Camera Fail & Portion Distortion Follow-Up.

Nothing like a little German wine at 7am, right?   This morning kicked off with another wine tasting…

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Three different Rieslings, which all smelled very SWEET to me.

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My personal favorite was option four…

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HOT COFFEE!!  I was so tired this morning!  I stayed up late getting Tuesday’s homework done in my afternoon class, because I knew I would have way too much studying to do tonight. 

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Tomorrow is my final exam in Advanced Dining class (last day – thank God!), and we have to know about five million specific details about every single type of wine, region it comes from, classification, type of grape, etc.  It is SO much information! 

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I am meeting a few classmates at Panera tonight for a study group session – hopefully I figure this stuff out!  I am really nervous about the test.

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Adding to the stress tonight, just after I took this last picture my CAMERA broke!!  I am totally freaking out about it.  The display isn’t working right – all of the text and menus are showing up, but the actual picture is a black screen.  One entirely wasted hour of customer support has ended with me needing to ship my camera back to Canon for it to be serviced.  Gaaaaaahhhh what should I do??  I am starting a new really fun class on Wednesday and will be so sad to not have my camera.  :(

Portion Distortion – A Follow Up.

Anyways, I’ve gotten a lot of really great comments and questions this week – you guys had all sorts of great things to say about my thoughts on Portion Distortion!  Since you all asked such great questions, I thought it might be more effective for me to the post the answers here, rather than bury them down below all of the individual comments.  (I am hoping for the WordPress switch SOON, but until that happens, comments are always a little trickier to answer in Blogger.)  Here we go…

I haven’t been reading your blog for long, so I don’t know if this has been addressed.  How would these aspects change during pregnancy?  I don’t know if you yourself are going to become pregnant, but if you did, how do you see your eating changing? I am trying to conceive and am curious about your view? I am not vegetarian, but hardly eat meat (I just don’t like it).

I haven’t written about this before, but it’s certainly something I have thought about a lot.  First off, YES – we are definitely planning on having kids, hopefully sooner than later (I’m almost 30 – eeek!).  I am planning on continuing my vegetarian diet through pregnancy, and I know that this will involve careful planning and research.  Obviously my first priority will be to meet the nutritional needs of the baby, and I firmly believe that that can be done through a vegetarian diet.  That said, I will need a lot of help!  I know there are some great books written specifically about vegetarian pregnancy, and I am sure I will be a reading machine when the time comes. 

To expand on your question (since I am sure someone else will ask!), we are also planning to raise our kids as vegetarians.  Obviously there will come a time and an age where our children will be free to make their own choices, but in the early years we plan to teach them an overall philosophy of respecting their bodies – and what goes into them – as well as respecting animals and the environment.  Our hope is to do this in a positive and creative way (like Mama Pea!), rather than in an environment of negativity or judgment.

Interesting to read about your food philosophy. How long have you been paying attention to healthy eating/calories, and what inspired it?

I started paying attention to being more healthy in 2006, just after I started running.  Prior to that I really had no idea that what I put into my body affected the way it looked and felt.  It sounds crazy, but I had a total mental disconnect between eating (and drinking) and looking good.  I just kind of assumed that my body was what it was – the hand I was dealt.  When I met Casey, he encouraged me to keep up with running, and (in a nice way) pointed out that I wasn’t always making the best decisions nutritionally.  As I started running more, I noticed that my clothes started to fit differently.  I got even more into health food and nutrition when I started to lift weights.  That was when I saw the more significant physical changes.  I am such an advocate for strength training.  You can run and run and run all day long, but your body will never get the definition and tone that you will get from lifting weights.  I joined Calorie King in 2007 and tracked my eating for over a year.  It was a MAJOR eye opener for me!  I started to recognize
that a lot of what I was eating were "empty calories" and I found that I really liked learning about food and nutrition.  The rest sort of snowballed from there… :)

Great post on portion sizes, SO important to maintaining a healthy weight.  Out of curiosity– Do you count calories?  How many calories do you estimate you eat a day on average?

