I discussed some healthy snack options for our kids (here) a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be helpful to talk about some food ideas for us too! If you want to lose weight the worst thing you can do is stop eating. Our bodies need to be constantly fuelled to keep our metabolism going. A healthy day of eating would ideally involve lemon water upon waking followed by a hearty breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner. Don’t forget to keep drinking water – at least 2-3 litres a day – often your body mistakes thirst for hunger making you eat more …
I often get asked what Andrew and I eat so I thought I’d give you a brief overview. It seems like a lot of food but keep portion sizes small. Also keep in mind that we exercise almost every day so we need to replenish our bodies. It’s long but I thought it was important to get the full day in.
Starting your day with a big glass of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon in it is such a great way to flush out and detox your body. I must admit until I recently started drinking my lemon water I was sceptical. However I have definitely noticed higher energy levels since I have been doing this.
Breakfast is SO important. If you tell your body (by not eating when you wake up in the morning) that it needs to go into famine mode you will start the day feeling sluggish and tired as your metabolism slows right down leaving the path open for unhealthy food choices during the day as you try to eat some energy back. Much better to start with a hearty and healthy breakfast to get your energy levels going from the beginning of your day. You will feel satisfied which will make you less tempted to make unhealthy choices.
I’ve already given you some delicious suggestions for breakfast e.g. a toasted mountain bread wrap (see here), quinoa porridge (see here), or healthy pancakes (see here). Another great breakfast is an omelette (with 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites) or poached eggs with mushrooms, tomato, avocado and spinach.
You don’t have to make a big deal about breakfast though. A good quality muesli (preferably without dried fruit) topped with some greek yogurt and berries, or some rye or spelt toast with avocado, hummus or a healthy nut butter (check out your health food section in the supermarket) are also tasty and easy options.
Mid Morning and Mid afternoon Snacks
These snacks are great! Always try to incorporate protein in your snacks to help satisfy you for longer.
Here are my favourite snacks (note that they all contain some form of protein):
- 2 Brown rice cakes with avocado and cottage cheese or hummus and avocado. (choose the rice cakes that contain puffed brown rice only. NOT the flavoured ones that are full of artificial junk.
- A couple of hard boiled eggs.
- Some greek yoghurt and berries (fruit best consumed in the morning because of its sugar content)
- A good quality protein bar – I love the protein bars from 180 nutrition as they are made only from superfoods rather than artificial junk.
- Protein shake – again I try to avoid the protein powders that have chemicals in them. 180 nutrition has a great protein powder but I love the sunwarrior one – have 2 scoops of chocolate with a banana, a tablespoon of macca powder (another superfood) and water. (Sometimes I have this shake for breakfast)
- An apple and 10 almonds
- 100 grams of chicken or turkey breast or smoked salmon
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- A small tin of flavoured tuna (again make sure you choose the naturally flavoured ones – i.e. the chilli, lemon and cracked pepper and zesty vinegrette are all healthy options)
Here are some suggestions of things I like to eat for lunch:
- Chicken or tuna and salad
- Mountain bread wraps either my toasted chicken wrap (here) or tuna and salad
- My yummy chicken quinoa recipe (here)
- Tuna with ½ cup brown rice or quinoa and spinach, lemon and chilli
- Homemade soup
We try not to eat starchy carbohydrates for dinner most nights of the week – e.g. pasta, potatoes, rice etc. Once in a while we allow ourselves a treat such as my healthy lamb pizza (here) but most of the time dinner is protein and vegetables – think delicious marinades for your meat and big healthy salads, stir fries, soups, bakes. I have already shared some yummy dinners such as my spicy lamb mince (here), salmon with haloumi and lentil salad (here), and the delicious piri piri roast lamb (here). I have so many more yummy recipes to come – so stay tuned!!!
If you got through all of that – well done!!! Feel free to comment or ask any questions – I love hearing from you!
Quinoa is a delicious grain that is high in protein, low GI and so good for you! It is now freely available in the health food section of your supermarket or health food shop. Quinoa cooks a lot like rice, in fact I’ve been told it’s really easy to cook in a rice cooker covered with a fingernail length of water (although I actually have never tried to cook it this way). I love having quinoa as a sweet porridge for breakfast (will post this recipe in coming weeks) and I especially love having it with chicken and veggies for lunch.
