milk + berry smoothie | toast + small cheese & olive omelette | uncle bens rice pack | homemade sweet + salty popcorn

Day 3
I spent the whole evening meal prepping! I’ve had a headache all day too which sucks.

3
Porridge + almond milk + mango | Homemade | ham + egg salad |apple | salmon + veggies | banana

Day 4
I felt really tired today. Today is the first day I didn’t have a headache, not sure if my change in diet is something to do with it. Went for a walk at lunch and walked the Pupper to the vet and back.

4
Breakfast muffin + veggies |apple| spicy chicken, whole grain rice, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet corn | banana| cashews | salmon, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms

Day 5
I had to resist some cakes at work, I’ve done so well these past few days, I don’t want to have one! I kept making eye contact with them from across the room but I’m having a cheat meal tonight. I feel a little fuzzy headed and I can’t concentrate. I also feel a bit bloated and I haven’t been able to work out as normal because of it. I have walked the dog and walked at lunch every day so far.

5
Breakfast muffin |apple| chicken, rice, sweet corn, red onion, tomatoes, pepper + cucumber, lettuce | banana| fish, chips + curry sauce | lots of peppermint tea

Day 6
Oops, I had cake for breakfast but it was for charity so it would have been rude not to right! Went to the cinema and instead of having a drink, hot dog and snacks I restricted myself to popcorn only.

6
cake | chicken salad |apple | cashews | mushroom + cheese omelette + salad + cinema popcorn

Day 7
I had a massive lie in today as I’ve been super tired this week (still clawing back that hour we lost)

7
breakfast muffin | Nectarine | cashews | hasselback jacket potato + spices + cheese + salad |apple| peppermint tea x 4

Day 8
Today was the Devizes half marathon and I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed with my time or the course in general. Ate lots of calories but not much food (around 1800 which is shocking)! I meant to treat myself with a cider when I got home from the half marathon but didn’t realise I’d accidentally picked up an alcohol free one…. devastated!

8
Banana | 6 jelly babies | gel | chocolate | cheese burgers | alcohol free cider

Day 9
Considering I went up to my calorie goal, this was all I ate all day! Looking back at the past few days I’ve eaten so much amazing food, feel a bit disappointed in this but there’s always tomorrow.

9
Banana | fruit juice | burgers in buns + cheese

Day 10
Really loving these meal prep containers. I’ve been portioning out all of my veggies for the week and these keep it all really fresh for days. If you’re looking for some cheap ones to get you started, click here for the ones I purchased – these have 2 compartments but you can purchase them with 3 if you’d prefer.

10
Breakfast muffin |grapes| salmon + mushrooms, cucumber, pepper, tomatoes | carrot | turkey sausages, new potatoes, courgette, red pepper, carrot, broccoli  + mixed herbs + chilli flakes | olives

Day 11
I didn’t enjoy or eat all of my dinner (photo #5) so I had to make another dinner…

11
Carrots | salmon, mushrooms, cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn, feta, peppers |apple | grapes| turkey sausage + veg | mushroom omelette, lettuce, olives, pepper, feta + dressing

Day 12
I felt a little fuzzy headed today and had a job to get out of bed. I was expecting to have loads of energy and be bouncing out of bed but that hasn’t been the case. Unfortunately the dog has kept me up every night this week which might be why I’ve been feeling so tired. Today was a cheat day!

12
Protein powder porridge + berries |carrot| chicken, egg, pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, feta | grapes| cheeseburger + cheesy chips | Lots (6) cups peppermint tea

Day 13
I didn’t bring proper snacks to work with me today so I felt a little bit hungry through the day. Made it up with dinner though.

13
Porridge + almond milk + protein powder + pine nuts | chicken + egg, sweet corn, tomatoes, feta, pepper | banana | hasselback potato, cheese, olives, dressing, lettuce

Day 14
Feel ridiculously tired today.

14

Scrambled egg on wholemeal toast | turkey sausages, carrot, potato, courgette, broccoli | kiwi, grapes + apple| cashews

Day 15
Frenchay 10k race today, it was really lovely I’d definitely do it again.