As I wrote in the original post, I don’t really "count" calories anymore – as in, I don’t log them or track them in a program like Calorie King.  But that is only because I really don’t need to anymore – I have a huge nutrition facts database right here in my head! :)  I still mentally tally up certain meals to make sure I am not over/under doing it on any one food group or nutrient.  On average, I probably eat around 1500 net calories per day.  "Net" meaning total calories consumed with exercise taken into account.  Which brings me to the next question…

What do you mean by 1500 NET calories? Is this the calories if you’re not exercising? How do you estimate how many more to eat if you are?  Thanks!  I have been trying to eat healthier but often slip into eating junk if it’s around.  Did you have setbacks in getting to your healthy lifestyle or did you just make the decision and stick with it cold turkey? Thanks!  Love the blog and hope the lungs are doing better!

On a day when I am doing a long run, I eat a LOT more than 1500 calories.  But I also think it’s really important to recognize just how many calories we realistically burn when exercising.  The average 150 lb adult burns 100 calories for every mile they run.  But I am smaller than the average adult, so I need to adjust my average calorie burn to reflect my size – more like 70 calories per mile. 

If you add up the difference between burning 100 vs. 70 calories per mile for a 10 mile long run, you’ see that that’s a big discrepancy – 300 calories!  I think one of the major reasons people have trouble losing weight is that they overestimate how much they burn during exercise.  I cringe when I see people running 5K races and then slamming bagels at the finish line, or running a half-marathon with five goo packs pinned to their waist.

I typically estimate that I burn 70 calories for every mile, or every 10 minutes of other intense cardio (elliptical, bike, etc.).  Other activities like yoga don’t actually burn a lot of calories, but they are great for strength and a metabolism boost.  I try to find a good balance from day to day – eat a little more on days when I do a lot of exercise, and then scale it back a bit on days when I don’t move quite as much.  OR, if I really just feel like eating a boat load of food, I chow down and then go for a long walk.  :)

I also have a question about your "net" calories.  You are so good at maintaining your 1500 a day, what do you do when you do a long run  Surely 15 miles burns almost 1500 calories, but you don’t eat twice as much.  Do you use the extra burn to indulge in a treat (yagoot)??  I know I do! :)

Hi Mary Ann! :)  For long runs I usually try to split the calorie burn in half between the night before, and the day of the run.  So if I’m running 15 miles, I’ll assume I will burn more like 1,000 calories (70-ish calories per mile).  I will probably eat about 400 extra calories at dinner the night before (huge dinner – yum!), and then 200 calories during the run (sports drink, shot blocks, etc.), and then 400 or so after the run.  Sometimes in the form of a huge bowl of oatmeal with extra peanut butter, other times exactly like you said – FROZEN YOGURT!  :)  I love being able to go get a fun treat with no guilt, knowing that I already earned all the extra calories.  I never like to pre-eat all the calories that I plan to burn, because you never know when you’ll have a bad day and end up not going as far as planned, having to cancel at the last minute, etc.

Great post!  So true that you have to do what works for you.  I’m interested to read about why the school food isn’t an option for you.

The food at school, while very interesting and fun to cook, is very rarely healthy or vegetarian.  I really wish there was better emphasis on nutrition in our curriculum.  Often times I think the chefs are so focused on technique that they don’t stop to correct the student who is properly sautéing (right technique) but using 10 tablespoons of oil instead of 2 (wrong nutrition).  It is also disappointing that vegetarian cooking is a total afterthought in almost every class.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gotten excited about a grain or vegetable dish, only to see it cooked in bacon or finished with chicken stock.  Vegetable stock is only available on ONE culinary lab – every other lab has chicken and beef stock.  It is upsetting to me that it is not made more of a priority, because Johnson & Wales is one of the top culinary schools in the country.  They are supposed to be setting industry standards and training future leaders in food service.  If they aren’t teaching vegetarian cooking, then who is?  After months of trying to find options to eat at school, I have finally resigned to the fact that it just makes more sense for me to pack my lunch and know exactly what I’m getting.


Hopefully that clears up a few of the lingering questions!  Always feel free to leave comments or questions, or send me a direct email if that’s what you prefer.  :)

For now, I’m off to Panera to meet my study group and learn about WINE.  As usual, I previewed the menu options online and saw that they have a new low-fat/vegetarian soup option – garden vegetable soup with pesto!  Has anyone tried this?  I will report back…