Taking the full measure of life

This Week’s Meal Plan: Healthy Food, Peace of Mind

August 12th, 2008 · 12 Comments

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I’ll get to my meal plan, but much of eating, for me, is tied up with other health and emotional issues, so before my plan:

I’m trying to heed much of what my Chinese med practitioner and I have discussed.  One of the elements that has been key to me lately is trying to focus on one thing and only one thing at a time.  I’ve long recognized that, as an ENFJ, I tend to either be focused really well on one thing (reading so intently that I don’t hear people talking to me, for example), or my focus tends to jump from one thing to another rapidly so that activities stack up in me mentally.  Also, I’m interested in so many things, and want to pursue so many of them, that my mind is going constantly.  What I hadn’t fully considered is how that aspect of me affects my emotional state and my peace of mind.  The truth is, I am much more calm and able to cope with the world when I am able to focus on one thing at a time.  Part of what my practitioner wants me to do is create situations where I am calmly and purposefully single-minded, and I am working on that.

I’ve also changed my breakfast to a very alkaline, Asian breakfast of rice and greens, which I (purposefully and single-mindedly, but of course) cook every morning before work. My husband eats it with me–happily, actually.  Several people have looked horrified or a bit stunned when I’ve told them my new breakfast, and nearly everyone has cracked jokes, but it’s honestly not bad.  People eat savory foods like sausages, grits, and eggs for breakfast all the time, and my meals of a grain and a green with a bit of salt, while very differerent from those other foods in a way (with the exception of grits, maybe), is simply a savory breakfast. Of course, the meal is very healthy, and the greens and brown rice (or quinoa, or millet) give me a nice dose of vitamins and protein as I start my day.  As a bonus, when I eat these breakfasts instead of my previous breakfast of a muffin, I decrease my overall sugar intake per day automatically.

I’m also starting to eat my lunch while I do nothing except eat it.  When I’m eating lunch alone (which I choose most days, and which helps me rejuvenate for the second part of my day), I tend to eat at my desk, reading blogs or a book or magazine.  No more! Now, I’m just eating lunch—away from my desk, preferably outside—and paying attention to the food that I’m consuming. (This is not an alien concept; my husband and I generally don’t allow books or computers or anything else except food and conversation at the dinner table. But it feels a bit more odd when it’s just me.) Keeping myself from multi-tasking is difficult, but I do think it’s worthwhile. I think it’s helping me hold on to some of the calm from the time I took off from work, and I’m looking forward to what else I will glean from this process.

I was thinking last night before bed that it’s amazing how, especially if we keep ourselves open to the process, we never stop growing and changing—sometimes in small bits, sometimes in leaps and bounds.  It’s a bit disconcerting, in a way, to realize how we don’t and can’t stand still for long, but positive growth is much better than stagnation ultimately.

So–at last! Onto my meal plan for the week.  As always, it’s gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.  It’s mostly vegan meals, but not entirely. It’s mostly healthy and very focused on local, seasonal veggies. Most of all, it’s downright tasty!


Breakfast: Blanched greens & brown rice with sea salt

Lunch (at the park): Big salad with romaine, white beans, red onion, olives, tomatoes, tortilla chips, and honey mustard

Snack: Dried fruit

Dinner: Heidi’s amazing, simple carrot soup (from Super Natural Cooking) and millet garlic toast

To Do: Grocery shop or send Dan grocery shopping if I’m still unwell.


Breakfast: Blanched greens and quinoa with sea salt

Lunch (at the park): Microwaved mac’n’cheese leftovers with a veggie side salad

Dinner:  Soy-free stir-fry sans pineapple

To Do: Make gluten-free, vegan millet bread.


Breakfast: Blanched greens and millet with sea salt

Lunch (at the coffee shop):  Sandwich, pickled beets, and chips

To Do: Work out after work if well.

