It’s kind of obscene how much I think about food. While working, watching sports or television and even when I am working out, I am thinking about food. Not necessarily what I am going to eat. Sometimes that is the case, but other times it might be what I should eat because I am not hungry and I have to eat so that I can keep running. Other times, I am brainstorming about how I can make an interesting dish. Or in reality, how I can make myself a feast for lunch.
Last year, I went to see a nutritionist. I wasn’t eating too badly, but at the same time, I wanted to do it better since 1) I am a vegetarian and 2) I was concerned that I might not be getting enough of certain nutrients. Secondarily, I wanted to lose weight and while I was already pretty good about doing the working out thing, I knew that ultimately, I needed to change how I ate to really make that goal happen. Seeing the nutritionist was the best thing that I could have done for myself. I met with someone who was okay with me not liking certain foods and not forcing me to eat them because “it is what vegetarians should eat.” She also was very helpful in helping to understand that and look at food as a way of fueling my body to do what I wanted.
In terms of fueling myself, I also learned to eat differently. Instead of the typical thing of having the biggest or heaviest meal of the day center around dinner, like it does for most people, my big meals are breakfast and lunch. And this is where a feast of a lunch comes in for me. Lunchtime is when I will have pasta and other starches. Dinner is when I will do something light, such as a salad, soup or maybe a protein shake. Sometimes if I am feeling really adventurous, I might have a yogurt parfait of my own creation.
As for the lunch creations, my latest obsession is finding a million different ways to cook quinoa. I’ve never really had it as just a side dish. I always make it the centerpiece of the meal. Such as making it scented with cumin and adding in some wild rice and other vegetables. Or maybe using it in a deconstructed burrito bowl a la Chipotle. A favorite is a quinoa mushroom risotto that is quite filling and delicious.
Now that it is finally starting to warm up, I will venture out into making sandwiches. Since I don’t eat the faux meat products (they are generally gross, frighten me and soy does horrible things to my body) I will be in for a bit of a challenge to come up with great filling ideas besides hummus and veggies. I have one to try of smashed chickpeas with avocado salad to try. I’ve already got some fantastic bread to eat it on, now I just have to try the filling. Coming up with new sandwich ideas will be a nice change of thought from the myriad of recipes already floating around my head.