Optimum Meal Sequencing ~ Part 2, Lunch
May 15, 2012 By Billy
Hi! So, as promised, we are continuing our conversation about “optimum meal sequencing”. We covered ‘breakfast’ (a hefty part of the conversation) in our last newsletter. As aforementioned, breakfast is most important because it sets the tone for your day. However, as the day moves on, we want to continue the trend of making good nutritional decisions. Raise your hand if you have (more than once) thought “Eh, I’ll just work through lunch” or “I had a huuuuge breakfast, I’ll just eat a big dinner and snack now”- this is where lunch becomes equally as important.
Our ultimate goal is to maintain a steady stream of healthy energy , balanced blood sugar level, ect throughout the day (equate “blood sugar level” to “energy level”)- that means averting from becoming hypoglycemic (“hypo” = low; “gylcemic” = sugar), low energy, cranky from snacking on junk food to get through the afternoon – until we can pig out at dinner.
We don’t need a giant meal. As we discussed over “Breakfast”, eating smaller, more frequent meals is optimal in regulating those blood sugar levels. Plus, meals that are larger and calorie dense mean longer digestion time, which is code for “food coma”. Eat a smaller lunch and then look forward to a healthy snack later in the day – yes!
Lunch is an ideal time for raw foods, now that your digestive system has had time to rev up. Most of us don’t wake up thinking “mmm…salad”, as our spleen and digestive system are still warming up . Vegetables get their structure from the cellulose fibers that keep them from being limp, and this digests best when your digestion is running strong, middle of the day.
Also, raw foods are cooling for the body (minus ginger) ~ that’s why you may be craving more of these healthy raw foods as we are getting into the warmer season.
So we’ve made two points here:
1. Lunch can be smaller and shouldn’t be calorie dense, and
2. it’s a great time to give your body raw foods.
Two ‘easy to-do’ things in your diet that are high impact ~ especially when they’re organic foods. Yo, just do it.
The question now is, What should you pack into that retro Super Mario Brothers lunch box that you’re getting excited about dusting off?
How ‘bout salad?
One of the more popular options is a ‘quick’ salad that can be purchased while at work that includes chicken and iceberg lettuce – NO! Not only would is be nearly devoid of nutrition, but animal protein (esp. chicken) makes you tired! It’s important to save animal products if they are in your diet until the end of the day ~ I will explain why when we talk about dinner. Mixing a salad at home can be easy, raw, AND portable – a real salad can run the gamut on nutritional content. So, here are a few ideas of what to toss in your salad that won’t cost you 1,000’s of calories and will definitely keep you feeling energized and raring to go:
- Dark leafy greens: spinach, arugula, kale
- raw veggies – sliced cucumber, carrots, ect
- cherry tomatoes
- live sauerkraut
- a sprinkling of macadamia nuts and hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon brewers yeast sprinkled on top
- sun-cured olives
- Toss with real dressing ~ juice of 1 lemon, 1-4 TBSP olive oil, a little sea salt, dash of cayenne pepper. Most dressing (even the ‘natural’ stuff) is junk food with soybean oil, sugar, ect. I actually have a bunch of dressing recipes, so check em’ out!
Tip: Grains like quinoa or brown rice go great in a salad, and will satiate you longer. Add lemon juice to prevent fermentation- especially if you aren’t able to refrigerate your lunch.
More Small Lunch/Snack Ideas
Fruit is a great way to lift your energy if that afternoon slump starts to hit- natural sugars and fiber will lift your blood sugar levels, rather than create a spike followed by a crash. One thing to keep in mind ~ eat your fruit first, since fruit digests quickly…combining fruit or vegetables tends to cause fermentation (yup, gas). Just a few minutes after you eat your fruit is sufficient. Also pick the lower glycemic options like a pear, apple, berries – these are also high water content fruits that are especially good for you in the hotter season. Simple to digest protein fats can go well with fruit if you wish to round out the snack into a small meal. Examples are sprouted nuts and seeds. And yo, the Infinity Greens bar is a brilliant choice for the small afternoon meal for lifting your energy with natural sugars, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, raw protein, and loads of nutrients!
As we mentioned in the last newsletter, it’s important to remember that we satiate the appetite best with maitaining balance with nutrient dense foods. Avoid those starchy, high calorie wheat flour products ~ bread, crackers, snacks, ect. And fats ~ go for raw, healthy fats like cold-pressed oils, raw nuts and seeds, avocado, ect. ~ avoid fried foods and animal products – especially in the middle of the day.
Yo, please check out my recipes page ~ I have some great lunch recipes ~ all easy, healthy, delicious. For real.
For later in the afternoon, here are some small meal/snack ideas for achieving this trifecta of satiation (and also satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth or salty craving):
- Infinity Green Bar and sprouted nuts (for the ultimate combo, try with my celtic sea-salt, sprouted almonds)
- Piece of fruit and sprouted nuts
- Organic yogurt and fruit
- Celery sticks and raw almond butter
- Raw almond butter and a couple of prunes (non-sorbate)
- Chopped veggies and hummus
- Flaxseed crackers and guacomole
- Billy’s Green Power Nuggets (recipe here!) *Keep these bad boys in cooler temps*
- A piece of toasted sprouted grain bread (spread a TB of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil on for extra deliciousness and satiation)
So, there you have it – truly healthy lunch and snacks that are quick, easy to make, portable and, most important of all, give you smooth long-lasting energy …an easy way to live the healthier life!
Next up: dinner! I’m super excited to share some new knowledge about end of the day foods – and I’ll make it easy for you!
Yo, I have a small favor to ask! Please click this link to my FB page and ‘like’ my green goodies!~ As a ‘Thanks’, there is a 10% coupon posted on my wall waiting for you!
Written by Trainer, Laura Bordeaux and Billy Merritt