Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oatmeal, raisins, fruits and nuts

I'm curious what other people are eating.

When I first started cycling to work last year I lost quite a bit of weight quickly. I lost 15 pounds in 2 months, if I remember correctly. If you're going for the heroine-addict-model-look, and you don't like the taste of your own stomach acid, I highly recommend riding a bike as much as you possibly can (or going for a different look).

This led to a lot of comments from the people around me about how I was wasting away. I had no interest in losing any more weight so I started to make an effort to eat a lot more. I ate large portions more often and started having a much bigger breakfast. The other thing I did was made sure I had a beer with dinner every night. At one point I wrote down all the additional food calories in a spreadsheet and it worked out (sort of by chance) that I was getting the 900 calories more that I needed.

This was in no way an exact science, since my tastes change with time, and I only seem to keep a routine going for a few months at the most. Since then, my breakfast has changed from eggs to a bowl of oatmeal with raisins (it's like oatmeal raisin mush and it tastes great). My lunches vary all the time. The beer has become more voluntary until I get around to brewing my own. And, I've increased my snacking during the day.

I figured, if I'm going to try to eat a lot, it's better if it wasn't chocolate bars and potato chips, since they aren't so healthy and cost quite a bit. So my snacks have been made up of some apples, oranges and lots of nuts.

At first I started out by buying a bunch of unsalted cashews. These were tasty, but started to get bland after a while. I switched to cashews with a tiny bit of salt. Then I thought I would mix them with peanuts, to cut down on the salt. Then I switched to peanuts alone. Whatever I have, I get a bit tired of it after a couple weeks, so today I'm mixing it up again. I'm onto cashews, almonds and peanuts.

Whatever nuts I have near me, I eat all day long. I probably end up eating a good sized handfull by the time the day is done. I don't know if I'm overdoing it, but I don't expect a doctor to log on here and give me medical advice. At least I'm fairly confident I don't have an allergy.

There must be some of you out there who make an effort to eat a decent amount of food without living off of 3/4 pound hamburgers. Any snacking suggestions or other ideas?

Darren J 5/03/2006 09:36:00 p.m.


I eat waaaaaay too much Indian buffet at the place across the street from work. If I didn't cycle so much, I'd be quite lardy because of this!

On a similar theme, my latest favourite snack at work is the Indian "Channa" chick pea snacks. Yum.

I've been eating a ton of bananas lately too. Often in smoothie form, and just in their normal form. I even keep them stocked in the freezer now (peeled) ready for smoothies or whatever.

Big meals and snacking at work always make me thirsty too, so I end up drinking alot of water.

Oatmeal and cereal bars are good as far as pre-packaged stuff goes.

I eat too many potato chips and Doritos. Need to cut back on that.

I like the idea of having a beer with dinner for health reasons. ;-)

_Back in the '97ish days, I used to take a small package (about 50ml?) of flavoured rye(?) kernels - ranch, sour cream, garlic, etc. along on a day's ride. I'd find them only at (any) Dominion in a vegetable section rack. They soothed the hunger expertly and were cleaner & lighter than typical gooey /gummy /crumbly "candy exercise bars".
Oatmeal ... breakfast of champions ... go for the thick Oat flakes, and preferably organic (bulk, if you wish) from a health food store.

Green Drinks ... have you tried any? Well worth it; the purchase price may seem expensive, but the price per use is reasonable. At first I used Greens+ ... now, though, I go for Perfect Food.

Nuts and Seeds are always great. Almonds are easily portable in a pant pocket!! Roasted (unsalted) pumpkin seeds; sunflower seeds; and, hemp seed nuts are all excellent.

Avocados ... plain, raw ... I've just discovered to be a perfect mini-meal. They come in their own packaging - with a built-in serving bowl. Just slice in half lengthwise, use the knife to 'pop' to extract the pit, sprinkle with some HerbaMare ... an herb infused sea-salt (which you'll have purchased from the health food store - while you're picking up the Oat flakes) ... and, eat with a spoon.

It's coming up to our fresh produce season, so obviously, go crazy with the fresh berries - all of 'em: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries.

Make a point of going to the health food store regularly (and frequently) and try something new each time; the heave-duty breads, organic milk (which actually tastes like milk, what a surprise).

Also, try out Coconut Oil - which comes in a tub, or plastic jar. It is solid at room temperature and is used in place of butter. Super healthy and tasty.

Good Eating.

Healthy Guy.
When you start regular exercise, coming from a more sedentary lifestyle, the body will allow the reserves to become depleted if it thinks that the food intake is going to remain constant. It's only when the reserves reach a low level that you start to become a more efficient machine.

