What I have been eating: School Struggles

When I set out to be a teacher, I expected a lot. I expected there to be difficult students, difficult mentors, difficult tests, difficult preparation. And I was right about all that, even if I dare say I have managed to get through it all more or less unscathed until now.

What I didn’t expect was that being a teacher means finding a new eating routine. I didn’t have as much trouble last year because I had quite a few lessons inbetween the ones I taught where I could decide for myself how to spend it (which means I could eat pretty much whenever I wanted to). But, this year, having lessons all morning when I’m at school, I just can’t catch a breath to actually eat something. I’m not big on scarfing things down, so I basically just eat nothing all morning. Which is fine, as, luckily, I am big on eating breakfast.

Basically, I have had to be a lot more consistent with eating than I have had to in the past. It’s not too hard for me to remember eating per se, but when I get really stressed out or my routine changes, I always tend to eat less for a while before I get back into my groove. Which is exactly what happened at the beginning of the school year: I think I didn’t have a proper dinner on weekdays for four weeks straight.

That has changed and I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I have gotten more used to this new routine and really the only problem I still have is that my boyfriend’s “schedule” doesn’t fit mine every day. Our goal is to have at least one meal – dinner – together every day, but that doesn’t work out too often than I’d like to admit.

But, let’s start with the beginning of the day.

5.30 am: Wake up and drink a glass of lemon water. I have really just built this up to be a habit and I can honestly say I add the lemon because I love the taste. I drink plain water all day (I crave juice super rarely, maybe like once a month, tops), so adding in the lemon gives it a fresh taste.

6.45 am: After yoga and getting ready, I have breakfast. I vary between having tea or coffee in the morning, but it’s really only tea if there’s some leftover from the night before that I can heat up. Freshly brewed tea just takes too long to be cool enough to drink on a weekday morning.I don’t have just one type of breakfast I like to have throughout the week, it kind of goes in phases. I am having a pretty real coconut-oatmeal addiction these days (for which I shall post the recipe at some point), but I had the most yummy fresh bread this past week. Whenever we have good bread in the house, I love spreading some nutbutter – in this case, cashew-honey-vanilla-butter – on top, topping it with some fruit and enjoying some coffee with it. I recently got a batch of chocolate covered sunflower seeds from my mom, so I have been spreading them on every breakfast. Never hurts to get a bit of chocolate in for breakfast, right? 🙂2016-11-04-18-53-01

After breakfast, I go to school and pretend I’ve got it all together as a stern teacher.

When I come home, I feel like a balloon that’s lost all its air. Seriously, I always feel like I could just go to straight to sleep. Which is why I rarely have a warm lunch – I fear it’d just weigh me down so much that I would actually take a three hour long nap. (FYI: I do take a nap every day, but it’s always a maximum of 30 minutes long and I do quite well on it.)

So, I like something light, like a salad.

1.30 pm: On this particular day I opted for a huge salad bowl because I was feeling famished, so it’s topped with avocado, hemp seeds, goat’s feta and pepita seeds. So good, but incredibly huge and I was seriously stuffed after this.

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Even if I haven’t had coffee in the morning, I will usually have a cup after my nap. Because I don’t drink coffee regularly or in large amounts, I feel like it does have a waking-effect on me.

Currently, I am loving my coffee with some coconut milk. I basically just mix a can of coconut milk with water to thin it out, add some vanilla bean powder and shake it up. I have recently discovered that if you heat it up once, it will stay well-combined and won’t separate in the fridge. The reason I have switched over to coconut milk from my homemade nutmilks is a) it’s much cheaper, b) it’s so yummy and c) it keeps much longer than my nutmilk. Seeing as I don’t need milk every day because I don’t drink coffee every day, I would always make a very small amount of nutmilk at a time, and still, it’d go bad one me after 3 days. As nuts are so expensive, it just felt like such a waste. So, coconut milk feels like the perfect alternative at the moment.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I make it:

Of course, you can use any brand, this is just the one I had at the time. I usually mix that can of milk with 2/3 of the can filled with water to start. If it thickens up too much when it cools back down in the fridge (which happens according to the amount of xanthan gum added to the particular brand of coconut milk), I might add more water the next day. I love how creamy coconut milk makes coffee without impending the taste too much.

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If you drink lots of coffee, though, I’m not sure how great you’ll feel with this milk, as it does contain lots of (healthy, but still) fats and I find it makes my coffee quite filling. Personally, I don’t mind that at all, but I drink a maximum of two cups a day…it tastes similar to bulletproof coffee, for those of you who know what that is.

Getting back to my eating routine: I sometimes have a treat or snack in the afternoon, but only if dinner is quite late. Seeing as I’ll have lunch between 1.30pm and 2 pm and my boyfriend usually comes home between 5 and 6pm, I rarely need a snack before we have dinner, which will happen around 6.30/7 pm. Personally, I’d have dinner much later, but since my boyfriend’s quite active in various things, he’ll usually have to leave again between 7 pm and 7.30 pm, which means we don’t have much time for dinner. Sounds a bit stressful? Trust me, the first few weeks of the school year felt incredibly hard eating-wise.

7ish pm: My dinner is usually cooked. I love cooking large batches so that there’ll be leftovers for the next day. This particular day, I couldn’t decide between a red lentil pasta dish I made or some hummus, so I opted for both. 2016-11-05-20-34-46

I just made a simple tomato sauce to go with it, topped it with fresh green onion and nutritional yeast, and that was dinner! Easy-peasy, super filling yet low on the carbs because the red lentil pasta is made up of just that – red lentils.

Depending on my mood, I’ll have dessert later on. Seeing as I hadn’t had a lot of carbs that day, I was craving something sweet after dinner, around 8.30 pm. So, I had my peanutbutter whip with some fruit:

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I’m a big believer in allowing yourself to have sweet treats when you feel like it, as, otherwise, you’ll just end up binge-eating all the sweets later on. I feel like that’s one of the most important lessons anyone dealing with food issues needs to learn: Allow yourself the foods you want when you want them.

I have been doing quite well with that over the past two years or so. Having food intolerances makes it slightly difficult to eat what you’re craving when you’re out, but at home, I usually manage quite well, just listening to my body. And trusting it. It’s not always easy, but there’s definitely progress to be seen (which anyone who has known me over the past 10-11 years will definitely be able to testify to).

Anyways, that’s it for today. I know it was quite an elaborate “what I ate today” post, but I guess I had a lot to share about my new eating habits. Which I’m sure most of you won’t even find that interesting – but hey, there’s really not much going on in my life besides school and food, so there you have it.

 

 

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