Monday, June 11, 2012

A Day in the Life . . .

So here’s what I’m eating.

¼ C Fiber One Cereal
1T whole oats
1T flax seed meal
½ C Almond Milk
½ banana - sliced
2 lg strawberries - sliced
2 whole walnuts - crushed

This breakfast is a constant. You can add some variety each day with different fruits, but this is a really great meal and shouldn’t be messed with. Breakfast should be filling. Don’t be afraid to add more of anything above if you’re not feeling satisfied. The flax seed takes a little getting used to, but if you get the ground meal variety, it’s almost like a powder and adds a little nutty flavor to your cereal. It’s important to include flax seed to ensure you’re getting good omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of fiber. Don’t fear the fiber. A few days on this breakfast and you will be able to set your watch to your “regularity” if you know what I mean. Don’t be afraid to pile on the fruit, too. This meal should come in around 350-400 calories and give you enough energy to start the day.

Whole wheat tortilla
2C salad greens
1T vinaigrette dressing or hummus or avocado slices
¼ C Black beans
¼ C peas
¼ C sunflower seeds
Any other veggies/beans of your choice – tomatoes, cucumbers
A piece of fruit – apple, orange, nectarine, kiwi, etc.

Beware of the tortilla. Some wraps can be 350 calories!! Try to stick with wraps that are no more than 150 calories. You’ll want to spend the other 250 calories of this meal dressing up the tortilla. I have access to a great salad bar for lunch during the week, so I can choose a variety of greens and veggies to go into my lunch wrap. The key to the wrap tasting good is the dressing/hummus/avocado that goes into it. These are all healthy oils/fats and should taste good to you. I am obsessed with black bean hummus, and will use that as a condiment any chance I get. You won’t miss the mayo, I promise! Just stay away from any “creamy” dressings as they most likely contain dairy. When I get back to my desk, I lay out the tortilla, put everything out on top, and just wrap it up. Some days, the cafeteria will offer a stir fry-type meal, I will sometimes opt for that instead of a salad with veggies, tofu and brown rice.

For those of you on the go (and who live on the east coast) – Wawa now makes veggie subs to order. I go with the whole wheat shorti with avocado spread, cucumbers, spinach, tomato and onions – no cheese. They also have a decent pre-made roasted red pepper hummus with pita slices that comes in around 300 calories that makes for a decent lunch alongside a piece of fruit if you’re in a pinch.

Pre-made 6” pizza crust
1 small squash / sliced
¼ C sliced mushrooms
Any other veggies/beans of your choice – tomatoes, cucumbers

This is my vegan pizza dinner. Add to this whatever you like. I’ll add sliced tofu, maybe substitute hummus for pasta sauce. You can also add a soy-based cheese product if you need to have a pizza with “cheese”, but I’ve found that it doesn’t add much to the flavor and it’s not worth the calories. Plus it’s got to be processed, and I try to limit the amount of processed foods I eat. And since I don’t make my own bread, nor do I intent do, breads, wraps and pizza crusts are the bulk of my processed foods.

3C air popped popcorn
¼ C almonds
Unlimited amts of plain vegetables

Snacks are a must. I have a snack in between meals and one after dinner. I try to limit my snack calories to about 300-400 per day. The popcorn is great. This is usually my post-dinner snack. You can really feel like you’re stuffing your face and it’s only about 100 calories. And 3 C popped is a huge bowl. Kirkland (Costco) makes these cashew clusters with almonds and pumpkin seeds that are divine. Sweet and savory at about 150 calories per serving – tastes like a treat! I also like Planter’s Energy Mix packets that have sesame sticks and nuts for about 130 calories per serving – again very “treat”- like.

So if I follow this plan above perfectly, I’m eating around 1200 calories in a day. And I will lose weight – even if I’m not exercising. But let’s be honest – I don’t follow this perfectly every day. I’m human, I have kids and a husband who don’t follow this way of eating and I slip constantly. I’ll have a taste of that cupcake, or a bite of pizza. It happens. There are days when I workout and really need more calories, so I’ll listen to my body and adjust accordingly. But if I at least PLAN to eat well each day, and I get some exercise, and I follow this MOST OF THE TIME – I’m good. Bottom line is, I’ve cut animal products from my diet and I’m maintaining my health – and all the numbers prove it!

Next post . . .Grocery store shopping and eating out.

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