I have been helping Julie put together a meal plan and we thought it would be good to share some of our ideas with you (I also think it helps her feel motivated and accountable to you all!) She will be posting many of these meals on Facebook so be sure to follow her there!
Personally, I think that if you eat enough during meals, there should be no need (or desire) to snack. Often we try to cut down on our main meal portion sizes because we want to be careful with what we eat, only to cave in the middle of the afternoon and give in to that chocolate or snack bar. The truth is, full meals tend to be nutritionally dense (if we make the right choices); whereas snacks are rarely so.
If you are someone who is used to snacking throughout the day, try adding more protein such as a boiled egg or feta cheese or an additional 2 cups of vegetables to your lunch, to keep you fuelled throughout the day.
Bread: Look for rough grains as the more finely ground a kernel of wheat or grain is, the quicker the starch will break down into sugar. I personally love sprouted grain bread or breads with ancient grains such as buckwheat, millet, quinoa and chia. These breads have less wheat and therefore less ‘usable’ carbohydrates. They are also high in fiber!
I would avoid bagels, rolls and any soft or sweet bread. Gluten-free breads are great for those who are gluten intolerant. However, for those of us who aren’t, these breads aren’t necessarily any healthier as they are often higher in carbohydrates than breads made with wheat. So don’t forget to check those labels! (Our next blog will talk about this in details)
Julie’s breakfast this week consists of some toast for breakfast. Here are a few toast ‘toppings’ that you may like to add on yours!
- Avocado, squeezed lemon with a pinch of salt and pepper
- Halved cherry tomatoes on cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper
- Hummus with cucumber
- Nut butter with banana
Eggs: I absolutely love eggs for breakfast. They are a fantastic source of protein and keep us full for longer. There is debate about how to cook eggs and if we should remove the yolks. In my opinion, food should be kept whole. Egg yolks contain the enzymes that help us metabolize the egg as a whole, and the whites and yolks are a package deal as nature intended.
Julie loves her eggs all ways, but here are a couple of ways she has yet to try them!
- Eggs in capsicum – Slice capsicum into rings and place them on a pan, and crack the egg in the middle of it. Delicious!
- Egg wrap with salad – Make a thin omelette and use it as a wrap with fresh leafy greens and sautéed mushrooms.
Cereals: Processed cereals are often packed full of sugars and refined carbohydrates. I prefer to make my own. It is relatively easy to make up a big batch and store it in an air-tight container to be used throughout the week. I have attached one my favourite go-to cereal recipes below.
Madelynn’s Morning Magic
2 cups rolled oats/ quinoa flakes
1 cup of mixed chopped nuts – I use almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts
½ cup mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds
½ cup honey or maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250°F (120ºC) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine all ingredients and mix well before spreading evenly on prepared tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden, turning halfway through the cooking time.
I like to bake mine until it is quite dark – however, it is up to you. It is important to let it cool completely before adding it to a container (if you are making a big batch) as that is the secret to getting that nice crunch.
I often have my cereal with some yogurt, chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries and fresh seasonal fruit. I especially love it when it is apricot or berry season! YUM!
Please feel free to experiment and add or remove ingredients as you see fit, with what suits your family’s lifestyle and taste. Breakfast is made to be enjoyed and prepared with love, so make it your own!
We will be looking at lunch and dinner ideas over the next two weeks. In the meantime, I encourage you to post your own meal ideas and recipes below so we can all inspire each other!
In good health!
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