Work-train-bus-sofa-bed. Seven-hour-grind. Focus. Five o’clock. Stuff mouth with carbs. Read while laced with the Itis. Sleep. My days seem to run together this way during busy periods. Around the three o’clock hour, I’ll envision that 5 to 7 pm window, filled with possibilities and hope of what I will get into upon clock-out hour, only to find myself wondering, at quarter to nine, “Where the devil did my day go?”
After a week of daily egg-and-cheese-on-whole-wheat and lattés from the coffee shop near work (which could have easily become a “Turn Myself into Color Purple Oprah” habit), my energy had just been so very low. Winter is over and I was still heavy on carbs. Can one call herself a vegetarian if she diets largely on bread, bagels, and potatoes? No, that would be a starchatarian. To kickstart myself into spring and better energy and concentration levels, I decided to recommit to getting my 3 fruits and 3 veggies a day. I’m up and down on this but had really been slipping since January—the fault of the Burger Joint, with its juicy veggie burgers filled with oats, beans, rice, molasses and that special mojo crack sauce...
But, yes, back to energy and fresh food. Week 1 began with a nectarine. Nectarines are easier in the morning. Not a lot of chewing action for my tired mouth, who feels it is too early to wake up—let alone chew your own food. I pack an apple to eat during the day (fruit #2) and—oh—before I leave out the door, wrap some raisins (fruit #3) in a napkin. Because sometimes I think I’m drinking more water than I actually am, I bought a BPA-free thingamajig, so I would at least keep count of how much I drank at work, where I spend most of my time.
The days that followed were the same with a little variation. Added bagels and Tofutti to the morning nectarine (no measuring the amount of Tofutti; there is pleasure in bagel-scooping). Afternoons saw apples or pears or oranges. My salads are always bangin’: 2 cups spinach, arugula, black beans, raisins, sliced almonds, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, chopped onions, a little sea salt. Carrots separately to banish the onion-breath. (Five veggies! Yes, I count tomatoes.)
Then I get home, drop my purse: “Dinner?” Dinner has not been worked out. I’ve gone from egg sandwiches; to grilled cheese, eggs, and chocolate soymilk; to Parmesan- and basil-flavored soy burgers on wheat with tomato. Not very imaginative but it gets the breads in. I’m working on it—and my smoothie game. I’m not a seasonal produce shopper yet, but I’m not clocking-out mentally anymore. I’ve reclaimed my non-work time and it is more enjoyable.
Cheese is next for The Reckoning: “Dear Mr. Parmesan, you lookin’ good, but we need to talk. . .”
It’s spring, AOI-ers! Do you have any pointers for staying renewed physically or mentally?