Hello peeps! (scroll down for the links)
People often ask me what I eat so for those who wonder I’ve decided to share my grocery list and a sample 3-day meal plan. Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist or dietician. This is what I have learned works for me. Most of the food decisions I make are based on books, magazine articles, and blogs I have read; info forms given by my doctors; and soundbites of advice I have heard from other people on a similar journey, and TV and radio shows. This is NOT meant as a guide for anyone but my hope is that you’ll find something here that can help or inspire you.
When I started this journey I thought I knew what to eat and I wasn’t completely off but there was (and still is) plenty of room for improvement. I started with a pretty typical diet menu: low-fat cheese and turkey ham sandwich for breakfast, a piece of fruit for a snack, some form of protein, salad, and small portion of starch for lunch, maybe another piece of fruit mid-afternoon, cereal and low-fat milk for dinner, and a cup of tea before bed. That was the routine and it got old pretty fast.
Little by little I started to discover new foods and new recipes. My injury in March made me increase my berries and nuts consumption as these are foods that enable muscle recovery. I gave up dairy shortly after for a variety of reasons. It was an experiment at first and while I now consume some dairy every now and then, I mostly avoid it. That changed my eating a lot. Currently, a typical day looks like this: Smoothie and nuts, or eggs, avocado, and salsa for breakfast; fish, chicken, or beans for lunch with something green; granola, almond milk, apple, nut butter, and dark chocolate for dinner; snacks as needed.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that not all calories are created equal, as not all fats, carbs, and protein are created equal either. I consume a lot of fat mainly from olive oil, avocado, and nuts. I consume a good amount of carbs from fruits and some from starchy vegetables like sweet potato, potato, corn, cassava, and plantain, and try to limit my consumption of rice, pasta, and bread. I eat a lot of white and fatty fish such as tilapia, salmon, and tuna; I also have turkey, usually ground, and chicken but much less so than fish. I have learned to like a wider selection of vegetables and learned to reduce my salt intake by taking advantage of fresh and dry herbs and spices (Mrs. Dash is amazing). This is what I have learned little by little over the last year of change and there is still much to learn, I know that.
We must think of our bodies as what they are, a complex arrangement of cells that need food to function. Unfortunately for those of us in the US we’ve been duped by the Standard American Diet, appropriately abbreviated S.A.D. 😦 , which tends to be unbalanced, too high on saturated fats and sugar.
Many people usually say “I just enjoy (fill in with sinful food choice) too much and cannot give it up.” Don’t! I love pizza and I love chinese food. I have them each once a month or less. My absolute worst food choice is chicken wings so I have those only a handful of times a year. I also enjoy everything I eat every day. I love my smoothies, baked falafel, spinach pesto, fish dishes, nighttime granola, etc. If you are not enjoying what you’re eating, you’re doing it wrong.
Alright, here it is: