Healthy and Sane

Conflicting thoughts

March 7th, 2010 · 29 Comments · Boston, breakfast, dessert, restaurant reviews, rice

How was everybody’s weekend? Mine was fabulous – we had the most gorgeous weather here in Boston. I was able to wear a long sleeve shirt with a thin sweater and that’s it! No jacket!!! I know some of you from the warmer climates are probably chuckling at this, but this is amazing for this time of year in the North East. Everybody seemed to be in a fantastic mood all weekend. My husband actually de-winterized his motorcycle and went for 2 rides. Good stuff all around.

So yesterday was one of the happiest days I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t really explain this pure bliss I was in. It was like this overwhelming feeling of happiness took over me and the only thing I could do was keep repeating how happy I was over and over. I felt like I was going to explode. It was wonderful! :mrgreen: What was not wonderful is how hungry I kept on getting despite feeding myself what seemed to be like typical portions (if not more). I had no time to count calories so I just tried to listen to my body (I totaled it all up this morning so you can find the totals at the end). Let’s see where that got me…


2 ww waffles with Barney Butter, cherry preserves, fresh blueberries and plain oikos with coffee


I made the waffles by following this recipe from Food for Living. I added some slices bananas to the batter as well because I love the extra natural sweetness they add. This breakfast was delicious. The waffle recipe is a good one – these were nice and moist! :)




[485 calories]

After breakfast, Adam and I got to some major spring cleaning. This was our first time really cleaning our place since the kitchen remodel was completed. Adam scrubbed the bathrooms and everything in the kitchen while I made sure the rest of our place looked great. Around 1pm I got hungry but had no time to make lunch just yet, so I grabbed a peanut butter chocolate chip “granola bar.


I did not sit down for this but I did try to savor it slowly and really eat it mindfully.

Per your request, here is the recipe:

Grease a 9×13 pan with shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1/2 c melted butter or margarine

3 cups oats

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut

2/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup honey

1 cup choc chips

2t vanilla extract

1/3 cup wheat germ

2T sesame seeds

Combine butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan and pat down using a fork.

Cook @13-18 minutes just until edges are golden brown.
Score into squares and leave in pan until fully cooled.
Freezes well in Ziploc.

Note from Melissa: You may cut down on sugar and honey if too sweet. (I used 3/4 cup brown sugar and a little less honey) However, I wouldn’t recommend cutting out any of the butter–I’ve tried it and they don’t hold together as well! ENJOY!!!

Here is the kitchen, post a good scrub with a few added personal touches.


Check out the new fancy toaster oven (in the left corner) my parents got us as a gift. This thing is so crazy awesome. Thanks guys – we love it!! ๐Ÿ˜€


The place was spotless and our neighbors (who are about to start their own kitchen remodel) were really impressed with how well we did. They have the same ugly kitchen (and bathrooms) we had so they knew exactly how far we’ve come. Anyways, the marathon cleaning sesh made lunch taste extra good! ๐Ÿ˜‰



Ww toast with sardines, avocado, S&P and lemon juice – such a creamy topping over the crunchy toast. Yum!


Simple salad: mixed greens, shredded carrots, cucumber


[307 calories]

After my quick lunch, Adam and I decided to go out and finally enjoy the beautiful weather. I got a strong craving for papaya salad and Adam never had lunch, so we ended up at the Island Hopper for a snack (?) for me and a super late lunch for him.

Green papaya salad – (from the menu) choice of the Thai lady, green papaya, carrots, long string beans, and tomatoes mixed in lime juice and Thai spicy sauce, topped with crushed peanuts



[300 calories?]

It looked beautiful but it was a little too sweet for me. I ate most of it because I was craving this dish but didn’t love it. At some point I realized I was eating food I wasn’t really enjoying so I stopped. It was also around the same time that Adam suggested with finish our meal with some froyo from Red Mango. You don’t have to ask me twice to eat dessert! ๐Ÿ˜†

Small froyo (1/2 original, 1/2 cocoa) with raspberries and sliced almonds


Red mango sweetens their froyo with stevia and I found it to be a lot sweeter than Berryline’s. Still delicious, though, and although I prefer Berryline, Red Mango is closer so I’m probably going to end up there more often. I don’t discriminate against froyo joints too much. ๐Ÿ˜†


[~170 calories]


Eventually it was time for dinner (hours later, don’t worry!)…


Adam was out with his friends and I wanted something super simple. We were basically out of all fresh veggies and proteins so I was pretty happy with how my dinner turned out with such limited resources. Some cooked wild rice and fresh basil on its last leg were the inspiration for dinner.


