I am happy to say that after being out of work for the past 12 months, I just got a new job. It is a joy and a pleasure and I have been there for three weeks now, which is why I haven’t posted very recently. After 12 months of being on “vacation”, all of a sudden, I had to get back into a schedule. Admittedly, it was bit of a culture shock, but I am glad to be back in civilization again, although, I thoroughly, I mean thoroughly enjoyed my break. As much as I enjoyed the break, I’m delighted with my new life.
Which is the reason for this post. Now that I am back in an office all day long, it was my task to remain in control of my eating habits (diet) while being away from the convenience of my own kitchen. There are two key words to remaining true to the eating schedule that you have set for yourself: simplicity and preparation.
The main thing here is that it must work for you. If you can follow an eating schedule provided by your chef/nutritionist and eat something different each day, then my hat is off to you. Some people loath eating the same thing twice. For those of you who are like me, and barely have time to do a thing on our off hours but get to and from work, then simplicity is a timesaver! Simplicity for me, means eating the same thing for a week, so therefore I don’t have to think about it or worry about calorie/carbohydrate/protein/fat counts, because it is already decided upon in advance.
Preparation is the other half of the key to maintaining control of your dietary regime. If you wait to the last minute to decide, then there is no time to prepare and you will end up eating whatever is the fastest and closest by you when hunger strikes. This is a position that makes me extremely uncomfortable because many times, you never know what that will be.
Keeping “simplicity” in mind, I plan ahead when it comes to my meals. This may sound incredibly boring to some people, but I enjoy my food because I know it is a good nutritional choice and that I’ve done my body well in supplying it with the proper fuel; and because I select things that I enjoy, I look forward to my meals. Now that I am back at work, I can tell you 98% what I am going to eat for my meals for the following week.
Simplicity in My Meal Plan
Breakfast consists of a smoothie: chocolate/carob protein powder, strawberries, banana, flax meal, Stevia and ice. This way I know I am going to get my daily intake requirement of flax, because it mixes seamlessly into the shake, makes it thicker and you feel full longer. Flax also keeps the digestive process going, because as we age, our intestines are less in shape than they used to be, and ground flax meal will keep that necessary process in check.
Lunch this week will be a huge salad: romaine lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes sprinkled with basil, chopped celery and baby carrots. The protein of this salad will be breaded soy chicken-less nuggets that are vegan and tastes as good or better than the real thing. Also, the salad will have chopped apples and craisins. Since this is all prepared in advanced, the apples were chopped and baked with cinnamon so they wouldn’t turn brown. The dressing will be either Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice or Balsamic vinegar. Some of my co-workers got a kick out of my “trough” of a salad bowl, but this wonderful salad was healthier than probably any you would find at a restaurant. Just under 400 calories, it was incredibly filling and fulfilling also, because I was chewing tasty things for 45 minutes. In fact, this lunch was so good, that I decided to eat the same thing for a second week, substituting the vegan chicken-less tenders with vegan sausage. The vegan sausage tastes quite good in my opinion and back in the day before I was vegan, I didn’t care for sausage too much to begin with.
Dinner will be a boca burger with mango salsa, roasted broccoli, carrots and french green beans. Dessert will be sliced frozen strawberries and bananas with agave nectar on top. (If you love ice cream, you will enjoy the sweetness of fresh frozen fruit with agave nectar).
Snacks will be celery and carrots.
Simplicity and Preparation Makes for Success
Again, the key is simplicity and preparation. With a plan like this, you can be ready for my week’s worth of meals. My plan keeps the right ratio of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats and it is vegan. Even if vegan isn’t your goal, you can achieve your caloric and other health goals if you plan ahead and keep it simple. To prepare and chop your veggies in advance takes a little time (1-2 hours), but I do this all on Sunday as during the week, I have no time and patience for this as I am fitting in my workouts too. You can plan ahead also to keep on your path to eating the right things. Just remember: simplicity and preparation will get you there. Having an advance plan like this will keep you out of the candy jars and other temptations because you are satisfied. Have a nice week!