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What 40 days of keeping a food diary has taught me

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August 2012

 
 
 


 
 

BREAKFAST

1/2 avocado

1 glass honeyed soymilk

1 banana

1 string cheese

 

MID-MORNING SNACK

CLIF chocolate chip bar

 

LUNCH

chicken sandwich

 

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

1/3 c grapes

1 c sliced mangoes

 

LATE AFTERNOON SNACK

1 banana

 

WATER: 4 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

 
 

***

 
 
 

Notes:

This is an impromptu review of the last 40 days since I started doing a public food diary. Like I said, I’ve been trashing posts on this blog to make your browsing easier. In the beginning, I only wanted to keep a food diary for at least 2 weeks, and have been consistently been honest and accountable every single day. I didn’t get the chance to look back as I go, and now that I’ve skimmed through all posts under the ‘food diary’ tag, it turns out that yesterday’s post marks the 40th day I’ve been doing it.

That’s when I thought I should do something about it.

I didn’t promise to keep posting food diary entries every single day forever. So I think now is the perfect time to stop doing this for now, take a good look back and see what I’ve learned. I might want to do this again, but perhaps in a different approach – since I know I will be eating out a lot once I land safely in Jakarta :) Trust me, I have lots of plans to review the best places to dine in my hometown, pictures included! :) (in the hopes of attracting worldwide audience to come and take a look at Indonesia’s capital city, instead of flocking to Bali!). I’ve met people who didn’t know where Indonesia is, or what city Indonesia’s capital is, or go so far as to thinking that Bali is the capital city. Anyways.

 

So what’s the most important thing that I’ve learned out of this?

Actually, there’s more than one. We’re gonna take a while. But we’re going to break it down one point at a time.

 

Mindfulness. Being aware of everything you put into your mouth. How much, how often, how nutritious they are, and how it changes your physiology. More often than not, I think twice about eating that little extra handful of almonds, either because my stomach already registers fullness or I’m lazy to update a published blog entry :p There are days when I have those midnight snacks, especially if I need to stay up all night to do my assignments. However, practically 80% of the time throughout these 40 days, I always have my last meal by 5:00pm.

Being timely. Being organized in how often I eat (every 2-4 hours, usually), which affects every area of my life (Good habits are contagious, aren’t they?). I am the kind of person who blames the external factors for my own poor time management skills when it comes to keeping up with my classes. Well, it’s been difficult, and I vented too many times throughout this 40-day journey on my food diary. However, I can still sit here and breathe a huge sigh of relief, because I’ve succeeded in managing 3 major classes in just 8 weeks.

In addition to that, one thing has changed: Just as how I religiously eat breakfast at 7:00am, lunch at 12:00pm, and some light meal at 3:00pm, I now organize all the things I have to do and cut them down into smaller chunks, instead of working on one big project within one day. That doesn’t only apply in my school life too. Ever since I started a fitness journal, I’ve been consistently doing at least 10-minute runs once a week. I’ve missed a run before, but the most important thing was the consistency. After that week came to an end, in my head, I thought about going for either a very long run or 2 days of running the next week to make up for it. It’s that kind of mind trap again – that I have to do starve myself after a big meal, that I have to run more than I can after missing my last workout, that I have to stay up all night to do everything because I have been so afraid of failure that I never touch the project even for a bit until the deadline draws near. Which brings me to my next point…

Let go. Letting go of that fear. I’m guessing this is the same case for procrastinators too. Either you’re afraid you can’t keep up with the challenge or simply failing at it. Really, consistency has been something that changed my mindset: One of the greatest things my instructor has taught us is to be consistent every week. Missing deadlines is an absolute no-no, because a client will never hire you for any more future projects. A poor work is more forgiving (although still, especially if you’re in the visual arts, effort comes through). Even if you’ve done a flawless finish one or two weeks after the deadline, few clients will pay you or even use that painting in the end. In that case… there seems to be no room for procrastination, right? Right after you’re assigned to a project with a tight deadline, all you can do is just jump into it right away and don’t think twice about that one idea in your head, or two, or whatever. Immediately brainstorm. Sketch everything in your head. Show them on time so that you receive feedback on how to improve. Repeat the whole process for the next project, and so forth.

The same lesson here in my food diary: I’ve missed a meal or two during these 40 days. I find that skipping meals are fine only if you’re really not hungry, and you can recover later with a slightly bigger meal if you’re really hungry. However, I will never, never, never encourage others to starve if your reason for doing this is losing weight. (FYI, I’ve lost 1.5 kg throughout these 40 days. That’s very little, but me and my heart have never felt better). In which case, tiny hunger pangs are not an emergency. In fact, I feel that when you refrain yourself from immediate gratification, you feel more productive when you’re working. That way after that, you can treat yourself with a fattening milk tea with tapioca, or a whole package of jelly beans, a cheesy lasagna or some other sinful delicacy.

