Shopping + Lunch

December 30, 2007

Today is quite blah. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the fact that I had to skip my uplifting workout this morning.

“Super” Target

Super Target turned out NOT to be a Super Target, even though that’s what they called it. There was no produce section and the grocery store was just like an expanded version of the limited grocery section in all Targets. What a waste of a trip (since we have a perfectly good regular Target just around the corner). I did make some grocery notes, although it seems that frozen berries were the only thing significantly cheaper and we had another stop and couldn’t keep them in the trunk.

Steel Cut Oat Surprise

So then we went to EarthFare, my favorite grocery store. One really good thing: I found that steel cut oats in bulk were cheaper than the Harris Teeter Old Fashioned ones I usually buy – $.79 per pound. So we got a lot of those. I really like steel cut oats, but mid-workweek when I’m trying to get to work on time or even the night before when I’m busy with dinner and packing my lunch, 30 minutes to prep steel cut vs. 3 minutes of old fashioned oats just wasn’t worth it to me. But now that I’m going back to school, I’ll have lots more time on my hands to watch a pot boil and am excited to start eating them more! So we got a big batch of those as well as some rolled oats that were on sale too.

EarthFare Samples

I nibbled on a few things at EarthFare (sorry, no photos): 1 piece of cheese + cracker piece, 1/2 a skinny breadstick, 2 pretzel chips. I did manage to avoid the HUGE cookie samples! I didn’t count these calories because of all the walking we did but now I’m thinking I should have. Oh well.  But sometimes when I nibble on things, as long as the total is under 100 kcal or so I just trade those calories for the 40 I was under NET last night and the 75 I was under the night before and it all evens out.


Once home, I decided I make hummus for lunch. Although it was getting late, I wasn’t starving so I had time. However, I ended up adding 400 kcal of tahini by accident (that stuff is as high as peanut butter – you have to keep a close eye on it!) and now the hummus is just not worth 50 calories a teaspoon (or however it turned out!). I had about a tsp on my tortilla at lunch and it weighed in at 50 kcal!! (Because I calculated the weight/nutritional of the recipe.) Just one of those things that I’d rather eat a huge bowl of yogurt than 1 tsp of hummus, even if it is good. Oh well again.


Lunch tasted better than my mood at this point and I enjoyed it once I finally sat down to eat at 1:30 with the kitchen a mess.

Leftover pea soup (which improved with age!!!)


A whole wheat tortilla with a little hummus, spinach and celery – a surprisingly good combo for such a simple ingredients list and a surprisingly good tortilla!


And an apple, sliced with cinnamon. (I had to throw out the dried out seeded orange I tried the first time around)


All together for 467 kcal:


Plus I had a piece of firey peanut brittle, sorry no photo because the husband put it right in my mouth! ~25 kcal.

Total lunch calories: 491.  


My mother-in-law is coming over to help us eat turkey lentil soup tonight, and we think we’re going to go to a wine bar beforehand to improve our moods with a little excitement. The husband and I both are iffy on going to the gym, but once we started making plans for this evening, we both feel that a workout would only make us enjoy it more.

So we’re off to the Y in 30 minutes!

Hope your day is more cheerful than mine has been :(


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Casey December 30, 2007 at 9:59 am

Love your blog, but I'm really curious about something. I thought I had a nice grasp of the calories in, calories out concept, but now I'm confused.

With your daily exercise, most nutrition calculators would say that you need between 2300 and 2500 calories to maintain your weight. So by eating under 2000, are you still losing? Or does metabolism play a bigger part than I thought?

Thank you!


2 Kath December 30, 2007 at 10:20 am


That's a good question and something that still puzzles me. The best answer I can give is that those calculators are just…..calculators. Estimates. Since every body, metabolism, muscle percentage, body fat percentage, activity level, etc. is different, the best way to determine your calorie needs it by trial and error. (This is just my opinion and I am not a registered dietitian yet – my opinion might change after 2.5 years of nutrition education, who knows!)