15
banana, protein powder, almond milk + peanut butter smoothie | banana| double cheeseburger, large fries + mozzarella dippers | kiwi, apple + grapes

Day 16
Today’s breakfast didn’t go well so I didn’t have anything to eat!

16
Apple | chicken, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, olives | jelly beans | kiwi x 2 | boiled egg | salmon + Packet pasta

Day 17
Went for a run tonight and the wind was terrible it sucked all of the energy out of me.

17
Porridge + milk + protein powder | apple | chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, peppers, dressing | | hummus + celery | mushroom, cheese + olive omelette | strawberries| cashews

Day 18
While I’ve been finding it fairly easy to eat much better it can be quite difficult to keep up with meal prepping, working out, working my 9-5 and everything else. I have managed to avoid headaches lately but I definitely haven’t been drinking enough water so must work on that.

18
Porridge, protein powder, pine nuts + almond milk |grapes  + strawberries | chicken, dressing, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers | apple| boiled egg | hasselback potato + spices, cheese, lettuce, pepper, beetroot | mushrooms

Day 19
Thursdays are takeaway nights! I can’t believe how easy it’s been to completely change my diet with not much effort at all!

19
Porridge + pine nuts, almond milk + protein powder | hummus + celery |chicken  + salad | apple| sausage chips & curry sauce | peppermint teas

Day 20
This little rascal of a pupper stole my original piece of salmon straight from my plate but luckily I’d meal prepped one for tomorrow so had to eat that one instead!

20
Smoothie |grapes + strawberries | salmon + salad | | boiled egg | turkey sausages + veggies

Day 21
I feel much slimmer the past few days, I almost have no interested in weighing myself because I know that I look and feel better and I don’t need a scale to tell me that, even if I haven’t lost any weight. My love for strawberries and grapes as a combination is real.

21
Banana + peanut butter smoothie + protein powder + almond milk | grapes + strawberries| cashews | hasselback potato, spices + cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers

Day 22
I felt super hungry today for some reason.

22
banana | scrambled egg + pepper | kiwi, apple, grapes | hummus + carrot | packet quinoa + wholemeal rice + mushroom | baked potatoes + herbs + spices + mayo

Day 23
Can I make beautifully seasoned new potatoes without burning them? No I cannot… Rocked out some yoga today for the first time in ages

23
Porridge | apple | Ham salad + wholemeal tortilla | kiwis | fried eggs, pepper, mushrooms, burned potatoes, turkey sausages.

Day 24
I felt super hungry today, which is unusual. I also nearly got hit by a cyclist on my run because he was looking down at his phone

24
porridge | apple| pasta chicken salad | kiwi| banana| roasted potatoes + mayo | cashews (eaten in bath) | grapes + strawberries

Day 25
Work function today so a different lunch to what I’ve been eating but managed to get my snack in!

25
Porridge | strawberries + grapes | wraps, crisps, latte, small cake | dominoes treat meal

Day 26
Really felt terrible today after yesterday’s meals! I felt bloated and I felt really tired. I feel like today was the day I ‘fell off the wagon’. I wasn’t happy with some of my food choices which were based around ‘I feel really hungry and need to eat now’ and I grabbed whatever I could. I didn’t eat a proper breakfast either because I was lazy.

Ferrero rocher | strawberries + grapes | cashews | wholewheat salad | apple | dairy milk | packet rice | jelly beans

Day 27

apple | yogurt rice cakes | ham, mint potatoes, veggies | cucumber + hummus | fish cake, eggs, greens, tomatoes | strawberries + pineapple

Day 28
Eating loads today in prep for tomorrow’s race!

Wholewheat bread + scrambled egg | pineapple, grapes + strawberries| wholewheat pasta, tomatoes, olives, leaves, cucumber | salmon, mushrooms, baked potatoes, fried egg, sweetcorn


Day 29
Bridgwater 10k today which is why I had the cheat meal. Also managed to get a PB today so I’m over the moon with that!

Banana | McDonalds | post race smoothie | goodness knows bar | my first ever McFlurry

Day 30
Lots of round food today!

