a few thoughts…

First of all, I want to welcome my new readers!  I’ve seen a lot of new names pop up in the comments these last couple of weeks…keep it up!  I love hearing from you.  In fact, if you haven’t commented before, please do!  Don’t be shy…  I try to respond to all questions and suggestions as soon as possible, but sometimes it takes me a couple of days…I’m sorry!  If you ask me a question, be sure to check back for an answer within a day or two.  🙂

Secondly, there are some exciting things happening in our little community right now that I want to mention.

  1. Meghann’s training for a marathon!  Not only is she training, she’s raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Please check out her blog to keep up with her progress and to donate if you can!  Also, she will be hosting a blogger bake sale the week of February 9th (I’ll be selling some goods!) so be sure to check in and bid on some tasty treats to support a great cause!
  2. BSI is back!!!  Thanks to Biz over at Biggest Diabetic Loser for reorganizing the fun last week! She’s picked Sarah over at Tales of Expansion to host this week’s contest…DATES!!!  I’m very excited.  🙂

And last, I’ve been a bad little calorie counter.  Which means that little things probably slip into my mouth during the day that don’t get tallied in my head or recorded on the blog.  😦  In fact, I know this happens, and I want to keep better track and hold myself more accountable for what I am consuming. ESPECIALLY since my exercise has been less then stellar what with my sad foot and crummy weather.  I did so well with accountability my first month having the blog, then the holidays arrived and I just never really got fully back on track.  I saw improvements in my body and how I felt that first month but I’ve definitely plateaued since then, and I’m ready for more loss and more toning!  🙂

I don’t plan to take pictures of every little thing because I work 10 feet away from my boss and I’m not willing to tell him about the blog yet.  I try to take care of all photography in the morning and after work because I like consistency and I like the backdrop my table provides. 🙂  But I do plan on at least telling you about all eats and keeping a running calorie count on my posts.  I’ll try to keep it simple and un-annoying…you might not even notice it.  And, for the record, I haven’t been keeping things from the blog purposefully, I just sometimes forget to mention something.  Its never big…a dove chocolate here, handful of Kashi there…but as we all know, the small things add up. 🙂  I don’t plan to calorie count forever, but I do find that it helps me to gain perspective on what I am consuming.

Now, on to today’s eats!

I tried something new with my oats this morning, something I’ve seen Kath and many others do…I added wheatberries to my oatmeal.  And…I LOVED it!!!  

Breakfast: banana, PB, wheatberry + dried apricot oats.

[470 cal – higher than I would like.  i’m going to start having only 1/2 a banana in the oats to get it closer to 400 cal]


This DELICIOUS bowl contained:

  • 1 cup water, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp wheatberries
  • 1 tbsp natural PB
  • 3 small turkish apricots

Seriously, this may beat my banana, PB, fig + flax oats…or at least equal it.  The wheatberries added such a wonderful chewy crunch!

Lunch:  leftover veggie tofu stir fry on 1/2 cup jasmine rice and 1/2 cup wheatberries.

[499 cal]


Afternoon Snack:  1/2 cup plain Fage 0% and one tangelo.

[132 cal]


Extras:  3 Dove dark chocolate hearts [126 cal – I should try to skip these tomorrow], 10 Annie’s Honey Bunnies [54 cal]


Dinner:  saffron tomato fennel soup [recipe] and “grilled cheese”.

[262 cal (soup) + 220 cal (grilled cheese)]


This is one of my favorite soups, we make it several times a year.  I added wheatberries this time and substituted thyme for basil because its what I had.  I just realized that I had wheatberries with every meal today…versatile little things, aren’t they?!?


My substitute for the classic gilled cheese I normally enjoy with tomato soup was a broiled ham + cheddar sandwich on whole wheat sourdough bread.  1 slice bread, 1oz cheddar, 1/2oz sliced ham.


Exercise:  I went for a run!!!  FINALLY!  It felt great to be back out on the road, stretching out my legs.  I had my new inserts in my shoes and I have to say, they hurt my feet a little!  I’m hoping its just because my feet aren’t used to them yet.  I’m going to give it a few more runs and see how they feel.  My toes have been all weird and tingly tonight too.  They felt like they were asleep when I finished my run, and now they are red, a little puffy, and hurt to the touch. Strange!  I’ve never had that happen before, and I’m hoping it will pass quickly!  So other than my weird feet issues my 3-mile run felt great.  I’m still hoping to train for the race, and am planning on getting a 5-6 mile long run in this weekend.  I’ll re-evaluate my training schedule after that.

