Sunday, August 2, 2009

Simplifying food...

Is it just me or does it seem like there is just not enough time in the day? I get up at 4:44 AM and don't get back to bed until 10:00 PM with most of that time spent at work, boot camp, running, tennis and other activities. Food is generally on the go and lets not even talk about the state of cleanliness at my house. It is in dire need of a deep clean!

I was doing great with nutrition for a while and then sometime around the Flying Pig Marathon just gradually fell off of the wagon. Perhaps it was boredom with clean eating and the lack of ice cream that this type of lifestyle provides or maybe more to do with the fact that no one was looking at my daily food journals anymore like they were during the February to April time frame. Isn't it sad that I can't just be accountable to myself, I need the fear of someone chastising me for eating too much of the wrong thing to keep me on track. I guess inside I am still a kid waiting to be scolded. HA.

I had been given the idea of preparing food in advance for the upcoming week while I was participating in the FLU class in February but was further inspired during boot camp a week or so ago. Admittedly, you hear these ideas and just think, "DUH - you needed someone to tell you this" but sometimes the most obvious things need to be pointed out. In the spring, I had gotten used to baking chicken on Sunday for the week. I really had not thought through it more than that, the chicken just went into a big container and I pulled it out for dinner preparing my veggies and rice each night. To take it one step further, why not just prepare it all on Sunday? That is what I am doing as we speak, er, write...

I have a bunch of entree sized Gladware that I am packaging up for a week of lunches. I think it is in my genetic code to be OK with eating the same thing every day (shout out to Dad...), so the same old, same old does not bother me at all. I am more about making sure it is easy and if that means I eat chicken, rice and green beans for the rest of my life well.... Of course I am varying the veggies but not too crazy, I mean choices can slow down the prep process :) Here are my lunhces in the making. I am quite proud of something so ridiculously simple. It literally took one hour to save me oodles of time throughout the week (and cash too from eating out).

Side note ... this gave me a wake up call on portion size. In looking at these containers, I thought that it would never be able to hold enough food for lunch. I dumped out one of the containers on a plate and it filled up the plate to the point where I thought it might be too much food. The eyes can be deceiving. I don't enjoy measuring everything but I can see where you could easily get off track or inadvertently take in more than you think by eyeballing portions.

Herb (boot camp guru), also mentioned that he makes breakfast in advance for the week. Basically he cooks up a large carton of the egg beaters and various veggies to make an omelet of sorts but he bakes it in a casserole in the oven. I did not do that this week but love the idea as breakfast on the run is particularly daunting. One, because it makes me late for work and when you work for the re-incarnation of Stalin, you don't want to be late and two, I have limited choices for healthy take out breakfast in my area. This week, I am going to go with Mix 1 protein shakes for breakfast.

Other food loves I have discovered that might make the nutirtion wagon more interesting are Rachel's Cottage Cheese and Fage yogurt. Rachel's has several varieties, some are more savory but I am a fruit and cottage cheese girl so love the one with the berries. mmmm....

I also was excited to find a 2% version of the Fage yogurt with cherries that tastes like cheesecake in a yogurt tub (I know.. right...). I think it is simply the consistency of the greek yogurt. It is much thicker than traditional yogurt and oh so good!

Finally, you might be saying to yourself, what got you back on the nutrition wagon? Well, I had pretty much succumbed to the dark side. Those scary inner aisles of the grocery store that they tell you to stay way from. It turns out that is where they store the cookies, doritos and ice cream. I was like Adam taking a bite of the forbidden fruit and before you know it I was feeling like a tub of goo. The aforementioned Herb was kind enough to measure my body fat for me on Friday. It was my own version of scared straight. According to my scale, I had gained 9 pounds since April. The thing of it is, I didn't look like I had gained 9 pounds so there is some fuzzy math there which makes sense scientifically but in the female mind, I still gained 9 pounds. Here is how it breaks down...

April 8, 2009
132 pounds
body fat 17.3
lean body mass 109 pounds

July 31, 2009
141 pounds
body fat 19.1
lean body mass 113 pounds

The way it was told to me was that "most men would kill for that kind of increase in lean body mass". In my mind all I see is, you gained 9 pounds. It is a conundrum. I am sure Herb is right, too bad the female mind doesn't think that way. Mentally, gaining is gaining whether it is lean body mass or fat although I suppose I would take the lean body mass over the fat given the choice. At any rate, I know I need to clean up my food act so here we go... I am excited to be set on the path again with some great ideas to make it simple. Ideas that I think even hubby would be willing to try.


Renee said...

I think this is a brilliant idea! I too used to be very good at meal preparation in advance and it just make life go so much more smoothly! You have inspired me to do it again!

Mary Elizabeth (MErider) said...

Great post, Karen. Your preparing food and putting them into containers is such a great idea! Even if you eyeball it a little more than a serving, I think you are pretty close. Besides, you are active! 9 pounds is nothing and you'll get that taken care of in no time. Oh, by the way, I LOVE Fage. I get the fat free and eat it with raw, organic honey (one tablespoon) and blueberries or 1/2 a banana as a dessert. Delicious! :-)

Karen said...

I like the idea of FAGE with blueberries and honey. It is soooo good.