Thursday, November 02, 2006

Energy Foods

I have a problem - I don't want to stay awake. Now, I know a lot of it is simply because I'm rushing here and there, doing five billion things and I probably need a break. But a break is not in the foreseable future, so we're not even going to discuss it.

The biggest problem I've had lately is wanting to fall asleep after lunch. Granted, I'm usually bored after lunch too. If I'm not training a class then I'm either in class or running a manual on a class. Running manuals is as exciting as watching grass grow. And I'll let you in on a little secret - trainers are some of the worst students - at least I am. I hate being in class even though it is a necessary evil. I was the girl that skipped most of college class in favor of playing pool. Hey, I won a pool tournament and still graduated with excellent grades so what did it hurt?

So lately, about an hour after lunch I am ready to crash. I have found that a Starbucks Venti-NonFat-Seven Pump-Four Shot-Vanilla Latte seems to pick me up a bit, but heck four shots of espresso in one drink ought to have me thinking I could fly.

So am I eating the wrong food for lunch? Wait a minute, don't answer that. Of course, I'm eating the wrong food for lunch. But what in the world does one eat for energy? And before you healthy people start spouting out your advice, here is a list of requirements for my food:

1. It has to be something I don't have to prepare. Either I buy it at a restaurant or it microwaves in a box. I do not have time to prepare food. Period. And if I'm traveling, it has to come from a restaurant.

2. It cannot consist primarily of vegetables (so salad is out). I do not like vegetables. Only a tiny bit of lettuce and broccolli (and only if it's little) will be eaten. Vegetables cooked into food are all right but only if chopped in small pieces and disguised with sauce.

3. It must last a minimum of 4.5 to 5 hours. I know when you're eating "right" you are supposed to eat more often. That's great, but I don't think my students would appreciate it if I stopped class to gnaw on a chicken breast. So the meal has to take me from lunch all the way to supper.

4. Whatever I eat cannot require tons of water for digestion. See #3. I cannot drink 40 gallons of water a day. I am teaching class. We break once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I know from experience that if I drink the requisite amount of water a day, I make a trip to the ladies a minimum of once an hour. Not do-able.

5. It has to have flavor. If it didn't, I'd simply buy SlimFast shakes and drink my meals all day. (Salt is a requirement - I'm from Louisiana - we have our standards)

6. It cannot smell funny. When I am at corporate, I eat at my desk so that I can work on my writing through lunch. My desk consists of a 10x10 cubicle with four foot walls in a huge area with about 60 other people. They would not appreciate it if I nuked tuna and waltzed through the department with it.

Did I make it hard enough?????? Well, let me also add that I don't eat sour cream, cottage cheese, mayanaise or musturd. I can also only tolerate so much fruit daily (and only certain kinds) because I have an ulcer and fruit is too acidic.

Ready - set - go! Plan me a diet - please!


Wendy Roberts said...

Bananas. That's all I've got. Oh, and raisins.

I have 4 cups of coffee in the morning, diet cokes in the afternoon and tea in the evening. Caffeine is my friend so I'm probably the wrong one to ask anyway LOL.

Jana DeLeon said...

Well, crap! I forgot to mention that I'm allergic to bananas, watermelon, cucumbers and certain nuts (walnuts, pecans). Guess I could try raisins but that's not going to hold me very long.

Coffee and diet drinks are good. I'm on that plan myself.

ivan said...

Many people can't do bananas.

OK. I left myself wide open.

Tori Lennox said...

I've been extra heavy duty tired lately, too. Maybe it's something in the air.

Jana DeLeon said...

lol, ivan - I'm not even touching that one. (of course, now I've left myself open)

Tori - maybe. Do you think vitamins would help? I'm willing to try anything at this point.

Kelly Parra said...

Jana, I'm the worst at eating healthy. lol! But I know if I eat a big lunch it makes me tired the rest of the day. I know your meal has to last till the next but I would also suggest a small snack during your afternoon break.

I snack most of the day because I'm constantly up to do things around the house and pick up and drop off the kids, and sitting eating and working on the computer. haha. The only time I'm not is at dinner when we all sit down together. I guess this ramble didn't help much. ;D

Jana DeLeon said...

lol Kelly - I think I'm asking the wrong group of people. Writers are notorious for not taking good care of themselves. :)

Maybe I can fit in a PowerBar or something on break.

Wendy Roberts said...

Vitamins. Yes. Definitely. I fall flat on my face by 3:00 if I haven't taken my multivitamin with iron. Try it :)

Jana DeLeon said...

wendy - I'm going to try vitamins this morning - will let you know.

Tori Lennox said...

Well, I already take a bunch of vitamins, so your mileage may vary on that one. :)

Cari Manderscheid said...

I've always heard that cutting out the carbs and eating protein and veggies for lunch helps with that. I never usually make it because I love carbs too much! I do know if I eat mini meals instead of a big meal, it really does help keep me from getting as tired, so you might try a small lunch AND a power bar later in the afternoon when you need a pick me up.

Carrie said...

I echo Cari - if I eat too many carbs at lunch I crash. So recently I've been going for more protein. Also, I know you said you couldn't drink a lot of water BUT... I just read this thing at my gym that said that some astonomical percentage of being tired is caused by dehydration. So I drink water all day (except for diet coke at lunch - can't give that up) and I've noticed I'm a lot less tired. Just a thought. Oh, and my mom always told me that being out of shape causes sleepiness. It's like a catch-22: too tired to work out, but not working out makes you tired. So that's why I joined Curves today... hopefully that will help :)

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Here's your perfect snack that you *can* eat around your students: mix up a couple boxes of raisins, peanuts, and some dark chocolate squares. (chocolate's a health food!) If you get bored, sub in a different nut like hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. I promise it will keep you going and you'll lose weight.

For lunch, you can have a wrap - a really easy one is refried beans, avacado (ok, technically a veggie, but they're so creamy and good!) and salsa and you're good. With the snacks, you won't be hungry later. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi carrie - I crash after carbs too - well, and sugar. :) I am going to try and do better on the water. I'll just have to see how it works out.

robin - thanks for the tip. I do like nuts and chocolate!

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