I mentioned a while back that I would post more detailed information about my new eating habits. This seems like a good time for that.
Sticking to a set schedule – or as close to one as possible – for when to eat has been one of the biggies for me. Here’s a general idea of what my intake looks like most days. All times are general – I may eat a little earlier or later than what is listed depending on how the day goes. I also may or may not have one or both snacks. It just depends on whether or not I’m actually hungry around those times.
- 6:30 AM – Breakfast. (Usually an apple with either a bit of cheese or a couple of hard boiled eggs.)
- 10:00 AM – Snack. (Usually a small handful of almonds.)
- 12:00 PM – Lunch. (Usually a sandwich – a couple slices of deli meat, some greens, and maybe a piece of cheese on whole grain bread.)
- 3:00 PM – Snack. (Again, a small handful of almonds.)
- 6:30 PM – Diner. (Some form of protein baked with a bunch of vegetables, a glass of milk, and occasionally a small side of rice.)
I do my best to make one trip to the grocery store per week, which helps cut down on temptations to buy stuff I really don’t need but maybe just want in the moment. My typical selection of grocery staples looks something like this:
- 1 loaf of sliced whole grain bread
- 3/4 to 1 pound sliced deli meat – whatever is on sale
- 1 bag of salad greens
- 7 pieces of fruit – lately usually Granny Smith apples
- 1 pound broccoli
- 2 pounds cauliflower
- 1 pound carrots
- 1/2 pound brussel sprouts
- 1 gallon milk
- whatever meat is on sale – usually boneless skinless chicken breasts or pork chops, sometimes fish, occasionally beef
- raw almonds and a bit of cheese if I’m running low on them
Of course, there are weeks when I need other stuff. I like to vary my produce selection according to what looks good, but I do try to get three or four different things for the week. My bill including whatever other incidentals I might need is usually $40-50 per week. Not too shabby when you consider that covers 21 meals and 14 snacks.
Some of you may recall my old video blog, Eat for a Week. Part of the reason I quit doing that one is because I lost interest in eating that way. Also as much as I enjoy cooking, I just haven’t had the energy to pay much attention to it for quite some time now. I’ve come up with another “simple for the week” yet easily variable method of preparing my meals which eliminates much of the energy I used to put into figuring out what to cook, though.
See the veggies in the list above? After I get home from the store I’ll wash and chop them, then mix them together in a large bowl with a lid, and stash it in the fridge to dip into for each night’s meal. Each night, I’ll toss a good serving of the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and seasonings (a sprinkle each of garlic powder, onion powder, and salt is a quick and easy combination) in a baking dish. Add a serving of whatever protein I purchased that week, season if necessary, and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. The cool thing here is that you can use different seasonings for a different flavor profile every night. That, and it’s all in one dish that I don’t have to pay much attention to as long as I remember to set a timer.
Speaking of the protein, I frequently do a quasi-teriyaki marinade which I think is pretty tasty. The recipe is as follows (all measurements are guesstimated since I rarely measure):
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
- 5 or 6 cloves of garlic – smashed or roughly chopped (or a heaping tablespoon garlic powder)
- 1 to 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and smashed or roughly chopped (or a heaping tablespoon dry ground ginger)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
- a pinch of ground cinnamon and/or ground cloves if you have it and feel so inclined
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients in whatever container you will be marinating in. (A large zip-top freezer bag works well for this.) Add your protein of choice and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 3 or 4 hours. Overnight is better – though I like to let it go for a couple of days, flipping the meat over every 12 hours or so. After marinating time is done, transfer the meat to a storage vessel and discard the remaining marinade. This is great for chicken and pork. I haven’t tried it with beef or fish, though I imagine you’d not want to marinate fish for quite so long. For interesting variations, try adding a tablespoon of curry powder and/or a tablespoon of peanut butter to the marinade.
The raw almonds, I like to spread on a baking sheet and stick in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes to toast them myself. Once you start smelling them, you probably want to take them out of the oven to cool. Then they go into a plastic container in the fridge.
So there’s some insight into how I typically eat now.
Unrelated but because I have been asked about it: My foot is feeling better, though it isn’t back to 100% yet. I’m not yet comfortable trying to run on it again. Hopefully soon, though, as I am going stir-crazy. I’ve taken a couple of 2 to 3 mile walks without too many issues. I might try a short run this weekend. We’ll see. Tried to ride my bike this morning as an alternative to running, but busted the air valve stem off one of the tires when I tried to air them up. Went for a walk any way since I was already out of bed and dressed for exercise. Good times.