Chronicles of a Glutton Volume 3: Ten Tips

If I get asked one question more than any other it would be, “Katie Day, how do you stay so thin?” *

*oh wait that has never happened. ever.

Alright, so I’m not the model of health/slenderness, but the good news is that I am 100% committed to learning and growing, and hopefully someday getting this whole food thing figured out. If you read my two previous posts on this topic, I talked about finding a happy medium between a skinny girl who obsesses over food and a chubby girl who eats whatever the heck she wants. I also talked about tithing my time and making running a priority.

Well, today I’d like to share with you a few tips I’ve learned over the last six months or so.

I’m a busy lady with a slow metabolism so these tips are catered to a working mom with kid(s) who has zero experience cooking elaborate meals and whose husband has the fastest-metabolism-known-to-mankind. But hopefully even if that doesn’t fit you exactly, you can relate to a few of these tips. (Oh…also, I’m a devout whatever-the-opposite-of-a-vegan is.)

Tip One: Pick one day a week to go grocery shopping.

If you aren’t going grocery shopping at least once a week, I have news for you, you aren’t eating very healthy. Fresh stuff rots. So plan on a weekly trip. I choose Monday, but I also work at home. The upside is that the trip usually goes really, really quickly. I like to buy a month’s worth of meat once a month and then pick up fresh veggies/fruits/bread, milk, eggs, butter once a week. It’s fast, quick and easy. Callie knows the drill and she gets a free cookie from the bakery at the end if she’s a good girl. We practice naming all the food as we pass, and she greets every old lady and baby she sees. (We will eat everything in the picture below this week.)

Tip Two: As soon as you get home, wash, divide and conquer.

As soon as you get home, wash, divide and conquer. Callie goes into her cage i mean, highchair, and I go into turbo-mode. All the meat gets portioned into freezer bags by individual dinners. So, a pack of 6 steaks become 3 bags of two steaks. Think in terms of what you want to thaw. Make your own 100-calorie packs. My favorite snack is red grapes. So into snack sized pouches they go. (Before you angry-green-moms start yelling at me, I always reuse the baggies, so chill out….hippies.) The baggies sit visibly in the fridge for me to grab quickly as I run out the door or sit down to work. The whole process takes less than a half hour, yet it is lasting convenience for the rest of the week.

Tip Three: Make a meal-plan for the entire week.

I’m not a chef. At all. So my meal-thought-process goes like this “What’s my protein? What’s my veggie? What starch should I make for my 100-pound husband?”

My friend, Allison (who I owe this entire tip to. It’s her tip and it changed my life) is more fancy than me and looks up elaborate 25-ingredient meals. I do not. I find the simpler it is, the fewer ingredients, as well as the fewer hidden carbs and fats. I pan-sear almost everything in olive oil. Or we grill-out. Or we crock-pot. I try to eat half the starch that Jared eats. Is it fair that he can eat a billion grams of carbs and lose weight and I look at a bagel and gain 5 pounds? No, it’s not. Get over it. I have to eat fewer carbs than him. Period.

Note: This is the plan for this week. I try to alternate meat-types. Beef, Chicken, Pork…repeat. Also, I know that I have a photoshoot on Thursday, so I made it a crock-pot day so that dinner’s waiting for me when I get home.

Tip Four: Eat fresh first.

You’ll also notice on my menu board, that the week begins with all the fresh veggies. If I run out of fresh stuff by Friday, that’s when I tap into the fresh-frozen bags. I steam them with a little bit of butter and sea salt. I’ve got a steamer. It’s nice.

Tip Five: Your kids should eat the same thing as you do.

What you won’t notice on my menu board is a second column for ‘Callie-meals’. That’s because I’d like her to eat healthy, too. If we’re having grilled chicken and broccoli, she doesn’t get her own mac-n-cheese. No way. Picky eaters are MADE not born. We all sit down together. We hold hands and say a prayer and then Callie shouts “AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


Tip Six: As you cook the evening’s dinner, set out tomorrow night’s meat to thaw in the fridge.

