Planning Meals and Snacks
This is my favorite tool for teaching about nutrition. It speaks to both the content of ones meals and snacks, but also to their timing. I have posted it here because so many patients like to use it. Really, it has only a few examples, and should serve only to illustrate the principles of combining protein plus produce at every meal and snack. What you can make will be much more creative.
Comparisons of work cultures in different countries indicate that we in the USA work long hours, and more days than in most other countries. Accordingly, when I interview women about their eating habits, I find that many skip breakfast, and even lunch, because they are busy. Even those who eat breakfast lunch and dinner do not have healthy snacks.
Three meals and three snacks ( 3M3S) is a principle which I teach. Combined with the concept of protein plus produce (PPP) at each meal or snack, these are a simple pair of guidelines to ensure good nutrition.
Such a regimen will have the following results:
Keep metabolism high
Keep you feeling good
Keep the food nutrient dense
Ensure adequate protein, often lacking in a woman's diet
Keep excessive carbs, junk food, and cravings away.
It sounds time consuming. It is. But I think it is worth it.
Behind the scenes, here is what it takes to accomplish this :
Make lists before you shop to include handy healthy foods.
Shop twice a week, to keep fresh food available.
Prep your breakfast the night before.
Buy a great lunch set.
Make extra dinner, so you'll have extra to pack for lunch.
Pack your lunch complete with two snacks.
Here are some simple examples to get you started :
eggs and sautéed veggies
fruit and plain yogurt or cottage cheese
fresh fruit and protein smoothie
complex carbs like oatmeal for those who need them, i.e. kids, athletes. always taken with some protein like plain yogurt.
complex multicolored salad with protein i.e. egg, leftover dinner meat, etc
Dinner : ( use all at one dinner ! )
main dish for protein- eggs, meat, poultry, fish
cooked vegetable, steamed, grilled, roasted, or baked.
complex carbs like brown rice for those who need them, i.e. kids, athletes.
Snacks: Click here for a whole page on this pleasant addition to your nutrition.
Despite all this effort and planning, food preparation, presentation and eating should be festive and social whenever possible. Good food is a celebration of health and goof fortune. Enjoy it gratefully !