Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Eat When You Don't Get Lunch

There are a lot of good things about my job, obviously, but one of my favorite things (for many reasons) are our outreach clinics. Since Courtney left last summer I have, unfortunately, been unable to go on outreach very often. I think I have gone three times in about eight months. I used to be able to go three times a week if I wanted too.

Anywho, that's not the point of this entry. The big downside to outreach is that we don't have time for a lunch break. We arrive early, drive to clinic (up to 2.5 hours away), see patients all day and as quickly as possible, then we can eat and come home. Often "lunch" at the end of clinic also means going out, not packing. There is definite potential for a TON of snacking, and I have definitely been guilty of this in the past.

Tomorrow I have the privilege to travel to Panama City with one of the outreach teams, and I'm pumped. But that of course presents the problem of "how do I stick to my diet when I'm starving all day?" The answer is simple, and it's the same strategy I use almost every day, plan ahead!

Here is my plan:
1) Eat a big breakfast! Usually I don't eat a lot in the morning before work, but for outreach an exception can be made, and hopefully it will keep me full longer than my typical breakfast does.

2) Pack my snacks (they're packed!). If I don't pack my own, I end up having to rely on whatever Tom Thumb can supply me, and well, Tom Thumb has a pretty limited supply of healthy (and FRESH) options. Hopefully I packed enough to be snacks as well as "lunch" so that I'm not too hungry by the time I get home.

3) Avoid temptation at the restaurant. This one is probably the easiest for me tomorrow. Panama City means a visit to Tropical Smoothie at the end of the day, and if you've ever looked at the nutrition facts for Tropical Smoothie, you'll know why. I wouldn't mind ordering a smoothie every now and then, but eh.

My mantra since the beginning of the year has been "you can't argue with success". Thankfully I have been successful so far, and that's keeping my willpower strong.

I wish all of you who are also on a weight loss journey continued success!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The (Pumpkin) Spice of Life

Some of you may be aware that I LOVE all things pumpkin. I have yet to find a pumpkin inspired anything that I don't like. This has only been made worse by my awesome coworkers, who feel the same way. Every fall we get a little pumpkin crazy. But why does it have to be fall to enjoy delicious pumpkin recipes?

I've also recently become a little obsessed with Pinterest. Not too long ago I saw a recipe for pumpkin spice oatmeal that I really wanted to try. Yes, oatmeal does not equal low carb, however, low carb does not mean "avoid carbs all together and then binge on them when you can't take it anymore." I also live with a man who is not on the low carb bandwagon with me (although incredibly supportive), and I thought, "what a nice, easy breakfast I can make one chilly Saturday morning." That morning was today, and it was good (and still very healthy). I paired my pumpkin spice oatmeal with pumpkin spice coffee (a K Cup) and low fat vanilla creamer (it tastes like Starbucks PSL but with only 30 calories). All in all, breakfast came to under 400 calories. See the recipe below.

1.5 cups milk (soy, almond, skim, whatever)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla (but I use more, yum!)
1 cup oats
2 tbs brown sugar

Whisk together all ingredients except oats and brown sugar and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add oats and cook until soft. Divide into two servings, top each with brown sugar and enjoy!

(Recipe borrowed from Pastry Affair)