There are a ridiculous amount of trendy diets, lifestyle changes and detox plans plastered in our face lately. Not like it is really anything new; the media is forever portraying the best foods to eat, the best meals to lose weight and the magical approach to becoming a be a better you plan.
The real truth is, nothing is magical and no one plan works for everyone.
And, while I am bursting the diet bubble here, a plan that works for you one day, may not work the next.
We aren’t machines. Our bodies change and adjust which requires us to stay on top of our choices, swapping out and incorporating foods when necessary.
My switch to a vegetarian diet really happened unintentionally over two years ago following a stomach virus. I ended up sticking with this lifestyle after noticing so many immediate and positive effects including but not limited to an increase in my energy level, running ability and muscle recovery, disappearance of seasonal allergies and shingles nerve pain and, most importantly, a positive affect on my menstrual cycle.
I don’t think that a diet without animal protein is for everyone but I do think that my body thrives best from a higher complex carbohydrate lower protein diet.
But it isn’t fool-proof. Nothing is 100% and after last week’s experience with killer cramps, I decided to take a better look at my diet and see if there were any changes I could make to help minimize the PMS/cramp situation for next month.
Certain foods, especially complex carbs and plant-based proteins, are known to alleviate PMS symptoms for women (more on this in a later post). Even though I basically eat this way most of the time, I took a look at my daily choices and made some minor changes.
I put a halt to the three-ingredient pancake trend and went back to oatmeal before my run. More complex carbs and less protein.
I always make a few servings at a time so this week’s pot included steel-cut oats, rolled oats and oat bran. I like to mix a variety of oat textures to keep things interesting.
I bumped up the chia seed servings that I mix in the pot and eliminated the extra egg whites. Chia seeds contain protein, fiber and omega-3’s so it’s all good.
Oatmeal mixed with bananas, chia seeds, strawberries and PB2. Remember, I use PB2 before my runs because it sits lighter in the stomach.
I can’t begin to tell you how much better I have been feeling when I run in the morning. I didn’t even realize the egg whites were bothering me at all until now when I have been running without eating them. I just feel full but light in the stomach and ready to move.
It makes sense though; protein takes longer to digest therefore it is always recommended to go higher on carbs and lighter on protein before a run. My stomach has always been pretty tough and I wake up so hungry that the extra protein was necessary but for now, this is really working for me.
After my runs, I usually have a repeat bowl of the above but do add a scoop of plain greek yogurt still (protein for muscle recovery) with peanut butter.
Lunch, oh lunch, how I love you!
Yes, this is me talking here; the original lunch-hater is now looking forward to the midday meal all morning.
Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel toast with mashed chick peas and avocado decorated with plum tomatoes.
It is so simple yet so amazing that I insist you try it. All you do is mash a serving of chick peas (half cup will give you enough for two slices of bread) with some avocado.
I know you love my ice cream shaped bowl that I use to mash the chick peas and avocado.
There really isn’t more to this recipe since I don’t add any seasonings. I find that food alone really has flavor, especially a ripe avocado. I am sure you can add pepper or whatever else you fancy but trust me, doesn’t need a thing.
Along with my savory lunch, I require a sweet side in the form of another slice of cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter and chopped fruit just to cap off the meal.
My body enjoys a sweet conclusion and I have no interest in ever changing that.
I bought this new Cruciferous Crunch Mix from Trader Joe’s the other day and can’t explain why I love it so much but I do.
I have roasted this mix, sautéed it and added it to salads. I don’t know if it is the kale part or the broccoli part or the Brussels sprout part but something gets all flavorful in there, especially when roasted.
I have been off sweet potatoes this week and totally on brown rice, specifically the Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s. This craving has been working well for me especially since I had leftover sushi to eat the other night.
I don’t normally have leftovers, let alone leftover sushi, but I was so full when we went for Japanese that I brought a bunch of rolls home. I ate a few while dinner was cooking and added the rest to my stir-fry plate.
Roasted vegetables, brown rice, chick peas and avocado in a sweet chili sauce with a side of sushi.
Well look what we have here, something different…but the same… but different.
My evening hit of peanut butter and chocolate has been involving popcorn instead of an apple.
I haven’t fully figured out the logistics of how this snack works and sometimes use a spoon but no matter how it lands in your mouth, it is a terrific combination.
I am noticing that my stomach is happier in the evening without the apple. I didn’t think that popcorn would be any easier on the stomach than an apple but it seems that way.
Overall, my body seems really happy this week. Perhaps it is the focus more on carbs than protein, perhaps it is simply the minor tweaks to the diet which is good to do every now and again or maybe it has nothing to do with either and everything to do with my hormone level this week.
That’s the thing – we don’t ever really know for sure. And, even when we do know for sure, our bodies can change on us and require something different tomorrow.
Make sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!
Did you enter yesterday’s Momentum Giveaway? Winner to be announced Friday!
What have you been eating for lunch lately?
Have you made any minor changes to your diet recently?
Do you find you do better with more/less carbs and/or more/less protein?