However, like I mentioned before on my first day of partial fasting (way before I started this food diary), if you deprive yourself with essential nutrients, your conscience will back down, giving way for your stomach to take over all your thoughts throughout the day, and every food that comes into your sight, you will eat them. You don’t think, just eat. And that’s not an ideal way to balance all aspects of your life: If your goal is losing weight, starving yourself is not the way to go. It’s a mind trap: Your stomach thinks you’ll lose a lot of weight immediately but your brain registers that you’re hungry all the time, so once you stop starving, the brain tells your whole body to store all those calories as fat, not energy. Or maybe you want to lose a lot of weight first right now so that you can procrastinate your slow weight loss journey (which is the only way that’s considered healthy!) till a later date. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way years ago, and I will never go back to that state again. Never. It’s self-sabotage nicely packaged as “hard work”. This food diary has kept me consistent and balanced with the foods I take in to my mouth (no fads, no giving-up chocolates, no nothing – I just eat whatever I like), and it has also helped me learn to balance other aspects of my life that are equally important to me.

Food is not just a reward after you’ve done something right – it’s also energy for you to work efficiently. I know I have to climb 3 flights of stairs after walking a block of about 45-degree incline every Tuesday and Friday for class, so I make sure I don’t eat a superheavy breakfast (although my biggest meals of the day is still either breakfast or lunch). On days when I did have heavy brunches and had to be physically active throughout the day (running errands or whatever), I’ve also learned something new…

Forgive. Forgive yourself. Just as you let go of that fear of failure, be it on your next project, your next race, or on your weight loss journey, training your mind and body is a process. One setback or two does not mean you can gain weight overnight. Procrastinating one day to watch your favorite TV show instead of doing your homework doesn’t mean you will immediately fail the class. Missing one workout does not mean you will lessen the chance of you hitting your time during the race you’re training for. It was a little hard for me to let go of that workout I wanted to do last Sunday, because that’s how iffy I am about unfinished businesses. But it’s for my own good – I’ve ran till I felt good, real good, and letting it go detoured me from the path toward making running as a chore all over again. I want consistent routine, not regular chore.

Forgive quickly, accept it, swallow hard, and move on. Do it to yourself and you’ll see that you will become more tolerant with others too. (This is, by far, the biggest change in my life lately… It’s personal, so I won’t share it here…)

Simply, love. Eat what you love, eat with love, and savor each moment you take a bite at that chocolate. Or that slice of mango. I never knew I love mangoes this much. And avocados. I practically eat either one of them every single day. I haven’t noticed that until now that I’m looking back…

But that’s about it. That’s a lot to take in out of the simple habit of writing down everything you’ve eaten for 40 days. Yet, it’s worthwhile. I know I said I didn’t have enough confidence to begin with, but I’m really hoping this will motivate you to look after your body. It is the one place your soul is living in. Might as well take good care of it.

 
 

Here are the complete list of entries, starting from day one:

1. June 28, 2012 First official food diary post!
2. June 29, 2012 One super-duper-uber yummy item on the menu today!
3. June 30, 2012 Menu for a productive day
4. July 1, 2012 Repetitive foods = healthy practice
5. July 2, 2012 Early big meal
6. July 3, 2012 No energy
7. July 4, 2012 How much does your heart has to work while you rest?
8. July 5, 2012 Meat fright
9. July 6, 2012 Another day of short sleep
10. July 7, 2012 Food is no longer pleasure without love
11. July 8, 2012 The fruit queen wants to run back home.
12. July 9, 2012 Interesting sauce made today
13. July 10, 2012 Hungry… for you.
14. July 11, 2012 Feasting day
15. July 12, 2012 Urgh.
16. July 13, 2012 Pigging out
17. July 14, 2012 Aiming for satiety
18. July 15, 2012 Warmth is comforting
19. July 16, 2012 Family time
20. July 17, 2012 Hmmm… all I can say is, bro’s here :)
21. July 18, 2012 Cooking for love
22. July 19, 2012 Boba!
23. July 20, 2012 Jelly belly love
24. July 21, 2012 I love Korean cuisine.
25. July 22, 2012 Poor dietary choices today.
26. July 23, 2012 :(
27. July 24, 2012 Get your sleep!
28. July 25, 2012 Weirdness
29. July 26, 2012 No comment, just homework.
30. July 27, 2012 Extra blood
31. July 28, 2012 Obsessed with raisins
32. July 29, 2012 Out of raisins.
33. July 30, 2012 Love of avocado and mango
34. July 31, 2012 PASSION
35. August 1, 2012 Because I can.
36. August 2, 2012 Brother left :(
37. August 3, 2012 Private practice
38. August 4, 2012 Hybrid food!
39. August 5, 2012 Going nuts
40. August 6, 2012 Eating healthy is quick and easy.

