Balancing Act

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a very narrow balance beam. Other times I feel like I’ve got the whole floor to myself. Its a balancing act figuring out what to eat and how much to eat so I will lose weight the most efficient way possible without going so far that I will lose control and regain.

I admit that as time goes on, with this diet, I am a little more obsessive about it. Every night before I go to sleep, I write down my meal plan for the next day. And then the next day I will either write out the entire meal plan on my refrigerator notes, or I will write down each meal as it occurs. (This is not as hard as it sounds, It usually looks something like this:)

  • BF 250
  • LUN SH 170, veg 50
  • BAR 170
  • DIN fish 120, veg 50
  • SN — (usually its 200)

Quite a while ago I read a nutrition counselor that advised writing out a menu plan for the day instead of just tracking what you are eating as you go. I think that’s a pretty good idea myself. If I am feeling a little deprived, I can see that there is another meal coming that I am looking forward to. And if I am tempted to get a little extravagant with one meal, I can see that I will have to give up something else later in the day (so I usually don’t do that.)

I’m also balancing my protein intake throughout the day. That definitely keeps me from getting too hungry. Which is probably one reason that I am obsessive about “making my list and checking it twice.” Most of the time I am just not too hungry, so I feel the need to reassure myself that I am not eating too much.

One more balancing act–while keeping the majority of my choices whole foods, I admit to allowing in a few lower calorie processed products. Here’s a few of the latest that I picked up:


That is the best sugar-free syrup out there. It has 20 calories per 1/4 cup. I don’t ever use a quarter cup on my pancakes or french toast. I got the Smuckers SF marmalade to try on my Simple Snow Peas and Shrimp. I have used Better’n Peanut Butter in the past, but gave it up for my own homemade nut butters. So why would I buy this? Well, convenience. But also because it has half the calories of regular peanut butter. I wanted to see how it worked in my Spackle 2.0. Verdict? VERY good. It was also very delicious on half an apple. The last bottle is just a spice blend that I really love: Montreal Chicken.

Here’s another little shortcut I tried. They had these bags on sale for 98 cents. I know it would still have been cheaper to buy the whole vegetables and chop them up, but I thought the convenience might help me to eat vegetables a little more often. And sure enough, it did! I need a steamer. But since I don’t have one yet, I just put half the package in boiling water with a little salt and some Mrs. Dash spice. Only 60 calories for half a bag.


I was looking for something in my finder on my computer and I came across a recipe that I did not remember at all. They were called Shut Up Brownies–I just searched the original blog for them and I see she published it in 2008–that has to be the very first year I was blogging! Anyway, I gave them a try. And at first, I was all, ‘These are NOT brownies,‘ even though I was impressed with their size for 75 CALORIES. And then I was, “These are stinkin’ good for 75 calories.” “I could eat two of these for breakfast for only 150 calories!!!” Whether you call them brownies or muffins, they are very tasty and very filling.


I regularly check in on Suzi’s blog, because she always has some interesting low calorie snack items. Last night she mentioned frozen yogurt trail mix bars. I googled it, and came upon this recipe (don’t know if its the one Suzi used.) I had some Fage greek yogurt that I wasn’t using, and some yummy Shelley granola that I wasn’t using, so it was a perfect time for me to try this. I did not follow the recipe, just the directions. I used 1 1/2 cups of yogurt, 1/2 cup of granola, and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. Cut it into six pieces, and they are only 90 calories each.

Here they are, all packed up and ready to go back in the freezer.


Lastly, I had some VRB (very ripe bananas) sitting on the counter, and I decided that today was the day to mash them and make some more banana cubes. I filled two ice cube trays, and there was still a little banana left in the bowl. I estimated it to be one large banana. I decided to experiment! This was a really delicious experiment. These little muffins were only 80 calories each. They have a different texture than those shut up brownies. They are very moist, more like clafouti? Anyway, I was quite pleased with myself.


I can stop baking and experimenting for a while now. I have quite a nice stash of low calorie snacks in the freezer. More time for quilting!

16 thoughts on “Balancing Act

  1. Those muffins look divine! And how did I miss Shelley’s granola? Thanks for the link!
    I’ve been feeling worn out lately in terms of meal planning. I used to write everything down and at least plan dinner. Now…the thought of tracking and planning (outside of making soups or other meals ahead of time for consumption throughout the week) makes me kind of sad, actually. I wish I could get that momentum back. Tracking and planning WORK, I know that, so where did that desire to do something that works go? Hmmm… I’ll definitely be thinking about this before our next AIM post.

  2. I used to log in all my food for the day each morning (I used My Fitness Pal) – I liked that it set me up for a day of success. I’m not sure you are being obsessive so much as diligent. You have a goal and you are working hard to make sure that you get there…nothing wrong with checking and rechecking your plan along the way!

    • I agree with Shelley – I don’t see this as being obsessive at all. You are paying attention to what you are doing – exactly what I should be doing too! 🙂

  3. Your baked treats look so good I will have to try some. I admit I too give in to “easy” food products that I know might not be always the best choices, but in moderation I feel that the time and effort those things save me makes up for a lot, if I tried to do everything I would probably get overwhelmed and give up

  4. Honestly, Debby, when you’re planning and tracking to ensure that you’re getting the nutrient profile you want, I don’t see it as obsessive. Elite-caliber athletes do it all the time. So there! 🙂

    I keep running across mentions of that Montreal seasoning, all positive. I might have to give it a whirl.

  5. Wow, gonna try those Yogurt Bars right now as I’ve got some yogurt I was trying to decided what to do with. I try to plan meals one day at a time and usually do it first thing in the morning. I write them down on a small dry erase board that’s on the fridge.

  6. Your food looks nummy today! I track my food and have for eons, it seems. It’s not a chore and it really helps me stay on track. I try to plan the next day’s food the night before. Then I just look at the tracker and follow it. I have those scheduled days like Wednesday and Sunday where I know I will be having a bagel, which is a big treat for me. Having that in a plan makes it easier when I feel binge-y or am having too many tastes of things.

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