Since Operation Love Handle, I’ve been continuously asked: What do you eat?
That’s a great question. What do I eat?
Not meat, for starters. And, fish only when I eat out.
I’ve limited my dairy, too.
I know what you’re thinking: What’s left?
I know that’s what you’re thinking because I previously thought too. When you grow up on the Standard American Diet, you are use to meat being the star of the show. Meat is what dinner is cooked around. Heck, meat dictates your wine choice.
Two years ago I started reading vegetarian and vegan blogs and thought the women who wrote them were slightly extreme and little delusional. Although their food looked good, I didn’t believe it tasted good. However, I saw one commonality in these women: (besides having food blogs) they looked great. Sure, they exercised, but they glowed in their pictures. I couldn’t help to think their diet may have had something to do with it.
After a year of my new diet and exercising, I believe it’s true. I believe their diet (and mine) helps you to feel and look great.
I love what I eat. I don’t have cheat days or “bad foods”; I eat second and third helpings and have dessert twice a day. I am always full and feel energized and nourished.
My diet may look boring, but like any change, it just took some time to get used to. I started by changing my breakfast, then my dinner, then my lunches. It was slow and I waited to make another change when I was ready. I still have junk food from time to time but usually have a stomach ache or other poor physical reaction after eating junk that deters the next purchase of a bag of Oreos. (But not always. I bought Oreos last week). :)
So, all this talk about food. What do I eat?
Breakfast: Usually cereal. I enjoyed Special K with Berries, or Oatmeal Squares. I’d eat an entire bowl and be famished in an hour.
Snack: Always crackers. Always. Wheat Thins, or Pita crackers (from Trader Joe’s) usually with hummus or just plain. I’d eat about a 1/2 cup and be hungry again before lunch.
Lunch: A turkey/ham/salami sandwich, maybe some fruit, a cookie/dessert. Probably more crackers. Or, leftovers from a previous dinner. My lunch would hold me for a few hours.
Snack: Sometimes fruit. Usually crackers.
Dinner: Enchiladas, Pasta, Tacos, Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers, Tuna Melts, and Quesadillas.
Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies, or Ice Cream
Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Coffee, Water, Lemonade, Iced Tea, Mochas, and Frappacinos.
Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Did I say how much I love this?) or 2 slices of Sprouted Multi Grain toast with natural peanut butter (now I make this at home!) and a drizzle of honey. I usually make one cup of Oatmeal. I know. One Cup Of Oatmeal. It’s a lot of Oatmeal. But, if I give myself enough time in the morning and I eat the entire cup and I’m full for hours and I feel fabulous. Toast normally by itself isn’t as much of a powerhouse, but my bread has 5 grams of protein + 5-7 grams of protein from the natural peanut butter.
Snack: Fruit and/or almonds. Sometimes Banana Bread or Muffins.
Lunch: Leftovers from the dinner or Beans, Greens, and Grains. Definitely not the most exciting lunch, but the most filling. I have been eating this for over a year for lunch (not everyday but many days a week) and I have tons of energy and feel great when I eat it. Sometimes I’ll have Mediterranean Salad Shakers.
Snack: Almost never needed. More almonds/ or fruit
Dinner: Maple Baked Lentils With Sweet Potato, Quick and Easy Tomato Mushroom Pasta, Portobello and Poblano Fajitas, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce, Twenty Minute Four Bean Vegetarian Chilli, Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing, Macaroni & Peas, Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear, Tofu Dippers, Roasted Chickpea Tacos, Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf.
I still regularly eat my go-to easy convenience meals – all of which lack nutrition – Nachos, Quesadillas, or Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I have revised how I eat these junk food dinners – I always pair them with a large helping of roasted vegetables, and make the Nachos and Quesadillas loaded with black beans and little cheese.
Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies. Not much has changed here. Sometimes I’ll try a vegan recipe, but usually stick to my old favorites.
Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Mineral Water, Water, Jasmine Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Iced Tea and occasionally coffee.
I love my current diet. I am by no means a expert, but my diet works for me. I love the way I look, but most importantly, the way I feel. I’ve never been this healthy, either. I’ve been careful to get the nutrients meat provides and maintaining a balanced diet. I’ve worked with my physician to ensure I am getting everything I need in my diet. It’s a diet I never thought I would have, but I now can’t imagine eating any other way.