 
 
 

Oh… one last thing. #WhatMadeMyDay You, who beared with me from the beginning of this post till this sentence! :) Another thing would just be that I’ve finished one class today, and looking forward to finishing 2 more tomorrow. After that, I’m officially saying goodbye to my educated life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Food Diary: Eating healthy is quick and easy.

 
 

BREAKFAST

garlicky scrambled egg with chives

 

LUNCH

salmon sashimi

1/2 avocado

1 string cheese

 

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

1 glass honey-sweetened soymilk

 

LATE AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 blueberries

1 banana

1 string cheese

 

*UPDATED*

MIDNIGHT SNACK

1 banana

1 string cheese

1 handful goji berries

 

WATER: 4 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

 
 

***

 
 
 

Notes:

 

  • If you’re wondering why all I eat are grab-and-go foods (fresh fruits, raw nuts, sashimi, things like that) these days, I’m merely finishing up all the stuff I have left in my fridge. Well, actually, on a daily basis, I’ve been growing up with quick, easy, healthy foods as one or two of my full meals. So that’s really a habit, just that right now, I’ve gone from cooking all day to preparing nothing at all.
  • Another big, cardboard box is gone. As the days are getting smaller, the remaining time I’m about to spend here is looking surreal. Thinking back, it feels like a dream to live in a beautiful city, living out something unreal as I’m without my loved ones. Strange that I could survive more than 5 years living without any of my brothers around, as I had been for all my life. It feels weird to finally say, “I can stand up on my own feet,” being the youngest and the only daughter after all. I have made exciting plans for the following months till the near-future since end of last year, but life can only remain still and silent as long as I stay in San Francisco. Do you know that feeling when you’re one person in one place and become a totally different person at another? Then again… Aren’t we all made up of multiple selves?

 

“It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.” - Oscar Wilde

 

  • Scheduled a haircut for this Thursday! Just the bangs, not the rest of my hair I’ve desperately been trying to grow out longer. My last day of college falls on Wednesday, and I want to celebrate that with a little hair treatment. It’s been a while since I had side-swept bangs, as I’ve always had bangs all my life. It’ll be a surprise look for my baby, and he will be the first person I’ll meet as soon as I land. We’ve replayed the scene when we’ll hug and meet each other thousands of times for all these months… Something that will happen very soon. It’s excruciating to go on with our lives in different continents. As if the ticking of the clock couldn’t get any slower, we’re busy with our own schedules too. But we’ll be at the same place at the same time very soon, with my bangs brushing against his chin and his arms around me.
  • #WhatMadeMyDay Received his phone call late afternoon (late night in his time). Said he dreamed of me, again. Consecutively. His dream last night was a nightmare, and I won’t be sharing that, but the dream he just woke up from, it was a blissful one. It has to do with children. I won’t give out the details, and I may just be a little superstitious, but my instincts tell me I can’t tell or else it won’t crystallize into reality. But I’m so happy… I can see, actually see, what he saw in our future. All I can say is, by now, he’s had a wealth of future memories, memories we plan to build in real life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Food Diary: Going nuts


 
 

BREAKFAST

1/4 c almonds

 

LUNCH

1/4 c almonds

2 c sliced mangoes

apple

1 handful goji berries

1 packet instant Chlorella cereal

 

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 c raw almonds

honey chrysanthemum tea

 

LATE AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 c raw almonds

 

WATER: 3 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

 
 

***

 
 
 

Notes:

 

  • Have I eaten too much almonds today? Probably did!
  • Decided not to do the run today as I still have a lot of things to do. It’s the final days of my college life… and I’m going nuts!
  • #WhatMadeMyDay had an early-morning-till-afternoon phone conversation with my baby (for him, it’s late till late-late night conversation) about things that help us get to know each other even more. I believe mystery is the key for the both of us, to learn more about each other and grow more in love together. It allows you to become more vulnerable when you reveal something private to someone else, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling for me to feel vulnerable. Yet, he never fails to make me feel safe. I am so glad that he has revealed to me, from day one, so many things he has never revealed to anyone else. It makes me feel extra-extra special <3 I’ll see you in 5 days, babe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Food Diary: Hybrid food!


