Considering investing in a treadmill-style computer desk so to make the best of your 10-hour days working in technical writing freelance? According to Men’s Health, even standing for more than 90 minute stints has its health hazards. In a search for the golden grail of good health for those sitting on their rumps for days, and nights, I came across the concept of clean eating.
Eating Clean Foods
If fall means living off of your kid’s Halloween candy stash washed down by pumpkin spice lattes, you can attest to the highs and lows accompanying sugar as your main food group. Personally, I prefer to pack in the salt laden snacks when my stress levels are eagle eye to the peek of Mount Everest. Sodium, sugar and saturated fats do nothing to benefit your skin, waist line, brain or heart.
By choosing clean foods that are free of these three evils, you work toward balancing your bodily system for more sustainable energy. For a clean eating plan, nix all processed-to-pure-white foods and foods with ingredients’ lists containing things you can’t theoretically grow in a garden. Additives and artificial anything are out, which includes natural flavorings concocting from unnatural sources and #’ed food dyes.
A Writer’s Food Plan
Writers who work from home carry a double-edged sword—endless access to their kitchen. Focus on the positives here. By eating every two to three hours you are better capable of providing your body and mind with a spikeless stream of sustenance. What and how much you eat is key. Now that you’ve cleaned your cabinet of gluttonous garb, replace it with whole foods:
- Fresh, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables without added oil, salt or sweetener
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Low-fat dairy (if you are tolerant and accepting of the mama cow)
For your four to six mini-meals you should eat two hand fulls (I have no patience for measuring cups) of food including a protein and carbohydrate with no added fat, such as:
- a handful of lean protein AND
- two hand fulls of non-starchy and low/medium glycemic fruits and vegetables OR one handful of whole grains and one handful of starchy or high glycemic fruits and vegetables AND
- 8 oz of water or herbal tea
My Daily Play-by-Play
When I wake, I make a mug of hot water with a squeeze or squirt of lemon juice. After I sip this down, I wait until my stomach’s growled for 30 minutes before having my first mini-meal. For me, breakfasts are typically:
- ½ cup rolled oats cooked with ½ banana and ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt and 1 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese and 1 cup of cantaloupe
- 2 of these clean eating pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- 1 whole hard boiled egg, a slice of sprouted whole grain toast and an apple
- ½ cup of multigrain cereal, ½ cup of almond milk and ½ cup of frozen blueberries
I have a snack two hours after I finish breakfast, if I’m hungry, or I’ll wait no longer than three hours to get my munch on. Same goes for in between lunch and dinner. Snacks tend to be:
- 1 cup of sliced carrots with 1 oz low-fat mozzarella and ½ cup of hummus
- 1 cup of low-fat yogurt with ¼ cup of clean eating granola containing almonds
- a packaged fruit and/or vegetable bar, such as those by That’s It, Betty Lou, Larabar or BumbleBar, and a bar of all-natural buffalo or turkey jerky
- something from the breakfast or lunch menu
- leftovers from dinner
Dinner can be tricky because the rest of my family think greens are gremlins and find fat-free foods to be froufrou. Typically I cook a big pot each of three bean turkey chili, spicy black beans, and vegetable soup with red lentils over the weekend. When I eat black beans throughout the week, I add a 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1/2 cup of tomatoes, or make a burrito using a sprouted wheat tortilla. At dinner, everyone has a choice of one of these three things, and they can make a sandwich to go along with it if they like. Fruits including watermelon, cantaloupe, apples and bananas are loved by all, and I always encourage eating these for dessert. If all else fails, the offer to “grab something greasy for yourself on the way home” is always on the table.
Food for Thought
One thing that helps me on my busy writing days is my stash of two-cup ceramic bowls with lids. My two handfuls of proteins and carbs have to fit in this bowl, so I don’t have to measure constantly. Also, I can make some things ahead of time, such as when I know I’ll be writing nonstop for hours, and store them in the fridge. I even have a cool little bento box that is cordoned into two separate bowls with dividers. It’s just enough space for two mini-meals, it keeps flavors divided, and it comes with a set of plasticware. For days when I’m on the run, this bento box keeps me fancy-free.
I’ve been holding fast to the clean eating plan for a few weeks now, and so far, my energy levels are off the charts and my clothes are not as restrictive. More importantly, I’m making more positive food choices, which relates into increased self confidence that I’m doing something good for my health.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.