One of the toughest things to get past when you strive to eat more naturally or whole foods based is the fact that eating that way takes time, effort and forethought. It's hard when most people you know are able to eat quickly and without much thought, and blunder on with their day... and it's just not as easy for those of us on this path. There are even moments of jealousy for me, witnessing the things I used to eat polished off with gusto by my friends.
I'm not too jealous though- I know that is not a good path to be on, and ultimately leads to worse health in the end.
If you're busy like I am though, eating well and balanced is a tough day to day challange. Compound the no sugar policy with vegetarianism and a committment to more whole foods and grains, and you have a person who is frustrated a lot of the time. I am to start clinics in the spring. My worry is this: most rotations are fast paced and busy, and don't schedule in time to eat. They even warn us in our materials that we will suffer a 'sub-optimal plane of nutrition'. Great. Most students are reduced to eating on the fly; granola bars or worse, candy from the vending machine (the cafeteria, which sells reasonably healthy food, closes at 2 pm!!!). I cannot eat that way. Granola bars are candy in sexy health food wrappers. Even lara bars, which I am a fan of, are high in sugar content in general, being made largely of dates. What is a girl to do?
A few thoughts I have are trail mix, which is cumbersome and messy sometimes. And it takes up a lot of room for the amount you need to consume to feel satisfied. 1/4 cup of nuts is a serving; that has protein, but also a lot of fat as well. Many dried fruits have sugar added in the drying process (not to mention sulfer, hello fart city). So it is an option, but not one to be overdone. There are of course Lara bars, but that is not entirely nutritious on the whole- and cannot be relied upon daily. Protein shakes are tough. Many are made with sugar or aspartame. I'm suspicious of that stuff. The one I like best are the Spirutein shakes, but those are made with fructose- on the whole not a bad form of sugar, but it's sugar nonetheless, and thus has the risk of crashing built right in.
I also found a raw cashew cookie recipe (from the Sweet Stevia cookbook) that requires no cooking, made with cashew butter, ground up sunflower seeds, soy beverage powder and carob; I think I can modify it to make it richer in calories somehow.
I'm going to have to be creative, it seems. In "Sugar Blues" there is a little recipe for rice balls- brown rice and umeboshi plums wrapped in Nori seaweed. I've made them with carrots (I couldn't find the plums) and was pretty impressed with how much fun they were to make; and how easy. They are pretty satisfying too.
I will have to begin to play with beans- maybe make beans and grind them up, put them in the seaweed brown rice balls? I am brainstorming here. For anyone reading this, suggestions are more than welcome. Pocketable items are key; things that can fit in the doctor's white coat and be easily accessible. I'm no good when I'm starving; I can't think straight, and get fumbly. Not characteristics you want in a doctor, you know. Not impressive to the clinicians.
So here's what I have so far:
*trail mix- nuts and dried fruits
*date and nut bars
*raw cashew cookies
*brown rice seaweed balls
In all not a bad selection.
I have reservations about juicing. I know it's all the rage, but I'm not clear if juicing takes out the fiber in the items you are grinding up. If so, you are merely getting concentrated sugars and some of the vitamins and minerals; not a balanced deal. If it is grinding up the whole thing then I believe that would be convenient; most people would look at you funny if you showed up with a bunch of kale in your pocket. They already look at me funny, no need to encourage them.
The key for me is balance. I don't want to end up losing too much weight by being kept from eating lunch. That to me is unhappiness. I will keep looking...