As I cracked open the fridge this morning, it took me more than a few minutes to finally decide what I wanted to eat for breakfast. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I just can’t make oatmeal happen. I started wondering how many other fitness girls run into the same issue and just grab takeout instead. So, first of all, I like to ask you:
Do you cook your own meals?
The Laziness Factor is an interesting topic, but the question of who brought a brown bag and who’s grabbing Mickey D’s usually comes up at work around noon. Most of the kids I work with are between the ages of 20 and 32, a reasonable range to be cooking for one’s self pleasure. However, as I know, when you’re finishing up school, finally out on your own and have a job and other social priorities, cooking up a roast doesn’t always end up happening.
I’ve often heard from admittedly good office chefs that takeout makes it to the table more often than something home-cooked. Some of my pals are self-professed “lazy bones,” but others just don’t like to deal with the after-mess and cleaning up the entire kitchen, especially if they have roommates.
I can see that having to share kitchen facilities can potentially put a damper on the joys of cooking. Some kids work later than others, so it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to make a huge racket down the hall at 11 PM.
When I first moved out of the house, I was totally reluctant to start cooking for myself. It wasn’t necessarily that I was flat-out lazy, but rather, I had no clue where to begin. Bread and jam gets boring pretty quickly, so my Subway card was kept on a regular rotation.
I think most fitness enthusiasts in their early twenties can relate to this, especially if they’re students or have just moved away from home for school. You’re basically forced to learn a new trade on top of having to make good on all your actual assignments.
Who really cares about clean eating? In this case, most people in this boat go for convenience over anything else. I was all about the Lean Cuisine and frozen dinners, something hot in minimal time.
It wasn’t until I became fed up with how disgusting my diet was that I began to seek out the tools for better eating. Taste was a huge factor, prepared meals typically don’t have the same charm as something a little more fresh, so I kind of just free-styled what I thought I remembered from my parents’ cooking.
Too Much Temptation:
Sometimes, it all comes down to proximity, to tasty yet unhealthy food. My workplace is in the building right beside a pizza parlour. Needless to say, the smell just permeates everything. If you’re constantly around something so tasty, chances are you’re going to eventually slip. A friend of mine admits she just likes pizza; she has nothing for or against cooking, but she simply chooses to indulge her inner gourmand.
This can be the case for getting takeout: it just tastes so damn good. I’ve got to say, a good poutine never fails me, even though I know better. Still, I suppose taste can be a powerful motivator to choose one type of food over the other, otherwise we’d all just eat broccoli. But, for the sake of fitness, I follow the followings:
Quick Vegetarian Protein Snacks For Fitness Girls:
Price of pork got you down? Go vegetarian without missing any of the protein-filled benefits of red meat. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with easy go-to snack alternatives that don’t involve slaving over a hot stove for hours on end. Since red meat generally needs to be cooked, I decided to look to some vegetarian alternatives for a convenient protein option. Here’s what I found:
Think lentils, chick peas, dark red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white kidney beans, romano beans, etc. You can find different fresh or canned varieties in a reputed online grocery store, yes, I’m talking about Amazon.
Certain combinations and types of beans can contain anywhere from 10 -15 grams of protein per serving— that’s huge! What I usually do is drain and rinse the canned beans using a strainer, measure a portion and add to a mixed salad. Chop up some zucchini or cucumbers, tomatoes, and any other veggies you might like.
Add some balsamic vinaigrette to taste and you’ve got yourself one snack. Beans are also highly nutritious due to their fiber content; the variety I’m consuming can pack up to 40% of your daily dose of fiber. This way, you can stay fuller for longer, all of which equals a slimmer you.
I haven’t talked about this much before, but it’s totally worth your while to investigate. Tofu generally has a bad rep; many people hear the word and shudder while thinking of some mushy, gooey, tasteless glob of white gunk.
However, what people don’t realize is that the texture and the taste can vary, depending on both the firmness of your tofu and the other flavours you use in your dish. To be fair, tofu is generally tasteless, so on its own, it’s easy to see how it can hold that beefy label.
You see, those who still know the food and love it will be quick to tell you how versatile tofu is. In terms of cooking, tofu tends to absorb the juices and flavours of whatever else you’re cooking with— teriyaki sauce, etc. This means that by adding the right sauces and spices, you can really end up with an entirely tasty dish.
I like to stir-fry mine with a light teriyaki sauce, tons of veggies, and brown rice. The tofu acts as a meat substitute; the variety I use contains around 16 grams of protein per serving. Note: if you’re still flung by the “tastelessness” of the item, you should know that there are other spiced options, like herbed tofu and tomato basil.
You know what the cottage cheese is, but let me tell you, for a low-fat snack that’s high in protein, cottage cheese ranks highly on my go – to list of bites. The texture can take a little getting used to, but once you get over that, the 16-18 grams of protein will help you feel sated for longer.
