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What do I eat in a day? Practical meal planning.

What do I eat in a day? Practical meal planning.

Few years ago , I did not really think what I put in my body. Well I ate consciously but I also drunk diet coke, ate chips and fries, loads of carbs. I thought that my body can take anything and miraculously I will not put on any weight and I will be always fit and healthy. Well that was not true at all and just before turning 40 I knew that something had to change. I was not comfortable in my body and I was not comfortable how I was thinking about my health in the long term.

I can see this in many of my clients and patients who come to me to help them to  lose weight. Emotions and looking into food  for comfort now more than ever is quite often problametic for many people . There is a lot of suffering from lack of self-acceptance, self-love, however this is not always on people’s mind as it is sometimes difficult to have that self-awarness. What you see is your reflection in the mirror which you quite often hate and do not have kind words for.

Why am I writing this in this blog post? What does it have to do with meal planning? Well good question!! I am writing this as I often hear so many excuses why we do not pay attention to what we put into our bodies, purely due to lack of time for prep and plan but also due to other committments and quite often family and children who may be fussy eaters. Don’t get me wrong I do not always get it perfect and although I am a Naturopathic Chef I do not cook gourmet meals every day and defintely I did not cook them two years ago. There is also some kind of notion that it does not matter what I eat , ill health will not happen to me. I only eat ‘those ‘ foods in moderation or when I am at social events. The truth is that it all adds up. I know that being diabetic for over 25 years. Diabetes taught me routine, I do not skip meals and look out for the carbs in my meals. I stay active and take supplements and generally follow 80/20 rule. (80% good with 20% off track sometimes). I want to enjoy happy and good quality life with minimum medical intervention. Examples in here are all diabetic friendly.

 

1. Balance Your Macronutrients 

 

The first thing I learnt is how to balance macronutrients in my meal. The easiest way to do that at the beginning I found to be in smoothies and I often recommended them to my clients to start with. Make sure they have protein as well so I do suggest protein powders but you can add nuts and seeds especially hemp seeds as well. Than I use a simple rule of 50% of vegetables (with some low sugar fruits such as berries), 25% protein and 20% complex carbohydrates (carbs) – brown rice, brown pasta, slice of sourdough and 5% of healthy fats – nuts , seeds, a bit of avocado, 1 tsp of olive oil. You can count your portions differently and low carbs diet is less than 130g of carbs (Diabetes UK) a day which is not a lot (some keto diets suggest only 20g – be careful what you look at). A piece of bread may have 15 – 20g carbs , the same as apple but jacket potatoe can have as much as 90g.

I generally recommend to have some complex carbs to avoid cravings. Your body wants some carbs for easy energy conversion and for variety as well as well as for essential vitamins and minerals. We basically have too much and of a wrong kind  that is why they have a bad press. Also use the carbs wisely. Use most of them for breakfast and lunch and not for dinner. People tend to have bananas with porridge for breakfast. Bananas are very high in sugars so unless you are active after breakfast I would not recommend them as such and a preferred portion for a smoothie is only half of banana. 

An example of balanced plates (100% plant-based)

1.Veggie burger, with salad, chickpeas and cashew non-mayo; 2.Shepardless lentils pie with sweet potatoe and salad;3. Scrambled tofu with carrot ‘bacon’;4. Avocado on sourdough with fried mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

 

Options for breakfasts

 

breakfast Health Coach

 

 

 I came up with few breakfast options which I can have – coconut plain yoghurt  with sugar free granola, goji berries, fresh berries, or sometimes I use plant-based mylk instead of yoghurt. I also love Alpro mango or cherry reduced sugar yoghurt both delicious. During weekend I would have some avocado on sourdough bread which I bake myself (weekend treat) or scrambled tofu. I sometimes make a smoothie or recently my hubby got into the habit for our 10 o’clock smoothie time! – Benefits from working from home together 🙂 I use blue spirulina for fun and lovely blue colour and health benefits. 

 

 

Options for Lunch and Dinner

 

Meal planning for weekdays got much easier with my Thermomix. If you have not heard about this machine than let me introduce to it. It is an investment  piece which not only blends, chops , but also kneads dough, fries, cooks etc. You have access to a recipe platform and you can plan all meals for the whole week including shopping list which you now can integrate with your supermakets online shopping. How cool is that? This is the machine you keep on your worktop and use every time you need anything even making a smoothie. You can ground nuts , and grains for flours, you can ferment as well. My clients who have Thermomix get a bespoke plan which recipes to include in their meal plans based on their individual circumstances. Thermomix has also low GI recipes as well. All built in!! You just buy ingredients and follow instructions – easy peasy lemon squeezy.

My favourite options are: sweet potatoe curry with cauliflower rice, Tuscan bean soup, homemade pizza, bean burgers, tomatoes soups and sauces, vegan brownie etc.

