I love having to-do lists. I love having multiple projects on the go. Basically, I’m happiest when I’m working hard towards accomplishing goals, whether they’re work-related, academic pursuits, or more personal in nature, like my fitness goals (hello half marathon!). I feel more productive when I have to hold myself accountable to deadlines and I don’t have time to be lazy. While this is great for productivity and can make me feel superwoman-like, in past experience the first thing I have neglected is my commitment to nutrition. I would look for what was convenient and easily accessible for an on-the-go girl like me. No time to think or enjoy food, just eat on the run and pick something that will hopefully keep me running until the end of the day.
But what I found time and time again was that I would end the day feeling exhausted and usually starving, only to start all over again the next day. I would lose focus because the foods I was eating weren’t providing the right kind of long-lasting energy my body needed for those busy days. I finally decided that I’d had enough of feeling run down, and that I wanted to focus on eating foods that would fuel my day the right way, full of flavour and healthy ingredients that I could feel good about so that I could focus on crushing goals all day long.
So what did I learn? Healthy eating isn’t half as complicated as I thought it would be. I didn’t have to create fancy dishes that required a lot of preparation ahead of time, all I had to do was switch my focus to whole food, plant-based goodness. The results? Incredible. I felt good about what I was eating and I had lasting energy without the blood sugar spikes and crashes that were characteristic with the processed bars and snacks that had been my go-to options before.
I swapped processed snacks for whole pieces of fruit, sliced vegetables, and homemade trail mix. I also now have a handful of go-to lunch recipes that are super easy to throw together in the morning, or can be made ahead of time and will last in the fridge to keep me going through a busy week – like my Greek Salad recipe below. This salad is super easy to throw together and there’s a lot of flexibility in the ingredients so you can make it your own and add your favourite protein source (my current favourite is chickpeas).
When I was eating healthy and delicious foods, I felt better and had more energy to tackle anything thrown at me, all with a healthy glow.
Simple Greek Salad
- 1 English Cucumber
- 3 Bell peppers
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- ½ cup feta (crumbled or cubed)
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
- 3 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
- 1 cup protein source – grilled chicken, chickpeas, black beans, etc.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt
How to make it:
- Wash and chop cucumber, peppers, and tomatoes into cubes – this is even easier if you prep your vegetables ahead of time. Add to large bowl with feta, olives, chopped green onions, and chosen protein source.
- Add dressing ingredients to bowl and mix thoroughly. If eating later on in the week, portion salad mix into smaller containers or mason jars and add dressing to containers in the morning before you head off to work.