A couple of weeks ago, I pulled a lovely little piece of meat out of my freezer and thawed it out. The next morning I covered it in a delicious cracked black pepper and garlic rub. I was going to grill it for dinner that night.
Then something happened. I got unexpected dinner plans.
To be honest, I forgot about my little steak waiting for me in the refrigerator, until I got home late that night and went to put something in the fridge. There it was, looking at me, accusatory. I mentally reviewed my calendar. To my dismay I realized that the rest of the week I wouldn’t be home until after 10:00PM. There was only one thing to do –
The next morning, I had it for breakfast.
My family has never been a stickler for having to have breakfast food in the morning, (my Mom loves soup for breakfast, for example,) so this was really no big deal. I had fresh melon on the side, and enjoyed my meal completely. The interesting thing was how it made me feel. I usually get really hungry around 11:00 – 11:30AM on weekdays, and this day, I was fine. Noon rolled around and I realized I had forgotten my snack. I also noticed I had a lot of energy and felt great.
Later that day I had a salad for lunch, and since it was one of those late night days, I ended up with a homemade smoothie with greek yogurt and fruit in the evening. I felt good all day, satisfied, and it got me thinking.
It makes sense to me to eat more protein at the top of the day, before I am active, and eat less in the evening, when I am typically just a few hours from going to bed. I decided to try to high protein mornings, light protein lunches and vegetarian dinners whenever possible. Apparently I am not the first to think of this. When I described it to my sister she said, “Eat like a king at breakfast, a queen at lunch and pauper at dinner.” I don’t know about that pauper business, though. Whoever made up that saying obviously hadn’t priced out the organic vegetables I eat!
So, I have been eating like this for a few weeks, and so far, I really like it. For breakfast I’ve had steaks, scrambles with ham and cheese, lean sausages… even hamburgers. I still have a side of fruit with it, or I load up on veggies (like in the scramble.) However, I don’t have any kind of bread or bun with it. (While I refuse to restrict anything from my diet completely, I’ve pretty much eliminated those things from my home. Breads and pastas have become special occasion foods.) I even made this wonderful Lebanese Recipe: Egg Stuffed Kafta Roll. (Note: Try not to mind the typos on this site. I linked to it because it attributed the recipe properly. It comes from Taste of Lebanon, one of my favorite cookbooks. It does not however, make one serving as it says. It makes 2 large 8 serving meatloaves.)
For lunch, I’ve been enjoying summer salads or soup. Sometimes I have dinner leftovers with a small amount of meat added, or breakfast leftovers with extra veggies. I have also been loving this recipe from Simple Bites: Avocado Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps with Bacon. I’ve made that several times. (I usually skip the bacon, because it isn’t something I keep in the house, but it is good either way – and with any kind of lettuce, or just on its own.)
For dinner, my vegetarian meals help not just in how I feel, but they are also making things easier on food prep. My veggie dinners tend to involve a lot of chopping and take a while, so it is nice to move the labor intensive meals away from when I am trying to rush out the door. Or, if I am home late, I can eat something light and not feel weighted down.
There is one other advantage: I tend to do my weight lifting in the morning. I like following that with a high protein breakfast. On the other hand, I like to run right after work. Having a lighter protein lunch means my I feel energetic, but not full.
Please know that I am not advocating this as a diet for anyone. We all need to find what works for our own lives, bodies and health. It also isn’t anything I am setting in granite for myself. There are times, especially when dining with others, that I will eat more traditionally, but I have been doing it for a couple of weeks now and I really like it. It helps that this time of year there are amazing choices at the farmers’ markets. It also helps that Julian has been supportive, so when we go out to eat, we frequently look for a place that has vegetarian options for me. My body seems to like it too, not only do I feel good, but my weight has settled and seems to have stabilized. (I was bouncing all around there for a few weeks.) So, I am going play with it a bit and see how it goes. So far, so good – bring on the steak!
Photo credit: Stefano A. on flickr