The first time I wrote about a typical day of eating low-carb, it turned out not to be completely typical. But it was a real day.
The truth is, I don’t have a set routine, a rigid plan, but just some general guidelines. Mostly, I aim to keep my total net carbs per day under 45 and my total calories under 2,100. (Net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber.) I pay little direct attention to calories. If I only eat when I’m hungry and avoid grains, starchy vegetables, sugary treats and high-carb processed foods, then the calories take care of themselves.
I like variety, and any given day is apt to be typical in some respects and atypical in others. With that caveat, let me tell you about yesterday.
Breakfast (6:15 a.m.)
I was up early, as usual, and put the coffee on right away. While it brewed, I prepared the rest of my breakfast.
- Flax-meal minute-muffin (with berries and peanut butter)
- Two mugs of coffee, each with two teaspoons of half-and-half
- One multi-vitamin for men
A reader (Squirrel88) tipped me off to the minute muffins when I wrote about flax-meal a couple weeks ago. My variation on the recipe used a teaspoon of coconut oil in place of butter and added a dozen blueberries to the batter. Also included were the standard quarter-cup of flax seed meal, one egg, a half teaspoon of baking powder, and some cinnamon. I mixed it all in a mug and microwaved it on a high for a minute. Finally, I cut the muffin in thirds and spread a tablespoon of natural peanut butter on the tops.
This breakfast was more on the side of variety than typicality. I eat flax-meal one or two mornings a week, three at the most. Other days I have eggs and/or leftovers.
Late Morning Snack (11:00 a.m.)
Having dedicated myself to online teaching and other job-related activities for a few hours, I wanted to get away from the computer and see what else the world had to offer. I decided it was a good time to check out the going-out-of-business sale at our local Borders. Before jumping in the car, I ate a small snack.
- Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds (half a serving — 14 nuts)
I drank some water with the almonds. I drank water throughout the day, but didn’t record it. I drink plenty of water.
Lunch (12:30 p.m.)
Back from Borders with an arm-load of discounted books (including five about nutrition), I built a salad for lunch.
- Large salad: two cups lettuce, two hard-boiled eggs, quarter-cup sharp cheddar cheese, radishes, black olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
The salt I use at the table is Morton Lite Salt, which replaces some of the sodium with potassium chloride. The thing to watch most with salads is the dressing. I measured the olive oil, using one-and-a-half tablespoons. That little amount oil had more calories than the two eggs (179 vs. 155). Somehow, it doesn’t seem fair!
Afternoon Snacks (3:00-5:00 p.m.)
I got outside for some exercise in the afternoon. It’s a 40-minute workout I call “Mowing the Backyard.” The mower is not a light-weight, self-propelled machine, nor is the yard is a level carpet of soft grass. Even on a mild, low-humidity summer day, I worked up enough of a sweat to need a shower afterward. I also needed a few snacks.
- Quarter-cup of roasted peanuts
- Ounce of cheese
- Mug of coffee with two-teaspoons of heavy cream
Dinner (7:00 p.m.)
Anita prepared dinner. She likes stir-fries, but we no longer have them with rice. The packaged mixes of shredded broccoli-heart slaw work well as a base.
- Broccoli-slaw and beef stir-fry: my serving contained six-ounces of a shredded broccoli, cabbage and carrot mix; four ounces of chuck shoulder-roast in strips; and a half a medium-sized onion chopped.
- Tossed salad: a cup of lettuce and other veggies, with five teaspoons of an olive oil-based dressing.
Dessert (9:00 p.m.)
I don’t always have dessert, but when I do, it is berries.
- Five large, halved strawberries with a tablespoon of heavy cream
That was it for the day. My totals were 1,753 calories, 61g carbs, 24g fiber, 138g fat, and 82g protein. The atypical result was the protein — significantly under my daily average for the past two months of 130g. More typical was the net carbs of 37g. Calories were at the low end of my typical range.
Also see: A typical day in my life after carbs (7-16-11).