Of course the trouble with this is that shold you stop the exercise, you'll still want to eat the same amount and risk becoming a tub of lard.
At risk of revealing how dull my eating habits are, here's what I have to eat pretty much every workday:

1st breakfast: Glass of orange juice and a Nature Valley granola bar
2nd breakfast (when I get to work): Bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and half and half salt (for the sodium and potassium), an orange, cup of coffee with 6 sugars (yes, really).
Lunch: Fish snack. Cheddar cheese sandwich with Marmite on the cheese, mayo on the bread, and a lettuce leaf. Salad, usually lettuce and brocolli with one or more of sweet potato strips, baby carrots, cucumber, cauliflower, sweet peppers, green beans - whatever I find in the fridge. Dressing on the salad, usually Raspberry Fiesta from the local butcher with olive oil. Apple to inish.
Supper: Usually meat and two veg if picky sprogette is home, otherwise it could be anything; baked salmon with brown rice is a popular favourite. Ice cream to follow.
I usually share an apple with the sprog in the evening.

My vice is sugar - I eat way too much. It's a really convenient form of energy, though. Seeing as my BMR alone is nearly 2200 calories and my resting heart rate is 50 or so, I can get away with it without a problem, though my doctor still shakes her head at me. If I want to lose weight quickly then I skip the orange juice and granola bar in the morning - bonk training tears the fat off your body, but it's not overly enjoyable!
Nice suggestions. I'll try a lot of these things, except for the sardine and marmite lunches. Sorry Steve. :-) I will be adding cinnamon to my oatmeal.

The first things I'm going to look for are channa and the avocado.

Thanks for all the ideas!
I forgot to mention ... if you like to sweeten-up the Oatmeal, go for Maple Syrup; it's loaded with trace minerals, surprisingly (or not surprisingly, actually, considering it comes from a deep rooted plant (tree)). These trace minerals are hard to get, and are of major importance. It also tastes amazingly great. Use it on ice cream, and whereever else you can think of. Try the Maple Butter if you can find it ... it's simply unbelievable; just spread it on toast (which'll be a heavy-duty style full grain ... like Dempsters 12grain, or Flax).

And you'll be supporting an honourable, local, eco-friendly, traditional 'cottage' industry that deserves our patronage.

As for 'toppings' on the Oatmeal, you may be willing to try ... ground flax seed; wheat germ; soy lecithin granules; ground hemp seed nuts. I usually sprinkle on the first three, and sometimes all four of the above. It makes a nice nutty-ish tasting 'breaded' sortof topping. Really.


Healthy Guy.
Man, reading all these comments makes me feel like a bad eater!

I haven't changed my eating very much since I started biking regularly - I still have my pizza addiction, but I've never really been huge into junk food and pop, so no troubles there.

I'm not a snacker either, for the most part.

My days usually consist of:

Breakfast (at work) - Tim Hortons coffee (double-double) and an apple fritter, or bananas, if I'm being good.

Lunch - Sushi, or Shawarma, or a wrap, or whatever - nothing greasy, for the most part.

Dinner - usually a bit of meat and veggies, sometimes pasta.

Evening - sometimes a snack of yogurt or fruit or something.
why gain weight? do you want to be THE ROCK? maybe you can start racing or something.
Nothing wrong with a good slice of pizza.

It's not that I want to gain a lot of weight. I just want to keep things steady and healthy. The Rock is not in my future. I'm concerned about having a Monty Burns physique with gigantic legs.

I've never considered racing. If I did, it would mean I would try a faster bike, which would mean I might find out about all the problems my current bike has, and make me buy a new commuter bike too.
Fish snacks have insanely high levels of sodium and potassium - I just pulled a lemon and cracked pepper one out of the cupboard and it has 410mg of potassium and 270mg of sodium - great for recovery. There's plenty of flavour choices, too; some of my favourites are the thai peanut, jerk sauce, chili pepper, and the aforementioned lemon and cracked pepper. They're also a good source of calcium, which is handy since there are links between cycling and osteoporosis. This fortunately also gives me an excuse for eating icecream, since milk on its own gives me indigestion.

Marmite is high in essential trace elements, although I believe that non-UK citizens for some reason have an aversion to it. My wife had to run out of the kitchen one time when she caught me eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

And, apropos of nothing, I noticed last night that a cup of sweet potato has 250% (!) of the daily requirements for vitamin A.

I have to confess also that greasy, fatty food tends to give me indigestion anyway, so what a lot of people find irresistible doesn't do anything for me. I guess I'm not so much healthy by choice as by lack of choice...
There is little to no chance that Darren will be mistaken for 'The Rock' in this lifetime. If he wants to stop being mistaken for a Brit heroine model, the beer is necessary!

-the wife
heroin. although heroine is quite funny when I think about it!

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