Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I don't cook all the time!

Some people may see this blog and think I must cook all the time! But I actually don't. Not even every day. For example, I might have a smoothie for breakfast, a bowl of cereal for a snack, a sandwich and fruits and veggies for lunch, and leftovers or take-out for dinner. I probably cook 5 times a week. So this is a post about all the OTHER stuff I eat.

For breakfast I love my smoothie, but sometimes I save it for a snack and eat typical breakfast food instead. I love pancakes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cold cereal, and fruit. I might actually cook breakfast (pancakes and maybe hashbrowns) once every other week. I've recently gotten addicted to Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch cereal. It's a great substitute for Cinnamon Toast Crunch but I have to watch my intake. I'd eat a whole box in one day if I let myself! I love regular almond milk poured over cereal.

For lunch I generally have half a peanut butter sandwich on Arnold's bread (the slices are larger, which is why I only have one piece), a TON of fruits and veggies, some dip, and maybe a treat, like a fruit leather or cookie. I can load up a full-sized dinner plate for about 500 calories. This (and my smoothie) is how I manage to get about 10-12 servings of fruit and veggies a day. It takes a while to munch through all of that produce, so I always feel satisfied by the time I'm done. Unlike with the Cinnamon Crunch cereal, which I inhale in about 90 seconds and still always want more. I'm addicted to Annie's Goddess Dressing. It has plenty of calories though, which is why I measure it out (yes that's a medicine cup you see in the first pic!).

Aren't they lovely lunches?

Sometimes I'll have salad too, but I'm not a huge salad person. When I do eat one, I make it good. Not iceburg lettuce and dry carrot sticks. I load it up with all sorts of veggies, beans, and nuts. On this salad I have a Quorn Chik'n pattie which I no longer eat because it has dairy. Their plain (unbreaded) ones are dairy-free though (but still have egg). There's tons of other protein packed vegan meat substitues you could use to make an entree salad though. I love Bacos! they always make a salad seem complete, they have only 30 calories per serving, but have 3 g of protein. A well-planned salad can pack almost a full day's worth of protein without a ton of calories. This one had 600 calories and a whopping 35 grams of protein!

And in case you are wondering, it doesn't take me long at all to prepare my veggies. I generally cut, wash, and store everything that day I buy it. It seems to help most stuff last longer that way anyway. I keep my carrots and celery in upright containers with water in them. I remove stems from grapes and wash and store them right away. I love a snack of cold grapes! I buy huge amounts of broccoli because I eat so much of it. Usually 3 heads per week. I cut and store it immediately in baggies. I eat it raw but also use steam it (I'll never be able to go back to using frozen broccoli!). I also cut and freeze my berries and bananas days in advance so I can just reach in the freezer and grab what I need (plus a smoothie just isn't the same if the fruit isn't frozen). It takes maybe half an hour to prepare a week's worth of veggies.

Hope that helps any aspiring vegetarians! It's not as hard as it seems to go without meat (or all animal products for that matter). You have to REALLY appreciate plant foods though. I've been trying all sorts of new things. Can you believe I had my first nectarine only 2 weeks ago!? There's always a ton of just have to troll the produce department and see what's available. Enjoy each and every bite and allow yourself a splurge once in a while. Those chewy chocolate raspberry cookies are the perfect end to ANY meal!

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