"Did you eat lunch today?" My fiancé asked me, the nutritionist.
"Yes...?" I replied, with what was really more of a question. Hadn't I?
"What time?" He continued to press in.
Shoot. "Uhhhhh, 4-ish?" I mumbled.
"That's not lunch! That's basically dinner!"
And he would be right, as he often (always?) is.
Don't be annoyed; I'm not that ditzy, carefree girl without an edible craving in the world who is magically thin and forgets that chocolate exists. I totally have my days where I count down the milliseconds until I'll allow myself to go get another spoonful of salted caramel gelato from the freezer.
But somewhere in my 20s, my metabolism, cravings and entire philosophy and relationship with food completely changed. Hormones changed. Stress levels changed. Day-to-day demands changed. Blood sugar levels changed. I no longer order vodka Red Bulls at bars. Like I said, my 20s has changed me.
Most days when I wake up, I don't have much of an appetite. While that's all well and normal to a degree, I let myself be tempted into work distractions rather than creating a nutrient-rich breakfast for myself. All of a sudden it's after 10am and I'm just considering my first piece of protein. UGH I haven't gone grocery shopping all week. KIND Bar it is. Back to work, errands, emails...LIFE. So many browser tabs open, so little time. I start to feel frantic and a wee bit panicky, although nothing is as urgent or awful as I feel it is. Most of this tension is now from low blood sugar, and let me tell you, it only drops from here. Sometimes yoga is in the cards around noon or 1pm, which means that lunch can't even be thought about until 2:30. I pass only gross fast food options on my way home, so that's a no-go. Now it's 3pm. Shower. And between very little food, an hour of Warrior 2, and let's be real...probably not enough sleep the night before...I'm now feeling queasy and the last thing I want to do is eat.
This is a vulnerable post for me to write because now I know better. Now I'm a nutritionist. Now I eat, breathe and dream this stuff. But self-care still always needs to be intentional.
For me, this intentionality means being prepared and armed with options. If you're a mother of a small human setting out for a day at the beach, what's the #1 thing you stash in the beach bag? OK fine, sunscreen. But what's the second thing? SNACKS. If you hand a child one healthy snack item, they'll most likely fuss and ask for something else. Just because they can. I mean, I would. What if you were hiding Cheez-Its in your bag for later!? I'd want full disclosure. But if you offer a child three healthy snack items, suddenly they have choices, and they feel empowered...and they're probably gonna go for at least one of them.
Sometimes I'm that 3-year-old above.
Sometimes I do that thing where, if I'm out and about and there aren't any healthy options, I'll opt for nothing. Which means I'm basically opting for hypoglycemia. It's a lose-lose.
This is why I'm a 28-year-old obsessed with my ECOlunchbox 3-in-1. Not to get all infomercial-y on you, but this is the best way I've found to eat a non-packaged-food-diet when you're out and about in the scary-packaged-food-world. Package the good stuff yourself! And do it plastic-free. And make it look super sleek in the process. Thank you, ECOlunchbox for making these dreams possible.
I'm also a huge fan of the ECObuttonbag (in the second photo). It's made from handwoven Khadi cloth and artisan hand-printed textiles. It is my ideal carrier. I feel like a giddy schoolgirl swinging this thing around.
And the best part? I don't have to rely on melty KIND Bars anymore that fall to the bottom of my purse. I've got 99 problems, but that ain't one.