One of my clients is marking Lent, by following a no carb diet. It’s his way of reducing calories, to help lose weight. He’s giving up bread, pasta, rice and potatoes for 40 days.
Similarly, a couple of years ago, I followed an Elimination Diet over Lent, as an experiment – cutting out meat, wheat, alcohol, dairy and caffeine. By following such rigid dietary restrictions, my friends asked me, “What is there actually left to eat!?” I remember finding out that completely banning particular foods groups from your diet, proves a very difficult way to ‘eat smart’. It requires personal discipline and some clever strategies, to get you through it.
As part of my client’s Training Plan, we cover a ‘nutrition check‘ in every session, discussing: how to maintain energy levels; adopt good eating habits; and make better choices when dining out. Drawing on my own personal experience of elimination diets, I’ve tried to encourage and motivate my client, who’s giving up carbs for Lent, to make the right dietary decisions.
Tasty Lunchbox Salads
One guideline that we’ve set, is for my client to ditch his usual lunchtime sandwich – and replace it with a healthy salad. If he’s pressed for time to prepare his own tupperware lunchbox, in the morning, I’ve mentioned that I think highly of the prepared and create-your-own salads at Chop’d. The salad ingredients are fresh, local and from small, independent suppliers. And even when the queue is round the block, the service is speedy and efficient.
If his lifestyle allows him time, taking a homemade salad into work is great practice. And as salads have a reputation for being boring and not very filling, I’ve also recommended some ways to spice things up!
Here’s a list of foods to add to a plate of green leaves, that make for a tasty and satisfying salad:
• Beans (chickpeas, red kidney beans)
• ‘Bottled’ veg (globe artichokes)
• Fresh herbs (mint, parsley, coriander)
• Nuts (pine nuts, cashews)
• Root vegetables (carrots, radishes, beetroot)
• Dried fruit
• Bell peppers
• Feta Cheese
• Spring onion
• Red chilli
• Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, lindseed)
• a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice