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Hey everyone. Ne player here, trying to do what we're all here to do. Right now one of my big challenges is trying to keep up with a good diet, but not sure how to advance past where I am now. I've cut most processed foods out (I snack occasionally, but have been getting better about making healthy choices here), though I do fight with my sweet tooth from time to time still. I've been a fairly strict vegetarian for about 19 years (no poultry, fish, or straight up eggs, though it's taste/texture for the last), and fast food is not much of an issue (don't like the stuff and hard to find good vegetarian options). My big challenges are finding new meals (all 3 major ones) that are friendly for my vegetarian diet and that I can make with very little time (I'm a grad student with a family/child), bored eating, and portion control/dealing with the hungry feeling. I've read all the usual material available; stuff like using smaller plates, etc, but it hasn't been as effective as I'd like. What do *you* guys do for challenges like these? Anything that works well for you?

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Vegetarian food is absurdly simple imo, except maybe squash and artichokes.  (I mean, I like artichokes, but who the heck wants to spend dinnertime dissecting a thistle with their teeth?)  The only trick is limiting those grains.  If you keep a lid on your bread/pasta/rice and don't eat sweets too often, you should be fine.

 

I do most of my veggies one of a few ways: raw, fridge pickled, oven roasted, or sauteed.  Pretty much anything that grows can be eaten one or more of those ways. For the roasted/sauteed, just add a spoonful of your favorite oil and some lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, etc.

 

To control "bored eating," do not keep tempting junk munchies in the house.  Keep only nonaddicting munchies, like carrots and fresh fruit.  Don't think "portion size," that doesn't work if there are 10 more portions in the bag and the bag is just sitting in the pantry.  Just keep it out of the home so it's not easily accessible.  If you must munch, at least you'll be munching real food.

 

(I am a natural grazer, so I have to be careful not to bring too much junk food home, because if it gets in the door, I will eat it until it's gone and no one can stop me.  So I have a rule that if I want cookies or chips, I have to make them myself or go all the way to the store to get them.  Usually this is enough to get me reaching for something more accessible, like an apple.  I also buy crusty artisan bread that goes stale really fast, which has cut down on my addiction to toast.)

 

Another good cure for boredom munchies is to drink tea or water.  No calories, keeps you hydrated, and getting up every so often to refill your cup or use the bathroom provides a nice mental break too.  I used to go through two or three cups of tea per hour when I was working on term papers, which made me extremely anxious.  (The term papers made me anxious, not the tea.  Sipping hot tea helped me settle down.)

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