I want to give you some suggestions for meal/snack planning that you can easily make yourself. Remember to eat nutrient-dense foods. Load up on fruits/veggies, lean proteins, and good fats especially if you're working out and building muscle. Make sure every meal you eat is balanced in this way. I also encourage you to complete a 3-day food diary to better understand what you are actually consuming.
Here are a few ideas:
-Smoothies: you can throw almost anything you want in a blender
for example: 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk; 1/2 cup juice, small banana, 1 cup ice, 3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen); 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (optional)
-Frittata: can be eaten at any meal and heats up well and takes about 10-15 min
sauté onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, left-over chicken, etc. in olive oil (make sure you use an oven-safe pan and if you're only making one serving, use a small pan); add any seasonings you want (including salt and pepper); crack 2 eggs, throw in your favorite cheese; bake it at 350 degrees until the eggs are firm and the cheese is melted. You can buy pre-cut vegetables (fresh or frozen) to make life easier.
-Nut/fruit combo: a handful of nuts and a serving of your favorite fruit can be helpful when you are starving and don't know what to eat. It will also keep your blood sugar and moods stable as well as give you energy. Remember to buy your nuts from stores with a high turn-over to avoid rancidity. Trader Joe's has little 2-go packs that are already measured for you. My favorite fruit/nut combo is peanut butter and apple slices. Don't forget about peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes. Make sure to use all-fruit jelly with no added sugar.
Fruit Salads: Again, you can buy pre-cut fruit and berries (but it is cheaper to cut it yourself). Fruit is full of water so it will keep you hydrated and full.
Oatmeal (not instant): the nice thing about oatmeal is you can actually put all the ingredients in a bowl in the refrigerator the night before so it's ready to go in the morning.
1/4 cup oatmeal (dry), 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, dash of salt, dash of cinnamon, pure maple syrup to taste, 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (optional)
-Roasted Vegetables and Meats: this is probably the easiest way to prepare anything especially if you don't have time to cook.
Take fresh vegetables cut roughly the same time (pre-cut is your friend); put them in a shallow pan with seasonings of your choice and a liberal amount of olive oil; roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Obviously meat will take longer but the process is the same. Put it in the oven and leave it alone. Your nose can tell when it's ready.
Here is my granola recipe to help with your sweet tooth:
-2 cups oats
-1/2 cup pecans or sliced almonds
-3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/3 cup pure maple syrup
-2T coconut oil
-1tsp vanilla extract
-1/4tsp sea salt
-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks *(You can substitute ¾ cup Brown Rice Crispies cereal if you don’t want chocolate.)
Toast oats and nuts on a cookie sheet for 7 minutes @ 350 degrees
Add coconut flakes and toast for 7 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
In a sauce pan, melt peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil on medium heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Put oat mixture in a mixing bowl. Add sea salt. Add peanut butter mixture and mix it all together.
Add chocolate chips. They will melt and that is perfectly fine.
Press mixture into a shallow (Pyrex) pan lined with parchment paper.
Place in freezer to set for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator to harden.
Cut or break apart and enjoy!
©2014 by Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell