Mediterranean lunches to the rescue

by Meri on April 17, 2012










After two years, I finally feel like my eating is back on track. During year one of triplets I felt like I didn’t focus much on my food choices and ate sporadically. I was still eating somewhat healthy foods, but I wasn’t thinking much about the amount I was eating, especially when I was eating enormous portion sizes while pregnant. You’d think that by the second year things would start improving but it actually got worse! I found myself loving lunch time and would eat everything under the roof. I’m not sure if other stay-at-home parents go through this or if it’s just me. For some reason nap time made me down right giddy and all I wanted to do was eat! You may think simply being home all day can trigger that sort of lunch time eating but I’ve worked from a home office for years and never experienced this before. I guess I can chalk it up to baby-induced-stress-eating. Hmmm…maybe I should I trademark that phrase. It sounds very scientific doesn’t it?

Finally around a year and a half I started to put more energy into better choices and portion control, but then I found myself grabbing whatever I could find in the pantry and throw together in a hurry. Evenings have been easier as we eat the same meal, but breakfast and lunch seem to be more on the fly. Slowly but surely I’m getting back to more normal meals. I have learned however, that I still enjoy lunch time a little too much (perhaps toddler-induced-stress-eating?) so I’ve come up with a solution for myself. I’ve put a lock on the refrigerator…kidding, kidding.

No, the real solution is eating Mediterranean style lunches, which basically means “a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” Just as I would tell any client that walked through my door, I need to SLOW down with my eating. Slowing down allows you to feel full and more importantly feel satisfied with what you’ve just eaten. Most of the time I use some turkey, hummus, pita (or crackers), fruit or cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrot sticks and often some avocado and/or cheese. I build little mini open sandwiches to dip in my hummus which provides lots of different flavors and the process forces me to slow down. It’s also all simple grab and go foods so I’m not spending a lot of time preparing lunch. I’m happy to say this is working well for me. The image above was from my lunch today. We were low on veggies so I went with fruit and more avocado: 2 slices of turkey, toasted pita, avocado, hummus, strawberries and blueberries. I’m full and happy!

Keep in mind, I’ve never been one to say what works for me will work for you, but there is something to be said about having many items on your plate, using mostly plant-based foods you love, to help manage your portion sizes and slow down. Even if you choose something different like a salad with a half sandwich, it can go a long way to help you feel satisfied with your meal so you’re not thinking “what’s next?”  in the middle of eating your sandwich.

If you find you suffer from baby-(or toddler)-induced-stress eating like me give it a try to see if it helps you to keep things under control!

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