[3 miles, 10-min/mile pace, -318 cal]

Total Calorie Count:

  • consumed 1,884 cal
  • expelled 318 cal
  • net 1,564 cal

I try to net between 1200 and 1300 calories/day when I am striving to lose weight, so I was way over tonight.  This is what I love about calorie counting, if you had asked me before I counted, I would have told you that I did pretty well and was close to 1200 net calories.  Wrong!  Counting really helps me to keep perspective, and it makes me want to workout more so that I don’t have to be as strict with my eats!  Tomorrow my goals are to lower my breakfast and lunch cals and reduce my “extras”.  I also want to get up for some yoga in the morning and make sure to get a run in tomorrow evening.  Do any of you count calories?  What service do you use?  I use myfooddiary.com, but you have to pay for it and I’m hoping to find a free service.

I’ve got some work to do, then I’m planning on a hot bath with my book.  🙂  G’night!


43 responses to “a few thoughts…

  1. What brand of wheat berries do you use? I will have to see if I can find some.

    OH…I made your tofu recipe for dinner tonight. It was super yummy. I will have to refine my tofu flipping technique but I made enough for 2 lunches of leftovers…perfect 🙂

    Sleep tight!

  2. I’ve only had wheatberries in salads. I’ll have to try them in oatmeal.

    I honestly feel like I need to count calories, or weight watchers points, in order to lose weight. I’ve been slacking since the holidays and need to be more diligent with it as well. I used to like fitday.com, but then I discovered thedailyplate.com. The daily plate has almost every food I eat in the database. You just have to double check that the info is correct.

  3. Yummy eats…I still can’t get over the photography! Amazing!

    Calorieking.com has a great program that you can purchase. It is a great investment to keep track of everything. I don’t count calories anymore but used to use that all the time. Very accurate!

  4. Congrats on getting the run in today. Hopefully your foot problems will work themselves out soon!

  5. i personally love the consistency of your beautiful table too! definitely keep that feature 🙂

    when i used to calorie count, i used thedailyplate.com. it has a huge data base, and members can add food items to it. this is great (tons of options) but it can also be problematic (incorrect information). BUT for the most part, it’s great, and it’s free!

  6. Count calories…NEVER! Oh wait, I’m a girl…I do it almost every day. 🙂 I love http://www.fitday.com. It’s free and really easy to use. You can create your own custom foods, but it also has a pretty accurate database.

    I’ve got to try these wheat berries as I’ve been seeing them everywhere. I used to use them in raw food recipes, but I’ve never had them cooked. I’m assuming they’re pretty tasty as they made an appearance in all of your meals.

    Glad your run went well, and I hope your toes aren’t numb and red anymore! I’m sure you’ll get used to the inserts after a few more runs.

    Have a good night.

  7. Oh boy. We’re having brain to brain here – I’ve been slacking on calorie counting for the past few weeks (and I’m actively trying to lose weight) and this is a great reminder! I use sparkpeople.com and it’s free and pretty good, in my opinion. Good luck!

  8. I love your new resolve! I’ve been tracking my food for a couple months and have hit an inconvenient and frustrating plateau. This post has been quite motivational.

    You count. I’ll count. We’ll both lose–and by “lose”, I really mean WIN!

  9. I like the calorie post edition! It gives a good perspective on how many calories other people are consuming and you can look at yours as well.
    I usually try to count calories, but its hard to be exact with every meal. However, over xmas break I gained a few pounds, which I’m trying to lose, so I’m really trying to keep calories in check.
    Your breakfast with granola, banana, and yogurt always looks so good; how many calories is it?

  10. I recently discovered the “Lose It” app for iphone. It’s really easy to use and you don’t have to log onto a website to use it (provided you have an iphone or ipod touch). The database is huge and you can add custom foods.

    By the way, I think all of your photography is beautiful! Thanks for a great blog!

  11. love the calorie counts!!!

  12. Very informative post, Andrea, you are the best!

    Where do you get your wheat berries? I can’t find them anywhere!

    When I used to count calories, I used The Daily Plate, and liked it much better than fitday.com. I thought it was a lot more user friendly.

    I hope the foot situation is just temporary and you’ll get used to the inserts???

    You can bet I’m entering the next BSI even if I didn’t win with my teeny weeny zucchini pancake! Meghann and Melissa are going down!!!

    Have a good Thursday, hon!

