Feed me, Seymour / Feed me all night long / Ha ha ha ha ha! / Cause if you feed me, Seymour / I can grow up big and strong. – “Little Shop of Horrors”
There’s an oversized, man-eating plant living inside of me, I’m convinced of it. It helps explain my fascination with food. I wake up thinking about food. Once I eat breakfast, then I plan for my next meal, three to four hours later I eat and the cycle continues. We need food to survive but now-a-days eating isn’t just about survival, it’s a lifestyle. There’s vegan, paleo, low-carb, traditional diets etc…So many choices have caused brains to go into food overload.
My love for food started when I was a chubby kid chasing after the ice cream man. Over the years, the types of food that consumed my thoughts have changed. In college it was Quarter-Pounders with cheese from McDonald’s, thick crust Supreme pizzas from Pizza Hut and Spicy Chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s. I had to have those foods, especially after a late-night with friends. Freshly made French fries, Yummmm!
I left college weighing close to 180 lbs and decided to lose weight. That’s when the food fascination shifted from “what to eat” to “when to eat”. Timing was everything. I was a machine that needed to be feed every three hours. Eating five small meals or “grazing” helped me lose 50 lbs. With this lifestyle, calorie counting was important. Typically meals were between 250 – 500 calories. For example:
8am Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries 350 – 400 calories
11am Snack: Clif bar 240 calories
2pm Lunch: Wrap packed with lettuce, red/orange peppers, roasted turkey deli meat or sliced chicken breast, “Smart and Delicious 100 Calorie Wrap”. Mustard or hummus. 350 – 400 calories.
5pm Dinner: Chicken Breast, steamed carrots/onions sprinkled with cinnamon, slice of whole wheat toast. 400 calories.
8pm Snack: Fat Free Cottage Cheese with bananas, strawberries and cinnamon. 300 calories or a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bar 120 calories.
The best part about eating small meals is that you can still eat your favorite foods because there’s not need to eliminate food groups. But portion control is important. Read the labels, understand serving size and use measuring cups.
Right now, I’m toying with the Paleo/Caveman Diet which includes fruits, veggies, meat and nuts. Meal plans include omelets, salads and stir-fry mixes. Farmer’s markets can help spice up meals because you can pick up a variety of fresh veggies.
Here’s a sample meal plan.
Breakfast – Egg white omelet with broccoli, onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes. Chicken, tuna or other meats can be added.
Snack – unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts) or fruit.
Lunch – Huge salad made with Spinach, broccoli, radish, cucumber, onions, basically any veggie and boiled eggs or chicken.
Dinner – Stir fry kale, broccoli, peppers, carrots, onions, any other veggies. Sprinkle garlic powder, cumin and other spices. This can be made with or without a meat.
Snack – Shake made with frozen bananas, peaches, cinnamon and water or almond milk. This can be made with any fruit.
Who knows how long this latest food lifestyle will last. I could go on and on about vegan, gluten-free or liquid diets, but I won’t because it’s time to go eat.