Registered Dietitian All-star Abbey gives us some new lunch ideas
Try this at Home...
Make a list of 5 things you’d like to do for your health today. Choose things that you know you'll have time for. I usually pick 1 or 2 I know I'm going to do anyways or have already done so I can check them off my list right away. I also pick something I'm working on or what to try.
Do this for 7 DAYS and see how you feel by the end of the week! If this works for you, keep going.
To get started:
- Start today, not on Monday.
- Only write down 5 things
- Make one of your 5 easy, something you can do in less than a minute.
- Choose one thing that is a little harder for you, something you’re working on or want to try.
- Tomorrow, make another list of 5 things. A lot of these might be the same every day and that's good because soon it will become a habit.
"We accomplish big things by consistently doing small things every day."
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Take my vitamins
Exercise for at least 30 minutes
Drink more water
Eat 1 cup of vegetables at lunch and dinner
Bring snacks with me to work - almonds, 2 pieces of fruit
Stretch for 5 min when I wake up
Drink some warm water in the morning before my coffee
Eat breakfast before I have coffee
Eat spinach today
Make a dentist appointment
Make a smoothie
Write down what I eat today
Take 15 deep breathes
Whatever makes you feel good and gets you doing something good for your health is what you should put on your list.
Try it. Have fun with it, and let me know how you did!
Grainy Honey Nut Sandwich
Grab two slices of sprouted or grainy bread (with gluten or without). Which ever hearty bread you fancy. Toast the bread if you wish. Spread 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter on one slice of bread. Drizzle 1 tsp of Honey over almond butter. Add a dash of Cinnamon. Top with other slice of bread and cut on the diagonal. Enjoy with a bit of fruit and a greek yogurt for an extra protein punch. *You can substitute Peanut Butter or Cashew Butter for the Almond Butter
Smoked Salmon Lunch
*You want to keep the ingredients separate until you are ready to feast. We want the crisp bread to stay crisp.
Take 4 or 5 rectangular Rye Crisp Bread (Finn Rye Crispbread - find it in the cracker aisle). Top each crisp bread with a smear of Cream Cheese (in total about 1.5 Tbsps). Slice 40-45 grams of Smoked Salmon thinly, and top cream cheese. Take a wedge of lemon and squeeze over the salmon. Have 1.5 cups of raw vegetables and 15 grapes to make it a meal. *If you really want to take this little lunch up a notch add some fresh chives, capers or dill to the cream cheese :).
Mediterranean Bento Box
I love bento type meals or platter meals. There are so many different flavour combinations that you can play with. The picture above kind of tells it all. Aim for approximately 2 Tbsp of Hummus and 30 grams of Cheese.
*Other Ideas for your bento box. Leftover Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Almonds, Feta Cheese, Balsamic Vinaigrette for some veggie dipping, Naan bread, Dark Chocolate ;)
Add the following ingredient to a 2-3 liter pitcher, crush lightly with a wooden spoon, and top with ice and cold water. If you like it fizzy, use a sparkling water or mineral water.
strawberry basil smash | 4-5 strawberries + 1/2 lemon sliced + small handful of basil, scrunched
citrus splash | 1 sliced lemon + 1 sliced lime + 1 sliced orange + 1 sliced grapefruit
cranberry crush | 11⁄2 cup thawed frozen cranberries + 1 sliced orange + 1 sliced lime
berry breeze | 1⁄2 cup each: fresh or thawed strawberries, blueberries & raspberries
melon mint | 1⁄2 cup each: watermelon, cantaloupe & honeydew + bunch mint leaves
sweet lychee | 1⁄2 cup drained canned lychee + 1 sliced lime + bunch mint leaves
shirley temple | 1 sliced orange + 1⁄2 cup fresh or thawed cherries + 1 sliced lime
just peachy | 2 cup drained canned peaches + 1 sliced lime
grape glory | 1 cup each: seedless red & green grapes + 1 sliced lime
cucumber lime | 1 sliced cucumber + 2 sliced limes
truly tropical | 1 cup diced pineapple + 1 cup diced mango + 1 sliced lime
strawberry kiwi | 1 cup diced strawberries + 1 cup kiwi + 1 sliced lemon
morning glory | 1 cup diced peaches + 1 sliced orange + mint leaves
apple delight | 1 red apple + 1 green apple + 1 yellow apple + 1 sliced lemon
Why are you drinking a smoothie? Do you need more vegetables (adding spinach or kale)? Do you need more fruit & fibre in your diet? Are you having it to boost your protein intake? Or is it just a way to get more nutrients in your diet? All are great reasons but my tip here is don't try to do it all in one smoothie. They can often turn out to be a muddled mess. It's better to have a few different ones to choose from, a green smoothie one day, protein smoothie the next. Break it up. You will find they taste way better and pack more nutrients.
