food is good

age 29, my birthday 013

so after digging through ten long pages of blog posts by Go Kaleo i’ve got more to bring to the table. she talks about calories and why they matter. if i understood her, it seems pretty straight forward. there’s a general way to calculate how many units of energy (calories) each of our bodies need. in order for me to run around as a waitress 8 hours a day, sleep 9.5 hours a night, maintain my 140lbs of weight while being 5’4” i require 2,300 calories (give or take 300 calories). when i eat less calories i won’t maintain my weight and when i eat a whole lot less calories my body takes the required energy from my bones, brain, organs, and muscles for fuel. taking someones blog on it’s word i looked up what my requirements were and for the first time i had a number (2,300 calories). then i looked up how many calories a day i’d been eating for the last 2+ months. holy hell. i’ve been eating between 1,000 to 1,300. no wonder my workouts had to be put on hold when i started eating to reduce gut inflamation. wow, that totally puts in persective all the junk food me and mark would split. a bag of chips is 1,300 calories, a box of cookies can be 900 calories, the amount of frozen yogurt that i would personally get would be around 400 calories and a tablespoon of peanut butter is 100 calories. mark would eat a large jar of peanut butter over the course of a few days. being that i’ve been on the full gamit of restrictive diets, it’s pretty clear that the cycle of clean eating that would take place for days, weeks or months at a time would be a calorie deficit turned over on its head. at some point the dam would have to break and i’d get on a streak of fro yo….daily. but think about it, all the junk food would bring in a daily calorie surge of 400 or more in one sitting, for a person consistently striving to (unknowingly) under-eat, the junk food was a saving (calorie) grace. looking back, i went a pretty decent stretch of time without eating junk food when i was pumped about 100% raw veganism. granted i lived off of processed powders and agave syrup….i did eat at least 4 avocados a day (around 300 calories each) then add in the many chocolate drinks, the many nut pates and the tons of fruit. all in all i lost a ton of muscle but my calories were not so bad. no supplemental bag of chips needed. my first impression about paleo was that it was a low carb kind of thing. since then robb wolf and chris kresser have been trying to steer the boat in the other direction (saying that paleo isn’t low carb and that calories do matter). but that message didn’t sink in and in the end i clearly ate too little calories because my cravings for calorie dense snacks (junk) came way too often. eating in a way that less inflames my gut seems to be around 1300 calories on a good day. now having the eye to understand my cravings (for more calories) really takes off the judgment and shame of my junk food ways.

liver, plants, food 020

here’s the insight i’ve gained from this new looking glass: *if i don’t want to crave/eat junk then i really need to get more calories in through whole foods, about 2300 calories *gaining muscle requires even more calories than my maintainence minimum *junk food has done me some favors in the past and bad mouthing junk food is no way to return the favor *real food can only do so much if there’s not enough fuel to maintain the fire *more real food is the way *food includes all the macros (fat, protein & carbs!)

when eating a restrictive diet, be sure you’re not semi-starving yourself. there are 2 must-reads (and include links to the calculators for figuring out how much you need and how much you’ve been getting):

i’d LOVE to hear any insights or disagreements.

raw vegan days. bloated & no muscle.

raw vegan days. bloated & no muscle.

here’s some calorie* refrences: 1 med avocado 322*

4oz. bacon 611*  or 1 slice 46*

cooked ground beef 1/2lb 579*

1/2 lb ground pork  600*

1medium raw banana 105*

1 carrot 16*

med sweet pot 100*

med potato 161*

coconut oil 1T 120*

1T butter 102

1/4 cup coconut milk 111*, 1Tablesp 28*, 1 cup 445

1cup cooked rice, 205*

1oz slice cheddar 113*

med egg 63*

1T peanut butter 94*

8oz chips 1278*

11oz fro yo  413*

chocolate bar 3.5 oz  593*

4oz cookies  473*

large cucumber peeled 32*

1cup boiled spinach 41*

1cup chard (boiled) 35*

1 cup zucchini (boiled) 29*

1 cup raspberries 64*

1cup blueberries  84*

med orange 62*