How's It Going?

Great to hear from some of you out there on your progress.  And, it IS all progress.  I know a few of you have had a couple of set backs and have gotten discouraged, but PLEASE understand yourselves to be human with lives to live, pick yourselves back up, dust off, try again.  And again.  Don't expect to be exact and perfect at this.  There is a continuum here.  One extreme is to eat at McDonald's, in great quantity, and whatever you want, with no thought whats-so-ever as to what you're putting into your body.  The other extreme on that spectrum is to exactly weigh and measure every single thing you eat at every meal, living a very extreme and elite lifestyle.  If you are somewhere in-between, especially to start, and you're eating better than you were 2 weeks ago-THAT is progress.  Give yourself a pat on the back and be proud.

Carrie Klumpar, of CrossFit Eastside, gives all of us a break and another leg up on things we can do to keep improving and to keep eating as healthy as we can.

Plan B

We all have a nutritional conscience. The intention to eat good, nutrient-dense food in proper proportions is always there, but things trip us up along the way. For most people, time and work are the most common obstacles. If it's not the lunch hour that gets whittled down to 5 minutes of warp-speed chewing, it's the long-day of long-slow-duration stress followed by comfort food on the couch with the soft and soothing lull of junk TV. It's not a surprise that this happens a couple of times a week, but then you wonder why we don't plan for fire-drill meals on fire-drill days.

What you need is an In-Case-of-Emergency-Break-Glass plan that saves you—but only if there's something of value behind the glass. Otherwise, you're just left with an additional mess to clean up amongst all the other chaos.

So, take steps now to plan for when your plan falls through. Help yourself expect the unexpected. I mean, you know it’s going to happen. Not preparing it for it is giving up before you even begin; it is—let’s be frank—preloading excuses for your lapses. (“Well, I was going to ace my nutrition today…but something Important came up. Really, it’s not my fault; there was nothing I could do about it. Really.”)

What you know is that the contingency plan has to be reasonable, speedy, and, depending on your circumstances, perhaps non-perishable. Come up with some snacks and meals that you know you can keep on hand. Or even parts of meals, with a plan to complement them with things you know you can forage for even under the pressure of deadlines, tight schedules, demanding children, and the mid-afternoon munchies.

That might mean that you keep a can of tuna, sardines, or bag of jerky for your protein and then head for the cafeteria to scare up a garden salad or a random piece of fresh fruit. Or, keep the carbs handy in the long-shelf-life form of a Lara bar or a small quantity of dried fruit.

If you keep some reliable staples on hand as a regular practice, you can always toss together a few blocks of balanced fuel on a moment’s notice. Stock the fridge at the office with some of the following, and you’ll be set for even the unplanned meals and snacks you might need. Keep nuts on hand (macadamias have an excellent fat profile), or even a small bottle of olive oil, to make sure you can get a small fat dose with any meal.

Here are some easy, balanced snack ideas to spark your thinking

  • deli meat & an orange (or apple or nectarine or other fruit)
  • sardines, tuna, other canned meat/fish & fruit & nuts
  • string (or other) cheese & an apple
  • cottage cheese & a few Triscuits to make the right number of carb blocks for you (ahem, a few crackers, NOT the whole box)
  • cottage cheese & just about any fruit or berries
  • yes, this is just a version of above, but worth specifying: cottage cheese, sliced apple, cinnamon, and sliced almonds
  • plain yogurt & fruit (or blueberries from the freezer)
  • hard-boiled eggs & dried apricots
  • milk
  • frozen berries, protein powder, coconut milk (and a blender)
  • protein powder (not soy, please) & milk (or juice, or, in a pinch, water)
  • beef/turkey jerky, fruit, & nuts --Zone Perfect bar (Ok, it’s fake food and full of scary ingredients, but at least it’s macronutrient balanced and ultimately better than that lone leftover Krispy Kreme in the corner of the conference room down the hall. We are talking emergencies here.)

What else?? You guys have been doing this. What works for you? Post your ideas and solutions to comments.

The key to all of this is that emergency eating shouldn't require emergency thinking because that grey matter is already pressed into service by whatever fire drill is happening at your desk. The thinking and planning is something that gets done in advance. So do it.

NutritionLisa RayComment