Learning to cut carbs and enjoy sautéed veggies

By Kat Polomsky
Posted3/3/2019 7:00 AM
  • Adding colorful plant-based foods to my diet is easier when prepped early in the week.

      Adding colorful plant-based foods to my diet is easier when prepped early in the week. Kat Polomsky | Staff Photographer

Food addiction has a strong hold over me, but luckily my trainer Josh gave me a detailed -- but doable -- diet plan to help me break these binds.

This plan includes eating five meals a day, low carbs, a consistent sleep schedule and eating nutrient-dense and whole foods.

I'm hoping my experience in the health food industry will provide a well-supported foundation for half of his expectations, but cutting out the carbs and being mindful of five meals is quite the intimidator.

To give you a quick summary of my usual meal structure, breakfast often didn't exist in my world and many meals were decided on impulse, prepared by a local restaurant or chain.

These meals consisted of feasts and I assure you dessert always made an appearance. Even though the flavors delighted my taste buds for a short term, body aches, fatigue, and mental fog lingered for hours.

Recently, I decided to review some of my common feasting treats only to discover that many, if not all, were overly processed, high in sodium, and included a heavy dose of carbs -- usually composed of pasta, rice, or bread with little to no nutrient value.

This realization struck me like a wrecking ball and I've never been more committed to breaking this habit.

I think many of us know the importance of reading nutritional information, but it is much easier to just eat what makes us feel happy. But if obesity and health are at risk, then temporary sacrifices need to be made.

The biggest challenge for me now is finding food items that fit the guidelines.

I decided to start with breakfast and to take a nontraditional route by eating sautéed vegetables with scrambled egg and toasted almonds.

This meal satisfied me so much that I decided to take one fell swoop by doubling this dish and using half of it for my lunch later on.

Never in my mind would I think sautéed veggies would find a place on my morning plate, but safe to say, they are here to stay!

With two meals down, I decided to tackle my snacks, which I call second breakfast and second lunch.

In the morning, while breakfast is sizzling on the skillet, I prepare a smoothie for my in-between meal snacks.

I sneak in a cup of fresh kale, a handful of berries, a serving of plant-based protein, some soy milk, flax and chia seeds, and a small portion of banana and avocado.

Voila! Four meals completed!

Suddenly, consuming five meals throughout the day feels attainable and I find myself feeling less stressed and saving valuable time and money now that I'm not eating out every day.

Now I have extra time to work out!

My last meal is looking to be a challenge, but luckily I can rely on quick stir-fry to save the day -- Make your bets on how long this lasts …

Despite eating more meals, I find myself hungry all the time and I have visions of sweets gleefully dancing in my mind. Josh says this hunger is a sign that my body is burning fat and I'm fortunate to have already lost three pounds just from a change of diet.

• Kat Polomsky is a Daily Herald events specialist and also helps manage the Fittest Loser At Work Challenge.

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