It's enough to send many running the opposite direction. However, innovations today make this lifestyle practical, even optimal in terms of nutrition. I'm here to show you how.
While my least favorite topic on dates, it is perhaps the thing I love the most (and got me to where I am... I'm a food scientist, yo). That thing is diet - and creating one that abides by a long list of parameters food scientists know all too well in today's market. If my diet were a product development project, it'd look like this:
- Convenient, minimal time preparation
- Travel friendly (mess-free; I can eat it while driving)
- Budget friendly
Oh, we're not done - there's more...
- Carbohydrate strategic (low content, offers fiber)
- Low to no sugar
- Protein, protein, protein (I consume 60-70g/day)
I know what you're thinking...
"Do you even eat tho?"
The answer - YES! And my options - VAST!
Don't believe me? - let me prove it.
Believe me? - cool, I'm still going to drop some knowledge.
Don't care? - ah, but I think you do. ;-)
Below are some common misconceptions that I simply must address - including what I spend in terms of dollars and time, and what I eat and prepare. As a part of that, I've also included one of many innovative products out there making my life easier.
"You must spend a fortune."
My weekly groceries run between $40 - $50, meaning as much as $5.71 - $7.14 per day. Further, I'm a dedicated meal prepper, and despise eating out (I seldom do it).
"Meal prepping takes too long."
My time-cost is 1-2 hours per week, scheduled on my Sunday mornings. Other than that, it's microwave time to reheat food... but honestly, I prefer eating it cold. That's EVEN LESS time!
"What do you eat?"
I'm not about this breakfast, lunch, dinner thing. I just listen to my body, and when I'm hungry, I eat a meal. I still eat 3-4 meals a day, but the time varies (and the theme - I often eat "breakfast-type" foods in the evening). When I'm between meals, craving something, or feeling tired, I eat a snack. Here are my chief go-to's (meaning the items that are consistently a part of my meal prep):
Treat yo self.
I realize the above isn't for everyone, but it's certainly more than the lettuce beds some assume I am limited to. In truth, there isn't anything in my diet I feel guilty about having... unless it's popcorn and I fail to floss that night (hey, it happens). With that said, when I "treat myself," it's just something out of the ordinary.
For example, every once in a while, I crave a burger. Who doesn't (if you can name someone, they are probably LYING to you)? The great thing is, one does not have to look far for a great option whilst living the gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based lifestyle.
Here is a favorite product of mine that I snag near-weekly (& fail only when it's out of stock) ... the Beyond Burger.
Ingredients: Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Water, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Gum Arabic, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Succinic Acid, Acetic Acid, Non-GMO Modified Food Starch, Cellulose From Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Beet Juice Extract (for color), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Citrus Fruit Extract (to maintain quality), Vegetable Glycerin.
Contains: Coconut Oil
Time: about 20 minutes
Cost: Per serving: $2.99
Per package: $5.99
Shelf-life (this is good for): Date printed on package. I consume within 1-2 days of preparation... kidding, I normally eat 2 patties same day because I lack self-control.
Yes, this product is:
- Soy free
Note: Values are compliant with the old Nutrition Facts Label. The % DV was automatically generated to reflect 40% DV. The actual DV for this product's protein content is 32% (stated on product packaging) & indicates a PDCAAS score of 0.80.
"What is it?"
A burger that is made entirely from plants and offers 20g protein, 0g cholesterol, 25% DV of Iron, 90% DV of Vitamin C, & all under 300 calories per patty.
"When did this happen?"
This product launched July 4th of 2016. (Where have you been?)
"Where can I buy this?"
You can purchase at Whole Foods, Wegmans, Kroger, via Amazonfresh, and many more. Check out their store locater here. If not in produce, this item will be stocked alongside burgers of the animal-based kind (meat aisle).
"How do I prepare it?"
To prepare, heat a pan to medium-high heat, apply oil to prevent sticking (I use about 1 Tbsp coconut oil), and cook 3 minutes per side. It's okay if the interior is still red or pink, though the internal temperature should be a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The burger patties are good for a sell-by date identified on front of package. It's good for use within 3 days of opening. Ideally consumed same-day, I've had no problem storing this product for 1-2 days following preparation.