To make healthy eating easier, create a formula for your meals
When adapting to a healthier way of eating, it can be daunting to imagine coming up with healthy meal ideas for 3 times, 7 days a week. That's a lot of meals! When you're making that transition, it can be easy to believe that you need a lot of variety in your eating.
As long as you are sourcing your ingredients well and varying your intake throughout the day, there is no reason you can't have meals on repeat. That's what I mean as a "formula."
FORMULA: a well thought out meal that your recreate over and over.
For many people, it helpful to have a formula for the meals that you eat alone (for most, that's breakfast and lunch).
So how do you develop a formula?
If you follow a macros plan, that's a good place to start (a macros based plan breaks your daily calorie goals further into grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat). From your macros, determine what is a little less than 1/3 of our daily needs (if you eat 3 meals and a snack-either way, just do that math). Even if you don't follow a macros plan, it's good to know how many calories you're aiming for based on your goals.
Using a program like myfitnesspal or another online food database, enter a meal that you can imagine eating everyday (note: you can change flavors easily by changing condiments or veggies). How close did you come to your calorie/macros goals? Take time to tweak your meal in the direction of your goals.
For example, here is my lunch formula:
3-4 oz. protein (I usually choose salmon, sardines, tuna or chicken sausage)
1/2 cup rice OR 1 slice sprouted grain bread
1-2 tablespoons fat (mayo, olive oil, or avocado)
2-3 cups veggies (this can be a salad, sautéed greens, or whatever I have leftover from dinner)
Bonus: I always include a fermented food (right now either sauerkraut or pickles)
Bonus: I choose an omega-3 rich fish whenever I can (instead of supplements, I'm trying to get enough omega-3s from my diet)
Today's lunch: tuna with Bubbie's pickles, mayo, and dijon mustard / arugula and half a tomato (I ate 2 slices before I took the picture :/ ) with olive oil and squeeze of lemon / toasted sprouted grain bread
Once I figured what my nutrient goals were for lunch, I played around with foods that make me happy that I could eat everyday. I have a couple of options, but they each follow my formula. It makes it easy for me to shop and it guarantees that my lunch is nutrient packed every day.
It also works great to put your breakfast on repeat. Make sure it supplies you with the nutrients you need and automate it. Think you'll get bored? For me, not having to think about what to eat is freeing, but, if you're worried about boredom, choose 2 meals that fit your formula and alternate them daily or weekly.
I also put my family's breakfasts and lunches on repeat. While we don't eat the same meals as each other, we mostly eat the same breakfasts and lunches daily. It cuts down on stress and everybody has the energy they need to get through the day.
Do you automate your meals? Leave me a comment at the bottom of the page or on Facebook!
Jennifer is the Nutrition Coach at Crossfit Burke. Schedule your complimentary consult with her today to find out how nutrition coaching can help you reach your goals!SaveSaveSave