Happy St. Patrick’s Day my healthy friends! This may not be the best day to be sharing some healthy recipes (I know you will be enjoying some St. Patty’s Day libations 🙂 – it’s all about living a healthy balanced life) So, whether or not you will be enjoying some corned beef and cabbage and a pint of Guinness or a shot of Whisky today…you can still learn how to create healthy balanced meals which will help you get more nutrition into your diet (and BONUS: you may just lose some weight too).
Creating healthy balanced meals is a struggle for so many people (including myself sometimes). I personally grew up eating simple meals like spaghetti (ground beef, spaghetti noodles, and spaghetti sauce with Parmesan cheese…no veggies). So, to make creating healthy and balanced meals a part of your Healthy Habits, then you just need to start putting it into practice. Pick one meal a day that you create a healthy and balanced meal and do that for a week, two weeks, 3 weeks; however long it takes for you to do it without even thinking about it. Once you get one meal down, then start doing 2 meals a day. Eventually, all of your meals will automatically be healthy and balanced (except of course those occasions in life when you go to a St. Patty’s day party, birthday party, etc… it’s life people….don’t stress about it).
Include the following food groups in each meal to start creating healthy, balanced meals:
- Protein – ex; fish, chicken breast, eggs, greek yogurt, turkey, beef, pork, legumes & beans, protein powder
- Fibrous Carbs -ex; leafy greens, string beans, apples, lentils, quinoa, rolled oats, brown rice, pear, berries, kiwi
- Healthy Fats – ex; avocado (stick to 1/3 or 1/4), organic olive oil, coconut oil, nuts & seeds
Eating protein at each meal results in more weight loss, preserves muscle mass, reduces food cravings, raises your metabolism, helps you feel fuller and doesn’t increase insulin levels.
Carbs are an essential component of your balanced meals. They are the body’s preferred source of energy, contain boundless sources of vitamins, minerals and other micro-nutrients, and are contained in a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains which helps you create a diverse catalog of healthy recipes. They are also your only source of fiber, and fiber helps keep you full longer (and not to mention is good for your digestive tract and keeping your regular).
Healthy Fats suppress your appetite, help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K), help burn body fat, provide a major source of energy to the body and contain omega-3’s which help aid the body in producing necessary hormones.
Now, you might be wondering “How do I know how much of each food group to put in each meal?!”. Well, there is a simple and “handy” measuring tool you can use: your hand 🙂
For your main meals:
- one portion of protein = a piece at least the mass of your whole hand
- one portion of a high-fiber whole grain, a high-fiber fruit, or a high-fiber starchy vegetable = the size of your palm of your hand
- one portion of healthy fats = one thumb (unless it’s already included in your protein like salmon, which is a fat and protein)
- produce – pile it on! have at least two fistfuls of non-starchy vegetables (like spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, etc)
Here are two healthy balanced meal recipes that I love to create:
Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal – this recipe is super yummy, crushes any chocolate cravings you have and is great for breakfast!
- 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
- 1 cup water
- 1 TBSP organic coconut oil
- 1 TBSP Cacao Powder (you can omit this if you don’t want chocolate oatmeal)
- 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TBSP unsweetened almond butter
- 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries (or fresh)
- 1 TBSP unsweetened vanilla almond milk (optional)
- 1 TBSP organic maple syrup (optional, but if you use cacao powder you will most likely want this as cacao powder isn’t sweet)
Put your oats (your carb) and water in a pan and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-12 minutes. (You can use steel-cut oats too if you prefer) Once the oatmeal is ready then mix in the coconut oil (your healthy fat), Cacao Powder (this is also a bonus Superfood added to your meal), sea salt, cinnamon and almond butter (your protein). Then put it in a bowl and top with your maple syrup, almond milk and blueberries. You could change up your fruits to raspberries, strawberries, black berries or if you want a half a banana.
Grilled Chicken Superfood Salad – This is a yummy and quick meal that can be changed up with different veggies and protein and is good for lunch or dinner.
- Protein-1 Hand size of grilled chicken or 5-6 ounces (this is something you can do once a week – grill up a batch of chicken breasts and cut it up
and portion it out for the week)
- Fibrous Carbs-2 handfulls of salad mix (I love using spinach, arugula and romaine or a spring mix blend)
- Healthy Fats-1/3-1/4 sliced avocado or 1 oz of walnuts or sunflower seeds
- 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar (or you can use apple cider vinegar or one of my favs: coconut vinegar)
- palm size of veggies like carrots, peppers, cucumber, onion, radishes
- Bonus: 1 TBSP Hemp Seeds
- Optional: I love sprinkling my salads with Bragg’s Sea Kelp Seasoning
There really isn’t any instructions for making a salad…assuming everyone knows how to throw together a salad 🙂 Some people like to make mason jar salads and take them to work with them. This recipe is so simple and really yummy and can be changed up all the time so you don’t get bored. I love to use salmon instead of chicken and I also love adding in some extra protein with a sprinkle of Hemp Seeds (which are also a bonus Superfood-can you tell I LOVE superfoods?!) You might notice that there are some extra healthy fats in this meal with the dressing, so what I do to make sure I don’t over do it on healthy fats for the day is I make sure that I don’t have any healthy fats in my next meal (or you can just cut back on them at each meal). Don’t stress about it though, the most important part is that you are eating healthy balanced meals and not processed junk or fast food.
Keep it simple and start playing around with creating at least 1 healthy balanced meal a day.
Do you have a healthy and balanced recipe you love? Please do share with me!
Stay Healthy my Friends!
Carrie A Groff
P.S. If you haven’t signed up for my 52 Healthy Habits course, what are you waiting for? It’s a free course where you will receive 1 email every Monday morning that has 1 healthy habit that you can add to your life to make 2017 your healthiest year yet! Sign up here and you will start receiving your emails the Monday following your confirmation email. You will also get free access to my 52 Healthy Habits Facebook group.