If you follow me on social media, you may know that I am a little bit obsessed with food. In particular delicious & (almost always) healthy food, and of course, anything involving dark chocolate. This is being proven by the fact that I am consuming a gluten-free dark chocolate and banana muffin as I type this.
As a food nut, I most certainly do not adhere to any sort of strict diet. In fact, if there would be any title for the way I eat it would have to be called "The Opportunist Diet". Because quite frankly I believe there are way too many delicious foods, tempting treats, and one of a kind wines out there to try, and I always want to leave myself open to the opportunity to indulge. And believe me, I do.
However, as much as I love to advocate for indulgence, I also have to be an advocate for moderation. I come from a wonderful line of Southern women, and I have watched many of them struggle with their weight, and more pressingly, their health during my lifetime. As much as what you eat can be an issue, how much you are eating, and how often you are eating can be just as much of a culprit when it comes to weight gain and other diet related medical issues.
I eat more than most women my size would or should. In fact, my nickname as a kid was "The Bottomless Pit". But I know that I have a very active metabolism, and it increases ten fold when I am actively training in the way I have throughout my life for sports or dance or lifting. My most recent workout regime has had a huge effect on the way my body is processing the things I consume, and I am essentially ravenous all the time.
this card about sums me up
Being hungry and just being a busy person/employee/mom can often lead us to making food choices that lean towards the less healthy end of the spectrum. After all, it is not easy to find convenient, quick, and nutritionally sound meals on the go. After months of seeing posts on Instagram about meal prepping, something finally clicked for me. This was the way that I could eat healthy whether I'm at home, babysitting a friend's daughter at her house, or at my office (I work in a flex workspace two days a week for a change of pace).
The thing that surprised me most about meal prepping is that it actually takes very little effort by me. I now meal prep every Sunday morning, after I make Sunday breakfast, while my kitchen is still dirty. The meals I make are extremely straight forward to make, and I can make 5 days of lunches in less than 30 minutes. Every meal I make is split into thirds: 1/3 veggies, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 carbs. Here is an example of last week's prep:
avacado, homemade gluten free popcorn chicken, salad & tomatoes
baked chicken breast w/ bbq sauce, brown rice, green beans & avocado
The one dietary thing that I try the best to stick to is being gluten-free. If I don't, I tend to be lethargic and in crippling stomach pain. Because of this, my carbs are always gluten-free. Right now I am loving brown rice, red quinoa, and sweet potatoes. When it comes to protein, chicken breasts and lean ground turkey are my main standbys. They are easy and quick to cook and go great with just about anything. Veggies tend to be a rotation of green beans, brussel sprouts, and broccoli. In addition to my prepped meals, I grab some fresh fruits and veggies before I leave the house. Tomatoes (brown kumatoes are my favorite) and avocados are a favorite always, and I am also loving grapefruits in the morning. Along with my morning green smoothie (will post on this soon) this tends to make up my meals for the day until I get home and cook dinner.
The key thing about meal prepping is keeping it simple. I avoid processed foods, and cooking meals at home means I know everything that went into it. Cooking it in advance means I have something ready to go with me even if I am racing out the door in the morning, and I have no excuse not to eat healthy. The best part about meal prepping though is that when I set myself with a foundation of foods that nourish my body and keep me fit, I feel absolutely guilt free when I do indulge. Dinner, particularly when I'm traveling, is often the time I do so, and like everything else I do, I don't hold back.