Friday, July 29, 2011

Pasta Bowl

I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion in the comments on how many calories you really need. It’s definitely something that I’m still thinking about and trying to work out in my mind.

For the record, I have found that I’m still very nervous about getting over my allotted calories each day, but I’ve found that the more I concentrate on eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods, the calories aren’t as much of an issue. I’m getting full and still being able to enjoy snacks on less calories.

I was actually quite proud of myself last night for choosing peanut butter on whole wheat toast and an orange over the bowl of cereal that I really wanted for a snack. The cereal was healthy, too, but more calories. The orange and the peanut butter toast were just as satisfying and I still stayed within my calories – though, in the interest of full disclosure, I’d earned about 700 extra calories through cardio.

The food that Tina ate in her post on what 2147 calories looks like looked so good that I bought some flat bread for wraps at the store last week, along with the ingredients to make the pasta bowl she shared.

Let me just say, that pasta bowl was delicious! It was so good, I ate it two days in a row for lunch. I think I must have used less pasta than Tina did – I measured out one serving and it was plenty – because my calorie total only came to 282 on My Fitness Pal.


I used:

  • Rozini Whole Wheat Pasta (2 oz)
  • diced onions
  • minced garlic
  • diced zucchini
  • diced tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • fresh spinach
  • artichoke hearts

I just boiled and drained the pasta and sautéed the veggies together with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. I used about a half-cup each of all the veggies except the onions and garlic(probably about a tablespoon of each) and I used one artichoke heart. I topped it with a tablespoon of reduced-fat feta. Yum!


This is probably going to go on my once-a-week lunch rotation. Tina used Italian dressing on hers. I’ll probably try that next time, but I’d used the last of my Italian dressing to marinate some chicken earlier in the week.

Have you discovered any new favorite dishes lately?

Do or do not. There is no try.


  1. I just read back through the comments on the "How Many Calories?" post.  I've been thinking about that for the last week, too.  I have found that I feel satisfied within the calorie budget I have on MFP *if* I eat healthy, whole foods. It's when I decide that I need a junky treat meal (chicken nuggets anyone?) that eats up too much of my calorie budget that I'm hungry and irritable for the rest of the day. It seems so obvious, but I don't know that I'd really seen it before this past week.  Healthy whole foods=satisfying and no worry about eating "too  much". 

  2. I notice, though, that I seem to have more calories allotted in MFP than many of you do.  I have it set for 1lb/week.  Are most of you working at more than that? I "only" have 20lbs to lose, and I'm OK with doing it slowly, so 1lb/week it is.

  3. Your website has great information. I agree that if you eat whole, natural foods, without adding the extras like butter, you generally do not need to watch calories, except for making sure you are getting enough :)  !
    I found you through the FFBH. Nice to connect with you!

  4. It's funny how those obvious things are so hard to figure out sometimes, isn't it?

  5. I think I *tried* to set mine at 2 lbs. per week, but it wouldn't let me. I'm really not sure what mine is, to tell the truth. I let it set itself at whatever it seemed to want to, then, I just track my food, stay active, and try not to stress if I go over a little. I'm *not* one of those people who is consistenly *under* my calorie budget. I use them all.

  6. Thanks! I'm glad you found me. I'm also glad you reminded me about FFBH. I need to go link up today!

  7. I am set at 2 lbs. per week on MFP.  I am allotted 1450 calories a day.  Even on the days when I exercise I feel like 1450 is enough - like you said, when it's whole, nutrient dense foods.  

    Yesterday I exercised twice - swam my mile and did Fire 45 of Turbo Fire - burned 1000+ calories on my HRM.  It was the first day I actually ate most of my exercise calories, and today I feel bloated and just yucky.  Granted, I was shaky and weak so I ate, and I did have a doughnut last night (on purpose - without guilt) so I have a feeling the doughnut is what has my tummy torn up.  

    My point is that I think the key is what we are eating and listening to our bodies.  If my tummy growls at 7pm, even though I usually don't snack after dinner, I have a spoonful of peanut butter or a string cheese.  It's making the right choices and looking for hunger cues.  

    It's so much to think about, and I am trying really hard not to obsess.  Disciplining of the mind is key. . . 

  8. I don't know how to post here so you have a link to my blog.  Just wanted you to know who I am. . . so I am playing with this now. . . 

    I think I figured it out.  

  9. I am the same poster as #7 by the way. . . I am sorry for using your comments section as my learning tool!

  10. I think you're exactly right -- making good choices (healthy food over junk) and listening to our bodies' cues. As I was telling an IRL friend yesterday, I think there is a training time that your body goes through getting used to eating less food -- and that's necessary and healthy at the beginning of a weight loss journey since, chances are, we've been overeating. But once you're used to eating less and you truly feel hungry, your body probably does need fuel.

  11. No problem. You've gotta learn somwhere. :)

  12. Pasta is my downfall, and this recipe looks divine! :)

    Kris, do you have a blog post of race-day eating?  My first (!!!) race (4.1 trail run) is coming up in 3 1/2 weeks, and I want to make sure I'm eating the best foods for race day (the race is at 2:00 in the afternoon, and I'm used to running at 6:30 a.m., without food in my belly yet!). Thanks! ~liz@smithical 

  13. No, I'm sorry, Liz, but I don't have a post on race day eating. I always eat before I run, so an afternoon race probably wouldn't be an issue for me. I would suggest eating at least 1.5-2 hours before you run. That's what I try to do on my long runs since I do them in the evenings and don't want a heavy meal on my stomach. You might check Runner's World's website and see if they have any tips.

    Good luck on your race!


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