Sunday, July 8, 2012

90/10 Nutrition Challenge, Week 3

Tomorrow marks the start of week 3 of my second 6 week 90/10 nutrition challenge.  Whoa that is a lot of numbers in one sentence.  My Jr. High English teacher is cringing right now.  All that means is that for approximately 9 weeks, I've been following, to the best of my ability, the 90/10 nutrition challenge, eating ninety percent of my total calories from the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder.

It hasn't been that hard.  Some situations are harder than others, of course.  And, I've found that my relationship with food has changed.  I no longer think that everything I eat has to be a treat.  I no longer think everything I eat has to be great, or even good.  I have come to the conclusion that everything I eat has to be first a conscious choice: why am I putting this in my mouth?  What are its calorie sources?  What nutrients or vitamins will this food provide for me?  How much of it should I have?  (Notably, "how could this taste better?" or "is this the best --fill in the blank-- that I've ever had?" are not questions I ask anymore.)  And second, it has to satisfy a need.  (It's important, here to distinguish between NEED and WANT.)  It has to satisfy a NEED.  If it's hunger, it has to make me not hungry anymore.  If it's thirst, it has to make me not thirsty anymore.  And if it's fuel, it has to provide me with enough energy to get me through my workout without me feeling drained.  (Again, taste does not factor into the primary criteria.)

So, it doesn't have to taste good?  Really?


Of course it has to taste good.  But it doesn't have to taste great.  At least, not all the time.  Good is good.  Palatable for sure.  But tastes for foods can change just as tastes for fashion can, and as habits change, so does taste.  In other words, one who prefers unhealthy foods, when substituting health foods consistently, can come to prefer healthy choices.  (Yes, prefer them.  Not tolerate them.  Not get used to them.  PREFER them.)

There are so many healthy choices out there, one can certainly find ones that work in the taste department as well as in the right-choice department.  But sometimes it takes a search.

Welcome to your search engine:

Monday: Buffalo Burgers, raw carrots and celery, steamed corn on the cob

Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice

Wednesday: Pineapple Lime Grilled Chicken, Grilled Pineapple, Citrus Quinoa, Spinach Strawberry Salad
(grill the pineapple in long strips, and place the chicken on top of the pineapple on a plate.)

Thursday: Egg Bake, Fresh Berry Salad

Friday: Salmon Ginger Meatballs over steamed brown rice, steamed edamame

(For 90/10, make meatballs as directed, but place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Omit oil.)

Saturday:  Veggie Fried Rice

Sunday: Pesto Chicken, romaine salad, baked sweet potatoes

Pesto Chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • 5 cups arugula
  • cloves garlic, peeled and divided
  • lemon, halved
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Grill the chicken breasts. 

  • Add the arugula and 5 cloves of the garlic to a food processor fitted a blade. Pulse 3 to 4 times, then add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon and pulse 3 to 4 more times. Add the pistachios, and with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down sides and pulse a few more times. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Spread pesto onto chicken and serve.

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