For some reason the number one thing that overwhelms me when wondering “what am I going to cook for dinner?” is when there isn’t meat thawed and ready to cook. I don’t really like to nuke it because i always end up cooking it a little. So, have it thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Boom. It’s ready. One less thing to think about.


Tip Seven: Set out fresh fruit where you can see it.

But, wait won’t it go bad faster? For me, personally the answer is no. If I keep my fruit in the bottom of my fridge closed in a drawer I NEVER EVER EAT IT. But when it’s in it its cute little wooden tray, I find myself grabbing pieces all the time, and more importantly, so does Callie. When we had Jared’s leftover b-day cake sitting out, all we heard was “CAKE! CAKE!!!!”. When it’s not there all we hear is “Or-ange??? Or-ANGE????” Yes, Callie, you may have an orange!

Tip Eight: Go out for ice cream. (Or Know your Weaknesses)

For me, it is ice cream. If I have ice cream in my freezer, it’s all I can think about. So I had to make a tough decision. Sometimes it helps to make a decree. Here was mine a year ago “From this day hence, we will not keep ice cream in the house!” If we want ice cream, we go out. To Orange leaf, to Andy’s. Then it becomes an event. A memory. A treat.


Tip Nine: Treat vs Snack.

And speaking of treats, let’s take a minute to define what that means. I learned this from one of my parenting books. A snack is something provided to feed your child between meals that promotes nutrition. Example: a piece or fruit, peanut butter and crackers, carrots. A treat is a special occasion food that has nothing to do with nutrition. Example: ice cream, cookie, JUICE! These are also excellent motivators. If Callie is good while grocery shopping, she gets a cookie at the end. If she behaves in Target, she gets apple juice in the check-out line. (And she KNOWS IT, when we pull up to Target, she shouts JUICE!!!!!!!!!!) And for future-Callie, If she has a really bad day/break-up/bully-encounter, that’s when it’s time to go out for ice-cream. And for future-FUTURE Callie, that’s when mama takes her out for margaritas. : )


Tip Ten: Start over next meal.

I used to be enslaved by “the diet starts on Monday” type of thinking. So if I screwed up on Tuesday, I could enjoy a long week of over-eating. Forget that! When you over-eat (and you will! just yesterday, I ate at Red Lobster and had carbs with a side of carbs) start over the very next meal. Forget it. Move on.

The main thing I’ve learned is that for people who are not naturally thin, then you HAVE to prepare. Prepare and plan. We don’t have the luxury to eat whatever crap is laying around. We have to make sure that there ISN’T crap laying around. It’s irrelevant that it isn’t fair. Take control! Also note that most of these steps for me are taken care of in 2 hours every Monday. Plan on one day, reap the benefits the rest of the week!

(As I mentioned I LOVE learning, so please leave any additional tips in the comments sections below! Thanks!)




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  • MarleeMarch 26, 2012 - 4:09 pm

    I love this! I think I just found out what that big red bowl sitting empty on the bookcase is really supposed to be for…fruit! Good tips!

  • KellyMarch 26, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    Awesome tips sis!!! Favorite healthy kid snacks right now are cheese sticks, turkey sticks, yogurt, frozen gogurt, granola bars, etc. it’s so hard to be healthy on the go with kids !!

  • KennaMarch 26, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    Great tips Katie! Wish we were all as lucky as your husband. ;0)

  • Meaghan GraberMarch 26, 2012 - 7:09 pm

    Katie, these tips are great! I love reading about how to make real food work in busy lives. Thank you so much for posting! ps- you’re beautiful… and hilarious. 🙂

  • julieMarch 26, 2012 - 8:14 pm

    This is how I over come my ice cream cravings: Put waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Get a light yoplait yogurt. Spoon small bite sized dollops of yogurt on the cookie sheet and freeze. They are soooooo good and cure my cravings. One yogurt makes a ton so you can share!

