Before I start talking about Tuesday and give you two awesome recipes, I wanted to clear up something about yesterday’s post…
When I was talking about my trip to Target and the crazy huge box of fruit snacks I bought, I mentioned that I have a problem with nighttime snacking. Here’s what I said:
“Fruit snacks might be made for little kids, but I eat them all the time. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had this problem where I need to be eating something as I’m falling asleep (my freshman year roommate Maria will attest to that! ). Sometimes gum helps, but not always. I’ve tried quitting this horrible habit before, but it always comes back. So that’s where fruit snacks come in – it’s my sort of compromise. Instead of shoving cookies down my throat, I’ll have one of these fruit snacks packages, which is only 80 calories! It’s not enough calories to really impact my weight, but it is enough to placate whatever weird part of my brain is obsessed with eating right before bed.”
Later on, I got a comment from a reader about this problem. I really appreciated their thoughts on the issue and that they took the time to write me such a well-thought-out response. I fully agreed with many of the things that they said, and realized that I shouldn’t have been so cavalier about this subject. Just to address it fully, I’m posting here my reply to the comment, which includes a lot of my thoughts on nighttime snacking. (You can click over to yesterday’s post in order to read the original reader comment).
“Ultimately, eliminating my bedtime snack IS my end goal. As I’ve said before, I’ve tried and failed multiple times already to get rid of the habit. Because of that, I decided that I’d try a weaning approach rather than cold turkey. Eating just one fruit snack before bed is already a HUGE step for me, which I’m not sure you quite gave me credit for in your comment. I completely agree with you that bedtime snacks are probably not the best thing for weight loss, even though it’s supposed to be a myth. Right now, I working on slowly getting rid of it until the nighttime snack is gone completely.
One problem I do have with cutting out the snacking is that, because of my boyfriend’s and my schedule, we already don’t eat dinner until at least 8pm every night. So cutting out eating after 7pm is just not going to happen. Also, I have pretty bad insomnia. Some nights that will keep me up until at least 5am or, often, even later. I find that, on those nights, it’s kind of ridiculous to try to cut myself off from food after dinner at 8pm until I go to sleep. That’s potentially at least 9 hours of time between dinner and when I fall asleep. Not to mention that, counting the time I would be asleep, that adds up to about 17 hours (if I get a full 8 hours of sleep) before I can eat again. Obviously that’s WAY more unhealthy than having a nighttime snack. I don’t have insomnia every single night, but it happens at least a few times a week.
Right now I’m trying hard to balance all of these issues and make the healthiest choices I can for myself. Because of everything I explained, I don’t think it’s a good idea to add this to the checklist. Hopefully, one day my insomnia won’t be so bad and our schedules won’t be so weird. At that point in time, I’ll definitely be making more of an effort to eliminate the nighttime snacking. But for right now, I’m happy with how I’m doing. Thanks so much for commenting! I really do appreciate your thoughts ”
I’m glad that this person commented, because it made me really think about myself and the reasons why nighttime snacking is a problem for me. The whole point of this blog is to share my story and my life with you guys. The things that some of you notice that I don’t could be hugely helpful for me and my health. So I really do thank the commenter for sort of opening my eyes to an issue that needed to be discussed.
For lunch today I had another awesome turkey sandwich!
Do you guys love my new white plate? I seriously HATE the plates that Brent’s mother gave us to use in our new apartment (they were her old set). They’re bright red and orange. While those colors are fine, they just do not work with food photography. So, finally, I bought myself a nice white plate (I already have a white bowl) to take pictures of food on.
So much better.
After lunch, I tackled a project I’d planned for myself this week. Frozen meatballs. Every once in a while, Brent and I resort to cooking up spaghetti and meatballs as a last minute dinner. We’d been buying the store-bought frozen meatballs to keep on hand for these occasions. We like meat with our pasta!
Do you know how expensive those things are??
Eventually I realized it would be way more cost-effective to just make our own. So I stocked up with two pounds of ground beef and made frozen meatballs today using the recipe below. I cooked them in two batches, then stored them in a gallon-size resealable bag in the freezer.
Meatballs for Freezing
(recipe by Miranda Mowbray, Biting Life)
2lbs 85% lean ground turkey
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup 100% egg whites
1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese, shredded
5 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Combine all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Line a baking tray with tinfoil and grease with cooking spray.
Form half of the meat mixture into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
Place meatballs on tray.
Bake for 25 minutes (check to test doneness after 20).
Repeat the last three steps with rest of meat mixture.
Let meatballs cool. Place into gallon-sized resealable bag and store in the freezer.
To defrost: Place a few meatballs in a bowl and microwave, covered, for 5 minutes.
(Recipe makes 55 meatballs. Each meatball is 40 calories and has 4g of protein).
After spending the rest of my day cleaning, doing laundry, and preparing other food, I finally got around to making dinner. Since Brent and I love the Chili Cheese Beef ‘n’ Mac recipe that I make, I decided to make that but with a little bit of a twist… a Mexican twist!
(recipe by Miranda Mowbray, Biting Life)
Ingredients (serves four):
1/2 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
1 pound lean ground beef
8oz. frozen corn
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Salt and pepper
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I use Hunt’s Garlic & Herb)
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, steam frozen corn according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Cook garlic in canola oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Once garlic is fragrant, add jalapeño and tomatoes to the pan.
Add beef to the dutch oven and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spatula.
When done cooking, add corn to the dutch oven.
Stir in spices, cream cheese, yogurt, and tomato sauce.
Bring to a boil and let cook for 1 minute.
Add pasta to dutch oven and stir everything together. Let cook for 1 more minute.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at how I did today…
Healthy Goals Checklist
- At least 100g of protein. Check! How weird is this? I literally got exactly 100g today.
- At least 4 servings fruits/veggies. Check! I got 4.25 servings.
- No more than one treat. Check! I had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich before bed. Haven’t had one of those in forever!
- Exercise and/or stretch. Check! I stretched for about 20 minutes before bed.