Eating healthy with goals in mind

Lately, I’ve been really focused on my daily diet.

I’ve been trying to eat lots of protein and fruit and vegetables. I read a book called “Racing Weight,” by Matt Fitzgerald, and have been trying to follow his plan.

I calculated my “optimal racing weight” and percentage of body fat, according to his book. I figured out that I need to lose a total of 15 pounds to lose the appropriate amount of body fat.

This is really important to me because the less I weigh and less body fat I have, the faster I’ll be able to swim, bike and run at the Louisville Marathon.

It’s actually been easier in some ways than I thought and harder in others that I hadn’t anticipated.

I have been tracking every piece of food that I put in my mouth with the “My Fitness Pal” app.

It is annoying to have to track, but I’ve found that I’m most successful when I’m accountable for everything I eat.

It takes a good deal of time to figure out all of the calories and nutrients in everything I eat.

However, I recently purchased the “Racing Weight Cookbook” and the recipes have been surprisingly filling and delicious.

Each recipe has the nutritional information included, which makes them easy to track.

My husband is a great cook and has been the one to prepare most of our meals lately.

We have tried so many things in the cookbook, from black bean burgers, to quinoa chickpea salad, to curried lentils and couscous, southwest flank steak, and banana walnut pancakes (made from oats and cottage cheese).

We really have enjoyed these meals. My daughter actually ate a turkey burger (with lots of zucchini inside!), and my son loved the quinoa.

It’s been a great change for all of us. I’m very concerned with talk of “weight loss,” especially in front of my daughter.

My husband and I speak of “being healthy” and avoid any talk of fat or skinny.

I want my children to know that a number on the scale doesn’t matter, but eating healthy foods to fuel your body is most important. My husband and I are really making this a lifestyle change for our family.

It’s not a diet so that I can lose weight and then go back to eating junk.

We talk a lot about healthy food helping your body to grow, your muscles to get bigger and your brain to work properly.

I hope that we are setting the right example for them.

Meanwhile, I keep tracking all of my food and am down seven pounds already. I’m feeling great about myself right now.

My body feels fueled for my workouts and I feel leaner and more like a triathlete.

Except it’s Easter.

And here I sit eating a chocolate-covered red velvet Easter Egg.

Everyone needs a treat now and then, right?

Stacey Parisi is a Seymour native and resident. Her columns will appear regularly in The Tribune as she trains to compete in Ironman Louisville 2015. Send comments to [email protected].