I followed this recipe from EatingRD (blogs came to the rescue today!) to make some pesto out of the basil, then mixed it with wild rice, shrimp (defrosted, already cooked), cauliflower and peas (all defrosted). Topped with a little extra freshly shaven parmesan cheese.


This was a wonderful combo together!! PS – I used the 2T pine nuts and 2T EVOO, 1/3 cup parm and about 1T water to thin it. The pesto was fabulous. Can’t wait to make a gorgeous sandwich with the leftovers.

Dessert – another pb choc chip “granola bar”


I wanted to keep eating these (they are SOOOO good) but remembered that I already had froyo earlier in the day and this was my second bar. I popped some gum in my mouth, drank some water, and cuddled up with a blanket on the couch and tuned into the Biggest Loser. I was super proud of my will power!

Here is the kicker. This morning I calculated the nutritional facts for these “granola bars” and realized they are 485 calories EACH!!!!!!! I knew these tasted rich but I had no idea how rich they were. I ate 970 calories worth of “granola bars” in one day. Ugh!!!!! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ This brought the day’s total to 2,700 calories. I wanted to die the second I saw this number because I really thought I handled myself well throughout the day. I really thought I ate intuitively and mostly healthy. WRONG! This is where the conflicting thoughts in my brain kicked in. I felt so defeated after seeing this total but at the same time felt I didn’t do anything wrong. The only mistake I made was to not calculate the nutritional info for these bars earlier. Of course if I knew how truly indulgent they were, I would have treated them as such. Perhaps I would have cut them in half or at the least would have stopped at just one. This kind of reconfirms my belief that calorie counting is important. I did listen to my body and it told me to eat 2,700 calories and not because it needed them but because I distributed them poorly. If I ate that amount of calories every day, I would (not so) slowly but surely gain weight! I tried not to cry over spilled milk, as they say, but I did feel uneasy. This was supposed to be a healthy day after my night out on Friday, with another planned treat for Sunday afternoon, and it clearly did not work out this way. I’ve had the whole day to think this over and I am much more calm about it but I did feel a little rough for a few hours. Any thoughts on the subject? Does this show you the power of calorie counting or proves why you hate it?

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29 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - eatingRD

    Thank you so much for the link! I’m glad you liked it and what a great way to use it. I guess that recipe was more like a pesto paste for the chicken? :) All of your eats were gorgeous today. I am in love with your kitchen!!!!! wow, congrats for all that hard work and cleaning. It looks a-maz-ing! When I saw the ingredients for those heavenly, devilish bars, I thought hmmm those have to be delish and I wonder how many kcals they are! You know calorie counting is sometimes a good thing to keep us on track, but at other times, mostly after the fact, it can just devastate and depress. I don’t think you should get so down on yourself because you now know and can adjust accordingly. It’s never too late! So glad you are having nice weather again, yay!

  • #2 - Run Sarah

    Glad you had a happy day – I find seeing the sun poke out can improve my mood SO much. Your kitchen looks wonderful – we have a small kitchen that I would love to redo eventually and you’ve given me some great ideas. I really wouldn’t worry about the calories – some days we eat less, somedays more, and it all balances out in the end. I think as long as every single day we aren’t eating more than we burn off, it evens out in the end. Over the past 15 months, I have had days where I ate tons, some days less, some in between. I’ve had weeks where I exercised hard and weeks where I stayed in a chair all day. My weight has stayed the same (varies up and down 1 kg) since then.

  • #3 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I had a similar day last week where I thought I ate great, intuitively, etc., and it ended up being over 2000 calories. Here’s my theory: for all those higher-calorie days (I’m talking “accidentally” high, not bingeing), there are always those low cal days to balance them out. You know the ones…where you eat and add them up and think, “Huh? Really? Only 1350?”

    What scares me is how normal your eating seems, and then I think about days I have binged…it must be literally thousands of calories. Gross.

    I had Red Mango last week too, same flavors! Used the calories from the website and counted each flavor as .6 serving…is that how you calculated, too? I didn’t know it was sweetened with stevia!

