A Participant’s View: Crunch on Lunch!

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Lunch has always been my favorite meal.  Well, I guess it might be breakfast, since breakfast I haven’t broken any promises yet or gotten behind on anything, or realized there is no way I’ll get everything done on my Do List.  But, while breakfast may be the best meal in terms of the day being full of possibilities, lunch always seem to have more potential as a meal, in terms of taste, texture and tracking.

Healthy Packed Lunch

Let’s start with the tracking part:

If I am trying to average 420 calories per meal, plus 200-250 calories for snacks, I sometimes find that by the evening meal,  I have to be more creative about what I ingest, so as to really enjoy the meal while staying within my calorie allotment for the day.  But, at lunch, I’m usually looking at between 1100 and 1200 left for the day.  Not exactly “the sky’s the limit!” but very much full of promise that I can have something really tasty and not have to worry unduly about staying under 420.  I do try to “plan ahead,” as we were reminded to do during any of the lessons on meals, but I delight in the fact that I can ad lib a bit when packing the lunch or adding to it a bit when I actually sit down for the mid-day meal.

There are so many options when one is looking at 400 – 500 calories, and also if one is making it a point to have something from each of the following 3 food groups:

1) protein (includes dairy)

2) fruit & vegetables

3) grain, preferably whole grains

Day Food for Lunch Calories
Friday Pear, fresh, 100 g – 58; kettle popped sweet&salty popcorn chips -110; chicken breast, 3 oz, 138; spaghetti squash, 1 cup, 42; Edamame, 1 oz. 45; baby carrots – 20. 414
Saturday Chicken salad, with 1 T light mayo – 155; pear salad on romaine-156; edamame, 1 oz. 45; white Cheddar popcorn 160 516
Sunday Trail Mix, 30 g, 140; 1 medium Fuji Apple, 48  ( I knew I was going out to a restaurant for dinner 188
Monday Walleye fish fillet – 148; cole slaw vinaigrette; 61 ; 1 thin roll – 100 309
Tuesday at an Indian restaurant: Chole – 202; dosai – 80; rajmah- 102; flatbread, 1 piece – 200; chicken saag- 145 729
Wednesday Turtle Sundae Mix, 3 T – 160; Chunk Light tuna in water, 1 can – 140; Garden veggie straws-130; Foldit – 100; tomato slice – 6; baby carrots-20 556
Thursday Grilled Salmon Salad – 320; 1 piece Whole Wheat bread – 110; apple – 40 470

The “photo” this week is a chart of what I had for lunch each day from the Friday to Thursday after the class on lunch, which looks fairly similar to all 14 weeks of the program so far.

Re texture, you will see – there’s lots of variety, and lots of crunch!  Apples, baby carrots, celery, popcorn, popcorn crackers are on my “A” list.

As for the taste, I do things like spice up tuna in water with curry powder and red pepper; I spritz lemon all over my chicken (which is normally left over from a grilled chicken breast that was more than 3 oz.) and I am liberal with Ken’s Lite Dressing on mixed greens.

Breakfast may be the meal not to skip, but lunch is definitely the meal to skip about!

Notes from Class #15 – Last one!

Notes for Lesson 15:  Your Commitment

As we started the last class, we were reminded that Eat Smart Move More Weigh Leas was never intended to be a quick fix.  We were reminded that we had been urged to focus on the journey, and be more deliberate and mindful as we planned, prepared, ate, and exercised.

After Rachel took us through a review of the lessons, she urged us to:

  1. Keep tracking…at least your weight. So, if you start going up, then track food.
  2. Pay attention to the events, activities, and thoughts that make up your life.
  3. Do things purposefully: think about why you are making what you are making; turn off distractions when you eat, and spend 20 minutes enjoying your meals.
  4. Be mindful of your activity.
  5. Find a buddy to keep on keeping on.
  6. Make a new SMART goal, perhaps one between now and new year, and then for after January 1. If you still have weight to lose, and you’ve already lost a considerable amount, maybe aim for a bit less per week than when you started the program 15 weeks ago.

Here is my SMART GOAL between now and January 15:

By January 15, be 4 pounds less than now and be still tracking foods and calories and exercises on a daily basis.