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Nutritionally balanced? Criticism please. Or praise...

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Nutritionally balanced? Criticism please. Or praise...

This is what I ate today. I am allowed right at 2472 calories.

Breakfast: 402
Egg Whites, 3
Cheddar cheese, shredded, 2tbsp
Spinach, 1 c
Tortilla Whole Wheat
Coffee, 3c. Each with 2tsp sugar, 3 tbsp creamer

Lunch: 377
Homemade Veggie Soup, Made with fresh tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans, turkey bacon (minimal for flavor), black beans, 1.5c
Sour Cream, 1 tbsp

Dinner: 318
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 5 Ounces
Spinach, 1c
Cheddar Shredded Cheese, 2tbsp
Red Onion, 4 slices
Celery, 1/3 Piece
Grated Carrots, 3tbsp

Snacks: 870
Homemade Turkey Jerky 1oz
Medium Granny Smith Apple
Homemade Dried Tomato, 1/4c
Homemade Dried Green Beans, 1/4c
Whole wheat crackers, 6
Peanut butter, 2 tbsp
Dark Chocolate Chips, 1/4c
2% Milk, 1 1/3c

Total for day: 1968, -505 for the day.

I'm trying to eat good for me foods, minimally processed. Nutrient rich. I snack a lot. I must have my coffee, I usually only have 2 cups though. I must have my chocolate, it helps me control binges. I'm also on a budget of $100 per week, family of 4.

Critique please. What can I be doing better?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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Sounds good to me. Coffee isn't all bad actually, it speeds your metabolism.
I don't think you can do anything better, you're 500 below your calorie limit!
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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Looks like you're doing really well! That's great. It's really good to snack through out the day, especially if that's what keeps you from reaching for something UNhealthy later.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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That looks good to me too. And I see you are in Mebane - one of my best girlfriends lives in Mebane! Small world. I'd have trouble living down there and not having BBQ nearly every day....
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:51 AM   #5
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I agree, you're doing great! Especially on such a tight budget.

Couple of comments:

Do you have someone else to eat the egg yolks? Because you'll be going through a lot of eggs if you eat that everyday. I only cook for myself, so I'd personally eat two eggs for the extra 100cal instead of three egg whites, because they're good for you and there's less waste. Plus it tastes better

The vegetable soup seems quite high in calories, I assume from the beans, peas and corn. Could you add more low cal vegetables so you can have a larger serving?

When are you snacking? Is a lot after dinner? It could be good to try and shift some (not all!) of it to earlier in the day. Maybe add some more vegetables to dinner to help fill you up.

You could consider slowly weaning yourself off the sugar and the creamer in your coffee. I used to have 2 tsp of sugar, but now have none. It took me months of gradually cutting down! But it would save you some calories, and I think it's been good for me, as my taste buds are less used to sweet things. Oh, and if your exercising, you could find it beneficial to shift one of the cups of coffee to before your workout. Apparently, it can help with performance and calorie burn.

But these are really small things. I think you're doing great. If you want to double check, some calorie counting websites will do nutrient breakdowns too, but I can't imagine you're missing much.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Overall, it looks like you've got a pretty well balanced day. I can't find any egregious flaws. But I could pick some nits, since you've asked. If you're looking to perfect and maximize the benefits of your diet, I do have a few thoughts.

It looks like you make a breakfast burrito. Have you tried this as a scramble instead? Tortillas have an awful lot of calories, and I don't find that I feel any fuller for having eaten one. I would replace the tortilla with a piece of fruit; same calories, way different nutritional profile.

I agree that I would have 2 whole eggs rather than 3 whites. The yolks are jam packed full of nutrients, and the whites have much less nutrition. If you're ditching the yolks out of concerns for cholesterol, I wouldn't worry about it. Newer research suggests that dietary cholesterol has little, if any, effect on your blood cholesterol levels. If you skip the yolks because you just don't like them, I would look for another breakfast protein that is more flavorful and nutrient-rich than egg whites.

You may also want to look at weaning off the cream and sugar in your coffee. If you're using non-dairy creamer, at least look at switching it to low fat milk. But not skim, skim is gross in coffee. If you tolerate artificial sweeteners, maybe swap Splenda into your coffee instead of sugar. It tastes OK, and a little sugar here and there quickly adds up to 100 calories or more.

Anywhere you use sour cream, plain Greek yogurt is an good substitute for fewer calories and, depending on brand, less fat and more protein. I use it on tacos and everything else; I love sour cream, but the yogurt is close enough to be well worth the calorie savings. You can get the plain in little containers as well, but the big container doesn't expire for a long time.

I find chicken thighs to be more flavorful than the breasts, but this is a matter of personal preference.

I assume the crackers are eaten with the peanut butter? I would swap in a few slices of either cucumber or celery. It'll shave off a few calories but still let you have that nice crunch. I actually no longer eat crackers because they have no real nutrition to offer for the amount of calories in them, so they're no longer worth it for me.

All that being said, your daily menu looks like you get a good variety of nutritious tasty food, and you're coming under your caloric goal. So everything I said is just how I would tweak it for a higher level of perfection, and is pretty much based on my own preferences. Feel free to use or dismiss any ideas as you wish, I just hope I've given you food for thought.
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Last edited by HelloNurse : 08-23-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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