Eating on the Run: Make It a Well-Balanced Meal Every Time
Source: Precision Nutrition
One of the key principles I communicate to clients is to eat balanced meals at every sitting. This ensures that you are fueling your body with the necessary nutrients to support cell metabolism. This means that every plate/bowl includes: protein (animal- or plant-based), carbohydrates (preferably low glycemic), and healthy fats (i.e., plant-based fats). You should be able to SEE these components on your plate/bowl.
Creating a well-balanced and tasty meal can be a daunting task on busy weeknights, so to help you, here’s a cheat sheet. Mix and match these ingredients, and then add some herbs and spices at the end.
Step #1: Choose one ingredient from each of the four columns below:
Step #2: Adjust portions according to your activity level, how frequently you eat, your size and gender, your desired results, and appetite.
Step #3: Choose aromatics and garnishes. Season with herbs and spices to turn up the flavor!
- Italian seasonings: garlic, oregano and basil
- French seasonings: tarragon, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf
- Mexican seasonings: cilantro, cumin, ancho chiles, and adobo
- Thai seasonings: cilantro, mint, Thai basil, and ginger
- Indian seasonings: cumin, fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, curry, and ginger
- Caribbean seasonings: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves
- Spanish seasonings: smoked paprika, parsley, bay leaf, saffron
Step #4: Cook the food and finish your bowl/plate with a little more fresh herbs or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a citrus burst!
Eating on the Run: Salads that Satisfy
As we transition from cold to warm weather, it’s also a good time to remember to eat seasonally. There’s plenty of evidence to support the notion of eating a varied and seasonal diet to benefit gut health. Introducing new or different food prevents the body from developing sensitivities and improves gut flora.
At this time of year, most people start adding in more salads. Keep salads on the hardy side until the cold weather completely passes. The hardy-ness will keep you satisfied longer due to higher fiber content. Keep an eye out for Spring farmer’s markets and a change of produce at the supermarket. Look for these Spring vegetables at the market: rhubarb, radishes, morels, fiddleheads, garlic scapes (Katina’s top pick!!), ramps, new potatoes, early greens, and sugar snap peas. Eat raw or do an easy pan sauté and save for your salad.
Now it’s time to make a salad that is satisfying: start with a bed of your favorite greens, mix in a handful of hardier greens such as kale or Swiss chard, throw in your Spring veggies (raw or cooked) and half-cup of your favorite grain, and to keep you satisfied longer, add in a protein source such as beans, eggs, or grass-fed beef. For additional ideas, try 1-2 of these filling vegetables: artichokes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, or broccoli. Top with your favorite fresh salad dressing. These salads are easily a full meal and combine textures. These salads will satisfy any hunger craving!
Katina Sayers is the owner/operator of Katina’s Nutritional Coaching Corner. She has an extensive background in health and education that began with degrees in exercise physiology, health and physical education, community health, and culminating with a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. She completed an advanced certificate of study in Integrative Nutrition and Health Coaching from the renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York City. For the last four years, she has worked one-on-one with clients, presented a multitude of nutrition topics for large and small audiences, contracted with businesses to implement worksite wellness initiatives, and currently manages day-to-day food service operations at a local non-profit agency, as well as directs activities related to nutrition and health. Katina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.