Friday, May 20, 2011

Peanut Butter and Bananas

Really, in the last five months I think I have eaten practically a jar of peanut butter every five days! That's a lot of freaking peanut butter. I eat peanut butter and toast, peanut butter and bananas, a spoonful of peanut butter, peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwiches, peanut butter on an English muffin (with honey for sweetener), peanut butter and apples and my newest thing peanut butter smoothies. Ok, so let's do the math, two tablespoons of peanut butter is a serving which equals 200 calories. There are about 14 servings in one jar. So, realistically, I should be able to get seven servings meaning a full week of peanut butter from one jar. Well, guess what? I just ran out this evening and I swear I opened that jar on Saturday morning! So, obviously I'm eating peanut butter a couple of times a day or my tablespoons are some big darn tablespoons. OK, let's go back to the math thing for a moment. 200 calories per serving times 14 servings equals 2800 calories just from peanut butter! Wow! Did you also know that 3500 calories above what you need equals an extra pound to the hips, gut or thighs? In my case, it's landing on my thighs (I think --- it could be some extra muscle building there as well).
Peanut butter is healthy; it's good for you. There is a myth that it's fattening. Truth is, it can be fattening when you consume more than the recommended serving size which I guess I seem to be doing because I'm averaging about 2.8 servings per day, but I'll get back to that later. Now, I did make the switch several years ago to the natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter has no preservatives and trans fat (if partially hydrogenated oil is listed in the ingredient lists leave it on the shelf). I also usually buy organic (unless my money is funny that week because I lost track of my budget). Peanuts are grown in the ground and are typically grown with lots of pesticides. The organic brands don't use pesticides so it's healthier and less toxic on the body considering all of the sources of toxins, chemicals and contaminants we encounter on a 24-hour basis (that's also my conspiracy theory on cancer too). So, I'm a Natural Organic Peanut Butter girl and apparently I eat a lot of it. SN: If you do try the natural peanut butter, be prepared for the oil sitting on the top. The directions say stir, but I found if you turn the jar upside down a day or a few hours before you open, it will mix the oil. Once you open, you can give it a small stir, but for the most part the oil will be mixed and it's less messy. Also, don't store it in the fridge either. It just makes it hard and un-spreadable. It will keep sitting on the counter or pantry.
Ok, so back to the 2.8 servings that I'm averaging a day. The weird thing is I don't really love peanut butter. It's not like eating cheesecake or chocolate. It just became a part of my training nutrition. It's easy, healthy and it travels well. It's a good source of protein and earlier this year I was struggling with eating enough calories to sustain my running so a spoonful or two of peanut butter gave me the extra calories. Now, that half-marathon training is over, I really need to wean myself off so much of the peanut butter, but I just don't know how. Maybe, I'll just watch my portion sizes and remember not to eat it twice in a day. I just realized I had peanut butter on an English muffin for breakfast and then a peanut butter smoothie for my post-workout recovery snack today. Dang, maybe I do like love peanut butter. I guess I need another plan. Right now, I'm still crossing my fingers I'll be able to wear my white Capri pants from last year before the summer is over --- but when I put them on and look down at my thighs, all I see Peanut Butter written on them! LOLOL!
My Favorite Ways Eat Peanut Butter:
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat toast – Long Run mornings
  • Spoon of peanut butter with a banana – Mornings I'm running less than 5 miles
  • Peanut Butter and English muffin (Ezekiel Bread) – Breakfast (Tuesdays or Thursdays)
  • Peanut Butter/ Strawberry Preserves (1/2 the sandwich) – A pre-workout or post workout snack or an on the go breakfast or a snack (good before or after weight training)
  • Peanut Butter and Apple Slices - Afternoon snack (Carbs should always be paired with protein for slow glucose release during digestion and to promote pre/post workout recovery)
  • Peanut Butter Smoothie – My favorite new breakfast and sometimes post run recovery (really keeps you full)
    My PB Smoothie Recipe: Blend 8 oz. of Almond Milk, 1 ripe banana, spoon of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and a little ice for frothiness. Sometimes I'll add a scoop of whey protein powder for the extra protein, but earlier this evening I substituted Greek Vanilla yogurt for the protein powder and reduced the amount of almond milk. It tasted great and the Greek yogurt has the same amount of protein as the whey protein powder, it's healthier and it's more natural than processed protein powder so win-win.

    Gratitude Journal:
    I am grateful for peanut butter.
    I am grateful for my WWHWGP Group.
    I am grateful for a cool house.
    I am grateful for a lowered energy bill.
    I am grateful hard workouts.
    I am grateful for a grateful heart.

    SN: Did ya'll realize my post title is Peanut Butter and Bananas but I didn't really talk much about bananas? It goes without saying they go together and they're both my training power foods.
More Info on Natural Peanut Butter