Although breakfast tends to steal the spotlight as the most important meal of the day, lunch comes pretty darn close. In order to say properly fueled throughout the afternoon – keeping energy levels pumpin’, mood stabilized and cravings at bay (hello cookie drawers and vending machines) – it’s time to add some goodness into your mid-day meal.
Let’s keep it simple people. Use leftovers for lunch, follow these 3 simple guidelines and you are on your way to one super charged afternoon. Kapow!
Breakfast: Add in some colour, Protein + Fiber
1) Eat the (raw) rainbow - Regardless of what you choose to as your main meal, colourful vegetables are a must. With dark leafy greens as a base, the topping possibilities are endless – outstanding orange or red pepper, grated carrots & beets and chopped cucumber. Can you taste that rainbow?
If salads aren’t your thing – no problem. Chop up your favourite veggies into sticks, and pair with scrumptious, nutrient dense dip such as hummus, guacamole or a Greek yogurt based dip.
2) Protein: Powerful protein, making an appearance again! And that’s because this marvelous macronutrient fills us up, for longer - keeping us satisfied throughout the course of the afternoon, right into the evening.
Starting with a medium sized, whole grain wrap (not the extra, extra large version), use last night’s leftover roasted chicken, or ground turkey – and start filling it up. Sautee onions and peppers, add avocado, salsa, lettuce or cucumber – it’s totally up to you, and couldn’t be easier.
Vegetarian? Fill it up with beans and rice for a complete protein source. Gluten free? Opt for a corn tortilla or taco. Note that some of the large gluten free wraps available can be difficult to work with.
3) Fiber: We’re getting friendly with fiber, oh yes we are. We need this indigestible part of plants at lunch to help us meet our daily fiber needs, plus it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, glucose levels and inflammation. It even supports weight loss goals, as it creates a feeling of fullness, helping you to eat less overall.
Quinoa & Lentil Patties
This quinoa and lentil pattie recipe makes about 20 small patties, which can be made in advance to facilitate an easy lunch for the week ahead. The quinoa/lentil combo provides a protein packed punch, as well as some serious fiber goodness. For the full recipe, click here.
In order to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, it is absolutely essential to always have a snack handy. This new habit will result in stabilized mood & energy, plus a reduction in erratic eating situations – ahem, we’ve all been there. Click here for my snack ideas handout – so you’ll always be prepared.
Claire LeGresley, RHN
If you would like to receive weekly newsletters, jam packed with nourishing tips like these, be sure to sign up for Wellness Wednesdays here: http://eepurl.com/HGWzP
Posts inspired by the team at Platinum Health & Wellness.