Few examples below

 

If you would like a demo , book here 

thermomix

For lunch I usually have something from a salad bar. So I create this salad bar in my fridge with washed and cut up veggies, cooked chickpeas, beans, cucumbers, cherry tomtoes, hummous, cut up tofu pieces. I also prepare two  salad dressings. I sometimes  have a soup ready for two days. I rarely eat any sandwiches for lunch. They do not fill me up.

If you do not have Thermomix, planning for some theme nights is a good option.  On Mondays you can have any left overs from Sunday, Tuesday you can have a stir fry day, Wednesday some bean burgers (or other plant-based burgers) with a big salad, Thursday you may have a curry or homamde pizza. Friday is fish time, I may have a miso soup. The truth is since going plant-based most of my portions got smaller. And it makes sense as I am sitting behind the desk a lot of the time, I do not need to have big portions and I never feel sleepy after lunch and my energy is stable. Hydration also pays an important role. Drink loads of water for balancing sugar levels . You can also try meal planning apps and I found this one to be good Mealime.

mealplanning

Snacking 

I am a massive supporter of three main meals and keeping min 4 hours between the meals and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. I also like eating them slowly so my body has time to register the taste and my hormones have time to catch up with the fullness. I try to finish meals at 80% full. However, I love some healthy snacks and I make few during weekend such as tamari and maple syrup roasted mixed nuts, dark chocolates with crushed nuts and some dried fruits, hummous and cut up veggies, cherry tomatoes.

dark chocolate

Bespoke Meal planning service (soon availabe in my shop)

I offer bespoke meal planning service. From £47 you can have a meal plan which you love based on your preferences , equipment, time, lifestyle. I am particular interested to give you a plan to transfer to more whole foods and plant-based diet. I have recently done an alkaline mealplan. I totally understand that you may want to give a new way of life a go yourself first but you need to have a starting point.

EBOOK (coming soon) – Intuitive Cooking With plants

 I totally believe in intuitive eating, chosing food you know serve your body and mind well. It is not about perfection but getting a bit creative in the kitchen and cooking with love for yourself and others. In my ebook I am covering simple naturopathic principles of food and cooking. Like with all changes if you take them slowly one by one you will enjoy them more. At first you may meal plan for one or two days and gradually get better and quicker and actually enjoy the process. If you want to start and reset your eating habits you will also have access to my 21 days Cleanse program – do it yourself with Facebook group support at the preferable price, once you download the ebook.

I hope you enjoyed this article. It is only a begining and the You Tube video will follow soon.

Love M. 

 

 

Roasted chickpeas salad with sun-dried tomatoes

Roasted chickpeas salad with sun-dried tomatoes

I love chickpeas and I often recommend them to include in the salads. I recently started slow cooking them and they are far better than from the tins. They are a very good soure of fibre, folic acid and manganese. In addition, they are a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.

They are good fibre source, chickpeas can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels, making them a great food for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals. Served with high quality grains, chickpeas are an extremely-low-fat, complete protein food. Once cooked, chickpeas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days if placed in an airtight container.

Great for curries, tomatoe sauces salad and  hummous . You can also add to wholegrain penne, mix with olive oil, vegan feta cheese and fresh oregano. I also add them to soups.

Chickpeas can cause a severe allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. They also contain oderate amounts of purines. since purines can be borken down to form uric acid, an excesss of uric acid may contribute to health problems such as gout and kidney stones. (ref: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods).

chickpeas

vegan

Roasted Chickpeas and Sundried Tomatoe Salad

This salad encompasses chickpeas that are a good source of fibre and protein as well as being well tolerated by most people. The sundried tomatoes add flavour andadditional anti-oxidants along with the parsley and olives. Anti inflammatory turmericadds a further bonus and this is all brought together in a healthy citrusy and herby dressing.
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tin 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or dry, soaked and slow cooked)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet 'dulce' paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 30 g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 40 g sundried tomatoes (in oil) thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed & sliced
  • 50 g pitted black olives, halved
  • Himalaya salt & black pepper to season

Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp Citrus infused olive oil (or olive oil and few drops of Doterra lemon essential oil)
  • 1 tbsp mint vinegar (or apple cider vinegar )
  • 1/2 lime , juice only
  • 1 small garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only

Instructions
 

  • Set the oven to 180oc / Gas mark 4.
    Put the chickpeas into a mixing bowl with the coconut oil and spices.
    Mix thoroughly and set aside for ten minutes if time. Spread onto a linedbaking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Switch off the oven butleave the chickpeas in there whilst you make the dressing. Then removeand leave to cool.
    To make the dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients into a bullet orblender and blitz. Pour into a jar and seal until ready to serve.
    When the chickpeas are fairly cool construct the salad:Combine the parsley, tomatoes, spring onions and olives in a mediumsalad bowl and stir to mix. Fold in the chickpeas and season.
    Drizzle the dressing over the salad and finally scatter the toasted seedsover the salad and then serve.
    Source: Sarah Lumley

Notes

You can skip coconut oil for roasting chickpeas and just roast them as they are. They may not be that crispy but should be ok. Reduced roasting time to 30 min.