  13. wholefoodswholeme

    i absolutely love your blog, such beautiful, stunning pictures and great narrative!

    i use sparkpeople.com for calorie counting – it’s free, extremely efficient, and you can build up your own database by adding in foods and brands that you eat regularly and inputting the nutritional info in yourself.

  14. i count calories religiously! i use thedailyplate which is totally free but i’m thinking of investing in a really reliable one and i’m willing to pay. Let me know about the one you pick.

  15. With your activity level are you sure you shouldn’t be aiming for 1500 calories a day?

    Honestly I would be scared to count calories. I know what I eat and I have been maintaining my weight. I think if I started counting calories then I would go crazy everytime I went over and end up eating way less and have my body go into shock or something for lack of fuel or something. Its jsut not a thing for me.

  16. I love the abundance of Wheatberries in this post! I don’t eat them often enough and always forget to make a big batch. I’ve made oatmeal with them before too but instead of the oats I used all wheatberries. Mmm.

    Love the leftovers, those are the best part of cooking!

  17. I’m sure you’ve seen on my blog that I’ve been counting calories and post a total on my evening post – the percentages of each macro are also very important!

    I use nutridiary.com I used fitday for years and YEARS..but then discovered nutridiary and how you can create “meals” for stuff you eat often for breakfast/lunch etc…and you can keep track of your servings of water & produce which I LOVE.

    hmm maybe I’ll start posting my expelled calories too….do you use a heartrate monitor or an approximation?? nutridiary.com gives me an approximation about my expelled calories.

    the one thing I don’t like is that it tells me my basal is 1,366 and that at a MINIMUM I should be eating that…but then says that my ‘daily’ activity which is SITTING AT A DESK burns about 500 cals…so I should be eating 1800 which I know is not the truth b/c at 5’4″ to maintain I need to eat less than that, which means dieting cals are even less

    sorry I rambled. goodluck counting cals! its great to be honest with yourself isn’t it?!

  18. Lovin’ the comforting eats!!

  19. Hey Andrea! This is Meghann’s sister, Kelly. I’ve been skipping over to your blog every couple days. I love your camera! It is a beautiful thing how well it takes photos of your food. I love your table backdrop to your meals and snacks too. I’ve been checking out your recipes and am going to attempt to make some of them. I’m training to do a triathlon with Meghann in March so I’m working but off training and eating what is good for my body. Which isn’t always easy when friends in college want to drink beer and eat out all the time. Good luck with your healthy eating. You have amazing ideas! Just wanted to let you know I’ve been reading.

  20. Good for you for getting back on track. I find it so easy to stay there – once you’re THERE! But whenever there are holidays or vacations or other random things that throw you off, it’s hard to get back to it.

  21. Glad to see you’re enjoying the wheat berries! They sound so versatile!

  22. i have been counting calories for over a year now and sparkpeople.com has been my go-to food journal! Everything is free and it has a great community for support!

  23. Yay for wheat berries! Your photos are so beautiful… do you mind me asking what kind of camera you have and/or which setting you use?

  24. All the food looks so delicious! The photos are so gorgeous.

  25. I LOVE wheatberries in oats, they have such nice chew!

    I do not count calories, dieting in any fashion leads me to binges. And I have come to a place where I would rather be the size that I am then spend the rest of my life binging. I admire people that can count calories and not give it a second thought.

  26. LOVEEEEEEEEEE wheatberries!!!!!!!!!!! (Well, I guess you knew that 😉 )

    Kudos for realizing the sneaking in bites early.

  27. A friend of mine uses dailyplate.com. It is FREE and includes calorie counts for a ton of items including “going out” and calories expelled for activities. She really liked the site and found it user friendly. I don’t formally count them (which I should but have been just doing a LUNA/protein bar at breakfast so that one is easy, a piece of fruit midmorning if needed, a bar for lunch, another fruit or snap peas type thing mid afternoon and then the BF and I count our dinner calories. It is a big cut back from what I’ve been doing and am seeing results. I’ve lost nearly 10 lbs. 🙂 The first bit always comes off easily though – I’m 10 lbs away from my plateau “actually have to work for it really hard to get lower than that” weight.

  28. Oh yeah – anything Annie’s = DELICIOUS!

  29. Hi! I’m one of your newbie readers, although I haven’t commented yet 🙂 Your photos are always gorgeous!

    I use http://www.thedailyplate.com for counting calories. I’ve been maintaining for a while now, but I still use it (not quite ready to take the training wheels off yet!). It’s got a huge database of foods and is pretty easy to figure out how to use.