For me, the taste was initially hard to swallow, so I added a portion of flavoured yogurt and mixed it all in together. I also like to add some fruit, like red grapes or a dice banana for some extra texture and natural sweetness. It’s a good snack for in between meals that will also help you build lean muscle.
At 16-18 grams of protein per serving, this is a great new discovery of mine. The texture of Greek yogurt is what they call “creamy”— in other words, very thick compared to regular yogurt, which is quite runnier. On its own, plain Greek yogurt is rather tart I find, so I pull the cottage cheese trick and add a portion of flavoured yogurt to give it some sweetness.
Alternatively, there are varieties of flavoured Greek yogurt that allows you to cut the steps in half. The reason I suggest adding your own flavoured yogurt to the plain Greek kind is because the ready-made flavoured varieties of Greek yogurt sometimes come with the fruit on the bottom.
With the fruit on the bottom, you need to be careful of the added sugar, which can come with that syrupy stuff you stir up from the bottom. That said, you can add some plain granola for extra crunch and fiber, or some fruit as well. Now, lets see what is for office time.
10 Snacks To Leave In Your Office Cubicle:
For those who work in an office setting or somewhere offering semi- permanent personal storage options, such as a drawer, locker, or cubby, eating healthy while at work shouldn’t be a problem. Because you have the option of leaving non-perishables in your work area, take advantage of the space and stash some nutritious snacks for those days where you were too busy to pack more meals.
This is a light, airy snack that can also very relatively healthy, if you cut back on the salt and the butter. Store a pack in your desk or cubicle; snack on it plain to keep the healthy-factor high. I prefer it while watching TV.
Cup ‘o Soup or Soup at Hand:
The hot broth will fill you up, and it’s low calorie count ensures that you won’t end up with an oversized gut. Beware the salt content however; condensed soup can pack a surprisingly high amount of sodium. If you can, find a low-sodium option, and opt for a broth-based soup rather than a cream-based one—think chicken noodle or vegetable versus cream of potato bacon. You’ll save on calories and your waistline will thank you for it later.
Unsalted Nuts and Raisins:
Nuts are both a good source of protein and fiber. This combination will fill you up and help stabilize your metabolism. Go for the “natural” version and steer clear of any honey-roasted or sugar-coated options; avoid the salted nuts as these ones can add an unexpected dose of sodium to an otherwise healthy snack. Nuts can be high in calories, so stick to a handful or around 12 or 13 nuts per portion.
While dried fruit can be high in calories, the uncandied version can pack a ton of essential vitamins. Keep your portions in check, and maybe toss ‘em in with the nuts and raisins for a homemade trail mix variety. I find dates and dried apricots a tasty and smart choice.
I’m a huge fan of Kashi, and for good reason. Not only does it taste amazing, this product boasts an impressive blend of fiber, whole grains, and protein— all of which will help regulate your metabolism, keep you fuller longer, and build lean muscle. I’m especially impressed with a cereal that can provide up to 13 grams of protein per cup— a nutritious and balanced meal replacement or snack. There’s several different varieties— both puffs and the crunchy kind— which can be eaten alone, with milk or fruit, or with yogurt.
Protein Shake or Nutrition Bar:
This one is obvious enough, but more and more I find myself relying on protein shakes and bars as quick and healthy meal replacement options. In addition to being packed with vitamins and a super punch of protein, these products are slim, compact, and easy to store.
If you have the option, invest in a sports bottle and shaker. It looks like a tall water bottle, but with an important add on—a stainless-steel “whisk ball.” Dump in your powdered shake mix, add water, drop in the ball, close the lid tight and shake. The whisk ball will help whip up your concoction in no time flat.
Sugar-Free (Unsweetened) Fruit Cocktail:
Drain the sugary liquid to enjoy a low-cal dose of healthy fruit. Canned fruit can be high in sugar, so treat as you would your dried fruit and eat within a portionable size. If I’m at home, I eat some pineapple or mixed fruit cocktail with Jell-O, or sometimes with yogurt. You can even try some with Kashi or granola, as I discuss below.
Like Kashi, granola is high in fiber and a key ingredient in maintaining a steady metabolism. This can be eaten alone or with fruit or yogurt. It is not so favorite to me, but at times I take it.
Another favorite one. Like plain popcorn, unsalted pretzels are a great snack in a pinch—a healthy dose of fiber and carbs and a relatively low level of fat and calories.
Flavored Tuna and Triscuits:
This is basically your personal version of the vending machine variety. The prepackaged version usually includes flakey, buttery crackers—high in fat, salt, and calories. Trade the unhealthy carbs for something more nutritious, as far as packaged crackers go. Triscuits are among the healthiest store-bought variety; you can swap these for.
As far as your tuna goes, opt for one of those personal tins that come fully equipped with the easy-open tab for your convenience. However, would you mind to share what healthy snacks do you stash in your cubicle? Any ideas on how to spice up the above suggestions?