  • Emilia JaneMarch 27, 2012 - 6:45 am

    Katie this is phenomenal! I am so seriously inspired by you right now 😀

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  • SarahMarch 30, 2012 - 9:42 am

    Thank you for posting this! I am LOVING these easy tips! You really broke it down simply and I’ve already shared it on FB and Pinterest! 🙂

  • kdpMarch 30, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    oh good!!! thank you, sarah!!

  • KristiMarch 31, 2012 - 9:00 pm


  • MaureenApril 1, 2012 - 8:41 am

    You have some great tips! As a mother of five with my youngest turning 16 I would like to comment on one thing. I tried never to comfort my children using food – i.e. if my children had a bad day take them for ice cream. I tried to find other ways for them to learn from the bad event and give them plenty of loving.

  • JenApril 1, 2012 - 8:42 am

    You crack me up! Super great info! One tip that I have is that I am always raring to go in the morning, not so much by dinner time, so I like to prep all my food in the am (usually like 10), then when it is time to cook I just cook, not prep. Makes it less dreading too.

  • kdpApril 2, 2012 - 9:04 am

    Good call Jen! I like that! I do think I’m happiest on crock-pot days when it’s all done!!!

  • kdpApril 2, 2012 - 9:05 am

    Yeah, that’s a great point Maureen. As a recovering emotional-eater, probably not a good idea to associate bad food with comfort. Maybe we’ll go for a long walk instead. 🙂

  • BrittApril 3, 2012 - 1:23 pm

    Couldn’t have put these better myself! I’ve actually been trying to make similar changes in my eating and cooking habits and its amazing the difference it makes.

    One tip I’d combine with to #7 is I use my crisper drawers for yogurts and such, and use repurposed clementine/tangerine boxes or shoebox-size tupperware to store produce – one for fruits and one for veg. It started as a way to avoid mystery “what was this?” gunk in the drawers, but now I always know just what I have on hand and see the good stuff when I stop for fridge-grazing. Plus I like cold apples. Which may be weird…

  • KristinApril 4, 2012 - 1:55 pm

    Great list. I do a lot of these and they totally help me maintain my sanity. I also just started using this tool called plan to eat ( for my meal planning this week. Major timesaver. If you are a techie at all and spend a lot of time with iphone/computer, it just makes sense to do meal planning that way! You can pin recipes like pinterest, and drag and drop meals into different days and it generates your shopping list.

  • kdpApril 4, 2012 - 7:45 pm

    Um LOVE this tip. Going to look at it right now!!

  • MandyJune 13, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    Love it!!! We always try and have brown rice done and in the fridge all the time because like you, I cannot eat a lot of pasta with out it showing up everywhere. Besides, I just feel better eating rice and veggies with my meats instead of lots of pasta. However, the other side of the coin, the 4 guys that occupy this house with me would not be happy eating rice constantly. They love their pasta! Finding a happy medium without going crazy!

  • CoriJune 17, 2012 - 4:30 pm

    My day is Wednesday to shop. It is the day you will find double deals on produce. Also, I buy the ripe sale stuff for early in the week and ALWAYS buy fruit/veggies that isn’t ripe so I can set it in the window to ripen.

    Also, when I wash my fruits and veggies I put them into pretty glass bowls so that I enjoy pulling it out and just sticking a fork in it to get a taste.

    Great post with great suggestions!

  • Amanda Darlene HillJune 17, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    These are such good tips. I started doing all this when my boyfriend and I both got into graduate school and soon realized we have no time! It works out great and I find that I can focus my stress on my upcoming exam and not on trying to figure out what to eat. Now if I can get the boyfriend to stop sneaking in the ice cream and cookies we will be good to go. lol!

  • KendraJuly 30, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    I live by tip five, even when they were babies and I pureed adult food for my kids. I do find that sometimes making adjustments to their servings helps. My six-year-old doesn’t like cooked veggies, but I can put some aside for her raw and she will eat almost veggie that way. Also, if the recipe is too spicy for my two-year-old, I scoop out a portion for her before adding the spicy ingredients. That way, they’re still eating the same balanced meal, only adjusted for their preferences.

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