  30. I use http://www.myfooddiary.com, i hardly ever log my food though.. i probably should!!!

  31. Thanks for this post, it’s always nice to ge1t new healthy meal ideas. I use fitday.com to log my calories, I’m always concerned with getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals and fitday.com displays that info. I haven’t tried any of the the other free calorie counter sites.

  32. I count calories – I’m old school though, I just use an excel sheet I made! 🙂

  33. Great job on your run! I hope your toes feel better soon.

    I have to count calories to keep myself in check. I have major issues with portion control so even if I nutritious, whole foods I still tend to overdo it without accountability of some sort.

  34. Thanks for all of the great suggestions on calorie counting sites everyone! You guys are great.

    Whitney – I buy wheatberries in the bulk section of Whole Foods. I’m glad you liked the tofu!

    Kelly – check out tonight’s post…you inspired my breakfast this morning!

    Leah – I have an iphone! I’ll have to check that app out… MFD has a mobile page that is pretty easy to use on my phone, but an app would be much better. 🙂

    sarahannmatheny – Thanks! I get my wheatberries in the bulk section of Whole Foods. And I loved your itty bitty pancakes…it looked like a great recipe too! can’t wait to see your date submission!

    Meghann – I’m envious of your position. When I get to my “maintenance” weight I fully intend on stopping the calorie counting. I think that if you are exercising enough, eating well and maintaining your weight there is no reason to count calories. Good for you not adding extra stress to your life! And, for my desk job, MFD recommends between 1200-1300 calories/day net to lose 1lb/week, which is my goal. 🙂

    Sarah W – I just use the approximations on MFD…I would love to get a heart rate monitor though! And I agree about the macros…it is very important to keep track and I do in MFD, its just too much to track them for every meal on the blog itself. Maybe a daily total would be good though…

    Cousin Kelly! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Its always fun to know that more family if reading…

    Ashley – I totally agree! I can’t wait to get back to a point where I know what works and don’t have to count to stay on track!

    Lauren – I have a Canon EOS 5D digital SLR and LOVE it! I just use automatic settings, but am hoping to dive into more manual photography soon.

    Beadie – That is a great mindset to have. I think it is so important to recognize your own limits and know when something is unhealthy for you, even when it seems like a healthy option.

    Kath – thanks for the wheatberry inspiration!!! 🙂

    Christina – Congrats on your 10 pounds!!! That’s fantastic. If not counting works for you then that is great! I find when I need to really fine-tune my eating counting is the best way for me to lose. Good luck! 🙂

    Tryingforatri – Welcome, and thanks for commenting!

    Jennica – I like that MFD logs all other macro infomation too. I keep track of it too, its just too much to record for every meal on the blog too. 🙂

    Allison – That is old school! 🙂 Good for you though, finding something that works!

    Katie – I’m the same way! 🙂

  35. Your eats look both delicious and beautiful!

    I count calories and I also use thedailyplate.com, like alot of other people mentioned. I love it!

  36. I have a lot of unrecorded “nibbles” during the day as well. I try to record what I remember but I know there is always more!

    I use the mypyramid.gov deal…I don’t know how accurate the calories are but it helps me see how I do with my food groups.

  37. I have to count calories at the moment, as I’m starting to eat a lot of different foods and menus. Hopefully, when I get to my maintenance weight I won’t have to or need to.

  38. I have mixed feelings about counting calories – sometimes I think its a really good thing to keep myself in check, but then sometimes I think that would be better off just listening to my body’s natural hunger signals….I just don’t know how trustworthy they are 😉

  39. notimetoweight

    Another vote for The Daily Plate 🙂 Your food always looks so inspiring and gorgeous!

  40. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and love it. I use The Daily Plate, too, and really, really like it. Keep up the great work!

  41. I just checked out myplate.com (I’ve used spark people people too). I like how myplate gives you a net calorie count.

  42. Here’s a vote for http://www.sparkpeople.com. I love it, you can track your fitness, diet, and they have many forums for encouragement. I especially love that you can build your own database for those foods you eat regularly, so you don’t have to input everything every time. You just hit “click” Love the site Andrea! Do you know any good yoga studios in Cville? (no Bikram please 🙂

  43. I have to say, I love the calorie counts. I actually have a BodyBugg and I LOVE it. It has really helped me start to lose those last 15 or so lbs.

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