Here is a yummy Quinoa recipe to try…
Chicken and Vegie Quinoa
You will need:
1 cup Quinoa
Half a sweet potato
Half a head of broccoli
A handful of precooked chicken (see finger lickin chicken post)
A small amount of feta
Juice of a lemon
Some chilli/chilli flakes/ sambal to taste
Cook the quinoa by adding 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water and a squeeze of lemon. When the water boils turn the heat down, it will take about 10-15 mins. You might need to add more water if it goes dry – keep an eye on it.
In the meantime, chop the veggies into fine dice and steam. If ‘steaming’ sounds too complicated you can cook them for a couple of minutes in a saucepan of boiling water (I would do sweet potato for a minute, add the carrots for a minute and broccoli for just under 2 minutes.) They should be vibrant in colour so make sure you don’t overcook. Drain veggies.
Add veggies, chopped (pre-cooked) chicken and lemon juice (to taste) to the saucepan with the quinoa and mix through over a low heat until the chicken is heated. Finally add the finely chopped feta and chilli (if required) and stir through.
This should be enough for 2 servings – you could double it and portion it up for easy lunches to take to work, or it would make a quick and easy dinner too.
So yummy and tasty and HEALTHY!!!
Of course you can experiment with different veggies, different proteins (think tuna, beef, lamb …), maybe drizzle with some yoghurt, stir through some pesto – whatever tickles your fancy!
In my opinion being organised and prepared is KEY to a healthy lifestyle so with this in mind, I thought I’d share a great tip for meals (and snacks) on the run.
I always try to incorporate some protein in every meal (including snacks.) Protein is so helpful for weight loss and weight management! We have been trained to think that if we don’t eat a good carbohydrate we will still be hungry, but it is protein that satisfies us and keeps us feeling fuller for longer. HOWEVER protein can be a tricky thing to incorporate in our busy schedules (it’s much easier to grab a piece of fruit or a packaged processed snack). That’s why I make sure that we always have a supply of cooked chicken (bite sized pieces) in the fridge (or freezer) as it is a perfect and versatile protein to use.
I buy the Macro chicken stir fry strips, but chicken breast chopped up is just as good (always try for organic or free range chicken). I season with a bit of salt, pepper and herbs (currently LOVING sumac!). There are so many yummy spice blends on the market – check out the Herbies spice range! Add a bit of garlic infused olive oil to a large pan and fry the chicken in batches until nice and brown. (You can do 2 or even three packs at a time and freeze half if you are time poor during the week.)
Here are some great ways to use your chicken:
- It’s really yummy straight out of the pan on its own – a perfect snack! ( a serve is about 100g) I like it with a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkling of chilli (great for the metabolism!)
- Chicken salad. I mix some leafy greens (I love woolworths baby spinach and beetroot mix) with cucumber, capsicum, tomato, avocado, a tiny bit of feta and a sprinkling of chia or sunflower seeds. Shake some olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a dressing. Delicious! Apple Cider vinegar (make sure you buy the Braggs brand with ‘The Mother’) is well researched for it’s medicinal properties. It aids our digestion of food and helps with bloating.
- Chop up and add to an egg white omelette with some red onion, spinach leaves, capsicum and mushrooms and a tiny bit of feta cheese.
- Throw it in a veggie soup to add some protein.
And one of my favourite meals – my quick and tasty
Toasted Chicken and Cottage Cheese Breakfast Wrap
This is one of our favourite breakfasts but would also make a great lunch!!!
You will need:
1 mountain bread wrap (mountain bread is the best thing ever, hardly any calories, all natural and so versatile. I like using the spelt version which is new as I don’t love eating wheat, but the rye ones are also good.)
A handful of your pre-cooked chicken pieces
A tablespoon of cottage cheese
A quarter of an avocado
A handful of salad mix (again I love the baby spinach and beetroot mix from woollies)
A small tomato sliced
(anything else you fancy – Andrew likes capsicum and a drizzle of pesto, I like mushrooms, you can also use smoked salmon if there is no chicken on hand etc etc …)
Spread the cottage cheese and avocado on the mountain bread. (Be gentle as they are very thin and break easily). I like to mash my avo and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Then add the other ingredients.
Looking good (and so fresh no?) …
Finally, roll gently and toast for a few minutes in a sandwich toaster.
And … Voila!!!!
It isn’t easy to eat with your hands so treat yourself to a knife and fork!
Such a great way to start the day!!!
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