Porridge, pine nuts + almond milk | apple | chicken pasta | oranges | yogurt rice cakes | hasselback potato, cheese, tomatoes, sweetcorn, olives + pepper

And there you have it! This to me is a ‘diet’ that I can keep up with. Yes I’m eating quite a few cheat snacks and meals along the way but I’m also eating the healthiest foods I’ve ever eaten. For the first time I’m feeling excited about cooking and I’ve been loving finding new recipes on Pinterest.

Useful Tips
I made sure that I weighed out foods like chicken, cheese and potatoes to get some perspective on portion control. Things like fruits and vegetables I didn’t calorie count I just used a rough estimate as to a portion.

Sticking to set meal times every day helped so if I did feel peckish I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I’d have to wait for my next meal / snack.

Cut out any drinks that weren’t water or peppermint tea.

I made sure that I didn’t have ANY snacks in my drawer at work which in turn forced me to plan my meals the night before and I left my purse at home so I wasn’t tempted to buy something from the shop or the vending machine.

Buying meal prep containers really gave me a renewed enthusiasm for trying to eat healthy and the key to eating consistently healthy foods was weekly meal prepping. I’d then organise my fridge into days and just grab anything on that day’s shelf. It also made me less likely to waste food as I was using everything up just by prepping into separate containers. For the containers I purchased click here

I made sure not to cut any food or food groups out of my diet with the exception of limiting dairy products and using milk alternatives and reducing calorific drinks like fruit juices and Starbucks.

I NEVER went hungry, if I’d eaten over my calorie goal but I still felt like I needed more food, I’d have an internal conversation with myself and ask ‘are you really hungry’ and if I was I’d eat something.

While I was also running and working out, I’d take any opportunity to walk anywhere instead of taking the car whether that was to the vet, the shops, a friend’s house and I felt much better for it.

I have a dog and I walked her daily as well as walking every lunch time.

I hope this post has given you some inspiration to overhaul your diet if you feel like you want to. It was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be although I did suffer with headaches at the beginning (probably junk food withdrawals) so I didn’t workout as much as I usually would.

If you’ve managed to overhaul your diet or you’ve got some other tips please leave them in the comments section.

Happy Meal Prepping!

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Running

Need For Speed | Week 3 | 10k Training | Diary of an Injured Runner

Things I thought I’d never say… ‘I’m writing this on a Bank Holiday Monday, sat in the garden in the glorious sunshine… in England’. ‘I have two 10k races in 2 days, one of them is a trail run’. ‘I lost 11lbs in 5 weeks’. And yet, here I am saying all of those things!

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy through my links I receive a commission at no extra cost to you! I’ll only ever link products that I absolutely love and use, thank you for supporting me.

The Bristol 10k is now a week away and I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I might be able to pull a further PB out of the bag. While I’m obviously going for a course PB AND an all time 10k PB, I’m wondering whether aiming for a 55min PB is out of the question! I don’t want to crash and burn by running outside of my actual ability. There has to become a point where I physically cannot achieve a certain time which is nothing to do with how hard I push??

Monday | Shins Shins Shins
I’ve been really really suffering with my shins lately and foam rolling was just way too painful to try and ease it off so I ordered this body roller which is like a big stick with little wheels on that you use to roll away your aches and pains. I’m a little sceptical but I’m getting desperate at this point and need to feel like I’m doing something. I’ve watched more YouTube videos than I can count on how to ease the pain and this was one of the things that was highly recommended. It’s such a difficult area to try and stretch out, I find myself trying to contort into all sorts of positions to try and get a stretch there but nothing really works.

Tuesday | Cardio Day
I’ve been embracing these ‘non running cardio days’ these past couple of weeks and my legs are definitely feeling the benefit of it. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t do this workout in constant pain on the inside of my shins though! I wanted to do a little longer but I thought I’d be silly to push it, especially with 2 races this weekend so I did just over an hour.

Wednesday | They See me Rollin’
The ‘body roller’ was delivered today, hooray! I gave it a little test on my legs, they’re still sore, and I can’t say they felt any better afterwards but I’m assuming persistence is the key here. The Labrador was also very interested in this new contraption!