    So happy that you were happy!

  • #4 - Alice

    Ugh, I hate days like that. Yes, it’s a very good reason why calorie counting sometimes SUCKS.

    But you know what? Although you ate 2700 calories, you didn’t eat 2700 calories of crap. You didn’t eat when you weren’t hungry, you didn’t binge, you didn’t eat fast food or crappy processed food. You ate because you were hungry – plus it sounds like you had a busy day of cleaning! Yeah, there’s a lot of sugar in those bars, but they’re homemade. Better to overdo it on them than HFCS-laden crappy candy bars!

    Try to treat this day as merely a blip on the radar – I’m sure your body will recognise all of those ‘natural’ calories as fuel!

  • #5 - Eve @ nutritionbyeve

    Try to give yourself a break! Think of the fantastic day you had, you ate wonderful food, and ate intuitively. Unfortunately sometimes it happens that your calories end up too high when you don’t count. But you can make this balance out in the end. If you obsess about it you will likely binge or do some other negative behavior – not worth it! Learn from it and move on.

    I hope you have a fabulous day!

  • #6 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I completely agree with what Alice said above about the types of calories you ate. Of course I understand that weight is merely a matter of calories in versus calories out, and yet you shouldn’t discount the fact that most of your eats offered your body important vitamins and nutrients.

    I feel like if this kind of experience happens only once in a while, then ignorance is probably bliss.

  • #7 - Shannon

    I love perfect days like that…don’t let the calorie total ruin it for you. Some days we just eat more. But the important thing was that you were eating in a healthy way….you didn’t binge on granola bars, you had a couple and then found out that they weren’t as low in calories as you had hoped. I think you can be proud of this day. Next time, you will probably just save the granola bars for dessert.

  • #8 - Emily Eats and Exercises

    I am not a calorie counter, but I am someone who is working on losing weight slowly and healthily (and down more than 35 lbs so far.) For me, what is working is eating larger portions on the healthy stuff (I eat rediculous serving sizes of veggies – but no one ever got fat eating too much broccoli) but I’m very consevative about dessert. I have a major sweet tooth, but I find that it really builds on itself- sugar makes me want more.
    Don’t beat yourself up of course, but those bars have ingredients that sound like dessert, not a snack. Lesson learned and today is a new day.

  • #9 - Yasmin

    I think one of the best and worst things I discovered was Livestrong’s My Daily Plate. It’s interesting to see how many calories and the breakdown into groups but some days it’s a curse to look at what you’ve consumed that day.

  • #10 - MelissaNibbles

    I think calorie counting and portion sizes are both very important when trying to lose and maintain weight. Not important enough to make yourself crazy over, but what happened to you today is a perfect example of why it’s important.
    Don’t beat yourself up over it though, you can’t gain five pounds overnight. Just balance it out over the rest of the week.
    Glad you had such a great day!

  • #11 - Sophie @ yumventures

    Don’t feel bad! You obviously have other days where you eat way less calories and exercise a ton, so it will balance out in the end! I think it is more important to look at the week/month as a whole, rather than day to day. If you really enjoyed them, you should be happy about it =) There is nothing like good, rich food!

  • #12 - Jen

    I definitely hate days like that, but honestly I just don’t count calories and that kind of confirms why I don’t! I think that if you listened to your body, then you are ok. Plus, you run alot and workout, so you should get a few splurges every now and then. It’s not like you do it everyday! I went to the taste of south boston last night and I don’t even want to know how many calories I consumed!! In my opinion, if you are a healthy eater (which you are!), and eat mainly whole foods with some splurges, then it will all equal out! Try not to feel so bad because it definitely ruins your day (or at least when I stress about it, it ruins my day – and my husbands!!).

  • #13 - sister inna

    i totally agree with sophie. if you remember to think on that weekly or monthly level rather than a daily one — you won’t beat yourself up as much.

    i think the way you “found out” is the best way. after the fact — there is nothing you can do but move on ( and not eat them like granola bars anymore;) ) had you known what you were eating at the time — your awesome day would probably not be as awesome.

    anyway, aren’t you eating mindfully + exercizing so that you CAN have great, happy days?
    your great day mission — accomplished
    the minor details, they don’t matter ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #14 - Cara

    For a “binge” day, it really was filled with healthy, nutritious food – remember that! I agree with others that it will all balance out in the end as you are very mindful during the typical week day.