Although I do workout for over an hour a day, most of the rest of my day is pretty sedentary (especially when I'm at work at a computer ALL DAY). So my calorie needs are actually probably much lower than the calculators say because they don't really give you the opportunity to put in "I'm sedentary but am highly active for an hour a day." So my best guess is that as an average between my workouts and my sedentary days over 24 hours, I might be low-to-moderately active, which of course requires less calories than the active categories. Does that make sense at all?

Lastly, My intention is to technically lose a little weight when I can on regular days, since I definitely overeat on occasion when I go out to eat, go to a party, or have a special occasion (which seem to pop up all the time!). Since I techically "gain" those days and "lose" on normal days, my goal is to balance it all out with a straight line through a wavy line of gains and losses. See the FAQ for more on that.




3 Sloan December 30, 2007 at 10:27 am

Hey Kath,

I know you're a fan of crunchy tuna salad, so I thought I might share something I tried today that turned out really well: curried tuna salad with chopped apples. The sweetness of the apple was delicious with the curry, and took away all of the fishiness. Yum!


4 Casey December 30, 2007 at 10:45 am

That makes a lot of sense! Sometimes I think of weight as such a scientific thing, but I guess realistically, it's not as "eat x calories, lose x pounds" as I often like to believe.

Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful (and more cheerful!) evening!


5 Lissa December 30, 2007 at 11:33 am

Hi Kath!

You may have touched on this before, but I'm wondering if you have any advice on finding the weight at which your body is meant to be. I recently read an article in Glamour magazine about reaching your "happy weight", which got me thinking about the subject. My weight has been up and down over the last couple years, and now I don't know where I'm supposed to be! I'm 5'6", and this summer I got down to about 128 pounds. That's in the healthy range for my height, but I felt like it took too much work to maintain there, and I also felt just plain too thin! Now I'm overweight and want to set a goal for myself but don't really know where to begin. According to BMI calculations, my healthy range is between 118 and 154 pounds. I know the number shouldn't matter as much as being healthy and fit, but that's such a huge range. Do you have any advice on how to know what weight is right for each individual? How did you know when you had reached your "happy weight" and what made you want to stay there instead of losing more?

Thanks! :)


6 Lily December 30, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Not to worry dear Kath, it seems like it's been a blah day for many of my friends (and e-buddies!) and not to mention myself–I trudged to the gym and now everything seems just a little brighter!

I guess this is what we call the big post-holiday letdown, but New Year's Eve is coming and hopefully it will help us all get excited and hopeful for the New Year! The soup, even as leftovers, looks delicious. Here's hoping your day gets better!


7 CC December 30, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Hey Kath!

What kind of tortilla did you have w lunch? It looks yummy! Personally, I eat the Tortilla Factory wheat tortillas. They are SO good and only 80 calories for burrito sized ones! You should definitely give them a try if you get the chance. Sorry your day has been a bummer. I hope the winebar cheers you up tonight 😉


8 Moran December 30, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Hi Kath,

Since you brought up home made hummus there is a question I would like to ask you – how would you attempt to made it if you were trying to "eliminate" tahini calories? The thing is that I always make hummus with tahini and therefore the calories are SO high! Do you know any substitutes that are lower in calories? I was actually thinking of making hummus simply out of chickpeas but then I am not sure if it would taste the same…

Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter :)


9 Brenda December 30, 2007 at 1:25 pm

The hummus recipe I use is from Cooking Light and uses a 1/2 cup of tahini and two cans of chickpeas and it comes to 34 calories for 1 tablespoon. A lot less than the store bought kinds and much better tasting :)


10 jenna December 30, 2007 at 1:41 pm

oh no, kath! Steel cut oats are SO easy!!!! They are my favorite and as I type I'm simmering some right now…I always make 1/2 cup (enough for 2 mornings) and it does not take 40 minutes…it takes about 15! I put them on the stove, bring the water to a simmer and then go do other things like fold laundry, read, clean….before you know it they are done and so easy to reheat in the morning! i actually think they are easier than normal oats to prepare because i dont have to micro for like 4 minutes, stirring in between. I just pop them in for 45 seconds in the morning, add some PB and they're done! :)

ps-hummus is amazing! Wish i could make my own but I don't have a food processor yet :(


11 bev December 30, 2007 at 2:02 pm

i have noticed you kind of get a liitle upset when you can't do your daily run or go to the gym. I am lucky to have weights and treadmill at home but I don't use them every day. i thought you were not suppose to every day. Just a thought. I love to read your blog. I'm glad of all the oatmeal ideas. We went to Cosco and got organic regular oats , I also have steel cut. I have tons of it. I have made my own granola bars and they are delicious . It is a great super food. I love the pancakes.


