What We Ate Wednesday 02/23/2011

by brandt

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons has the perfect cure for the timeless question, “What’s for dinner.”  I’ve mentioned it before, but don’t venture over to her blog on an empty stomach.  If you do, you’ll probably end up like I do.  It always starts the same: Look at delicious pictures of her (almost always) healthy food, feel the familiar rumble in the stomach, realize that it’s around lunchtime, and then hang your head in shame because you drowned your hunger in a greasy unhealthy burger and fries from the local fast food joint, justifying it because “I’m just so gosh-darned hungry!”

While I wasn’t able to participate in the link party last week, the week previous I showcased Ashley’s spur-of-the-moment vegetarian lasagna.  I was getting a lot of pressure over Twitter to get back in on the “What I Ate Wednesday” link party, and figured Wednesday would be as good a day as ever.  See, Ashley works a lot with different time zones in the lower 48 states, and once a week she has to take a rotation working with the California branches of her job.  She doesn’t report until 11:00AM, which might sound nice, until you realize she doesn’t get off until 8:00PM.  That means I’m left to my own devices at home for 3 hours, which can either be a huge mistake, or the perfect mixture of boredom, inspiration, and hunger.

I’ll admit, there’s been quite a few Wednesday’s where take-out has been my meal of choice.  It’s just me and the kittens at home, waiting until 8:00PM to order food is a bit drastic, and frankly I’m hungry.  However, I’ve been trying to eat a lot more healthy as of late (and I’m positive that Ashley scheduling for us to get family pictures done in August has NOTHING to do with that), so I’ve been trying to get more fruits, vegetables, and protein in my diet.  I’ve noticed through tracking my food intake (through such websites as MyFitnessPal.com), I eat waaaay to many carbohydrates and not enough protein.

While I wish I could have put together a frame-by-frame how-to of the meal I made last night, I figured a picture would do:

I’m not the best person to Photoshop food to make it look good, and the picture was taken with my Motorola Droid phone, but here’s what we ate:

Whole-wheat spaghetti with Bertolli Vodka Sauce and flaked salmon fillet
Birdseye Steamfresh – Brown & Wild Rice With Broccoli and Carrots

And for desert? Yoplait Triple Berry Frozen Smoothie.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You might be saying “Brandt, for someone hoping to cut down on Carbohydrates, eating pasta PLUS rice is a bit much.” And I agree with you. Which is why I ran all the items we had for dinner through MyFitnessPal.com to see what the breakdown was. Interested?

The total came out for dinner to be 750 calories. That’s a bit high, but it’s OK because it’s offset by the fact that Ashley and I usually eat pretty lean during the day at work. In our respective jobs, we both barely find time to eat. And also consider that it doesn’t matter the time of day you eat your calories, it matter the amount. At least, that’s what I read from a Dietician at Nutrisystem. Now the Smoothie was an additional 110 calories, but we’ll get to that a bit later. If we include the smoothie plus dinner, it comes out to 860 calories. A bit high, but up until that point I’d only eaten 1100 calories. And for a big dude like me at 6’4″, that’s not a lot of food. Again, I’ve got a bit of pressure because we’ve got these family pictures coming up.

Let’s go a bit deeper.

Carbohydrates for dinner were surprisingly not too bad. The salmon only had 1 gram of carb’s, which is amazing considering it was a big ol’ fillet (140g). That was baked in a dish, sprinkled with lemon juice for flavor/tenderness and white vinegar, and topped off with some dried basil and parsley. The whole wheat spaghetti was also relatively low, at 41g of carb’s for 2oz. I thought 2oz would be a tiny amount, but thank goodness for our scale that I bought a while back – it’s actually a good amount of noodles. The vodka sauce was a bit more as far as calories go, but the carbs were relatively low. At 11g of carbs for 1/2 a cup (and yes, I did actually measure it out with a cup), that’s not too shabby. Add in 1.5 cups of the Birdseye Brown and Wild Rice with Broccoli and Carrots (in a freeze bag, where I just throw it in the microwave and it’s complete), and the carbs leveled out at 84g. Pretty good for an end-of-day meal. Add in 19g of carbs for the smoothie, and we’re looking at 103g of carbs. According to my recommended doses from MyFitnessPal, I’m looking at about 30% of my daily carbs, which isn’t too bad at all.

Fats seem to be a dirty word, but it’s part of keeping your body alive. I won’t go through the nitty-gritty like I did the carbs, but the vodka sauce had the most fat, at 9g of fat, but considering the meal had a total of 17g of fat, plus the smoothie had 2g, so I’m looking at 19g of fat. Recommended daily goal was at 65g, so again, almost a good 30% for the meal.

Protein is where I struggle, since carbs are much easier for me to find and eat. But that salmon fillet? Wow…32g of protein in that 140g fillet! Add in 7g for the noodles, 4g for the veggies, and 3g for the sauce, and we’re on track for 46g of protein for the meal. I was still looking to have a bit more protein in the diet, which is when I found the wonder of the Yopliat smoothie. 110 calories for 8oz of smoothie is good. With 19g of carbs and 2g of fat, that’s really good. But then I saw the protein…..30g of protein! Wow!

So all in all, here’s what the totals came out to be…

Calories – 860
Carbohydrates – 103g
Fats – 19g
Proteins – 76g

Now, in the interest of full disclosure….I think these are good numbers? I mean, I stayed well within my ranges that MyFitnessPal set for me, so I hope it doesn’t look like we gorged ourselves (though by the end, it felt like it). I think it was relatively healthy, especially considering the fruit in the smoothie is all real legit fruit that is frozen (and we included a banana and a couple of oranges to the mixture), plus the tomato in the sauce (maybe?) plus the veggies in the rice mixture. My question for all of you…..was this healthy? Did I do a good job? I could have scaled back on the rice/veggie mixture, which would have probably saved calories + carbs, but it just looked so good!

Anyways, next Wednesday, hopefully I’ll have another Brandt-concoction that will either make your mouth water or make your eyes roll!

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3 Comments to “What We Ate Wednesday 02/23/2011”

  1. My dinner looked really similar! Paul made veg lasagna and then I made stir fried peas, sprouts, shrooms and onions to go on the side — so we both had pretty dinners! =) yay!

    I think you did pretty darn good! Once you make the your lifestyle changes of less CHO and more PRO then you’ll be able to tweak it even further to make it even more healthy and nutrient dense! I find that sometimes making the change with something easy (like a pre-made smoothie package) and then once it’s second nature, shaking things up by making your own smoothie blends with veggies and fruit and protein powder (or even almond/peanut butter!)

    You’ve totally go this! I love that you are exploring the stats of your meals! Thats one of the reasons I do WIAW every week! I get to look back at one full day a week and see if it was a hit or a miss on my part!

    ok i’m rambling! good job kiddo! =) Hope you’re having a fantastic week!

  2. I agree Jen always has the best recipes! Just found your blog. Really like it!

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