6/15/10

Quick eats for busy days

I'm experimenting with new dinner meals which will help me ease into my dietetic internship, starting on July 5, 2010 and ending May 2011. I am trying out quick but healthy meals that will help fuel my busy and semi-stressful lifestyle/internship as well as my IM workouts.

I still believe in building a meal from the ground up so my focus is on creating wholesome AND satisfying meals. Sure, processed foods make for quick meals but I can't seem to feel satisfied (or well-fueled) with a whole list of ingredients in the foods that I am eating. Also, over the past few years I have learned to feel better on a daily basis with the base of my diet built from natural (little to no ingredients) foods and then the "extra's" added in for balance.

When talking about building healthy meals, I don't believe that a calorie is just a calorie. For example, take a wrap filled with veggies. For the person trying to lose weight you could say to yourself that a 300 calorie veggie wrap will encourage weight loss by reducing daily calories (and through expending more calories through cardio + strength training). But for the person wanting to maintain weight, perhaps a 500 calorie meal seems more realistic and fulfilling.
Well, here's two ways of creating the meal (first how most people do it, and second how I would recommend doing it)
Your way:
1) 200 calorie wrap + 50 calories worth of veggies + 50 calories worth of cheese
2) 2 x 200 calorie wraps + 100 calories worth of protein and some veggies

My way:
1) 1/2 wrap (100 calories) + 200 calories worth of veggies, healthy fats and protein
2) 1 x 200 calorie wrap + 300 calories worth of veggies, protein and fat

I find that if we can reduce the intake of processed food (there's no need to feel as if you need to eliminate all processed food) and add more wholesome food, we will become more satisfied with our meals, eat less during times of "boredom", experience less cravings and have more energy throughout the day.
To sum things up, you could eat 150 calories by eating two sugar-free jello's or an apple w/ cheese. By reducing your intake of processed foods (thus decreasing added salt, sugar and additives/preservatives) you will find yourself filling in the gaps with more nutrient-dense foods to keep your blood sugar stable and make you feel more satisfied (and healthy) throughout the day.
I can honestly say that with more wholesome foods in my balanced diet (which includes lots of healthy fats and low fat protein, lots of water, alongside complex carbs, fruits and veggies) and very little added sugar and salt, my stable blood sugar allows me to have the energy I need for quality workouts and an active, healthy and busy life. Additionally, in order to keep yourself injury free and consistent with a progressive, quality training routine, I strongly encourage you to prioritize your pre and post training nutrition.
As for Karel, well he has different calorie requirements than myself as well as different macronutrient (fat, carb, protein) distributions to keep his diet balanced. I don't believe that he should eat more processed food just because he can eat more calories but if 20-30% of my x-amount calorie diet is from processed food, it's going to appear as if he may eat more processed food than myself. But really, it is similar food (aside from meat) but in different amounts....although he does love his sweets (chocolate and cookies).

I believe that we should all eat similar healthy foods but in different quantities so that we can all figure out what works best for us to meet our individual health, lifestyle and fitness goals.

Enjoy my latest "QUICK" creations...

Salad + open pizza wrap
Salad:
Romaine lettuce (fresh from my preceptors garden!)
Strawberries
Apricots
Grapes
Tomatoes
Honey Roasted Peanuts

Wrap:
1/2 Flat out multigrain wrap (toasted)
2-3 spoonfuls marinara sauce w/ a little mozzarella cheese (shredded) - microwaved for 20-30 sec.
1 whole egg + splash of skim milk (scrambled)


Desert: Fruit and yogurt parfait
(presentation counts)
Raspberry low fat yogurt (about 3 ounces)
Strawberries
Peaches
Blueberries
Grapes
Banana
Topping: instant oats and cinnamon