ANECDOTE 073: February 11, 2021
Meal Log [listen]

Day 332

During the COVID pandemic, breakfast, lunch and dinner (including snacks) can be monotonous--especially when resolved to count calories. Because of the pandemic, fewer trips to the supermarket are a practicality. Three thousand calories are budgeted for each day. To stay within budget, cooking from home is the most sustainable means for a person with a healthy appetite. Provided below is a meal log or mlog: a recent foodstuff routine that has not caused tedium.

NOTE: due to data restrictions, portion sizes and calorie counts are not available. However, if the meals are prepared sparingly, moderate well being could result. Try documenting the number of calories per ingredient, per meal.

Let's start with breakfast, which consists of both a cold and a hot offering.

Breakfast (cold)

-- Bite-sized Shredded Wheat [plain]
-- Flax Flakes
-- Almond Milk
-- 0% Greek Yogurt

Fruit Options: strawberry; banana; pear

Breakfast (hot)

-- Scrambled Egg
-- Olive Oil
-- Maple Sausage Link [small]
-- Toasted English Muffin [half]
-- Butter

Condiment Options: grape jelly; cinnamon, sugar-free syrup, apple slices; crunchy peanut butter, banana slices

For variety, the options are to taste--the fewer, the better. Also, both breakfasts are part of the daily routine. The calories are budgeted as seen fit.

Alternatively, there is the occasional...

Breakfast Taco Slider

-- Meatless Ground Crumbles (sautéed)
-- Chili Powder
-- Olive Oil
-- Scrambled Egg
-- Flour Tortilla [smallest]
-- Cream Cheese
-- Lime Juice (squeezed)
-- Hot Sauce

-- Tortilla Chips
-- Salsa

Breakfast is finished before eight. Lunch begins traditionally at noon.

When in the midst of a busy day, a crunchy peanut butter and jelly on wheat (bread) is paired with a mug of an almond milk/zero percent Greek yogurt mixture. Another hurried choice is turkey franks with spicy mustard on wheat, accompanied with some pickle chips and tortilla chips--water.

Usually with these two low protein meals, an afternoon snack is necessary. Snacks will be discussed after the next two lunch offerings of substance are itemized.

Fish Soup

-- Filtered Water
-- Sea Salt
-- Stringy Egg Noodles
-- Frozen Tilapia Fillet (cubed)
-- Frozen Broccoli Florets [or Cuts]
-- Bonito Flakes [if available]
-- Soy Sauce

Bean Curd Soup

-- Filtered Water
-- Sea Salt
-- Rainbow Swiss Chard (chopped)
-- Vine Ripe Tomato (diced)
-- Vegetarian Noodle Rolls
-- Fried Tofu Cubes
-- Lemon Juice (squeezed per bowl)

Do not hesitate to substitute the cubes with freshly opened firm tofu. Also, try chicken or beef. Both take longer to cook is not prepared in advance. With the meats, lime juice adds nuance.

When the opportunity exists, have dinner leftovers for lunch. Doing so adds a nice shortcut and caloric flair to a hectic week.

Flair Fare

-- Wheat Pita [small]
-- Hummus
-- Falafel
-- Lemon Juice (squeezed)
-- Apple Slices or Tomato (diced)

Leftovers are the most versatile, even as a snack--particularly when overtime is on the horizon.

Though usually, by late afternoon, a light snack will suffice when the blood sugar drops, hunger starts to creep, and caffeine is not the answer. Here are a couple of not quite meals that are not a piece of fruit or a packet of nuts or pretzels or trail mix.

Sticking with the routine, have half a PBJ sandwich with a mug of almond milk/Greek yogurt. Leave out the jelly and use sliced banana. Forget the sandwich and get an oatmeal cookie instead. Maybe slather frugally some crunchy peanut butter on the cookie, realizing that there will be a diabetes meter reading prior to dinner. The trick with snacks is to find some that are satiating, but are not binge worthy.

Dinner is the most difficult during the wintry months. Knowing there is a budget ceiling of three thousand calories for the day will help determine the splurge. (Remember the dessert finale!) Here is the rotation:

  • Spaghetti and sauce (crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano flakes), ground meat crumbles (sautéed), and grated parmesan--additionally a small bowl of dressed lettuce;

  • Taco salad with lettuce, meatless ground crumbles (sautéed), chili powder, olive oil, tomatoes, baked beans, guacamole, salad dressing, salsa, tortilla chips;

  • Falafel salad with lettuce [see lunch]--careful with the tahini sauce;

  • Cheese ravioli with sauce, sweet sausage and sautéed kale;

  • Chicken thigh sautéed, frozen petite green beans, a wheat bread slice buttered.

Dinner on weekends (beginning Friday night) can consist of wings, burrito bowl, or pepperoni pizza as well as any detritus from prior meals. Sundays do offer bulk cooking for the week coming (e.g. a chicken, rice, tofu, a stew)--something to consider. Also, there is nothing like breakfast for dinner, but not for cereal, that's a snack.

Popcorn (olive oil and butter) is the primary snack in this routine. What is confusing about popcorn is that the calories are measured in seed portions, which are different to the count once the seed has been popped. By this time of day, the calorie budget has more or less been determined. Measure the same amount of seeds, olive oil and butter to be consistent throughout the week. Round up the estimated calories.

In the midst of the night, there could be hunger inklings. If the inklings are not stress related, the calorie count might be on target. Check the mlog and choice barometer.

The choice barometer is the morning step onto the scale before any foodstuff is consumed. This will help with reconciling the calorie budget and determining prospective meals--routine decisions.

NOTE: this episode is [a] anecdotal cooking. Check in with a physician if a nutritionist is unavailable to assist with any data particulars. The purpose of this exercise is the creation of a meal log to assist in maintaining a healthy appetite.

Feel free to exercise thought by sending me an email regarding preparation nuances. You may eat easy when you eat ingredients. (Disclaimer)
Copyright © 2021 by Edward K. Brown II, All Rights Reserved.