What I Ate Wednesday is a series of spotlights on diverse eating styles and recipes, meant to showcase different diets and explore the wide variety of foods we choose to eat! Elaine is our accountant at ENLIGHTENED HQ.
When I was in high school, I tried to eat as few carbs as possible. However, my “evil” mom thought it was better to carb cycle daily, and always forced me to eat rice or noodles because she (rightly) believed that a certain amount of carbs gave me energy for the day.
I was so happy when I left home for college because I no longer lived with my parents and my mom could no longer control what I ate. I did try to maintain a no-carb diet, but eating that way left me constantly hungry. My body needed carbs, and I would wind up eating cookies and cakes after dinner because my cravings for sugar were so strong. By trying to avoid carbs, I wound up eating more.
I gradually changed my diet back to the way I ate in high school–carbs during the day, and just protein and veggies at night. To this day, I maintain this carb cycle style of eating. Here is an example of how I usually eat while on a daily carb cycle.
My workday breakfast has to be easy, quick, and, of course, delicious. To kick off my carb cycle, I usually have a toasted croissant sandwich with egg, ham, and cheese. For a drink, I recently started having a coffee and tea mix, something I discovered in Hong Kong when I visited in December. The local name for the drink is yuenyueng.
Since I have breakfast at around 7 a.m, I get hungry before lunch. Luckily I can pop downstairs to pick up a Double Chocolate Marshmallow Treat to hold me over until my next meal. Although I don’t generally like chocolate, I find this treat to be exceptionally yummy.
Since I used to hate the food my mom made, I learned how to cook from a very young age. I still enjoy cooking and trying new recipes all the time. Last weekend I made a big pot of Budae-Jjigae (Korean army stew). It’s a kimchi-based stew, and technically you can add anything you like into the soup. I add a lot of shrimp and fish, and of course noodles since I am focused on eating quite a lot of carbs during the day. Such a big pot can usually feed me for 3 days.
I also believe it’s better to eat frequently throughout the day rather than having one or two huge meals. In addition to my three regular meals, I sometimes have a small afternoon snack that always consists of fruit and a few small bites. My supervisor Gemma offered me her “pregnancy treat” today—avocado and cheese on a toasted English muffin, with a little bit of Irish butter on the bread. Sooo good (and definitely not just for pregnant women)!
Although my mom emphasizes the importance of consuming carbs, she usually only has protein and veggies for dinner. She believes the metabolism slows down during the night, and that the human body doesn’t need too much energy. Eating less in the evening helps our body rest and recover from the day.
I grew up in southeast China, so soup is an everyday must-have in my hometown. Dinner today was beef stew with mushrooms and sautéed broccoli. This is a great recipe to meal prep beforehand. In the morning before I leave for work, I put beef stew, mushrooms, and a little bit of dried scallop into my Instant Pot and leave it running for two hours. The Instant Pot will stop cooking but stay warm when the soup is done. Once I get home, I quickly make the sautéed veggies and have an easy and nutritious Wednesday dinner.
And if you were wondering, since I carb cycle daily and therefore don’t eat carbs at night, I rarely have dessert after dinner! My Wednesday eats concluded here. ☺ How did you celebrate What I Ate Wednesday?