To carb, or not to carb, that is the question

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Photo by: Brodie Visser

Like me, I’m sure many of you have sought out the advice of Dr. Internet to lose weight in the past. Dr. Internet has ALL KINDS of solutions; from paleo regimes, to vegan lifestyles, to weight loss gummy bears and shake-weights.

Having a background in Exercise Science has definitely helped me navigate (read: effing avoid) the most fad-like and gimmicky recommendations out there – but I am by no means a certified nutritionist. I often find myself wondering things like: should I be reducing my carb consumption? How many eggs per day are good for you? Are the benefits of organic chicken titties really worth the 18$ needed to spend on 2 of those suckers?

So, I started thinking – when I need my car fixed, I see a mechanic; when I need my taxes done, I get an accountant (or Cath’s mom!) – why in the world am I trying to go at this weight-loss thing alone without professional input?

Therefore, in the spirit of decreasing the size of our barrels (aka tummies), and ensuring we live long and happy lives, Taylor and I decided to meet with a nutritionist. More like, I bullied Taylor into coming to an appointment with me…but I digress.

I found our nutritionist online at equipenutrition.ca. They have several convenient locations in Montreal and we chose to meet with one at l’UQAM (Université de Québec à Montréal). The cost was 115$ each, but luckily my benefits plan reimbursed me for a large chunk of that amount. If you are seeking the advice of a nutritionist and you’re on a tight budget, I implore you to check your benefits plan prior to booking in order to dodge any nasty surprises.

The appointment itself lasted 2 hours (1 hour each) and consisted of a myriad of questions about our backgrounds, habits, lifestyles, current eating patterns and our goals. We had to talk about the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing – that chocolate obsession I had? Yeah, Tay made sure to rat me out. I totally snitched about the copious amounts of butter he slathers on popcorn and his salty penchants. Post-interview, all of our cards were on the table and she knew our respective-kryptonites.

Next step in our meeting consisted of education and recommendations. Visual aids of bizzaro fake food were brought out to demonstrate appropriate portion sizes (to my hockey girls reading this – it reminded me of the mock-food in the Japan restaurant fronts). We discussed how many portions of starch, protein, milk products, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats were ideal for us each day. She made sure to let us know, in no uncertain terms, the pitfalls of drinking our calories. When we average 4-5 drinks per night out on the town, that’s an extra 600 calories to our day – never mind the nachos, nuggies and bar food we might consume alongside said-spirits. I obviously never thought my drinking habits were good for me; but eesh, it’s still a wake-up call.

Finally, we got to ask some questions – for instance, Taylor was reluctant to include carbs in his menu since he feels that he can slim down quicker without them. After ensuring that his aversion was not related to an intolerance, our nutritionist still insisted that healthy sources of starch be included in his regime – they represent a good source of fiber and help give that feeling of satiety – important for a big-cat like him.

I asked my all-important question – how much chocolate could I have? The answer was none for now, since I’m hoping to shed 1 to 2 lbs per week (a healthy rate to lose weight). In fact, refined sugars are not something I’m allowed to consume in my healthy eating pursuits at all. *Cue tantrum*

When we got home, we had already received an email outlining our personalized plans. We have appointments to check in soon – make sure we are on the straight and narrow waistline path and what not.

So that was our experience, in a nutshell. I really like the accountability and coaching aspects of this plan since it speaks to me and my days of Stingerhood-past – namely, how hard Liz would push us athletes to better ourselves. That magical woman, brought me from a 0 on the bench-press to a wonderful 14x95lbs  (if I could have had a negative starting score, I would have, she had to teach me what a bench-press was); 0 to 8 chin-ups and one of the fastest 40-yard dashes on my team. I always thank Liz when I see her for pushing me so hard and she humbly says it was ‘all you’ – but I know I could not have done it without her motivating guidance and high standards she set for me.

So here is to hoping that this new chapter, the nutritional challenge, proves just as fruitful (see what I did there…nutrition, FRUIT-ful… Haha); as my past athletic pursuits. Game on!

Your Stories!

I’m one of those people who does not shy away in social settings. While I know I can talk for days, I also love making new friends and listening to all they have to say – it’s how you learn and grow, right?!

