If your idea of breakfast is a grande iced caramel machiatto grabbed at the drive-thru?
Or is lunch finishing off your kid’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
And dinner? Pizza, or maybe cereal?
This post is not to preach at you about eating too many calories, or about needing to fix a 6 course meal for dinner. It is about needing to feed your body the fuel it needs to think clearly and do all the things you physically have to get done.
I am telling you that you NEED to eat. Most people who are busy don’t take the time to fuel their bodies for energy. And many of us are *cutting calories* to lose weight, which causing even more of an energy drop. You just need to learn to eat the right things at the right times.
The Balanced Life eating plan
There are 3 categories of food you want to focus your diet on-
1. lean protein- lean chicken, pork, beef, low-fat string cheese, low-fat yogurt
2. smart carbohydrates, otherwise known as whole grains- whole grain crackers, brown rice, popcorn, whole grain pasta & breads
3. good fats MUFAS, monounsaturated fatty acids- almonds, avocado, walnuts, olives and olive oil, even dark chocolate!
These should be a foundation for your *balanced* diet.
Then add… several fruits and unlimited vegetables to get the additional minerals and vitamins you need.
How often should you eat?
To maintain a steady level of blood sugar, eat every 3 hours or so. These will need to be small meals, but carefully planned out.
One reason you are probably not eating often enough (or the right things) is due to lack of planning. While planning your meals may seem to be just *one more thing* on your to-do list, it is VERY important that you do it. The good thing is, once you get the hang of it, it becomes a habit, plus you reap the benefits of more energy and focus.
Plan out your meals for this week. Plan your meals and also plan your snacks to have between meals. You won’t eat the healthier choices if you don’t have them handy. You also need to learn some choices at different restaurants and gas stations that will fit into your balanced eating plan.
Don’t plan elaborate fancy meals and snacks. Find a few things that work well for you.
A few of my favorite things to munch on:
- raw almonds
- lite string cheese sticks
- sliced apples with peanut butter
- Quaker Oat Squares (eaten dry, yummy!)
- salad with a sprinkling of nuts and cheese
- grilled chicken chunks
- fast food options- Wendy’s Chili, McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Wrap, Arby’s Jr Roast beef sandwich
- gas station options- Special K protein bars taste pretty good, cheese sticks, fruit, triscuits, small bag honey roasted peanuts
Your assignment? Download a weekly meal plan worksheet at Life… Your Way Plan for your healthy snacks.
I encourage you to do this exercise starting today. Come back, if you’d like and share what you found in the comments. Just know this is not a one-time exercise. You will need to consistently plan your meals for balanced eating.