    As you know I am all about calorie counting, but, only during the week! I know I eat more on the weekends (though I try not to go crazy the whole time of course!) but I’ve found myself in a good place where I’m maintaining my weight, so I think it all works out.

  • #15 - Beth @ DiningAndDishing

    I would not stress about your calorie intake at all!! You listened to your body and that’s what is important. If you had eaten to the point where you felt stuffed, that would be different. You ate a lot of calories on this day, but another day you will probably eat less. As long as you listen to your body it all balances out :).

  • #16 - Lauren @ Eater not a runner

    This is basically why I stopped calorie counting! You can get so bummed out over something that isn’t such a big deal. Honestly, you didn’t binge and you eat so healthy, one day isn’t going to change anything!

  • #17 - Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    Sometimes I think calorie counting has its place, especially with little treats because they usually pack a bigger caloric punch than I think they do! That being said, sometimes you’ve gotta dive into some tasty bites!

  • #18 - Amanda @ LessonsInModeration

    It sucks when this happens! I agree with you, calorie counting is important because its so easy for them to add up so quick, even when you think you are eating healthy. Don’t let it get you down!

  • #19 - Annie

    I need to get better at calorie counting. I keep a rough estimate in my head, but I know I low-ball some things. Don’t freak out over the granola cookies. I understand how you feel. I brought a greek yogurt with me for lunch today and freaked out when I realized it was 270 calories. 270 calories?!?! It was supposed to be my light side. Lame-town supreme. I tried it, didn’t love it, so didn’t eat most of it. I’ll know from now on not to buy that type. Don’t fret!

  • #20 - Andrea (Off Her Cork)

    Love the kitchen! Goodness it is gorgeous! And you guys did that yourself? That is awesome!

  • #21 - Nobel4Lit (A Case of the Runs)

    Don’t feel too bad… I don’t think that would make a huge difference in the long run.

  • #22 - Nobel4Lit (A Case of the Runs)

    P.S. I don’t like counting, either. It always makes me undereat, because I treat the calories like money, and I’m a hoarder. Now, I just guesstimate… if I eat more in one meal or day, I eat less or work out more the next… it became natural after all the obsessiveness. That’s worked for me.

  • #23 - Shannon

    i’m with everyone else :) you had such a good day with the mindful eating!!! and now i need to go eat dinner!

  • #24 - Gabriela (froyolover)

    Amazing eats, Elina!
    And I totally agree with you – itยดs not worth it to cry over splitted milk!
    I mean, you simply forgot to check the nutritional facts for that (wonderful-looking) bar. Everything else was amazingly tasty AND healthy!
    Be proud of yourself. Isnยดt hearing your body the best thing ever?!
    Have an amazing Tuesday, girl!
    Brazilian XOXOยดs,

  • #25 - Hangry Pants

    Maybe you could count calories for snacks and treats, but not for meals?

  • #26 - Kelly

    I am not someone who counts calories for everything I eat, but whenever I bake something or try something totally new I like to get a general feel. Like you said, I treat things differently based on how many calories I think they have. Sometimes my tummy doesn’t know when to turn off!

  • #27 - Dominique

    I’ve never counted calories and the only reason for that is because it seems like too much effort, which I know is just a really, really lazy excuse.

    The good thing is that I’m not a huge fan of sweets but I often don’t know when to stop myself when it comes to things like popcorn and chips. I just try to not keep those in the house.

    You had a really happy, good day and you ate what you wanted to eat and you know what, you probably won’t feel that way every day. I felt like eating a whole bunch of stuff yesterday but then there are days when I don’t feel like eating anything at all. So I think that in the end, things will even out. I wouldn’t get worked up over one day because the stress wouldn’t do you any good either. Cheer up :)

  • #28 - Elina

    All – THANK YOU!

    Lara – I just did 0.5 serving for each but I think you’re right – they add more. I’ll do that next time :)

    Andrea – haha, well we paid people to do it all by ourselves ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sophie – I definitely think of it on a weekly basis – that’s why I plan several treat meals/wk because I know it evens out. I thought Sat was going to be the day to even Friday and Sun out – that’s why I was upset. All good now, though. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #29 - Jenna

    just get back on track tomorrow! one day is fine!