A common joke between my husband and I when we were going through our premarital counseling was, “we both are going to have to watch our weight because we both love food, trying new things, baking and cooking.” Well, didn’t we claim that joke into existence! (haha)
Balancing Our Food In Take
One thing that has always been a struggle for my husband and I have been over indulging ourselves on lunch and dinner while skipping breakfast or other days eating all three and snacking in between. Although my family faithfully started two years ago making healthier food choices (buying organic, all natural) we have still needed to make the baby steps to balancing our food in take. So, even though we became a chemical free home a while ago (which is one of the biggest decisions you can make towards your road to a healthier lifestyle) we had to make another big decision to learn and discipline ourselves to make healthier food decisions.
Now we still love food even sweets from time to time! We still like to try new recipes! We aren’t trying to be fitness gurus (going to the gym every day or every other day or dieting).
6 Mini Meal Plan vs 3 Meals
My husband and I have actually decided to resort to eating the six mini meals a day instead of three large meals. There is controversy between both meal plans, with legitimate pros and cons. It is said that by eating six small meals it helps with regulating and speeding up metabolism, spurs fat, improves digestion and regulates blood sugar; however, since your body will be regulating and speeding up metabolism you will be burning more calories resorting in feeling hungry and then overeating if not controlled. If you’re feeling hungry in between snacks or meals then you need to change your snacking into a more nutrient-dense snack with more fiber and protein to help curve the feeling according to dietician, health and weight-loss trainers and physicians. Note: Empty calories such as in chips for a snack only leave our body feeling unsatisfied and deprive us of nutrients we need to help us perform properly.
Well where’s the fun in this? Who enjoys decreasing their empty calorie intake? Who has the time with all the activities, work and our fast paced society to even think about a six meal plan let alone finding the motivation after all the activities? Well, I completely understand how hard it can be. I’m a mother of three with my days filled with work, after-school activities some days and other days evening activities. When I first decided I wanted to switch my eating habits most days I had to talk myself into finding the motivation to go through all the trouble (even though it’s not that much trouble but sometimes our minds over think changes and think it’s too much time lost or too much trouble). I admit I still eat empty calories here and there but knowing that the days when I make wiser eating habits give me the feeling of satisfaction, feeling better, more energetic, clear minded and a sense of achievement it motivates me to make the decision and discipline myself to stick to it.
Really it’s your preference as to what meal plan you choose, whether three meals a day or six mini meals a day, but what matters is not to overeat. If you want to regulate or maintain your metabolism, spur fat, improve digestion and regulate blood sugar like I do then go on the journey of switching to six mini meals a day.
The Journey: What to do to switch to Six Mini Meals
First of all, we all know the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I have never been a breakfast fanatic. In fact, I used to skip breakfast regularly until I read some points regarding breakfast.
1. People who regularly eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who skip their morning meal.
2. They also get more nutrients like vitamin D, B12, and A.
3. They may even be more likely to resist food cravings and make better food choices, especially when protein is part of the meal.
4. If you start off your day with breakfast, and then continue eating every 3 to 4 hours, you’ll provide your body and brain with a steady stream of nutrients so you don’t go overboard at mealtime.
Second of all, your nutrient-dense snacks that you love. They include but are not limited to: Fresh fruit with low-fat cheese, raw veggies with 1/4 cup of a dipping sauce or plain, whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese or one tablespoon of nut butter, 1/4 cup trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and whole-grain cereal, 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Also sweet potatoes, strawberries, nuts, beans, plain yogurt and brown rice. Choosing whole grain cereals, whole grain waffles, omelets made with eggs and veggies, Whole grain bread, and whole wheat grain pasta.
Choose foods that have lots of nutrients. Look for foods that are high in 1. Fiber – beans and peas. It’s also in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. 2. Potassium – potatoes and bananas as well as other fruits, vegetables, and milk products. 3. Calcium – in milk and milk products (including yogurt and cheese). It’s also in certain leafy green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale), beans and peas, and some nuts. 4. Vitamin D – in egg yolks, liver, saltwater fish, and vitamin D-fortified dairy products. 5. Magnesium – sources include nuts, whole grains, dark green vegetables, seafood, and cocoa.
Schedule of a Six Mini Meal Plan
Breakfast: An egg white omelet with veggies; Greek yogurt with fruit; or cottage cheese with fruit. My favorite breakfast is a piece of whole wheat, sugar-free toast with peanut butter (it sounds disgusting but actually doesn’t taste different) or my All Natural Simply Fit Whole Oat and Flax Oatmeal which has 34 grams of Whole Grains, 5 grams of Fiber per serving, 5 grams of protein, No cholesterol and Trans Fat and 260 mg of Ala Omega-3. No preservatives or chemical additives.
Snack (portioned): almonds; a piece of fruit; or a 2 percent cheese stick. Most of the time I choose an Attain/Attain GC Control shake.
Lunch: Sandwich thin with lean meat and a light cheese spread, and baby carrots on the side. We usually eat a sandwich or eat leftovers, portioned.
Snack: Zero-fat Greek yogurt; cup of cottage cheese. We prefer eating a Simply Fit granola bars (chocolate drizzle, yogurt parfait, etc. yummy) providing us with 8 grams of whole grains, 260 mg of Ala Omega-3, 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, low in sodium, and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. I also love eating Simply Fit popcorn, Simply Fit crackers, one serving of fruit; almonds (nuts), serving of vegetables or Chocolate Peanut Butter Power-Up Shake that alone has 29 grams of protein. The recipe is below!
4 p.m. Fiberwise Drink
Dinner: We eat a portioned dinner with protein, very little potatoes and veggies. We love eating salad, using all gluten-free noodles, all GMO and organic food.
Before bed: A serving size cup of vanilla ice cream.
Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Power-Up
1 cup 1% milk (or substitute a dairy-free alternative like almond, soy, or coconut milk)
6–8 oz. Greek yogurt or kefir
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 scoops Dutch Chocolate ProFlex20®
1–2 cups ice
Blend the milk, yogurt, and peanut butter together. Blend in ProFlex20. Add in ice 1 cup at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached. This smoothie is naturally thick—cue “Ahs.” But for a thinner smoothie, add an additional 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute. Drink and enjoy!
I am so excited to be able to reap all the benefits of my 6 mini meal plan, especially with my metabolism. You can go check out my pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/astronglife1593 to find more ideas on great food for you. Please share with me what has worked for you? Do you have favorite smoothies? Favorite snacks?