I’m lucky to find myself surrounded by an array of people from all walks of life: lawyers, nurses, personal trainers, insurance workers, whiskey blenders, sports psychologists, teachers, full-time moms, students, consultants, film-makers, editors … the list is long! Each of these individuals have, at one point or another, taught me new concepts or offered new perspectives (and have made me laugh a LOT) – which I appreciate immensely.

These friends have also, to varying degrees, all fought the flablete fight – and what a good fight it is. We may have talked about our battles together, or not, but today I offer you a platform to voice your stories.

So, whether you are an old friend, new friend, or one that I have yet to make, I would love to hear from you. To this end, I’ve dedicated a whole section of my blog to YOU! Please visit my About You page for the first story from my dear Taylor. Not only does he put up with my lying to him about sneaky veggies (see my previous post below); but he now also agreed to lend his penmanship to my blog to inaugurate the new page.

Looking forward to hearing from you all too!

I lie to my boyfriend at least once a week

burger.JPGphoto source: https://www.veganricha.com/2016/03/lentil-walnut-rice-burgers.html 

Don’t get your panties in a bunch – I’m doing it for his (our) health.

My loving bf, Taylor, is quite the fan of meat and potatoes. I’m also mostly carnivorous, but try to incorporate veggies into most of our meals or even sprinkle some vegan/vegetarian dishes here and there within our menu too. One of my issues with the meatless dishes is that I have this huge aversion to mushrooms and I feel like a lot of recipes call for that slime-ball-fungus as a base/ source of protein. YUCK. Maybe I just don’t know how to cook them… but no. Gag.

Another less visceral issue is that during semester, I find myself being more prudent in the kitchen and sticking to recipes that I know. My busy schedule takes the brunt of the blame for my procrastination of learning the art of meatless cooking. However, this is a hurdle that I can overcome. I think that I am just intimidated by the fact that this cuisine is something new – because there ARE simple and fast vegan recipes available out there. Change can be so scary; but it shouldn’t stop you from trying new things (I am still talking about vegetables, right?).

So – in the spirit of adventure, at the end of a long day you will find me stalking Pinterest, googling recipes or watching YouTube videos of the Edgy Veg and her vegan creations. I’m actually pretty obsessed with the Edgy Veg for several reasons:

1- her meals look amazing and the ones that I have tried TURNED OUT WELL, which is a big deal.

2- she makes it look fun; but I can tell how much hard work she puts into this with her beau

3- she’s gorg and part of me probably just wants to be her.

I started small with her ginger turmeric shots in the morning and then moved on to her roasted sweet potato sandwiches.

I’ve started to toy with the idea of marinating tofu and putting together a vegetarian lasagna…but I don’t get much support for my stepping away from the meat+carb+side veg combo. Basically, when I suggest a meatless meal for dinner, Tay makes a face, stomps off, pouts, cries and throws a tantrum (for those who know my 6’7 broad-shouldered better half, this is a funny visual for you. You’re welcome).

So, for about the past 6 months, I have been sneaking meatless meals into our lives and just not telling him. LIES!!!!

Sometimes, he’s onto me. Other times I totally get away with it.

One of my favorite veggie-sneaks was these Mandarin Chick’n nuggets that he had nooooo idea weren’t chicken for a solid 4-5 months. And no, Gardein did not pay my unknown-ass for a sound bite.

Anyway, I was buying them about once or twice a month and we were loving these crispy yummy nugs. Then one day, we were shopping together, and he said: ‘Ou, let’s get some of those nuggies’ – as we were walking through the frozen MEAT section. Of course, we couldn’t find them there cause these puppies are housed in the frozen veggie aisle. When we found them with the vegetables, I lied horrendously that they were organic chicken, so they belong with natural food and, lord love him, Tay accepted this as the truth. To his defense, they really do taste like chicken and are super good.

Taylor recently discovered my subterfuge when I over-zealously bragged to one of our friends; who then proceeded to declare my deceit out loud in front of him (damn you Sabrina!😜). He was pretty devastated, but we’ve still eaten them a few times since I was found out. They’re that good.

I’ve also tried duping him with sweet potato quinoa tacos, vegetarian chili, a homemade vegetable burger (he was SO MAD about those burgers… poor guy wanted beef and bacon) and a few others – see my burgeoning recipes section for inspiration on how  you can lie to your significant other too.

What kinds of recipes do you like? Please share your experiences and favorite meals with me 😊