Friday, January 16, 2015

When Plan A Goes Awry (Plan B to the Rescue)

I came home for lunch today, a rare opportunity, so I wanted to make the most of it. After mixing up the prepackaged ingredients for roasted red pepper & basil quinoa, I headed to the microwave where I popped the door open, then proceeded to fumble the bowl of ingredients, splashing them all over the interior of the microwave and kitchen floor.

After cleaning up the mess, I was tempted to grab whatever I could to eat without regard for nutritional content, but something stopped me. I had a full afternoon ahead with some very social 6th grade students, and I needed energy. And, if I was going to have a splurge today, I wanted it to be tonight rather than an unplanned lunch alone.

And so I quickly created Plan B - a lunch that included a black bean burrito, cucumber slices and a V-8. It tasted good and I went back to school feeling energetic, instead of sluggish, feeling good about the choice I had made when my original plan went awry.

And that got me thinking. There's a lot to be said for Plan B. In fact, there have been a number of times in my life when Plan B has saved me. For example, the times when I have wanted to go out for a walk or a jog, but the roads have been icy, too icy to even make it to the gym. Plan B, in those instances, has been to go for a walk in my own home, walking round and round the circuit of my living room, kitchen, family room and entry. As ridiculous as this Plan B sounds, it keeps me exercising even when the weather's bad and keeps me from going stir-crazy. It's been an essential Plan B.

When it comes to food and fitness, I find myself wondering about other times when a Plan B might be helpful, Here are a few:

  1. On the days when I don't have enough time for a full 30-minute jog, I can jog just 20 minutes, or break it down into three 10-minute fast walks.
  2. When I'm out of lettuce and am desperate for a salad but have no time to run to the store, I can go through the produce drawer and pull out a few vegetables and wash, peel, and slice, making a delicious mini-veggie tray of tomatoes, carrots, celery, etc.
  3. When I have no time to fix a healthy dinner, I can have healthy freezer meals ready to grab, perhaps some vegetarian spaghetti sauce, turkey loaf, or pinto beans. 

In the next few days I will brainstorm more Plan Bs because I want to have more experiences like I had today when I ate a bean burrito rather than spiraling into a train wreck of overeating less healthy foods. Let's hear it for Plan Bs! I'd love to hear yours. 


  1. My plan B is often a protein shake as a meal replacement. My husband keeps protein powder around the house. Here is what I often put in:

    3 or 4 ice cubes
    1/2 banana (makes is creamy)
    1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    1/4 cup of oatmeal
    a handful of frozen blueberries (ALDI has organic ones)
    apx 1/2 cup skim milk

    This seems to do the trick of really filling me up (when I have a smoothie like this for breakfast I can go all the way until noon and not feel that desperate hunger). I also feel like I have had a treat!


  2. Victoria, This sounds delicious. I do something similar but have not added the oatmeal before. I think the oatmeal would be very beneficial in terms of feeling full and adding to my positive fiber count. Thanks for the suggestion. Will give it a try today as I'm feeling especially hungry right now!