12 Amanda December 30, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Does anyone have any awesome, low-cal recipes for:


-granola bars?



13 Elizabeth December 30, 2007 at 3:32 pm

I love your blog! You are such an inspiration to my family and I.

I love wraps, but tortillas even whole wheat either tend to be high in calories or contain hydrogenated oils… which wrap did you use, and what are the nutritionals on it?



14 jessica December 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

hello! i'm a new reader and i really really love your blog. your food choices are very realistic and i am inspired to eat healthy. i really like that you include the calorie information- is there any way you could include fat and fiber info- atleast for your recipes? i am loosely following the weight watchers points system and it would be helpful to me if i had the information. some of your recipes look amazing and i am looking forward to trying them…. have a happy and safe new year!


15 Stephanie C December 30, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Brenda… or anyone

with the 1/2 cup of tahini and two cans of chickpeas… do you just mix that all together? Could i use something like the magic bullet? I really want to make my own hummus an do not know how!!! Thanks


16 Emily December 30, 2007 at 6:06 pm

bev how do you make you own granola bars?! Can you share the recipe? Thanks!


17 bev December 31, 2007 at 3:54 am

This is the receipe I use. I change some of the ingredients on what I have . I use less sugar and have made it organic white sugar instead of brown. Put what you like. The key is pressing it in the pan really good. I use parchment paper to press i. It makes alot. I freeze some and put the rest in a container.

Granola Bars

4 c. uncooked oats (not instant)

1 c. packed brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. raisins (optional)

1/2 c. shredded coconut

1 c. chopped nuts (cashews or walnuts or peanuts are all good!)

3/4 c. melted butter

1/2 c. honey

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with greased hands, and press into a well greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 jelly roll pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool thoroughly and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container to keep them chewy.


18 Brenda December 31, 2007 at 7:12 am

Stephanie, this is the recipe I use. I would assume a magic bullet would work similar to a food processor. I normally half this recipe because it makes A LOT! It also tastes better if you let it sit awhile and have the flavors blend.

Creamy Hummus

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)

6 garlic cloves, peeled

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 (19-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Place first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Add juice and remaining ingredients; process until smooth, scraping sides occasionally.

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

CALORIES 34(40% from fat); FAT 1.5g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 8mg; SODIUM 69mg; FIBER 0.9g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.3g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2002


19 Kath December 31, 2007 at 7:15 am


I think you reach your happy weight when you are putting 99% effort into health and weigh management and your body just kind of does what it does once your in your "healthy weight range" or BMI range, as you said. For my happy weight, I hover in the 119-121 range, but I haven't weighed myself in months so I’m not sure if that’s even really accurate! I really like not weighing myself – it's so liberating just not to have to worry about what the scale is going to spit out. What's more important than the number? EFFORT! I try to focus on my effort now and find it's more motivating and much more rewarding. If I eat too much, I'm stricter with my choices. Putting in good effort makes you feel much better about your body than any number could report. And being happy with your effort and choices leads to a happier you.

CC and Elizabeth,

There are literally about 3 kinds of tortilla I can eat in my city. I found this one at EarthFare, our version of Whole Foods. It's "Garden of Eatin'" brand. Organic Whole Wheat Tortillas. 110 calories each, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein. Ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Organic Soybean Oil, Sea Salt, Baking Powder, Soy Lecithin. Suits me!


Honestly, I don't calculate the fat and fiber in my recipes so I'd have to start doing that and I'm pressed for time as it is! If you would like those for a specific one, I'd be happy to do a few, but I don't think I can start doing it for all of them. I wish I had all the time in the world, sorry :( I do usually give the ingredients list so you could try to do some by hand using a nutrition database like

Thanks to all of you helping me out on the recipe front!


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