Be balanced. Have energy. Feel good.
Why Balance Matters
Your body likes homeostasis. It prefers internal stability so that it can best compensate for internal changes.
In other words, if your body is in balance you will be able to handle whatever comes your way.
Balanced meals and meal timing matter:
Steady blood sugar
Less stress on your pancreas
Less stress on your muscle mass
Basics of Balance
Halts the breakdown of muscle for energy
Prevents slowing of your metabolic rate
Prevents over-hunger later
Controls blood sugar levels
Improves concentration and decision making
Regulates appetite (less likely to grab whatever is around)
Avoid huge swings in hunger and mood
Have consistent energy and feel good
Each meal and snack should give you a balanced stream of energy (more on this below)
Your body is 50-70% water
Better function and overall performance
Healthy looking skin, hair, and nails
Body temperature well regulated
Optimal lactation for nursing mothers
The Makeup of a Balanced Meal/Snack
Carbs + Healthy Fat + Protein + Produce + Satisfied Taste Buds
Carbs: Give you the energy you need right now. Brain power.
Healthy Fat: Literally coats your stomach and slows the release of carb for a steadier stream of energy.
Protein: Provides your stores and energy for later.
Produce: Provides disease preventing fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Without produce at every meal you won’t be able to eat enough!
Satisfied Taste Buds: A healthy diet won’t last if you don’t enjoy it.
¼ avocado + ½ c tomato slices + 1 slice whole grain bread + 2 egg whites
10-15 nuts (protein and fat) + ¼ c dried fruit (high-fiber carb)
1 oz 2% fat cheese (protein and fat) + 1 apple or orange (high-fiber carb)
1 Tbsp nut butter (protein and fat) + ½ c celery + 5 whole grain crackers
1 Tbsp hummus (protein and fat) + ½ c carrots + ½ slice whole wheat pita
Olive oil + light feta (protein and fat) + cucumber/tomato + white beans (carb and protein)
½ Tbsp seeds (protein and fat) + 1 c veggies + ¼ c quinoa (carb and protein)
3 slices turkey (protein and fat) + 1 c snap peas + whole grain English muffin
½ c ground, grass-fed beef (protein and fat) + tomato sauce with veggies + whole grain flatbread for pizza
¼ avocado, smashed + ½ c chickpeas, smashed (high-fiber carb) + 2 “deviled” eggs
OR pick one from each category and make your own combination:
(but remember, some foods count for two categories)
Balance your dinners
Top your vegetables with pasta instead of topping your pasta with vegetables
Mix zoodles in with your noodles.
Add white beans for texture, protein, and fiber.
Vegetables aren’t just a side dish, add them everywhere
Cook mushrooms with your meat, they’ll absorb the flavor.
Have a starch side of rice and veggies mixed together.
Then add a side of ANOTHER vegetable.
Are you having a burrito?
The burrito wrap is your carb. You don’t need rice as well. Or try a burrito bowl with rice or quinoa instead.
Add extra chicken for more protein and veggies for more fiber.
Are you having pasta?
The pasta is your carb. You don’t need garlic bread as well.
Try a slice of garlicky roasted cauliflower pizza crust on the side.
OR try zoodles or spaghetti squash and enjoy the garlic bread.
Are you having a burger?
Choose either the bun or the fries.
Have roasted asparagus or baked carrot fries on the side. Dip them in ketchup.
Are you having a salad?
Remember to have a protein, a healthy fat, and a starch.
For example, add egg white, beans, and avocado.
OR chicken, olive oil based dressing, and a whole wheat roll.