Friday, September 8, 2023

Healthy Meals

 *note - I am not a nutritionist, nor do I have any background in studying nutrition, but I do have to pay attention as a mom, and an athlete, and a conscious consumer.


I know that I do my best in caring for my body when I am intentional about the things that I put IN to my body.  Every chemical and vitamin, every calorie and protein.  My body will let me know in a variety of ways if I am not consciously caring for it.  It is work, and it is at times harder than other, but I don't think it needs to be as difficult as we so often make it.

There are a variety of weigh loss plans on the market, and for many people those plans work great.  And hooray for them.  But each of us are created differently and each of us need to figure out what works best for number one.  All I can do is share a little of my learning and what I need to do...

I am at a time in my life when focusing on weight loss has become so much of a defeating climb, I have re-oriented my goals.  In the end if I lose weight I will say "wonderful" but in the main I want to FEEL good about how my body is working.  And since I am not currently training for an Ironman, nutrition needs to be a bit more on point.  Here is how I do it.  (again with the lists)

1 - Plan - make a meal plan (if I don't start here it is WAY to easy to snack and slide into whatever I can get my hands on.)

2 - Schedule - Eat at the same time(s) every day.  That helps to regulate when I need to make meals, and when I can get my workouts in.  Although times vary a little, for the most part I eat at 7:00, 1:00 and 6:00 with a morning snack at 10:00 and an afternoon snack at 4:00 as needed.  Also this helps with long workouts (anything over an hour) because then I can justify the need to have a snack in the middle of the day

3 - Veggies - eat veggies at EVERY meal.  I used to think this was just a nice way to make sure you get veggies in - but not I realize it is a vital way to MAKE SURE that I get veggies into my system.  Seriously, I am pretty sure that the percentage of people, who actually intentionally eat a rainbow of natural colors on a regular basis, is low.  Eating veggies helps me to be intentional about eating fresh local foods, and getting the nutrients into my body that I need.

4 - Protein - as a vegetarian, I have to be intentional about making sure I get enough protein.  This again is where veggies can help since there is protein in dark leafy greens and many beans (especially lentils).  I occasionally "follow" some vegan athletes but I just could never get myself to go there.

5 - Sweets - I am a sucker for sweets.  I love my sugar.  This is a tricky matter for me.  My first word was cookie.  It is a HUGE part of who I am, or who I was.  I part of me I spend my life trying to re-wire.  So I am intentionally finding ways to minimize my sugar intake.  It is HARD.  But when I have a PLAN and I know that there can be some cookies or a dessert at least occasionally, it makes it a little easier.  This is where I need the accountability of a more strict diet, and the ability to fill myself up with VEGETABLES.  Every meal, every day.

This week I again am working out a regular meal plan.  We kind of have one in my house, but when I have it written out then I can better see the places that I can fix potential holes and find ways that I can hold off sugar cravings.  

So here is what I do

7:00 a.m. athletic greens, and then 30 minutes later a cup of coffee with creamer, an egg and a handful of spinach.

1:00 p.m. sandwich on bread or rolled up in a tortilla, tofurkey and a slice of cheese and a small salad.  OR a protein shake with berries and greens.

6:00 p.m. dinner...This is the meal that varies every day, since I eat with my family and it depends on the day and the activities and whether or not we have guests...but in general we have one of the following:  pancakes, scrambled eggs, impossible burgers (vegetarian hamburgers) veggie sausages, spaghetti or ravioli and pizza.  

snacks  - on my best days I try to stick with bananas and peanut butter, but I probably slide into cookies and candy more than I like to admit.  Sometimes chips, sometimes nachos.  but if I PLAN - then I may make a little healthy shake, or cheese and crackers (which I eat significantly less of than nachos).  AND when there is a plan can more easily depend on some ability to wait.

There are weeks that we might throw a soup into the mix and/or dine out a little more.  but when we eat at home, this is about it for the creativity.  Yes, I can do better, and some weeks I do, but this is where our base level is.  

What do you do to make sure you are eating well?

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