Funny how life always seems to come full circle. Yesterday I found myself in the Nutrition 10 office grading undergraduate diet projects. The full circle aspect of this is that when I was 18 I took Nutrition 10 (Same professor even!) and I too did my diet projects.
Looking at the dietary habits of 18-20 yr olds really got me thinking back to what I was like at an 18 yr old. Ha! I was nothing close to an off white eater, though my belief was that my diet was rather healthy because it contained mostly fat-free foods (remember the fat-free craze of the 1990’s??)
Here’s a little glimpse into my THEN and NOW dietary habits
THEN (living at UC Davis dorms, eating dorm food, rarely eating out)
Age: 18 Height: 5’3″ Weight: 128-132 (from teens to twenties)
Dislikes: celery, potatoes,spices, sauces, anything creamy/fatty, red meat, ethinic food, except chinese, avocado, large meals, hot melty cheese
Likes: plain noodles, pasta, bread, bagels, salad, any fruit, chicken, anything low fat and high sugar, chinese food, quesadillas, pretzels, yogurts
Major Weakness: sugar in any form, including sugar cubes, which I would eat at work while making copies.
cold cereal: Golden Grahams/Captain Crunch/Raisin Bran/Corn bran combo + 1% or nofat milk and a banana. I probably ate 2-3 servings of cereal in 1 bowl
Lunch (Hungry by 10 am, so my lunch got portioned out all day)
Apple, bagel w/nonfat cream cheese OR fat free yogurt, carrot sticks, water, turkey sandwhich on bread w/no mayo and maybe 1 slice of cheese (sometimes in place of the bagel, sometime I had both)
Dinner (almost always between 5-5:30pm)
1 bowl of salad: lettuce, corn, carrots, red beans, croutons, maybe some cucumber and nonfat vinegareette, veggie burger, turkey burger (both with bun) or pasta with red sauce. Maybe some pizza every now and again. Usually topped it off with the frosting from a piece of cake or a small vanilla soft serve cone.
Snacks: Candy, Candy, Candy! We could buy little pieces of candy for 2-5 cents, so I’d get Laffy Taffy, mini-Junior mints, Blow pops, etc. Never chocolate. I also supplemented my candy consumption with regular slurpee consumption and frozen yogurt as much as possible (I had a snack card that gave me $$ for snacks every quarter. I spent most of it at TCBY yogurt. Every now and again I’d switch it up and get some pretzels because they are low fat)
Activity level: moderate – I worked out about 3-4 days/week: running, weights, step aerobics. I biked and walks most places.
NOW (cook at home, eat out 1x/week)
Age: 33 Height: 5’3″ Weight: 132 – 134 (same for about 6 yrs)
Dislikes: creamy sauces,mayo/cream dressings, potato chips, extemely salty foods, celery (except soup), hot melty cheese, crappy, processed foods, food that makes me crave sugar
Likes: just about everything else. Still like the sweet things, just don’t eat them as much. Haven’t had a piece of candy since 2004 and no gum since 2005
Major weakness: SWEET, CREAMY BEVERAGES: hot chocoate, tea with half/half, even decaf coffee w/almond milk and honey…..oh goodness……
Breakfast: Usually 1 of three meals: 2 eggs + fruit, protein smoothie + fruit/veggies, or oatmeal or quinoa with nuts/fruit and maybe protein powders.
Lunch (Not hungry for approx 3-4 hrs): at least 1 full cup of veggies (mostly salad, which is like 2-3 cups), sweet potatoes, beans, leftover chicken or fish, or burger patty, hummus, avocado, oil based dressing. 70% plants at least!
Dinner: much like lunch, usually add fruit at the end for a dessert. Often have lean protein in larger serving. Likely to skip the grain if I had grain with breakfast, for a total of 2 grains/day. Rare occasions (1-2x/yr): Pizza. If I go out, its Chipotle, mexican, or maybe thai or Pluto’s salad bar. I eat all meats and love sauces, spices, etc.
Snacks: not a snacker, try to eat in a way to sustain energy better. I do drink tea and hot almond milk and hot chocolate, which is a between meal occurrence. 1 of the 3 is likely on a daily basis. Also LOTS of water.
Veg and hummus or 1 hardboiled egg are favorite snacks. I also love chips/guac but can’t put the breaks on w/that dish!
Activity level: moderate to high. Exercising 1 hr x 5-6 days/week, mix of running, spin, yoga, cycing, climbing, weights, plyometrics, and walking. Whatever sounds fun.
In some ways my food has gotten better, but the mental obsession with sugar/emotional eating has gotten worse since I was 18. While I was obsessed with thinness, I just figured my diet was great back then so I didn’t associate eating sugar with any feeling state. Now that I do, the struggle to relinquish that urge to eat under stress has gotten more of my attention. I’ve grown a lot as a person, having to look inward and what role sugar plays in my life, but it’s also consumed a lot of my mental energy. However, the journey I’ve been on has been the catalyst for this blog, and most of what I do, so I’d not change it for anything..well, maybe I’d change it for a dozen donuts but we won’t talk about that 🙂