Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lacey's Daily Eating Habits

With the wealth of information being thrown at you about what is healthy and not healthy to eat, it is quite difficult to put it all into practice.  The moment I tell someone that I mostly eat fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, beans & the occasional grain I get a look of confusion with the normal response..."So, what exactly do you eat then?".  Then, with a smile on my face, I respond with the same things, "I eat fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, some grains, and beans." And they still manage to respond, yet again, with a "Yeah, but what do you eat?" as if these categories of food aren't actually food at all.

So, here's what most days look like for me.  I'll give you a few example meals under each category.  Obviously, it can always vary.  We're finding new recipes & trying new meals out constantly.

Breakfast: Between 6 & 7 am
1. 1/2 cup plain oatmeal with some type of fruit jam (mixed in for flavor) & tea. This is what I have most days.
2. Fruit salad & 1 piece of whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter
3. Salad. Yes, you read that right.  If I'm going on a big morning run I need something that is going to be light in my stomach, but that will also help me get the energy I need.  I'll usually top this salad with some protein, like quinoa or nuts.  Oatmeal is way too heavy for me before a run.
Our refrigerator loaded with fresh produce & other goodies.
From corn on the cob, to tomatoes, pattypan, apples, strawberries,
hummus, black bean veggie burgers, homemade jam, oranges, etc.

Lunch: Noonish
1. Large salad & small soup (homemade veggie chili or vegetable lentil soup, or some other type of all natural soup that I've prepared for the week)- This is what I have most days.
2. Veggie stir fry-  I'll literally grab almost every vegetable in the fridge and lightly cook in vegetable broth or extra virgin olive oil (whatever is available in my house at the time).  Top it off with a different seasoning each time gives it a new taste.
3. Veggie Wraps with a side of 1 pickle and dried fruit or mixed nuts.

Lunch on one day: string beans, mixed fruit, and salad.
Lunch on another day: Big salad with hummus & carrot sticks with a side of vegetable lentil soup.
Snack: 3 pm--I rarely snack but if I do:
1. Mixed nuts
2. 2 kiwis or a peach
3. One of my homemade granola bars
4. Dried fruit
5. Homemade applesauce

Very Berry Granola Bars
Dinner: 5pm
1. Quinoa & Black Beans.  We absolutely make this every week. Plus, it lasts a few days so it serves good as leftovers for lunch or just dinner another night.
2. Baked potato with natural butter spread & old bay seasoning with a big salad.
3. Eggplant Ravioli.  I actually haven't made this in a few weeks, but it's a household favorite.
4. Mexican Casserole
5. Veggie Stir fry (If I didn't have it at lunch)
6. Pattypan stuffed with quinoa & veggies.
7. Black bean veggie burger with corn on the cob.

Quinoa & beans
Eggplant Ravioli
As you can see, I always have a few different options lined up for each meal so I'm never stuck with eating the same things every day.  Like I said, this list is not comprehensive.  There are still a slew of other dinner recipes I make and other snick-snacks I may munch on.  Much of this list depends on what they have at the farmer's market that week (as it always varies) and what we have in the house to prepare.  For the most part, I always have a salad with lunch AND dinner. I get tons of nutrients from the veggies I top it off with and I really like salad. What can I say, I've grown to love the art of salad creation and dressing making.  Many people ask if I get  bored with salads or some of my other foods. For the most part, no, because I'm constantly making something new (top one salad off with pears and cinnamon, another with mixed nuts, and another with lemon pepper seasoning.)  It's only boring if you allow it to be boring. If I do get bored, I'll make a veggie wrap to add a different texture to the salad because really, it's just a salad wrapped in a tortilla.

Honestly, I have more variety in my diet now that I ever had before. Prior to eating this way, we always at the same 5 dinners: pasta, burgers, tacos, chicken quesadillas, and pizza. Breakfast was always cereal & milk.  Lunches were just sandwiches on white bread.  No joke.  This was our life. (No wonder we were fatties.) Now, we're trying foods we had never heard of & we're constantly seeking out new recipes. For those that think this way of eating is boring, it's exactly the opposite! I'm always on my toes looking for fun, new, but HEALTHY ways to fill our plates.  I've never been so NOT bored with food in my life!

If monotony is what's scaring you from trying this lifestyle out, I hope this proves otherwise. Your fridge will never look so versatile.

Does this help some of you see that we don't just eat carrot sticks and peanut butter for every meal? =)

Here's to meal creativity, colorful plates, and fun foods!

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