20th January 2017 | Blog
The No Beige Office Survival Kit! The Jill Gardner guest blog
My name is Jill and I have become fondly known as The Fat Controller. 20 years ago I was working in an office 9-5 and struggling with my expanding waist line. Mid morning and afternoon were typically fighting cravings when my energy crashed.
My typical work day ‘beige’ diet:
Breakfast: low fat cereal, skim milk, toast & jam, orange juice
Snack: low fat cereal bar or diet biscuit and cappuccino with skim milk
Lunch: low calorie sandwich, low fat crisps, can of diet soda
Snack: calorie controlled chocolate bar, tea
Dinner: pasta bake
These so called ‘health’ foods actually created more hunger, cravings and fatigue. Looking back my meals were always beige, processed and devoid of colour.
Beige foods are largely refined starchy carbohydrates full of sugar that stimulates our primary fat storing hormone insulin. Grazing on these foods all day causes insulin to up and down leaving us cranky, hungry and eventually fatter.
So what are beige, dead foods? Beige, processed foods look nothing like real foods. Real foods are largely as nature intended, minimally processed if at all and look natural. #Beigedeadfood as a general rule doesn’t look anything like it grew from a tree, plant or bush or had arms, legs, eyes or wings. They have very few ingredients (1 ingredient being ideal) such as chicken breast, salad leaves, vegetables, full fat plain yogurt fruit, oats, rice, fish, eggs etc. Real foods take longer to digest and are more satiating. They help stabilise hunger, energy and cravings and because they are nutrient dense we also look and feel healthier.
New Year is a good time to detox from the beige (#debeigetox) and so I advise you to banish those empty calorie, sugar laden foods from the cupboards and replace with real and colourful whole foods:
Beige foods to banish and save for special treats only:
- Fried goods such as chips and crisps
- Ice cream, deserts, sweetened low fat puddings and yoghurts
- Ready meals, pizza, breaded processed foods
- Biscuits, chocolate bars, sweets
- Pies, pastries, cakes, sausage rolls and pasties
- Shop bought sandwiches including wraps and pittas
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
The ‘No Beige’ shopping list. A simple shopping list of foods you can eat freely:
Protein and fibre are the most satiating of food combinations and should form the basis of each meal. Add fat and natural starchy carbohydrates to tolerance and taste. For weight loss, you might want to limit starches to a few only bites at each meal.
Chicken, eggs, fish, beef, pork, lamb, turkey, liver, Quorn, tofu for example
All green and fibrous vegetables, salads and low sugar fruits such as kale, broccoli, courgette, asparagus, avocado, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, celeriac, cabbage, greens, leeks, garlic, onion, watercress, rocket, colourful berries, apples, pears etc
Olive oil, mayonnaise, butter, nut butters, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, full fat dairy
Natural starchy carbohydrates:
Oats, banana, sweeter fruits, whole rice, quinoa, sweet potato, root vegetables, potato, lentils and beans.
First Option Meal Plan
My 5 day ‘No Beige’ fat burning and energy boosting plan:
Energy boosting breakfasts:
Option 1: oats with berry compote and scoop of greek or natural yoghurt
Option 2: mashed banana, cinnamon and egg omelette
Option 3: Rye toast with mashed avocado and poached egg
Craving busting snacks:
Option 1: nuts and seeds
Option 2: a couple of squares of dark chocolate
Option 3: a scoop of natural nut butter with a chopped apple
Fat burning lunches:
Option 1: no beige avocado and tuna salad served in a lettuce wrap
Option 2: homemade chicken soup and oat cakes
Option 3: left over herby vegetable and cheese frittata with rocket
Option 1: baked sweet potato wedges, grilled fish and steamed vegetables
Option 2: chili con carne with whole grain rice
Option 3: chicken curry with cauliflower rice
Option 1:T Plus Green Tea
Option 3: water flavoured with lemon, lime or cucumber
Option 3: coffee black or with full fat milk
Office prep meals you can do in 5 mins:
Boil up eggs the night before, add smoked salmon and avocado
Take in left over dinners in a tupperware pot and reheat
Soak oats overnight with milk of choice, heat and serve with berries, seeds and yoghurt
Buy a ready cooked chicken and add a bag of mixed salad and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Purchase fresh soups and add cooked vegetables (microwave steam pouches are super quick)
Pre-cook and freeze portions of cheese and vegetable crustless quiche or frittata and add a mixed salad
Keep emergency pots of nuts and seeds, protein bars, powders and a shaker in your office draw
Open toasted rye bread or oatcakes with mashed avocado and egg
Humous, chopped up vegetables sticks and oat cakes
The best habit you can practice is always planning ahead. Why not swap recipe and meal ideas with your co-workers and have some fun banishing the beige!
Big love, small tummies!
Jill - The Fat Controller
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