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Ahhhh, bliss.  It’s a 3-day weekend and I’m feeling so lazy and luxurious!  My weekends tend to be either jam-packed full or with absolutely nothing going on.  And for nearly the past year, one weekend a month had been dedicated to work – by design.  That’s actually not been so bad – our entire team goes into the office and works two shifts spanning from around 8pm on a Saturday night through lunchtime on Sunday.  Sure, that next Monday everyone is a little groggy in the office, but we all were in it together and that makes it understandable.  And that’s the world of IT for ya – when things need to be deployed we have to work when most everyone else is asleep.

So.  Many of you know since last July I’ve been immersed in the Lean Eating program for women.  Guys, there’s a program for you too by the way!  THE best habit-based coaching I’ve ever done.  I’m learning and practicing habits I will keep for LIFE!  Amazing stuff – really and truly.

Sundays are typically the days I do grocery shopping, meal planning and food prep for the week ahead. I might still do that today even though my company has the holiday tomorrow (President’s Day).  Which is truly bizarre – I haven’t had President’s Day off in 6 years!  (Other than when I was unemployed the first half of 2010).  Yeah, I think I will still do food prep today.  Just one less lunch to prepare for the work week ahead.  I’m actually going to have lunch tomorrow with a guy I worked with over 10 years ago.  He and his wife are moving back east so this will be a sad farewell, but I’m looking forward to seeing him.

What does meal prep look like?  I may do some more detailed posts on this down the road, but it’s basically about setting yourself up for success for the week ahead.  Getting groceries and preparing food on Sunday so it’s easy to grab and go when you head out the door to go to the office or school or whatever you are doing every morning.  Who has time in the morning to chop up veggies or cook up some quinoa or steel-cut oats before heading out the door?  Maybe some of you do, but I sure don’t.  But if I spend my Sunday getting veggies chopped, cooking up a batch of quinoa and slicing and broiling up some polenta brushed with a little olive oil (which I love), then it’s easy to throw a mixture of that in a small Tupperware in the morning and throw it in my lunch bag.  Maybe with a small handful of fresh spinach on top, some baby carrots, a couple of black olives and a small blob of hummus.

I find that eating two small afternoon meals works best for me.  I do my workouts in the evenings after work, and having a small snack around 4pm makes me feel ready and confident for my upcoming workout.  Typically that late afternoon snack has been a plain nonfat Greek yogurt sprinkled with 5 or 6 walnuts, but ever since trying plant-based eating exclusively for a couple of weeks, I find that reintroducing dairy into my diet makes me feel bloated.  And gassy.  Yeesh.  Maybe I have a mild intolerance I never realized?  Who knows.  So I’ve switched to either a couple of slices of polenta or some baby carrots with hummus.

Along with trying plant-based eating, our program also had us experiment with Paleo eating.  I’ve enjoyed Paleo (also known as ‘primal’ or ‘ancestral’) eating in the past so this was nothing new to me.  But I do find that I do OK with polenta and hummus…neither of which officially is Paleo, because polenta is corn-based and hummus is legume-based.  My coach says that’s OK – what’s best for me doesn’t have to be strictly vegan or strictly Paleo, for example.  What a relief!

I do know I’ve been dropping more poundage and feeling leaner and more energetic since I’ve cut way back on grains and dairy while increasing my veggie consumption.  Do I miss grains and dairy?  Honestly, no!  Is it worth indulging, knowing I’m going to feel bloated, miserable and rip farts for a good half hour afterwards?

I don’t think so!