Want to know what you should eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and in between!) to help boost mood, productivity & promote sleep? Here’s the ‘skinny’ on healthiest of healthy eating habits…
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Come Back to Earth: Given the choice, we should eat clean, whole non-processed foods as often as possible! This includes a balance of fruits, veggies, carbohydrates, and either meat or vegetarian based protein. Try to reach for things that don’t come in a box or a bag – which is often indicative of a highly processed food product that is “shelf-stable” (which is typically higher in sodium and preservatives).
- Eat the Veggie Rainbow: Generally speaking, the more colorful the more nutrient dense! Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants. These are critical components for keeping our immune functions running strong and soaking up all the damage we do to our bodies daily.
- Healthy Carbs: The important thing is to pick a mix of complex and simple carbs. Choose whole-grains and a piece of fruit. The fruit will deliver the quick simple carbs needed immediately, and the complex carbs (typically also packed full of fiber) will sustain satiety.
- Fish & Meat: Fish, poultry, and leaner cuts of red meat have higher ratios of protein to fat ratio – making them an ideal choice to provide us with the building blocks we use create and maintain all the cells in our body..
Vegetarian Proteins: Nuts, beans, and dairy are all a rich source of non-meat based protein. Just a ¼ cup of almonds for example contains 8g of protein. 6 oz of Greek yogurt contains 17g of protein.
Fats: Choose fats that give something back to you. Foods rich in omega-3 will help reduce inflammation –salmon is especially rich in this nutrient. Avocados are another rich source of healthy fats – not to mention that 1 avocado has nearly all the fiber requirements recommended daily.
Get back in the kitchen! Don’t rely on the “quick fixes” -make the time to plan and prepare meals ahead of time so you don’t end grabbing something to eat in a hurried and hungry state. Better yet, let a meal kit company like HelloFresh help you get a healthy and easy dinner on the table.
Snacks can be used to tide hunger between meals. That said, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between a snack and a treat – avoid snack foods with sugar as the first ingredient! The focus should be on eating snacks made up of mostly fruits/veggies (healthy carbs) with a quality source of protein (nuts & nut butters, dairy products, hard-boiled eggs). These types of healthy snacks will boost energy, while junk foods high in sugar will lead to an energy crash and potential overeating at the next meal. When done in the right proportions, snacks can be useful towards curbing hunger or filling in nutrient gaps in the day. Additionally, it’s important to consider the full ingredients list, and avoid highly processed ingredients and focus more on a balance of nutrients to sustain satiety.
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