Food Hacks for Future Black Belt

kung-fu-skeletons

Oh man, if only I looked like that…and could do a flying side kick like that too. 

So now that I’ve lost my winter depression/hibernation weight and am not eating candy every day I can actually talk about nutrition without seeming like a total hypocrite. After my bo dan test I was really pumped to get into prime shape for my black belt test. I had given up alcohol in late March for health reasons, and I was ready to say goodbye to junk food and refined carbs after I’d had a last tearful rendezvous with a Cadbury crème egg. I can go without alcohol for a while, but I know I WILL need some chocolate or fries every once in a while or there will be a trail of death and destruction behind me. Women will weep and men will gnash their teeth…you get the picture.

Oh and here’s a fabulous side bonus. I’m probably going to lose more pounds from stress! After last night’s setback I’m feeling too much sadness, humiliation, blind hatred, and fury to be hungry. The last time I starved myself I got down to 108 pounds and looked so haggard that several people at work pulled me aside and asked what was wrong (of course I lied to them and said I was fine). Let’s see if I can go even lower! Yay!
I did eat breakfast and lunch today, but they were small meals and I plan on skipping dinner. And just in time for bathing suit season. YAAAAYYYY!

So here’s what I ate for the week:
Breakfast: some combo of oatmeal with blueberries and soymilk, boiled eggs, a banana or clementine, yogurt, grapes, or a Larabar for those mornings when I was dragging
Snacks: some combo of peanut butter (Jif makes little 250-calorie individualized cups of creamy peanut butter, AWESOME!!), cashews, banana, apple, clementine, cottage cheese, yogurt, or a protein bar
Lunch: roast chicken, roasted vegetables, brown rice, fruit, and diet gingerale because something was troubling my tummy*
Dinner: either a power bar on TKD nights (not great, but I get home late and I’m exhausted), soup (Tabachnik makes tasty frozen soups that are low in salt and preservatives) or whole wheat pasta with homemade marinara and a sprinkle of hard parmesan. If I’m just dying for dessert I’ll have sugar-free chocolate pudding or banana “ice cream.”

Food Hacks That Make My Life (and Possibly Yours) Easier:
Vegetables: I’ve been doing the roasted veggie thing for quite some time since I’m not as inclined to reach for vegetables as I am fruit. No problem with getting my daily intake of fruit. I’d shoot it up like heroin if I could.
Every week I chop up a variety of vegetables, toss them with Kosher salt, black pepper, a little garlic powder, and olive oil and roast them for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees. You can add more spices, but I actually like the natural taste of the vegetables with the olive oil (extra virgin of course).

Banana “Ice Cream”: You have to plan a little for this one. Bananas suck because they all ripen at once so I always end up with one or two mushy mottled ones by the end of the week. Chop them up in chunks and freeze them. Then throw a few frozen chunks in the blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. It takes a few tries of playing with blender settings and smashing down the banana bits with a spatula, but my first attempt ended up being delicious and satisfying so I’m going to keep doing it. I didn’t add sugar or milk or anything. It just naturally takes on the texture of ice cream and the ripe bananas are already sweet. MAGIC!!

*Chicken: I’ve gone through vegetarian and vegan phases and enjoyed them, but right now my body is just saying, “No, woman. Feed me the flesh of domesticated flightless birds and their unborn offspring.” I hate cooking meat, so lately I’ve taken to picking up a roasted bone-in chicken breast from the grocery store, and “harvesting” little 1 cup baggies of chopped or shredded meat to use with my meals. I can get about 7 or 8 cups out of a large chicken. I’ll eat them with the roasted vegetables and brown rice, or I’ll mix it in with a mashed up avocado for extra protein power. I think, though, the chicken might be the cause of my tummy troubles this week (and my need for ginger tea and gingerale). It comes with the skin on it, which leaves the chicken greasy even after I remove it, and I have a pretty bad feeling that it is NOT from a cage-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken so I think I’ll have to go back to buying the hippie organic version and cooking it myself.
I also eat beans, nuts, eggs, and once in a great while lean beef. I absolutely hate fish and am allergic to shellfish so I just avoid seafood entirely. The smell alone makes me want to curl up and die. Nasty!

Eggs: Oh how I love eggs (from cage-free hens, of course). I also love how I naturally have low LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and a healthy amount of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which means I’ll eat whatever the hell I want without doing too much damage to my arteries. Every week I make a batch of six boiled eggs using a technique a former coworker gave me:
1. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes.
2. Take the eggs of the burner, cover, and let them sit for 20 minutes.
3. Put them in an ice bath for 30 minutes.
You’ll end up with eggs with bright yellow yolks that are easy to peel.  I keep them in a little half carton in my fridge for a convenient, tasty, and protein-packed breakfast or snack.

Homemade Marinara Sauce: Psych!! As if I’d give away my secret here! It’s so tasty I will eat it out of the container with a spoon, seriously. Okay, here’s a hint: watch the scene in the first “Godfather” movie where Clemenza is making sauce and teasing Michael about his girlfriend. His method is pretty close to mine although I don’t dump meatballs and sausage in while I’m making fresh sauce. Cooking meatballs and sausage is an entirely separate process that I’ll probably need to avoid anyway during the next six months of conditioning. (But not completely, they just taste too damn good. Not to brag…okay I will brag, my homemade meatballs are almost as good as my marinara, and Italian sausage with oily soft peppers is just about the best meal ever invented).

Boom! Black belt diet!

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One thought on “Food Hacks for Future Black Belt

  1. Pingback: Week Two of Black Belt Training – Rolos, Man…Rolos | Little Black Belt

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