by Marcella Torres
We are all creatures of habit and will always choose the easier, most efficient option. Often this works against us when we’re rushed in the morning or starving at work, but a little forethought can actually make these tendencies work for us and not against us! For example, if you’ve prepared a lunch in advance and already brought it to work it will be easier to just eat what you’ve brought than to go out for lunch, making the healthier choice a foregone conclusion!
Here are some ways that our household, of two competitive bodybuilders and a toddler, keeps a whole foods plant-based diet simple and convenient:
· I prepare breakfast in advance. Derek leaves to work out at 5 am and I’m usually carrying a 30-pound hangry baby in the morning so advance preparation is a must. I either soak oatmeal in soy milk, almond milk or fruit juice overnight in bowls for my son and I and a portable container for Derek OR cook oatmeal or oat groats overnight in a crockpot. When prepared cold I add berries, and when prepared hot I add everything from raisins and stevia to cocoa powder and bananas.
· Great foods to have on hand for quick lunches are canned beans, pre-seasoned tofu, and quick cooking grains like whole-wheat couscous or quinoa. When I had a 10-hour-a-day corporate job, canned chickpeas or black beans that I simply drained and rinsed paired with quinoa or pre-cooked brown rice, with different Indian, Mexican, or Italian spices, was my go to lunch. Always eaten with a salad of course!
· Think like a competitive athlete and prepare your lunches for the week in advance and portion into individual containers for maximum ease. Advance prep is a huge factor in a physique athlete’s success and you don’t need to compete to take advantage of it.
· Add seasoned tofu, edamame, or chickpeas to salad for a quick light lunch.
· Diced bell peppers or other raw vegetables are a quick and easy way to add color and nutrition to a simple lunch that doesn’t require cooking.
· Bake a large batch of sweet potatoes in advance for the week. A big pot of chili, pre-baked sweet potatoes, and you are set for lunch for the week!
· The most convenient snack food of all is fruit! A whole grapefruit or large apple can be pretty filling. An easy way to get more beans and greens in your daily menu is to include Derek’s “bean shakes” in your diet as a daily snack.
Make some of these tips a habit and the healthier choice will win every time!