Thursday | Rest Day
I’m feeling nervous about Saturday’s run because I feel very under qualified to run it. I always imagine that there’s going to be runners there who look at me and think ‘she’s definitely no runner, what on earth is she doing at a trail run’. And while they’re right, to date, I’ve never felt like this when I’m at a run. There are always many different abilities at races and everyone is encouraging. I’ll admit that I have thought about not going. It’s such a long way and I really don’t want to fall over ahead of Sunday’s run and do myself an injury.

Friday | Out Out + New Trail Shoes
I had the day off of work today and my main goal was to get some much needed new trail shoes. The guy in the running shop was very helpful and I sauntered around the store trying on as many different shoes as they had and running up and down stairs. I was surprised that I ended up with a size 4 as I am actually a size 4… and I know running shoes are usually bigger than your normal shoe size. Anyway, they felt comfortable and I went away new shoes in hand – also knowing I was going to commit the sin of running in a brand new pair of shoes… ah well, what was I going to wear, my battered Nikes or my toe crippling trail shoes!

The evening followed by a trip into town to say goodbye to a work colleague but I had to leave fairly early because of the lovely early start tomorrow!

Saturday | Brecon Beacons 10k Trail Challenge
This race may have taken over as my most favourite one yet! Before that, I’d like to share a fun fact about myself that, if you don’t know me, you may not know. I am rather silly. Which means that silly things happen to me… A LOT. While I’m the kind of person who cannot fit any more information into my brain until the last possible moment, I do like to have a general idea of how far away a race is ahead of time, which means I’d looked to see how far away the Brecon Beacons were and my sat nav reliably informed me that it was just under 2 hours away from home. The sensible part of my brain said ‘that’s weird, it’s only across the bridge into Wales and up a bit’, but I reasoned that perhaps the roads into the Brecons were slow and winding which is why it was going to take so long.

So we’re at race day, hopped into the car at some stupid o’clock, and I’m following the sat nav to get on our way. What I thought was really strange was the way that it was taking us, up through Gloucester and onto the M5… weird, I need to be on the M4 and I know this isn’t the right way. I pulled over on the side of the road and instantly realised why we’d gone so far off course… my sat nav was set to ‘avoid tolls’! So we weren’t going across the bridge into Wales we were going ALL THE WAY AROUND IT! Great start to the day, I could have had an extra half an hour in bed!

Crisis averted, we eventually made it to Race HQ, which was a tad troublesome in itself. Because there was also an Ultra, Marathon and Half Marathon on the same day spaced an hour apart, we’d arrived during the half marathon set off and we had to wait for all of the runners to cross the start before we could get into the car park and we were sat there for quite some time. Phew, we made it. The views in this part of the world are stunning and I was feeling a little nervous as to what these trails were going to be like. I’m 100% no technical runner but the views on trails cannot be matched which is why I come back to them time and time again. During this race I had a very brief discussion with another runner as to the fact that we were both here for the ‘experience’ and not the PBs, which is how I feel about nearly every trail run I’ve completed.

We had to gather for a race briefing 15 mins before the start and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great. They were using a tannoy system which didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t hear a thing. People were shouting that they couldn’t hear but that didn’t make the instructions any clearer to me. They held up signs which I assumed meant that we had to follow them… easy enough.

The puppers set off 5 minutes before the main race and then we were off. As soon as we started I felt knackered! Even though the race started early, it was already pretty hot. Because I have the Glastonbury 10k tomorrow, I’m not going to push myself today that’s for sure because that IS a time I care about! The views on this course were absolutely stunning and I’m not even ashamed to say that I stopped on multiple occasions to either take in the views or to take photos of the views. The terrain was great and not very ‘technical’ in my mind, with the exception of a couple of rocky places towards the end. Had it been raining and more muddy, it might have been different (that’s not to say there weren’t some muddy parts as there were).

My new trail shoes held up well, they could definitely still do with some breaking in, but otherwise they felt okay (not like my last pair where I actually thought my toes might fall off after wearing them) and I was a teeny bit upset when they got mud on them, not gonna lie haha.

