Here you can find inspiration for meals, snacks, hosting parties and being adventurous with trying new foods & expanding your palette when traveling!
- Research shows when you eat ~20 grams of protein at breakfast you feel full longer and eat less throughout the rest of your day.
- Protein is not just in eggs, sausage, & peanut butter, it is also found in smaller amounts in oatmeal, whole grain cereals, milk/yogurt, nuts/seeds
- It is best to find what blend of protein at breakfast keeps you full and supports you shining all day long!
- Pleasure "Glitter," in my opinion should be included at every meal/snack; research shows it contributes to satiety & better absorption of nutrients.
The family that eats breakfast together stays together? I can tolerate my English Bulldog Morgan at 6:30 a.m., but pretty sure eating breakfast with the whole family this early...would cause some drama!
Cereal for breakfast & shine all day how to:
- Determine how long this breakfast is meant to hold you over...2 hours or 6 hours?
- Determine how active you were going into this meal & how large your dinner was the night before.
- Now you can decide the portion of carbohydrates "cereal" you should pour into your bowl.
- If you hit the gym this morning and now you are eating your breakfast fill that bowl up 2/3 full of cereal, if you just rolled out of bed fill your bowl 1/2 way.
- What cereal? I mix a whole grain cereal (for the fiber) with a lighter fun cereal (for the glitter) i.e. 50% all bran fiber flakes & 50% vanilla almond flavored flakes (lucky charms is fun too).
- Now add some protein to keep you full and/or help with muscle repair post workout: I add one soft boiled egg into my cereal (I know I am weird, but it is easy and works), you could instead have a hard boiled egg on the side or scrabble 1-2 eggs.
- Next add some fat to keep you full longer and balance your hormones: I add a sprinkle of almonds, pecans, walnuts, or a small spoon of peanut butter or when I am in the mood a couple squares of dark chocolate, if you have a nut allergy try a little spoonful of butter or canola oil (no flavor).
- Now add your milk, research shows low fat instead of fat free can keep you full longer. If you are lactose intolerant try almond milk or soy milk (soy milk is higher in protein).
- Get your Glitter on? I finish my bowl of cereal with some artistic colorful spices: turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, clove, paprika, ginger (research shows that adding spices to your meals may help with inflammation post workout or stress related, prevent certain type of cancers, & be a good source of antioxidants).
When it comes to planning a lunch that will set you up for shining all day, these are some good tips to keep in mind:
- Fiber can help keep you full longer, combat constipation, aide in a flatter stomach and lower your cholesterol levels.
- Protein on the plate helps maintain hair, nails, lean body mass (posture muscles). Think 1/4 of your plate is protein or the palm of your hand: grilled chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, cheese/nuts, lentils/legumes, tofu
- If you eat too much food at lunch it may make you sleepy after, if you eat too little it may make you irritable "hangry!" It can be helpful to work with a RD and/or keep a food journal for a week to find the ideal combination at lunch to keep you shining!
Leftovers for lunch? While some of you may be "too fancy for leftovers," I am too savvy to not have left over. Plus I "fancy things up" by drinking my green tea out of a wine glass. Different strokes for different folks.
Leftovers for lunch & shine all day how to:
- Open your fridge what first grabs your belly's attention? Pasta? Perfect this will be the carbohydrate at the meal.
- What will be the sauce? Hmm I had left over indian curry simmer sauce that had some vegetables and onion in it, great!
- Where is my vegetable? A tube of mixed green slightly wilted in the microwave will do the trick.
- And my protein? I know I will get hungry if I forget to add protein...oh good there is some chicken diced up in the curry sauce already!
- How about some fat to sooth my belly and keep me full? I remember adding canola oil to the curry sauce, all set.
- Spices to taste: salt, pepper, paprika.
- Small portion of fruit on the side to get a little glitter on!
- Portions? If I had been running around on my feet all day and had a morning workout, my portion of fruit and pasta may be a little larger. This day I had only worked out in the morning and was sedentary doing office work the rest of my morning, therefore my portions were smaller. The vegetable, protein, & fat portion stay the same (vegetable 1/2 of plate, protein 1/2 of the palm of my hand 'smaller female' to 1 palm of my hand 'larger male,' & fat 2 tsp of oil/butter/creamy dressing or a small handful of nuts/cheese).