 
 

BREAKFAST

1 c sliced mangoes

1/3 c raw almonds

1/2 c strawberries

 

LUNCH

1/2 avocado

scrambled eggs with chives

 

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

Dipple Dandy pluot

 

LATE AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 c raw almonds

 

WATER: 5 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

 
 

***

 
 
 

Notes:

 

 
 

  • In case you don’t know what in the world pluots are, they’re one of the hybrid fruits that belongs to the Prunus family. Yes, you’re right: prunes, apricots, nectarines, plums, peaches – and the like. In this case, just like the name says, a pluot is a mix between a plum and an apricot. This is the first time I’ve tasted it … and… … it’s DELICIOUS! I’ve never really liked apricots because they get bitter easily. Plums, however, are sometimes too sour for me. Yet pluots have the softer kind of nectarine-like tanginess (as opposed to plums) and the sweetness of plums and apricots together, completely stripped off of its parents’ sourness and bitterness. I bought this piece of Dipple Dandy and another variety of pluot, a Raspberry Jewel (which is still in the fridge), in the beginning of the week, and the Dipple Dandy still tastes incredibly juicy, as if you’ve just picked it out of Eden or something.
  • #WhatMadeMyDay I still have one bag of buckwheat tea left! I thought I already finished them all… :)

 
 

And this is just one of the little things I am yay!-ing about…


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Food Diary: Private practice

 

BREAKFAST

1 packet instant oatmeal with brown sugar and honey

apple

1/2 avocado

MID-MORNING SNACK

CLIF chocolate chip bar

LUNCH

turkey and cheese sandwich

1/4 c raw almonds

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 c goji berries

1 c sliced mangoes

LATE-AFTERNOON SNACK

1/4 c raw almonds

WATER: 4 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

***

Notes:

- #WhatMadeMyDay I’m resolving to clean up this blog. By clean up, that means transforming it into something that’s easier for browsing, reducing redundant content (and that means polishing my language), and I think this will help improve my writing too. I deleted many posts I reblogged from other web sites (and still deleting away), but I found some that I couldn’t just click ‘Move to Trash’. I’m reminded that, just as the great Tony Robbins have said: what you practice in private comes through in public. Keeping an active private practice, I think, will help me produce better quality pieces prior to publishing them, and hopefully, more interesting and engaging for you too.

From 9GAG.

I think I mentioned this somewhere before, but I’ll say it again: I keep a physical diary in additional to managing this public blog. That’s literally what I was referring to when I quoted Robbins on ‘private practice’. A physical diary keeps you away from typing on the keyboard. It lets the ink of your pen to flow naturally on that blank sheet of paper, and it flows in all the ways its heart wishes to move.

Now you share – What private practice(s) do you do for your personal growth?

Muchaluva,
Stace

Food Diary: Brother left :(


*UPDATED*

BREAKFAST

1 c sliced mangoes

1 glass chocolate protein shake

MID-MORNING SNACK

1 whole avocado

LUNCH

2 fried eggs

1 handful goji berries and 1 handful raw mixed nuts

1 packet instant oatmeal with brown sugar and honey

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

apple

1/2 c strawberries

SUPPER

garlicky quinoa with shiitake, carrots, soybeans

a handful of goji berries

WATER: 5 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

***

Notes:

 

Cuddleception

From Cutest Paw.

 

 


- #WhatMadeMyDay
I will be getting enough sleep tonight for the first time since the last 2 weeks. I have followed my schedule to finish my assignments according to the deadlines I set myself, and pray that I shall continue meeting these goals I’ve made for myself for the next 7 days, so that I can work efficiently while still able to have time to sleep. I’m also glad that I’ve gotten rid of 2 of my heaviest cardboard boxes out of here, sent it to Indonesia. My mother has received one box already, and these 2 boxes I’ve just sent this morning will arrive by the end of next week. I’m thankful I have a brother who’s understanding, helpful, and strong even though he’s severely underweight. I don’t know when will I see him again, as he has returned to Oregon shortly after we left the post office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Food Diary: Because I can.

BREAKFAST

1 c sliced mangoes

1/2 avocado

1/3 c mixed raw nuts

1 glass protein shake

LUNCH

chicken sandwich

LATE-AFTERNOON SNACK

1/3 c mixed raw nuts

WATER: 3 liters + innumerable little cups of green tea and other teas

***

Notes:

#WhatMadeMyDay My caring and loving boyfriend, a sacrifice he voluntarily made himself  to be tortured and strangled by my emotional roller coaster, added with dashes of stressful venting for weeks now, sent me a link that made me smile naturally for the first time in days. It touches my heart.

- Positive self-talk, a change from yesterday: My house is half-empty now, since my roommate has moved out while I’m in school from this morning till afternoon. One new girl is coming in tonight, and my replacement will be arriving as soon as I leave this place. One more week to endure, and that’s exactly 7 days of college life I that have left. 2 days after that, I will be leaving the country, and I will be home, my lovely, corrupted home. Endure, persevere, tolerate your emotional pain so that when it all ends, you can sleep for a very long time, as long as traveling 8676.84 miles on the plane (distance from SFO to CGK), and wake up physically stronger than ever before. You can do it, girl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

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