Coming up to around mile 6 and I thought I was on the home stretch but my watch clocked a final distance of over 7 miles, and it’s usually pretty accurate! (Reading some peoples’ Instagram posts after, the Half Marathon was more like 16 miles – eek).

Overall this was a great race, I loved it and I’d love to go back again and not race as I wanted to really take in the stunning views instead of running away from them! The medal wasn’t too shabby either, one of my favourites. Also worth noting, I had zero pain, niggles, nothing. My shins didn’t hurt one tiny bit.

Sunday | Glastonbury 10k
This was the first ‘race’ I’d done (since 2012 when I ran the Bristol Half Marathon) in 2017 so I felt there was a bit of pressure to get at least a course PB and then under the hour was my goal. I adore Glastonbury, it’s such a unique place. Unfortunately last year I didn’t get a chance to look around much as I felt absolutely horrible after and wanted to get back to the car and home as soon as possible.

Glastonbury, as you might expect, is also a very chill race and it doesn’t start until 11.20am which is the latest start time I’ve ever had. This also meant that the temperature was absolutely scorching by the time we set off at around 24 degrees. I couldn’t remember much about the course, although I vaguely remember thinking it was pretty hilly the first time around, and there’s ‘Heartbreak Hill’ on the very last 1k of the race, which I didn’t manage to run up in 2017 (I think I may have said a curse word when I saw it around the corner then too).

I’d set my pace time on my Garmin to 59:30 (definitely not going for any kind of 10k PB after running trails yesterday and it being so hot), getting around in under an hour was my number one goal. I set off quite well and managed to get 1min lead time fairly quickly so I just needed to hold onto that pace as long as I could. Last weekend, at Bridgwater 10k, I only stopped at the water stations for mere seconds because I knew that was going to make a massive difference to my overall time but today, I couldn’t run past them I really needed that few seconds break and a bit of water intake.

I managed to maintain my pace right up until mile 5 but by this point, someone had notched up the temperature and I was absolutely boiling! I scraped by this mile, managing to hold onto about a 50 second lead but it was tough. The photographer (also, free race photos at Glastonbury!) takes a photo of you with the Glastonbury Tor in the background, which is a great backdrop and I knew that Heartbreak Hill was just around the corner from here. There is even a sign ‘Welcome to Heartbreak Hill’ at the bottom. I looked up (mistake), did a little internal cursing, and ran up the whole flippin’ thing, which already meant I was better than last year. Then it’s a nice little downhill to the finish line and boom you’re done! I looked at my watch and it said ’58:44′ and I was over the moon with that time! 5 minutes faster than 2017 which (to me) is a huge difference. Another sub 1 hr 10k in the bank, which makes this the 3rd run so far.

I’m so thankful that I found the pacer on my Garmin, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to get the past sub 1hr times without it. Before, I’d look at around mile 5 and guestimate whether I’d be able to get in under or not but with this, I know my estimated finish time and whether I’m on course or not – it’s absolutely brilliant!

After the race, I felt horrible. I’d been feeling sick since yesterday and the heat didn’t help but I’d also had completely blocked ears. Every step I took, every time I breathed in, I could ‘hear’ it and I felt like I was on a plane. We had ice creams and a wander around the Abbey and then came back to the start to watch the drummers and then headed back to the car. I must have sat in the car for around 20 minutes trying not to feel sick – nonetheless, great day, great race and I may come back again in 2019 we’ll see. I did get a bit sunburned though, being a pale English Rose hahaha. How silly of me not to wear any lotion! I also had no pain at all during or after this race, which I didn’t even realise until I’ve sat down to think about it now! I’m really hoping that it stays pain free as this is the only way I’m going to continue to get better race times. (Pray to the shin gods).

Next Week – Week 4
The week of the BIG run, which I’m looking forward to but also I’m going to be so nervous trying to get that ‘need for speed’ and all time PB. The weather forecast is showers and definitely cooler than this week, so I’m feeling better about that! While I will never, ever, ever, complain about it being too hot in England, I may complain that it’s too hot for running.