The Portland Pounds

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I have learned pretty quickly that Portland is in fact the delicious, foodie town everyone claims it to be. Man oh man! The restaurant options are endless, each one as uniquely fabulous as the next. If it weren’t for the Bodenettes (who don’t always fit the restaurant vibe), and my aversion to debt, I would be eating out three (or four) meals a day.

I will say, while the food generally isn’t “light”, there is a focus on high quality ingredients. This is a huge plus. Produce is organic, seasonal and local. Meat and poultry is local and sustainably raised. So, while the food may be rich, it isn’t junk. This is important to me.

Per the usual plan, we have been eating most of our meals at home. Although, in the 2 months we have been here, there has been plenty of restaurant going, wine drinking and ice cream eating. Oh, and not to mention the chocolate shop downstairs that serves up the best damn sipping chocolate I have ever tasted.

It’s been nice to loosen the reigns a bit and indulge more than usual. And, I’m sure I’ve been doing my fair share of emotional eating over the course of the past few months.


You know those people who get stressed out and forget to eat? Well, that’s not me. I don’t just “get too busy to eat lunch” or “forget to eat dinner”. Oh, no, no, no. In fact, when I feel stressed out, eating meals is something that keeps me grounded. Lunch becomes more than a chance to refuel – it is an anchor in the midst of chaos. Stress makes me hungry, dammit.

Life has it’s stressors at the moment. There are cars to buy, houses to rent, preschools to find, friends to make and sanity to maintain. And in the midst of it, you better believe I am remembering to eat every meal.

Which brings me to this. I have packed on a few pounds. Nothing crazy, but certainly noticeable in the way my clothes fit and my body feels. Personally, my weight fluctuates on a spectrum and is far more influenced by what I eat than by how frequently/intensely I exercise. While I don’t weigh myself (or even own a scale) I can feel the gain/loss pretty easily, mainly in the way clothes fit/my belly and hips look. I am okay with the fluctuation as long as it’s within my comfort zone. Honestly, I can’t think of a time where I declared “Wow, I’m just not comfortable being this lean.” Instead, it swings the other direction of, “Hmmm, are these jeans painted on?” I realize this is all very subjective, which is just fine with me – subjectivity is what it’s all about. How I feel in my own skin is what matters. Well, last week I realized I had reached the threshold of what is comfortable and I have a few pounds to shed.

(Guys, this is a pretty big fracking deal that I can admit this and not go into a tailspin about how you’re all reading this and thinking, “That Natalie sure is a lazy fat ass.” It’s proof of major victories in my own self-love, body peace movement. Booya, motha fracka!)

Anyways, it’s time to reign it in and increase the discipline to maintain my always be fit goal.


To get myself back in balance, I focus on five important disciplines:

  1. Regular exercise – It keeps my appetite and cravings in check. More importantly, it reminds me that although I may have gained a few LBs, I am still an athlete.
  2. Moderation – Like, for real. A girl cannot eat pork belly confit and freshly made pasta on the daily. But, she also can’t cut herself off completely from small indulgences, at least this girl can’t. I make smart choices about when I want to splurge and keep the rest of my diet very tight and lean. If I am going to go out to dinner, I make sure my daytime eating is full of veggies, fruit and protein.
  3. Watch the wine – Wine is good. Very good. Sparking mineral water is better better for me. So, I keep wine to the weekends and occasional celebratory weekdays.
  4. Eat at home – The vast majority of the time, I eat at home. It’s the best route when trying to eat my best. I control the ingredients and the portions.
  5. Sleep – A rested mind and body is a healthy mind and body. Note – with a sleepless toddler (or two) at home, this can feel like pissing into the wind. But, I do what I can to keep those late nights to a minimum.

I’m curious, what are your methods for maintaining a healthy weight? How many of you weigh yourselves and use pounds to measure? 

And, for you foodies out there, here are a few Portland goodies I have found so far: Luc Lac, Grassa, Le Bistro Montage, Clyde Common, Jam on Hawthorn, Urban Farmer, Irving Street Kitchen, Fish Sauce, Tasty n Alder, Por que No, Mediterranean Exploration Company and 23 Hoyt.

Lastly, I know, it’s all “Portland this and Portland that” these days. It probably will be for a while yet. It’s just what’s going on lately.

Photo Credit: Lardo Sandwiches

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    02/27/2015 at 8:46 am

    I love this, Natalie! A New York City friend who recently visited us in PDX was amazed at how much of a foodie town we are. NY may have its restaurants but it can’t compare to the passion Portland has with its food and alcohol. That’s all we do/talk about/experience, especially when it’s raining. 🙂

    After three months of a solid stream of visitors, and multiple trips to Luc Lac, Salt & Straw, Tilt, Blue Star Donuts, Little T American Baker, Firehouse, etc,, etc., this body could do with a little tightening. I will never give up my passion for this city’s food but discipline needs to be a more common theme in my life. I will join you in your quest, especially since all the visitors have come and gone. I mean, when they’re here, how can you not have a weekend of indulgence?

    • Reply
      hellodaynatalie
      02/27/2015 at 8:52 am

      Totally! Let’s cook at home together… With wine, of course! Love you my Portland Pal! xo

  • Reply
    Coreen
    02/27/2015 at 9:14 am

    You are hilarious, and awesome, and I can relate to your every word. We are planning a trip to Portland this summer, would love to get together for some pork belly confit. 😉. Or whatever. Just want to see you guys!

    • Reply
      hellodaynatalie
      02/27/2015 at 9:25 am

      YES!! Let’s do it! Would love to see you guys. It’s been too long. xo

  • Reply
    My 2015 Wellness Trends REVISED | hello day
    03/12/2015 at 10:23 pm

    […] belly diet” bullshit, I’m just aiming for a healthy, happy, balanced life. Still true. But, packing on the Portland pounds is also shit, so I need to find some balance here. Stress makes me hungry… and Portland is a dangerous place to be if you’re […]

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