When cooking or ordering dinner the following suggestions can be helpful to keep you sleeping through the night like a baby:
- Try to have at least one vegetable with your dinner or as suggested at lunch "half of your plate greens."
- Pick your glitter and enjoy it: maybe skip the starch/whole grain on your plate and have a slice of apple pie after dinner instead, or skip dessert after dinner and have a little extra wine with friends, or really shine bright an when the mood hits...honor your taste buds and have dessert for dinner.
- Keep in mind most people do not look forward to cooking dinner because it requires energy & time, however when you turn up the heat in the kitchen & get up on your feet...you are actually turing up your internal heat "your metabolism." You might also find you enjoy this "you time." You can turn on your favorite cooking music, pour a small glass of wine, get creative...and the end result is you have blown off some stress from your day, most likely the meal you make is healthier, and over time you may notice your clothes are starting to fit better.
Share the love of cooking with your loved one? This is a collaboration in the kitchen between my boyfriend and myself. I have come to the conclusion that almost every guy loves asparagus & brussle sprouts....however, they are really good at forgetting to add them to the dinner plate. Simply put, if my boyfriend offers to cook dinner...the plate ends up 1/2 covered with animal protein & 1/2 covered with carbohydrates (rice in this photo).
Dinner together and shine better how to:
- Pick a protein that both of you enjoy, assign that cooking to one person.
- Pick a vegetable that would pair well with the protein, compromise as needed, share this assignment. One person preps the vegetables the other cooks it.
- Pick a carbohydrate (whole grain preferred) that matches the theme thus far, assign this to one person (minute rice or pre-cooked rice sold in packages are very user friendly).
- Decide what the fatty goodness will be, is the protein fatty? In the photo the lamb has a nice layer of animal fat, and the prosciutto too. Therefore, the vegetable and rice should be prepared lighter "grilled, steamed, baked without added oil/butter." We baked the asparagus and steamed the rice.
- Season to taste: rosemary or turmeric on the lamb, salt & pepper, rice came pre-seasoned.
- Finally portions: Typically guys have more muscle (lean body mass) and therefore need larger portions of protein. Two lamb chops for an average female, 3-4 lamb chops for a male. The vegetable and carbohydrate portion stays the same (1/2 plate vegetable, 1/4 plate carbohydrate). If you workout in the evening you may need a little larger portion of carbohydrate (rice). This meal also pairs well with 1 glass of wine for her and/or 1-2 glasses of wine for him. Research shows 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men (1 drink = 4-5 oz of wine, 1.5 fl oz hard liquor or 1 standard sized can of beer) may help prevent some types of cancer and promote cardiovascular health. Most likely in my opinion, related to the antioxidants, stress reduction, and/or pairing of fresh home cooked ingredients with loved ones.
- If you do not drink alcohol, try a small serving of fruit to round out your meal: 1/2 an apple with cinnamon on top, small handful of grapes (at least you get the fiber which is lost when you drink your grapes).
When you pack a snack or find you need a "little something to hold you over until your next meal," these tips can help:
- Pair protein/fat with your carbohydrate, research shows this will keep your blood sugar stable and equates to stay full longer
- Pick fresh ingredients instead of packaged "gas station" food, your body recognizes real fuel and will have better endurance
- Don't forget some glitter: a little chocolate, caffiene, or favorite food when the mood hits
Snack attack? It only took me 28 years and two degrees to figure out that I need an afternoon snack to feel my best and maintain my bond girl body. Everyone is a little different, but I highly encourage you to experiment with adding a snack into your daily routine. Most likely when you feel that "snack attack" urge, that is the perfect time to add in your daily snack!
A snack a day keeps the doctor away how to:
- In this photo I am sharing my favorite go-to afternoon snack, a yogurt parfait.
- For me it is every afternoon around 2pm - 4pm that I have my "snack attack."
- To keep me full until dinner I choose my ingredients wisely!
- My carbohydrate comes form 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal or a high fiber cereal (long lasting energy & a stable blood sugar vs. a low fiber carbohydrate).
- My protein comes from Greek yogurt plain or flavored (~2/3 c).
- My fat source to keep me full is usually a sprinkle of nuts/seeds/chocolate/coconut flakes or a drizzle of canola/pumpkin seed oil or a spoonful of peanut butter.
- The top layer is a sprinkle of dried fruit or fresh fruit.
- I finish it off with a flare of color: turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, and/or nutmeg.