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Three Steps to Easy Meal and Snack Planning

March 21, 2013

By Lori Hanson

If I had a dollar for every time I heard “I don’t know what to eat,” when talking to someone who wants to eat healthier or lose weight I would be a very wealthy woman. This is a common issue that until I starting speaking five years ago I didn’t realize how much of a problem it is.

I started studying diet and nutrition back in the eighties when I began my path to being a body builder. I was never able to compete because of my bulimia, but I learned so much about meal planning, balancing and how to get and keep the metabolism rockin.

Balanced meals consist of:

  • One serving of vegetables (at least one green leafy every day)
  • One serving of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish)
  • One serving of complex carbohydrates (brown things, fruit)
  • One serving of healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts)

(You don’t need to eat vegetables at breakfast, although they compliment an omelette or egg whites nicely.)

The easiest way to determine a serving or portion size is by the palm of your hand or fist. You don’t have to count calories, which I always hated to do.

When I work with my clients, I share a food list with them that I’ve created. It has four columns for each of the categories above. All you need to do to plan a meal is pick one thing from each column and you’re done.

Coming from the body builder world, I’ve consumed 5-6 small meals a day for years. There are several benefits to doing this:

1 – It speeds up your metabolism
2 – You’re less likely to overeat
3 – You can add more variety into your day with fun, healthy between meal snacks.

It just takes a bit of planning to do this. When you plan and are prepared you won’t get too hungry because you missed meals, you won’t eat something you hadn’t planned on when you dine out and you’ll feel great by staying on track.

The easiest way to plan meals is to go back to basics, the way we were intended to consume food. Eliminate processed food (boxes, frozen, canned, fast food, junk food and sugar). If you started running you wouldn’t set a goal to run five miles the first day so don’t try to do this all at once. Start by eliminating one thing each week, and replace it with whole vegetables, whole fruits, nuts, legumes, tofu, tempeh, chicken and turkey breast or fish. Things you can buy that don’t have anything added to them. Start reading labels – this will help you on this journey. If you can’t pronounce it, your body doesn’t want it.

Healthy snack ideas:
15 raw almonds and 3 slices of turkey
15 raw almonds and one green apple
5-8 celery slices with fresh almond butter
Protein shake with 1 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Sliced green apple with fresh almond butter
2 whole dates (Medjool’s are wonderful) and yogurt or sunflower seeds
Hard-boiled egg and raw red cabbage wedge
Ezekiel tortilla with fresh almond butter

Getting back to basics will simplify your life and improve your health. Remember this is a journey, it’s about progress, not perfection. In my next blog I will share some additional tips to help you support the healthier food plan and improve your quality of life.

If you’re interested in a food list email me.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2013 3:38 pm

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    • June 24, 2013 5:59 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you are inspired to start your own site. Congrats!

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