Ahhhh…that was a great week off.
I took the past week to "reboot" my training initiative after the tri. Instead, I focused on things like relaxing, and committing to a real plan-ahead-big-girl meal plan. Not in the sense of restricting foods – just a challenge to be a bit more organized and mindful of what we're eating and when. It's as much a money-saving plan as anything; when I don't plan meals, I don't buy all the ingredients I'll need, and then we just go out for food. Delicious, but pricey.
Alternatively, I buy a bunch of food that doesn't really translate to whole meals as well as it could. It's like buying all separate pieces for a wardrobe without ever considering what you could wear that shirt with. You'll still have clothes on, but it could be much more efficiently executed.
I find that having a meal plan helps me relax, because even if I don't make that EXACT MEAL on that EXACT DAY, I know I have two weeks' (in my case) worth of meals that I can swap around based on what I feel like eating that day. I also find it de-stressing to know that I won't be wasting as much food as I normally do (forgotten roasts that end up freezer burned, veggies that end up rotting in the fridge because I didn't realize they were there).
As for what I'm eating, I'm trying to cultivate a healthier approach to food in general. I've found that adding in "good" fats has really helped me to find that balance. I'm fuller longer, and I can be more sensible in my other choices because I'm not crashing. It's one great takeaway from the great no-carb fest.
Some of the foods I used to avoid like the plague because they were fatty and now I eat and love GUILT FREE:
Nuts – I don't eat these often, mostly because I was raised in a NUTSAREEVILKILLTHEM household. Also, sometimes they make my mouth itchy.
Seeds – Raw pumpkin seeds are AWESOME.
Cheese – I eat this in moderation mostly because sometimes dairy makes my stomach swell until I look eight months pregnant. Not pretty.
Cream – That's right; 18% cream in my coffee every morning. I can hear the shocked whispers. You'll get fat! Use skim milk! Scary fake creamers! ANYTHING BUT FATTY FATTY CREAM!
Here's the thing. Cream has less milk sugar than skim milk. When I use cream, I'm fuller, longer. And when I use cream, it's enough flavour that I don't need to add sugar to my coffee. And less sugar is good in my book.
Whole eggs instead of just always the whites – I still eat egg whites some mornings, but if I want a whole egg, I go for it.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar as salad dressing – it's delicious. And filling. And it makes my coat glossy.
The other take-aways from the big bad diet have been that veggies are delicious and every meal doesn't need a carb to be complete. If you hate "diets," consider challenging yourself to have a veggie at every meal. You'll be surprised how it fills you up and helps you avoid making less healthy decisions.
Making an omelette in the morning? Toss in some chopped peppers and tomatoes. Throw together a green salad for lunch (they make them premade in plastic containers now, how hard is that?), and make sure you have a seasonal veg with dinner (seasonal means cheaper, generally better tasting, and it will ensure that you don't just eat carrots with every meal!).
Hopefully, we can think about food more in yum, this makes me feel good way, rather than a guilt-induced panic over the piece of bread you had earlier (oh…is that just me?).
Setting a new training plan from now until I go home for a visit. Details to follow!
P.S. I made this recipe yesterday and it was delicious. Slow cookers are AWESOME.