There are few things you can do to impact your life more powerfully, profoundly, and permanently than changing your diet. Every morsel of food that enters your mouth has a direct impact on your body, mind, and spirit.
Salads are a big part of my weekly food plan. And, thankfully, there are many variations on a theme.
The Taco Salad is a great example. While my family is stuffing taco shells and tortillas with taco-seasoned meat, I’m using it as a topping for a whopping big salad. The salad shown above is a big one. It’s certainly enough food for two.
Although you probably can’t tell from the photo, the salad bowl is much larger than the standard salad or soup bowl that comes with your run-of-the-mill dinner ware. I took a big liking to the salad bowls they use at Paradise Bakery and Cafe. The bowls are big enough that you can actually ‘toss’ your salad right in the serving bowl. A smart idea.
This is SO easy. You mix and cook it up in a measuring cup. You can pop it in the microwave and, while it’s cooking, you can let out the dog, or make a cup of coffee, or pack your lunch for work!
There are lots of ways you can change this up. Use ham, bacon, green peppers, onion, etc. Personalize it just the way you want it!
Planning is Essential to Your Success
Weekday mornings are pretty hectic at my house. With two us getting ready for work and the other two prepping for the school day, it can be crazy. After I finished my breakfast this morning, I quickly turned my attention to what I was going to have for lunch. It’s not that I’m some sort of food freak (well, okay…I am), but we all know that planning is SO essential to making this (or any other) eating plan a success.
Yesterday was my “cheat meal” day, so today and the rest of the week have to be clean-eating days.
I made good Paleo choices and packed a salad (Romaine lettuce with carrots and red cabbage) along with a handful of fresh spinach leaves. Also tossed into my lunch bag were two hard-boiled eggs, an avocado, and a zip-top bag of raw, sliced mushrooms, a bag of sliced green pepper, and two organic pears from Trader Joe’s (love that place!). I also (thankfully) remembered to pack my homemade oil + vinegar salad dressing. In fact, I put the whole shaker-bottle in my bag! 🙂
My early morning snack was the sliced green pepper.
I had a cup of coffee (with ½ and ½) for breakfast, so I drank iced-tea pretty much all day at work. (And made several trips to the restroom as a result.) An ultra-low carb diet WILL force the water out of your system. That is a fact.
There was a Fight at Lunch Today
My lunch time is flexible, but I usually go from 11-12. Today was no different. As eleven o’clock approached, the emotional side of my brain was trying to convince the logical side of my brain that it would be okay to have more Chinese food today (as long as I skipped the mei fun and lo-mein). The emotional side of our brain can get the best of us some times. Can you relate?
The plan was that I would grab my lunch bag and head to the employee lunchroom. Unfortunately, my brain was still fighting with itself and in addition to the lunch bag, I grabbed my coat and car keys. I carried my lunch bag to the car and headed for the Chinese restaurant. All the way to the restaurant I kept telling myself that this was a bad idea. A few days ago I committed to a new plan and I was already falling off the wagon. I literally said out loud, “This is really not a good idea.”
Logical-brain finally came to life and the car was diverted to the thrift shop just a few hundred feet from the Chinese restaurant. I strolled the aisles, looking for nothing. But I was happy to be there. And not at the restaurant. I only stayed a few minutes, then got back in the car and returned to work.
We’re Not Perfect
Back in the lunchroom I found an empty table and made my salad. I felt pretty good about the choice I had made. In fact, I think I surprised myself. In the past, I would have said ‘screw it’ and would have gone to the restaurant.
Bottom line, we’re all going to screw up and make bad choices once in a while. And as long as it’s infrequent, then I feel okay with it. That’s why I’ve built in an escape clause with my ‘cheat meal’. But…I have to keep the cheating to one meal. On one day of the week. Two or three bad choices in a week will not get me where I want to be.
I am committed to the Paleo plan because I know it works. But only when I follow the rules.
Share Your Thoughts
How do you stay on your program? What do you do when you fall off the wagon? Please…leave a comment!