When I used to eat simple carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta) it never took much thought to put together a meal. Breakfast: how about muffins, bagels, or oatmeal? Lunch: soup & sandwich, fast food, or sushi? Dinner: pasta, pad thai, or :::gasp::: eggplant parm? Clearly these aren’t the healthiest of options, but I never had to worry about not having anything to choose from.
Since surgery, I went no-carb, which was necessary since I count carbohydrates as my addiction. My new no-carb life has led me to (finally) success in weight loss and more energy. But, my recent attendance at several work conferences demonstrated the limitations to being so strict with this lifestyle… nothing to eat. Sure, there were plenty of options for everyone else – sugary juices, muffins, cookies, and mini bagels – but the only thing on the snack table I could have was the water. Not exciting.
In an attempt not to be left hangry – so hungry you’re angry – and staring longingly at the bread (because that’s just creepy), I came up with a few tips for myself and thought I would share. Hope you find them as helpful as I have!
- Always keep a healthy snack in your bag – my favorites are some raw almonds, string cheese, and Starkist tuna pouches. String cheese can get a bit gross if you leave it all day, but I find it is a perfect morning snack. I’ve tried bringing a banana, but it just gets bruised and battered in my bag, and that’s not my scene. And, I love keeping tuna pouches in my desk for a quick lunch or snack!
- Keep an extra stash of protein powder on hand. In case of emergencies, you can always just mix it with plain water, which almost everyone has on hand. My new favorite is unflavored protein powder, which I frequently add to my coffee and tea. While not the same as having a meal you have to chew, it is a great option to keep the hunger at bay.
- Scope out the scenery. I almost always know where the nearest food options are as a result of my hatred of the hangry stage. Not that fast food is ever the best option, but if need be you can always choose a salad or grilled chicken sandwich and ditch the bun. (Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill has 34 grams of protein and only 370 calories… and that’s with the bun!)
- Plan ahead. Whether that means having breakfast before you leave the house or packing a bagged lunch, this ensures you can always control the food you eat.
- Speak up. If you are going to a regular meeting and realize they only stock carbs, don’t be afraid to ask for your dietary needs. For example, at work they have just about every brand of soda and Goldfish Crackers. But, searching out the diet green tea, or asking for it when there isn’t something like that available, helps keep me from being tempted by those high-carb/sugary options.
What are some of your favorite tips to navigating a carb controlled world?
xo – SavvySleever