7/8/10

Veggie and chickpea wrap OR salad

Have you ever eaten watermelon until you physically couldn't stomach another bite? Certainly watermelon is not a high calorie food (46 calories for 1 cup diced) and it would be silly to tell yourself that you would get fat from eating too much watermelon.
Now, think about the last time that you ate a piece of cheesecake, had pizza, pasta or ice cream until you physically couldn't stomach another bite? As opposed to a nutrient-dense food like watermelon, it's very easy to feel stuffed after eating calorie-dense foods because it is easy to continue eating due to a delayed feeling of fullness due to quick digesting sugars. Although some calorie-dense foods offer health benefits like nuts, all foods should be consumed in moderation to give you a healthy and balanced diet.
I recently bought a giant watermelon from Publix for $3.99! Nice deal! I also picked up blueberries (2 x $3), 2 lbs cherries (1 lb for $1.99) and bananas. I just love summer fruit!
When I was a vegetarian athlete trying to turn healthy vegetarian (around the age of 20-22) I believed that my diet should be filled with fruits and veggies and very little fat and protein. Carbs like bread were ok but they had to be "light" or low calorie. Certainly, this is NOT how I eat today and I've spent the last 6 years (4 fabulous years with Karel) learning how to have a healthy relationship with food. I LOVE healthy fats, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my protein and I LOVE whole grains. I'm no longer afraid of being fat but rather I fear disease, illness or injury. I eat for health and performance not for aesthetics. However, with the focus off calories, I find that I don't have to eat a lot to feel satisfied.
Eating watermelon reminds me of the days when my "healthy eating" approach was all wrong. I would eat plenty of fruits and veggies and feel full or satisfied but the feeling wouldn't last very long. 1 hour or ever 40 min later, I would feel starving! However, I would dismiss the fact that I was hungry because I just had a huge salad and I would try to focus for the rest of the day, or until my next planned meal.
In an effort to feel satisfied during the day and still eat a high amount of nutrient dense foods, I have learned to appreciate the value of fats and protein. I have always been a lover of a recovery whey protein drink but I spent a good amount of my adult life not focusing on balanced meals and snacks.
Adding protein and fat to 98% of my meals and snacks (which are primarily whole grains, fruits and veggies) keeps me satisfied longer and controls my blood sugar. I do not experience any cravings for sweets or salty food (well, except after a 4+ hr workout but even then, I don't find myself overindulging or feeling restricted) and I feel in control of my food choices.
Here's my latest creation to show you that vegetarian eating can be filling and satisfying. Depending on your workout for that day, it is up to you how you plan your meals to factor in your daily workout for the day.
Hope you enjoy the salad or the wrap...

Veggie and chickpea wrap

2 large steak tomatoes (chopped)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup jalapenos (chopped)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup corn (frozen)
1 can chickpeas
pepper, curry powder
1 flat out wrap
Romaine lettuce
Block of Pepper jack cheese (shredded)
Spicy horseradish mustard

For the salad:
1 hardboiled egg
Romaine lettuce
Pear
Carrots (shredded)
Tomato

1. In a large pot, sautee garlic in olive oil and add corn, jalapenos, chickpeas and tomatoes. Heat on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Take a spatula and lightly break up tomatoes as you stir all ingredients. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add seasonings to your likely and stir.
2. Place a little mustard on wrap.
3. Take a draining spoon and place a few spoonfuls of mixture onto wrap. Top with romaine lettuce and fold. Add a serving of salad to your plate.
4. For your salad as a meal, spoon mixture onto salad mixture and top with egg.