I can’t stress enough how important it is to watch what we put into our bodies. The foods we eat have more to do with our overall health than anything else we do. If we eat crap, we will feel like crap! If we eat nutritious whole foods, we will feel energized and, well, whole! There are SO many studies which prove a direct connection to poor diet and exercise with life threatening illnesses such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, Erectile Dysfunction, Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Cancer, Osteoporosis, and Stress.
It is proven that eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day will increase your metabolism. Drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep will also do wonders to boost your natural fat burning furnace! Here are a few easy meal ideas, and an example of what my daily menu looks like. Your personal needs may vary depending on your age, height, activity level, etc. I recommend visiting some websites such as My Fitness Pal or Calorie Count, to help you get a general idea of your suggested calorie intake. My Fitness Pal is a GREAT way to actually monitor the foods you eat (and drink) every day. Just using this tool for one week will completely open your eyes to where all of your calories are going.
- Protein Pancakes
- Oatmeal with almonds, walnuts or pecans, a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, and a splash of almond milk
- Smoothie (low sugar, some protein and some greens like spinach or kale)
1 egg and 2 egg whites (scrambled with a tsp of olive oil), spinach leaves, sun dried tomato chicken sausage (about 1/2), and salsa
Omelette with 1 egg and 3 egg whites, 1 cup spinach leaves, 2 tablespoons Mediterranean herb feta cheese, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 1/4 avocado.
***try to avoid cooking with butter, and replace with a small serving of healthy fats such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or coconut oil
- Sliced celery and carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons hummus
- Low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or salsa
- 1 egg over spinach leaves with a spread of hummus on top of a whole grain slice of bread, a corn tortilla, or half of a 100 calorie sandwich thin
- Sliced apple with peanut butter
- Smoked salmon with whole grain crackers, bread, or served with a low calorie cheese wedge on a corn tortilla
- Plain Greek yogurt with hemp seeds, sliced almonds, fresh berries, and a sprinkle of whole grain cereal flakes (Kashi makes a few that are low in sugar) OR shaved coconut
- Chocolate protein pancakes (just use chocolate protein powder, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder in my recipe) with peanut butter, sliced almonds, and whole flax seeds
- Chicken, egg, or tuna salad (I use plain yogurt in place of the mayonnaise) served on whole grain bread, served as a dip for celery sticks, or atop a lettuce bed
- Green salad with chopped fresh veggies, raw seeds, and a drizzle of balsamic/olive oil (dressing optional – if you are using store bought, use sparingly) **top with chicken breast or smoked salmon for extra protein
- Leftovers! I usually have some kind of food prepped for the week, or leftovers from dinner the night before.
- Steamed vegetables with marinara sauce, salsa, or parmesan cheese
- Turkey and veggie wrap served on whole grain tortilla or lettuce (look for turkey with low sodium)
- Chicken sausage with sliced avocado, tomato, lettuce, and mustard
- Quinoa with veggies, scrambled eggs, or fruit/nuts
- Fish or shrimp tacos served with cabbage, cilantro, lime, and Greek yogurt sauce on a corn tortilla, served with black beans
- Ground turkey tacos with lettuce and diced veggies/w sprinkle of feta cheese and salsa
- Baked Salmon or Chicken with steamed veggies and/or green salad
- Sauteed zucchini, sweet potato, onion, and garbanzo beans with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil (sprinkle parmesan cheese)
- Stir fry with sesame oil, garlic, ginger, tofu, and veggies (wild rice or quinoa optional)
- Spaghetti squash with edamame – or served with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese
These are just a few ideas – I will continue to share my recipes and meal ideas with you over time! Tell me about your meals/snacks…do you have a favorite?