Mornings are great time to have them. Especially if you are adding fruit and greek yogurt to them. The greek yogurt gives the smoothie a protein boost and the fruit gives the smoothie dense nutrients and fibre. The fibre and protein will keep you feeling full.
The other great time to have a smoothie is when your body is in recovery mode. After a good session at the gym, hike, or swim. Your body is looking to replenish, and this is the optimal time for a shot of carbs and protein. This is the time to rattle the shaker cup.
Smoothie blenders or high powered blenders are great at chopping through frozen fruit.
Shaker Cups are great for recovery after a gym workout. Any kind of juice and some protein powder mixed up.
Water and ice. I've heard from a lot of people that they don't like to eat smoothies because of the consistency (thick, chalky). This is where adding water or a bunch of ice helps. Or just cutting back the amount of yogurt or protein you are putting into a smoothie.
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 1⁄2 tablespoons almond butter
1 banana, frozen
2 cups kale
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
Black and Blue
2-3 cups spinach
1 cup milk (or juice) of choice
1 banana, ripe
1⁄4 cup blueberries, frozen 1⁄4 cup blackberries, frozen 3 ice cubes
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped 1 medium stalk celery
1/2 medium banana, ripe
1 medium pear, ripe
1.5 cups unsweet almond milk 1/2 tbsp hemp hearts
Making your Own?
Your post-work out shake should help to replenish electrolytes, provide muscle-building protein & deliver re-energizing carbohydrates.
Start with your base
1/2 - 1 cup Skim milk or lactose-free milk
1/2 - 1 cup Low sugar Soy Milk
1/2 - 1 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
Add one protein-booster
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Probiotic yogurt, plain
1 scoop (15g) Whey protein isolate
1 scoop (15g) Brown rice, hemp, or pea protein powder
Add one fruit
1/2 - 1 cup Fresh or Frozen Berries
1/2 – 1 medium Banana
1/4 - 1/2 cup Orange Juice or other 100% fruit juice
Add one or more nutrient-boosters
1 cup, chopped Spinach or kale
1 tsp Ground flaxseed
1 tsp Chia or hemp seeds
1 tsp Flaxseed or fish oil
If you're trying to eat healthy and lose weight, there are some simple things you can do to stay on track and avoid common diet pitfalls.
3 Diet Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them:
1. Strategy to Prevent Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings are caused by lows in blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels drop, your body screams for sugar which usually leads to eating something you know you shouldn't (usually something salty or sweet), or eating way too much (overeating or binging).
Eat within the first hour of waking up and again every 2 - 4 hours throughout the day. This will significantly help to balance you blood sugars throughout the day, avoid the 'hangry' lows, and keep you eating healthy and on track.
2. Strategy to Avoid Snacking At Night
Evenings are often the hardest time of day to stay on track and eat healthy. If you eat at 5pm, chances are you're starting to get a little hungry by 8pm (right around the time when you might be sitting down to relax, maybe watch some tv).
Eat a Later Dinner. The old saying "don't eat after 6pm", only applies if you're in bed by 10pm. If you're up later than 10pm, try pushing your dinner later. Eat dinner 3-4 hours before going to bed to prevent needing a snack in the evening.
If you can't have a later dinner (say if you eat with your kids at 5pm like I do), plan a healthy snack like air-popped popcorn or frozen grapes to snack on.
3. Strategy for Feeling Full without Overeating
Satiety is the feeling of fullness after eating that suppresses the urge to eat for a period of time after a meal. This plays an important role in controlling how much we eat. If we feel full or ‘satiated’ after a meal then we are likely to go much longer before we feel hungry and may eat less at the next meal.
Eat a source of fibre, protein and fat at each meal, and most snacks. FIbre, protein and fat help you feel full and control blood sugar levels. This means you will eat less and easily lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.
Healthy Grilling Guide:
1. Start out clean. Don’t let the charred buildup on your grill transfer to your meal. Give it a good cleaning. And ditch those wire brushes as they are ending up in more and more peoples digestive tracts.
