After carrying the lighter-than-usual bag of groceries into the door yesterday, I looked at my ingredients. Ambitious in trying to be creative and attempting to eat healthy meals, I made sure I picked out at least a few versatile protein choices, a dairy product for calcium, vegetables and some grain products. Seasoning or cooking oil? Salted margarine.
What could I take to work that has adequate amounts of protein to keep me satisfied and fuel me throughout the day? As I usually tell my clients, “protein” and “fiber” to provide satiety and stabilize blood sugars! For lunch, I prepared a medley quiche made of an oat crust, I packed some extra vegetables on the side and about half a cup of yogurt.Despite my prep, here’s how the day went down:
700h – wake up, no coffee (my usual routine is to start the French press as I get ready)
730h – Breakfast: 2 slices whole grain bread popped in the toaster, 1 Tsp margarine on each to provide more satiety (this has got to hold me until noon), and counted the number of eggs I had left in the carton after making my quiche last night before frying it on the pan. My usual breakfast? 1 cup 0% MF, plain Greek yogurt and 1 cup frozen fruit prepped and left in the fridge the night before with ¼ cup homemade granola filled with nuts and seeds.
745h – Picked up my lunch bag, and gym bag and headed off to work. For those who know me, I’m usually the one with the lunch bag that isn’t big enough for what is carried in it. But today? My lunch bag was half empty – it fit in the fridge without needing to play Tetris to find a spot with the biggest height space!
830h – Got to work.
1030h – Hunger unleashed … I tried to hold it through but by 1100h, I’m no longer efficient at work. Between clients, I went to the staff room and had some of the yogurt I had packed (mmm, 6% MF – I’m glad that this was the choice on sale at the store, because I felt like I definitely needed the energy) … but only half, I plan to hit the gym after work today (I aim for three times a week and want to start the week off strong) and will probably want a snack before hitting the machines.
1200h – Lunch: my 1/4 of a quiche lasted about 10 minutes. I’m usually one to finish later for lunch, I don’t know if it would be because I snack often throughout the day that I don’t hit lunch as hungry as I was today, or that the mere size of my usual lunch is probably twice as big. I had caught myself unintentionally staring at my colleague’s meals while they ate and I sat there with my empty Tupperware. Tomorrow, a bigger lunch for sure.
1630h – Finished my yogurt on my way out. Too hungry to hit the gym, I was headed home. I’ve been thinking about food since 1030h, I already have in mind what to make: something warm, and filling, something with protein to keep me satisfied till the next morning. Most importantly, something that will not take long to prepare.
1730h – Supper: half a can of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups water, ¾ can of lentils, 1 cup frozen vegetables and a dollop of yogurt for creaminess – Tomato lentil soup. 1 slice of toast with margarine. Not enough, actually 2 slices.
For a comparison of how well I am to keep meals balanced, I will compare my meals to Canada’s Food Guide. Seems most reasonable given it is Health Canada’s recommendations and what is being taught to the general public. I will be using references for an adult female between 19-50 years of age. And since I spend most of my days at work in the diabetes clinic, I’ll also look at total carbohydrate and protein content. The recommended intake for carbohydrate and protein is consistent with guidelines from the Canadian Diabetes Association.
|Breakfast||Lunch||Dinner||Per Meal||Per Day|
|Carbohydrate (g)||34||34||64||132||30 to 60||90 to 120|
|Protein (g)||16||16||19||51||15 to 20||45-60|
|Canada’s Food Guide Servings|
|Vegetables/Fruit||0||1||2||3||7 to 8|
|Grains||2||1||2||5||6 to 7|
|Meat and Alternatives||1||0.5||0.5||2||2|
|Dairy and Alternatives||0||0.7||0||0.7||2|
|Added Fat||0.67||0.8||0.67||2.14||2 to 3|
A total of 1112kcal (just a rough estimate, that meets approximately 60-70% of my energy needs).
Physical activity: walking. Total steps: 12,374.
Day 1 Complete. Pretty far off from Canada Food Guide’s recommended servings (especially for vegetables – but, but in relatively close for protein and carbohydrate intake if we were to talk about blood sugar management. I’m not surprised though. When purchasing ingredients, I kind of figured I’d probably be on the lower side of vegetable and dairy intake, but wanted to make sure that carbohydrates and protein were at least adequate to provide sufficent energy. Could have been a little more consistent with carbohydrate and protein intake at meals, but the internal struggle between trying to ration out my food and eating a satisfying balanced meal took the better of me in the morning. Wasn’t satisfied for long, was too hungry by lunch and work efficiency wasn’t as good as usual. Stay tuned for how day 2 goes!
Hugs to all who are living the welfare food challenge and to fellow participants.