Happy Friday and first of November! Before we head into the weekend, I wanted to share my eats from last week and some tidbits from Week 2 of the My Nutrition Upgrade program.

I’ll share my food first!

Lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week was kale salad with pears, grilled chicken, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and goat cheese

Kale Chicken Pear Salad

And toward the end of the week we ate lemon farro chicken.

Lemon Chicken Farro Salad

Dinner on Sunday night was stuffed eggplant because we had a couple to use up from our farm share. We also had small salads on the side.

Stuffed Eggplant

On Monday and Tuesday I had soup. I’m calling this my “get rid of those greens” soup, because I had so many green veggies that were going to go bad and I pretty much just threw them all together to make this meal.

Get Rid of Those Greens Soup

For dinner on Wednesday and Thursday we ate spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce.

Spaghetti Squash

Finally, dinner on Friday was splurge-worthy. I met up with Katrina and Slesh downtown at Stoddard’s (yes, this was my third time being there in the past 2 months). We ordered some CARBS with fondue for an appetizer, and then I ordered the goat cheese salad and the pork belly appetizer which came with cannellini beans, truffle-bean purée, and chive oil. Everything was delicious, but along with two gin and cucumber drinks I’m sure the calories added right up!

My Nutrition Upgrade

Speaking of drinks, one of the questions posed in my Google group for My Nutrition Upgrade last week was about alcohol and the best way to incorporate it into an otherwise healthy diet. Our nutrition coach informed us that most wines have about 100 calories per 5 ounces, so it’s important to pay attention to the size glass you are getting if you are paying attention to calories when imbibing.

Wine and Cheese

She also broke down the calorie counts and grams of carbohydrates for different types of beers:

Beer     Per 12-oz Serving
“Light” Beer     108 calories, 6 g carbs
Draft Beer     144 calories, 13.2 g carbs
Lager     168 calories, 13.2 g carbs
Ale     216 calories, 13.2 g carbs

Interesting huh?  She also recommended a couple of tips such as alternating a glass of water/seltzer in between ordering alcoholic beverages (something I should probably do more when I’m out!) and to steer clear of mixers, syrups, and sodas (something I already do).  Just thought you guys might be interested in that info!

Aside from that, the “upgrades” of the week were to shop smart and to clean out hidden sugars. I already knew most of the shop smart tips such as sticking to the perimeter of the store when you shop, being wary of packaging, and reading labels for things with fewer ingredients that are easy to pronounce. One new tip I learned though was to make sure to look both high and low on the shelves, because some companies pay grocery stores what’s called a “slotting fee” to house their products on the middle shelves at eye level. And a lot of these foods tend to be the processed and not so good for you items. Tricky!

grocery shopping 2

The hidden sugar lesson was my favorite so far. I learned that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day when the recommended amount of added sugar should not exceed 5 teaspoons. That’s CRAZY and can add up to an extra 350 calories per day from added sugars alone. The most helpful tip I learned to help decrease the amount of added sugar in my diet actually pertains to label reading. There is an equation called The Altman Rule where you add the grams of protein in a product plus the grams of fiber. If that amount is greater than the grams of sugar, it’s generally okay. If it’s less, it’s not. I know I will start being more mindful of this at the grocery store, and take it into consideration with some of the products I tend to purchase.

I want to hear from you – what meals did you guys enjoy last week? What’s your go to strategy for enjoying adult beverages while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Any comments about smart grocery shopping, hidden sugars, and your strategies for either?

Have a great weekend everyone! Tonight I’m lying low, but tomorrow I’m hosting a fall fest for my gym crew. Can’t wait!

Disclaimer / Disclosure:  I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided a free registration in the program in exchange for writing a review and sharing my experiences with my readers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.