Planning meals (even healthy ones) is actually easier than a lot of people seem to think. All it really takes is simply including the right healthy ingredients (and mixing in a ton of vegetables and other assorted greenery).
A lot of people suffer with what I like to call Chronic Snacking Disorder. They graze between meals because they don’t feel full after eating their meals, but most don’t want to overeat. So the next time you find yourself getting peckish between meals, try adding these four secret ingredients to your three-to-four squares a day to stay fuller, longer:
1) Beans: did you know that beans are considered some of nature’s finest complex carbohydrates? That means that they’ll not only fill you up, but they also have a long list of essential vitamins and nutrients AND they help to keep your blood sugar steady. Try adding them to the obvious dishes (like chili) or try something new and add them to anything you can dream up (eggs, anyone?)!
2) Protein: because it is more difficult for your body to digest protein than it is other nutrients, it causes your metabolism to kick into high gear when you eat it in order to accommodate. Protein also takes longer to digest, so it will keep your stomach feeling full for a longer time after you eat
3) Fat: fat is incredibly energy-dense, meaning that it takes up more space in your stomach and can help keep your hunger at bay between meals. The obvious recommendation to make here is simply to make sure that you are sticking to the healthy varieties of fats – avocados, nuts and nut butters, even some seeds are all considered incredibly healthy ways to fill up during or between meals
4) (and who could forget the obvious) Fruits and vegetables: don’t be afraid of all the assorted coloured plants and greenery that lives in the produce aisle at the store! Mother Nature is one of the most creative beings that I have ever encountered, and so I have a ton of fun experimenting with new and exciting varieties of the plant life that She gave us. When making a salad, for example, don’t just stop with lettuce, carrots and tomatoes! Pile on the veggies, even add a few fruits (apples and oranges = fantastic salad options!)! The plants that make up the Fruits & Vegetables food group are all high in natural fibre, so they’ll leave you feeling more satisfied (and for a longer time). Did I mention that they all also have a high water content? Bonus J
Meal planning can be fun. It can be troublesome (when new recipes don’t work out). It can be fantastic, or exciting, or terrifying… or any number of other emotions that can be aroused in the kitchen. Just go with it! Work with your feelings to create dishes that are healthy, tasty, and everyone will be fighting for seconds. You don’t even have to let them in on the secret of how healthy it all is…
Reference: “Healthy U, Healthy Me With Tanya Dee”