Friday, December 4, 2009

Stress test

I have to balance my exercise routines, work and eating schedules in order to minimize the stress in my life and stay energized. When even somewhat minor changes happen in any of those three categories, I tend to get irritable, stressed and impatient. I'm especially sensitive to lack of food, as anyone who's lived with me can vouch for. So, I do all I can to avoid those situations. Before I was eating vegan, I had many "go-to" items to satisfy my panicked needs for protein, or quick meals. I would drink milk, make a quick quesadilla, or eat a cold chicken breast out of the fridge just to calm down. Then I would figure out what I was really going to eat.

This week I've put in a lot of extra hours at work, both morning and evening, which has cut into the time I would usually spend prepping, planning and cooking my new veggie meals. This also has cut down on my exercise routine a bit. So nearly every lunch and dinner I've been somewhat panicked because I had no food prepped, and no ideas. And my patience is thin. And it's no longer an option for me to get a quick 99 cent chicken sandwich at Wendy's on my way home from work, which I used to do often. Or to get a turkey sandwich from the sandwich guy at work. Or a fatburger. The list goes on.

Overall, I did pretty well under the circumstances. I didn't eat as many home cooked, new, fresh veggie meals as I would have liked, but I certainly didn't turn to any meat or dairy products as an escape. I had pita bread with hummus and olives one night. I went to Chipotle two days this week for lunch and got the veggie bowl with double black beans. That's actually a great meal, and healthy. I had Pad Thai takeout. Last night I had planned to get a veggie burger out with a friend after work, so that was OK. But one night all I ate was a veggie tamale and a can of PBR. No bueno.

So I've missed a few snacks here and there, and fruits, and a couple meals have been lighter than I would normally like. But then again, other meals I ate what seemed to be a ridiculous amount of food to make up for it. I've noticed my mood is not optimal, and I'm not feeling as fantastic as I was the previous 2 weeks where I was really on top of the cooking. I know what I have to do, which is plan ahead and cook more, but sometimes that just doesn't pan out.

I'm satisfied with my reaction to stresses this week, but I'd like to do better in the future, or at least have a few more tools to do so. I had some close calls where I really was upset for no other reason than lack of food and exercise. This weekend I'm heading to a huge farmer's market in Hollywood with a friend to stock up on veggies and fruit, and hopefully some new things I haven't tried yet. I want to put plants and nuts and seeds and fruits and roots and legumes of every shape and color and flavor in my body to ensure I'm getting all the nutrients I need. I want to avoid supplements unless I really have to take them. And I'm going to relax and release this stress as much as possible. I have the weekend off, but next week looks like more of the same long hours. But, I'm determined to do even better next week.


  1. This is exactly one of the things that I'm worried about happening to me. I don't want my life to revolve around preparing and eating food, but it's almost a necessity in order to make sure you're eating enough and a good variety. This is going to take some practice.

  2. I found my love of cooking has blossomed with veg eating, because it's so much more creative and interesting. :)

    I also feel calmer when I eat veg foods, probably because my body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Bonus!