2. Smoke and fire. Exposing protein-rich meat, poultry, and fish to high heat and open flames creates heterocyclic amines. When fat drips and burns on the grill, the resulting smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These two groups of chemicals have been linked to various types of cancer. You can reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines and PAHs in several ways: Line the grill with foil perforated with holes. Cook for longer at a lower temperature. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy to control fatty flare-ups.
3. Marinate. Marinating food for at least 20min before cooking limits the formation of potential carcinogens while grilling. Choose marinades that are low in fat and salt and contain an acid like lemon or vinegar.
Source: Harvard Health Publications www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-tips-for-healthy-grilling-201305276318
Grilled Mojo-Marinated Skirt Steak
2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons juice from about 2 limes, plus 1 extra lime for serving
1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
Place skirt steak a resealable bag and add lime and orange juices, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Seal and squish around to combine. Place in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour.
When ready to cook, Remove meat from the refrigerator. Remove from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half.
Place skirt steak on heated grill and cook, flipping occasionally, until thermometer inserted into their center registers 115°F to 120°F for medium-rare or 125°F to 130°F for medium. Transfer steak to a large plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Slice steak against the grain, drizzle with pan sauce and sprinkle with cilantro. Cut extra lime into wedges and serve with steak.
Snacking is Good! Snacking keeps your blood sugars steady throughout the day, helping you burn calories, avoid sugar cravings, and keep energy levels up. The best snacks are 200 calories or less, are satisfying and include a source or protein.
Veggies and hummus
Celery and natural peanut butter
Avocado and tomato on whole grain toast
Yogurt, berries, and honey
Low sugar granola bar
Veggies and guacamole
Banana ‘chips’ (dried bananas)
Tuna on whole grain crackers
Small piece of dark chocolate
Whole grain toast with almond butter
Brown rice cakes
Fruit smoothie or fruit pops
Whole wheat pumpkin muffin
Whole wheat banana muffin
Homemade hot chocolate
Pita chips and homemade spinach dip
Fruit and cheese kebabs
Veggie and meat (or tofu) kebabs
Whey protein shake
Skim milk and 1/2 banana
If you’re someone who suffers from IBS, has problems with digestion or gets bloated or gassy then you might want to try a low-FODMAP diet.
What is FODMAP?
FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates (or sugars) that some people have a hard time digesting - Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These undigested FODMAPs are what cause the bloating, gas, pain, constipation, diarrhea and other IBS symptoms.
What is the low-FODMAP Diet?
All foods have a FODMAP value, making them high or low in FODMAPs. The low FODMAP diet aims to cleanse your digestive tract of all these undigested FODMAPs and allow your inflamed or irritated bowels to rest and repair. Following this diet, you would eliminate all high FODMAP foods from your diet for a 4-6 week period or until you are symptom-free. Once you're symptom free, we would trial foods from each of the 5 FODMAP groups to test your tolerance.
How do I go about starting this diet?
I wouldn’t suggest just printing a low fodmap list off the internet and cutting all these foods out of your diet - you will likely cause more harm than good doing it this way. Consult with someone who is knowledgeable in the low FODMAP diet and has helped a lot of people with this diet. It will be a change and you will have to cut some things out of your diet for a month or two so some guidance will really help. If you can, also get a low FODMAP meal plan designed to help you follow this diet and give you some healthy meal and snack ideas.
"After months of crazy "diets" trying to figure out how to manage my IBS, I am finally on a meal plan that not only makes me feel better, but also tastes amazing! thank you. Rachel B.”
"The fructose challenge went VERY well. Hurrah! I love mango! It was so nice to have have honey and mango again, and to feel so good. I've had to replace a couple of pairs of jeans because of the weight loss too. AND I ran 10 km for the first time in about 3 years on Friday. So things are looking great! Thanks for the great program.Vicky K."
"I'm shocked at how much better my IBS is. I was really worried about all the raw vegetables since they were such a huge trigger before - at least that's what I thought. I'm feeling so much better overall, the IBS isn't gone yet, but it's certainly much better. Thank you so much!!! Susan C."
Great snack to keep your blood sugars balanced and energy up throughout the day. This one is super easy to make, simply mix these 7 ingredients together and roll into 24 little balls.
What you'll need:
1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter)
1 cup Large Flake Oats
1/2 cup Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (I like to use 1/4 cup salted and 1/4 cup unsalted)
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 cup Honey
How to Make:
1. Using clean hands, mix ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2. Brush excess off hands then rinse hands to be slightly wet (for easier rolling).
3. Roll into 24 equal-sized balls, about 1" diameter or 20g per ball.
4. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. You can also try them frozen!