Food for Thought

Friday as I prepared to leave work, a co-worker mentioned his plans to attend a lecture given by Chef Marcus Samuelson.  Having seen Chef Samuelson in a number of Food Network contests and shows but knowing little about him, I decided to tag along.  I could not have made a better decision.

Chef Samuelson was amazing.  There is something beautiful about seeing someone talk about the things they love. Chef talked at length about eating with one’s spiritual compass. He later described the spiritual compass as a holistic approach to food -connecting what we eat, who we are, who we share our food with, and why we choose the things we eat.  Put a pin in that, I’ll come back..

Three weeks ago I decided to go meatless one day each week. I chose Wednesday because it was as good as any other day.  I figured the calories I saved would help in my weight loss efforts.  I did it (once), and I swear to you at midnight I was eating meat. I did not remember my new regimine the following week until Thursday.  The week after that, I decided to forego the stupid idea because there was no reason to do it in the first place.

As Chef gave examples from his own life of ways he eats using his spiritual compass he mentioned that he goes meatless once a week. His reasons, to teach himself discipline, to learn about himself through sacrifice, and to honor those family and friends in his life who eat no meat at all.  Listening to Chef tell his story inspired me to reconsider my own goal, but this time, using my spiritual compass.

This time around, I chose to go meatless on Mondays. This allows me to use Sundays to prepare healthy meatless options. My desire to lose weight is longterm. Going meatless one day a week is less about calories saved than it is about commitment reaffirmed. Mondays are hard. I’m generally sore from my 5+ mile Sunday runs and eating healthily at home is easier than doing so at work. Meatless Mondays remind me that healthy decisions must be made early and often. The goal is not to suffer through my meatless days, but to embrace them by challenging myself to eat more vegetables, to get creative, and to use my Monday successes as foundations upon which to build throughout each week.

This week my menu is simple and straight forward.

Breakfast – Super Juice (3 carrots, apple, pear, strawberries, blue berries, spinach, kale and a table-spoon of spirulina (literally pond scum, but also a high octane superfood)

Snacks – Red Grapes

– Cherries

– Yogurt

Lunch / Dinner – Whole wheat Rotini, with a spicy pasta sauce made from mushrooms and  roasted zucchini, squash, red bell pepper, tomatos, onion, garlic a cubanelle (a spicy pepper), and ground flax seed

– Spinach salad with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pear, grapes, tomato, and blue cheese with vinaigrette

Wish me luck!

Quick update. At today’s weigh-in I weighed 225.6 (-.2 from last week).

I roasted my vegetables prior to adding them to the sauce in an effort to maximize flavor.
My lunch
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5 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. Your menu looks good. Consider making a pot of vegetarian chili on Saturdays. Add Morning Star Farms vegetarian rumbles to replace ground beef. You can use the chili to put over a veggie burger. You increase your protein which helps in weight loss. Saves some prep on Sunday and flavored get to marinate.

  2. Well said, and I commend you for doing what you are doing. More people need to have discipline like you. Keep up the positive messages!

  3. I grew up vegetarian, so I think I’m biased about vegetarian meals – I happen to think a lot of them just taste better! But I always tell my friends who are going meatless one day a week or more to be careful not to get caught in the pasta rut!

    I try to make things and sub out the meat with veggies or grains (because the fake meat stuff kind of grosses me out) — for example, making stuffed peppers or eggplant usually involves ground meat, but you can stuff them just as well with brown rice and beans/peas (high fiber vegetables) and be just as full (if not more so)!

    This food blog is amazing; here are the vegetarian recipes: http://smittenkitchen.com/recipes/#Vegetarian

    • Thanks for the great recommendations. I had extra sauce left over so instead of making more pasta, I made some quinoa. It was just as good!

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