WIAW- More Complex Carbs Plus My New Favorite Lunch

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.

oats and oat bran

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 with strawberries

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.

avocado toast

Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel toast with mashed chick peas and avocado decorated with plum tomatoes.

chickpea avocado mash

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.

apple pb toast

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.

cruciferous crunch mix

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.

leftover sushi

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.

stir fry with sushi

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.

popcorn with pb and chocolate

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?




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  1. Molly says

    I switched to a vegan diet a little over a year ago, and my body loves it! Eating a high carb diet makes my runs feel fantastic, and I never have stomach issues. Also, I do most of my shopping at TJs, and I have NEVER seen that awesome veggie mix! I need it in my life! Finally, my friend told me that avocado on cinnamon raisin bread was weird, but it’s definitely my current fave snack. Glad someone else is on board with it!

    • says

      I am pretty sure the crunch mix is new – I just spotted it the other day…And cinnamon raisin bread is amazing with anything; sweet or savory, it is always terrific. Tell your friend to try it and then let us know her opinion! It is just ridiculous with avocado, but isn’t everything?

  2. says

    Preach. People need to realize that there is no magic answer to everything. As someone with a chronic illness, no one knows this better than I. And I think that people also need to realize that what works can change day to day, as well. My lunches are pretty standard day to day, though the little things within might change–salad, protein, carb, dairy protein, treat. I’m alllll about the complex carbs 😀
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Novelties and Rituals #WIAWMy Profile

    • says

      Totally agree; what works for me today isn’t guaranteed to work for me tomorrow. Some days I am full, some days I am starving and some days I feel the need for more carbs and less protein or the reverse.

  3. says

    Lunch has been lots and lots of eggs cause I’m trying to get through that section in the cookbook. Basically breakfast has been the same smoothie for a few weeks now and lunch is cookbook recipes. Two breakfasts a day?! I’ll take it!

  4. Kate says

    I love this post! Last year when I started working with a trainer, he really had me up my protein and try and lessen the amount of carbs I was eating and I tried that for a long time but I didn’t see any changes in my body, instead I just felt worse. I’ve come to the conclusion that my body just runs better off of complex carbs for breakfast lunch and dinner! Society made me fear carbs and I’m still trying to get over that and just remind myself that my body thrives off of them! Especially oatmeal 😉

  5. says

    More, more, MORE carbs! I don’t function well without carbs, and when I say carbs, I mean grainy carbs, not the carbs in fruit/veggies. If I don’t eat enough grains, not only do my digestion, mood, and energy suffer, but I start craving sugar like a crazy person. Not good. I find that as long as I include a good serving of grains at every meal, I’m a happy camper. And nay on the high protein thing, too. If I want to suffer the wrath of my stomach, then all I need to do is up my protein 😯
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. WIAW … one breakfast is never enough .My Profile

  6. says

    So happy to hear that your body is feeling good this week! I have noticed some similar things to you when it comes to digestion and how my body feels best… oats are a great breakfast for me, and I find that they leave me the perfect amount of fullness before a workout. And it makes sense that your body is adjusting well to not having an apple at the end of the day– fruit can be hard on the tummy after dinner, which is funny because people always associate fruit as being a light dessert! Your popcorn, chocolate chip, PB concoction looks WAY too good. And thanks for bursting the “diet bubble”– so important to remember how different everyone’s bodies are.

    • says

      It’s funny – I know not to eat melon on a full stomach but never bothered to include apples in that list. It is so true – fruit can hard to digest and people don’t realize it! In fact, I almost always have an issue with apples at any time of the day I just try to ignore it. Usually if I eat them plain is when I have the most trouble.

  7. says

    I’m all about bio-individuality. Figuring out what way of eating and which foods work best for your body can be a daunting task but one that’s so worth it. I hope you’re right about the egg causing some discomfort for you simply because protein takes longer to digest, but have you ever considered food allergy testing? I had it done, and my results came back that I had a slight intolerance to eggs. I wasn’t happy to get this news, since I love eggs, but after eliminating them for a few months, I was able to eat them again without issues.
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…Expert Q&A: Running While PregnantMy Profile

    • says

      I don’t think it’s an egg allergy issue; more of a less protein/more carbs are better when running 30 minutes later issue but I guess one never knows. I never really noticed a problem while I was running after the pancake; I just noticed how much “better” I felt this week. I do have some other minor food allergies though!

  8. says

    I have been mixing it up for lunch today was a mexican theme, with brown rice, ground turkey and some veggies but yesterday I had an egg white scramble with toast, cheddar cheese and apple slices! I agree that sometimes we need to mix things up and try new foods!
    Hilary recently posted…WIAW Spaghetti Squash Pizza/PastaMy Profile

  9. says

    I love this post!! I find the only thing that agrees with me before long runs are oats and yours look delicious !! I have also read not to eat apples before a workout bc it makes the stomach gassy which def has happened to me !! Love that you are changing up the diet aaaand that lunch looks amazing, I need new lunches in my life !
    Lauren recently posted…WIAW #8 Chocolate cake the size of my headMy Profile

  10. says

    Is it strange, what I like to run after snack protein more? My best run was after my lentil soup! Eggs and yogurt also work perfectly. Seriously, despite my love to bananas, it is difficult to me to train only on carbs.