Improving ONE of your daily meals is easier than you think


#1

Looking at your day, which of your meals is the most challenging?

We are all super busy and have so much going on, that when we think about eating well we often times picture those “perfectly balanced” Instagram meals, with nothing that “should not be there”. Turns out, we are not robots, our bodies are not a predictable, programable machine (we are very complex and unique in how we process and use food), and we have family and work dynamics to make things even more unpredictable.

With all that in mind, what we need is a practical, common-sense approach to eating that fits into our personal lifestyles. So let’s start with ONE meal and make that one meal a little bit better. That’s it. Simple.

Tell us which is the one meal in your day that you would like to make a little bit better but find it difficult - and why is it difficult? Please include an example of that meal.


#2

I really struggle with lunch - I am lucky to be able to work from home up to 3 days per week which should make lunch easier but in fact those are the days I struggle. If going in to the office I’ll often make some quinoa and veggie pot that I can eat cold in the office…or on days like today when I didn’t have time to prepare I popped to Leon for some super scrummy vegan Brazilian black beans with brown rice.
When I’m working from home my lunch break tends to get squeezed by meetings and then I either end up with some weird concoction of whatever is in the fridge (which doesn’t provide enough fuel and then I end up grabbing bad snacks in the afternoon) or if Hannah is home as well I may buckle and join her with a bad choice of processed food (GF burrito, GF pizza or GF fish finger sandwich)
I need to find options that are GF, DF and super quick to make


#3

I don’t have trouble with meals, I have trouble with my husband who makes me meals :laughing:

Seriously though, he does all the cooking but is terrible at menu planning so I basically tell him what to make. Sometimes I leave it up to him though or he doesn’t feel like listening to me and then a meal might end up being not exactly ideal. That usually happens once a week, maybe twice before I start to get grumpy at him and ask him to please do a better job with the meals. I’ve gotten pretty good when he says something like, hey I’m making spaghetti! And I will say, you’re putting broccoli in there right? And how about adding some lentils to the sauce? I feel like I am pretty lucky that he likes to do all the cooking so I can’t complain too much!


#4

Michelle, your story reminded me of myself when I first started working from home. I’d think that I would be eating well when those were the days my food choice was very limited and the meals not that great either. To make matters worse, I do not like cooking. At all. Have you considered any of the below, or do any of them sound doable?

  • Make extra portions at dinner and save in the fridge for the next days’ lunches
  • Buy some extra food from Leon to bring home for the next day

I don’t eat dairy or gluten either. Food does not need to be made fresh (same day) for me so once a week, I buy:

  • Protein: a bunch of cooked organic chicken breasts or other lean meat, eggs, canned wild caught salmon
  • Carbs: cooked (frozen) plain brown rice and quinoa bags, baby potato medley (all colors), sweet potatoes
  • Vegetables: my favorite vegetables, fresh

Then, also once a week, I roast all the vegetables and potatoes with avocado oil and salt. It takes 20 min in the oven. BAM! I have food for a week. So really, it takes me only one shopping trip and one-time roasting the vegetables. I can then just pick one of each (protein, carb, veg) for lunch every day and heat them up in the microwave.

Another thing I do is order food from a place that delivers freshly cooked meals made with whole ingredients and good oils, no additives- these are all DF and GF. It’s like having a personal chef and the meals cost about $8-$10 each.

Stefanie- the roasted vegetables idea might be a good one to have on-hand to add to those less-than-ideal meals. But if it is only 1-2 times/week, you’re fine!! :wink:


#5

I’m going to make an effort to cook extra so there’s enough for lunch the next day… I really enjoy cooking but struggle when Hannah is home as she hasn’t yet embraced my healthy eating preferences so I have to compromise.
Today’s working from lunch ended up as a solitary baked sweet potato and as I’d run out of DF cheese I had it plain - not very satisfying but I had cooked some scrummy banana oat flapjacks so had something to enjoy this afternoon.
Tome to get my planning head on and also do some batch cooking so I have stuff in the freezer I can just throw in the oven between meetings.


#6

Interesting thread! I do not like cooking either. Thankfully my husband loves to cook and he’s been working on making healthier choices for our meals. I love veggies so he makes a lot of stir frys! My biggest issue is that we eat dinner really late (usually after 9pm) and I tend to eat a bigger portion than what I really need, but I’m working on it… :grimacing:
@Coach_Theia and @Michelle, do you have issues digesting gluten and dairy? Or why did you decide to go GF and DF? I eat everything…


#7

Covi, do you tend to eat a bigger dinner because you go many hours without eating or for another reason?

I went dairy free because I get heartburn and get very gassy! Nevertheless, I am OK with this one particular Brazilian cheese, so I guess my gut microbiome can handle that :rofl:

As for gluten, I am not super strict, but if it is refined flour and breads in general, again I get super bloated and gassy!!


#8

I tend to eat a bigger dinner because I love yummy food… Most of the time I’m satisfied but it’s so good that I go for second round :see_no_evil:. I eat lunch late so it’s not that I go many hours without eating and sometimes I have a few almonds or some other nuts between lunch and dinner.


#9

I’m both dairy and wheat intolerant - I opt for GF just to be on the safe side. I also have a mushroom allergy so it makes eating out so much fun (not!).


#10

Ah, yes, I know how that goes! Food is not just food, there is so much more to it - and it sure tastes better when someone we love makes it :blush: As long as that’s working well for you, no need to change anything about it!


#11

Damn Michelle! That definitely sounds challenging. I’m lucky to not have any allergies or intolerances… at least for now…


#12

I’m really trying hard to not eat after 7pm but many of our dinners are around then and not really in my control. My husband is the cook and no matter how many times I volunteer to prep before he gets home, he never takes me up on it. :expressionless: I’m carrying my ‘winter weight’ and have anywhere from 2-4lbs to lose, on any given day. Just can’t seem to kickstart the chain reaction.
-Angie


#13

Angie, the time of the dinner, in and on itself, does not affect weight. Those extra pounds (which is not a lot, by the way) could be due to a decrease in your activity level during the winter, or it could be how you are eating overall throughout the day.


#14

Oh, that is good to know! I won’t beat myself up so much. I think you’re right about the physical activity and I hope I’m able to exercise forever. Just adding hiking in the summer and one more run always has me 5# lighter than my normal weight. I think I might have to do a food diary to pinpoint the area that isn’t allowing me to get back to normal.


#15

The food diary is a great idea.