Dinner:  Melissa’s walnut hummus lettuce wraps


Breakfast: Blanched greens and brown rice with sea salt

Lunch (at the park): Hummus lettuce wraps

Dinner: Tuna and veggie kabobs on the grill–with chili lime seasoning, lemons, zucchini, peppers, and yellow onion


Breakfast:  Blanched greens and quinoa with sea salt

To Do: Visit Chinese med practitioner in the morning. Work out after work.

Lunch:  Eat at Chipotle

Dinner:  Leftovers from the freezer


Breakfast: Blanched greens and millet with sea salt

To Do: Visit farmer’s market.

Lunch: Millet flatbread topped with cheese-less pesto and farmer’s market veggies

Dinner: Wine Party–Sauvignon Blancs

As always, I’m submitting this meal plan to the Gluten-Free Menu Swap, this week being hosted by Wheatstate Celiac.

Tags: Uncategorized

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mary Frances // Aug 12, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Guess what I’m doing while I eat this. Sitting at my desk eating! At least it’s a baked potato topped with chopped spinach =)

    I’m an INFJ and also have trouble not thinking all the time. I try to work on having spaces of time (5 minutes is tough at this point) where I don’t think or talk in my head at all….I try to just be. If I notice that I’ve started thinking again, I just take notice of that, let it go, and go back to being silent.

  • 2 Katie // Aug 12, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Looks like a pretty wholesome week of meals.

    Admittedly, I eat at my desk more often than not. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I more or less live alone. I’m sure if there were someone else around, I could be pried away from my laptop and work for good food and conversation.

  • 3 Hannah Celeste // Aug 12, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Wow, I’m an ENFJ too. 🙂

    Tons of luck with all your plans.

  • 4 Cheryl // Aug 12, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Gosh, doesn’t food taste so much better when you can focus on it! Have a great week.

  • 5 Kimberly // Aug 12, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I also am used to having a magazine or something to read while eating. I think I would taste my food more if I just focus on eating and enjoying it. Having a grain and greens for breakfast sounds interesting. I used to eat quinoa flakes every morning for breakfast and have gotten to where I don’t really care for them anymore. I was sick recently and rice became my new best friend, so maybe it will be my new breakfast choice.

  • 6 Rachel // Aug 12, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I know what you mean about trying to focus on your food. I know when I eat alone I always tend to want to blog or read something.

    So, how do you cook your rice and greens? It sounds interesting and I am always up for trying new things!

  • 7 Grumpy Chair // Aug 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I just yesterday, was reading in one of my cookbooks about Jook (I think that was how it was spelled – I know it was pronounced juk). You make it in the crockpot overnight. Sounded very good.

    Prior to moving, I always ate while doing something else; now I sit at the table and eat.

  • 8 Julia // Aug 16, 2008 at 7:17 am

    I’m an ENFJ, too! It’s interesting to read about our traits — and very fitting for me too. I agree, there’s nothing wrong with a savory breakfast — many countries have that: Germany, Israel, most of Asian. I think Americans – and perhaps Italy and France with the breakfast pastries – are the exceptions not the rule.

  • 9 glenna // Aug 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I like the idea of really planning out your meals and keeping them simple. I have friends, mostly with kids, who do a version of the same thing but have always thought it was overkill for just my husband and I….but maybe I need to rethink that…

  • 10 Meg Wolff // Aug 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Sounds like you are doing some very important work. We could all benefit from doing one thing at a time. Thanks for the reminder. Awesome breakfasts!

  • 11 Melanie // Aug 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Nice post, Sally. I often eat at my desk at work and then feel terrible about doing so.

    And thanks for stopping by my blog and commiserating! It’s so nice to hear from others with multiple food allergies, especially when they’re so similar to mine.

  • 12 Jen (Modern Beet) // Aug 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I’m totally with you on savory breakfast — often I’ll make a miso/brown rice porridge with chopped up wakame or other seaweed — on these mornings I’ll skip the coffee and have bancha tea with a bit of umeboshi paste in it — it’s amazing how energetic I feel after eating this too (whether it’s actually the food, or just my mindset around it, who knows, but does it really matter?)

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