 

 

How to manage yourself to have time for self-care

How to manage yourself to have time for self-care

Having more time for things you love and want to do  can seem quite often as a dream. Especially for us women, it may not feel natural  spending time on ourselves rather than others. It seems that we serve everyone and everything first and we collapse in the evening to enjoy a bit of time for ourselves. However, the  challenge is not to do that and do not use your precious sleep hours to catch up with work or your beauty regime. The key is to find those few mintues during the day to fill your cup with love for yourself, your body and soul.  We are awake 16 hours on average, so they key is to manage ourselves in that time to have a bit of it for self-care. I recently delivered webinar on the self-care for business women. I strongly believe you can show up really energetically for clients and sales calls when your cup is full. I mentioned using your top 5 strengths  (Gallup survey) as well as your Human Design (more on that soon) to establish a routine that you will love and like and continue on regular basis.

Time is limited in supply

health coach

This is true. We do not have endless time resource so when it comes to management it is not time we need to manage but ourselves in it . It is no secret that I like good morning routine which I can’t imagine myself without. Is it perfect everyday? No it is not. In the research done couple years ago women still have less time to take it for leasure spending most of the time on household chores and childcare so mainly unpaid activities.

I split the time into three categories: self-care (a must and no compromise), time for the house (that includes some cleaning and meals) and time for my business ( the biggest chunk during the week which includes customer service, development and education). I admit I have one child, 11 year old daughter who is quite independent but still requires some supervision. I know for many it seems like an easy ride. It does not change the fact that I left my corporate job and decided to build the business. I need to be in it every day no matter how I feel and no matter how everyone else feels in the house.  Without managing myself and especially social media time, TV time and  procrastination, I would have no business.

This pandemic revealed a lot of how we  can manage ourselves within the time we have. At the begnning , everyone needed to settle in into new routines. Homeschooling, household chores, cooking many times a day and among all of that either running your own business or working full time. Furloughed employees may also not had it easy. When you are used to work, solving problems and being busy , sitting in the house with no work may not be so easy as it seems. Also many of them worried and stiil are worring if they have anything to come back to.

So what have worked for people? It would be interested to find out but I believe there are few things that worked well. Routine , self-disicpline and accountability to somebody else other than yourself could work well. Also acknowledging  the fact that you do not have to be superproductive  all the time, you do not have to take on all these projects you always wanted to do and that you need to be compassionate with yourself on the days when you just have enough.

 

journal

 

Invest in the Bank of Health

I call it this way as the results are not seen next day. When you invest in something the minimum time recommended for investment is 5 years. However, it seems that we think we can get good health tomorrow. The true is, not we cannot. Getting healthier is the combination of several factors and time can be on your side if you are making improvements most of the days (even if it is only drinking more water).

Investment factors to consider:

Getting out of your comfort zone to try different things, foods and schedules.

Giving up things which do not serve you.

Being kind to yourself and others.

Learning new skills and applying them every day.

Staying in your lane – nobody knows you better than you know yourself. That was evident with exercise. A lot of people jump on to exercise with Joe Wicks and many people stayed with him for a long time. I tried if few times and it was not for me mainly due to schedule. I stayed with my group of people I always exercise , we just did it online – I missed the training maybe twice but always made it up. 

Coming up with routine, testing, trying and staying with the one you will love.

Reflection is also an important element and connecting with your feeling. How did you feel when you planned and prepared few meals in advance and did not have to frantically thinking about what to cook and if it was healthy or not?

Return on investement – there can be many  such as: better energy, good quality life, no medications, simpler life, right to new partner, change of career and full on transformation. more clients. 

 

salad bar

Few tips for better self-management

Everyone is different and we all have different lifestyles. However, during the pandemic , we probably can find a lot of similarties. I am not sure how about you, but I wanted to make sure whatever I do  this will be my new normal. I may need to adjust it to when the schools are back and up and running. I tried to avoid scenario when I would put everything on hold and then go back to it. I wanted to create a new better normal for me and I largely succeeded. 

Below I share few tried and tested tips:

  1. Mental Resilience  – build it over time; stay in your lane no mater what; give yourself a break when you need it , do not push it. This is your super power. It is easy to give up so having your WHY for lifestyle change visible and in your mind always is critical. We spend a lot of time in our heads with hundreds of thoughts, while refection is good spending too much time on what it scenarios is a waste of time; use meditation or mindfulness app. 
  2. Plan in advance – use you calendar for booking time slots for your tasks; give them time like 5,10,15 minutes so you have an idea how long they last should you only have 5 minutes to do anything (I usually use it for grabbing more water, few streches or going outside in the garden)
  3. Plan your meals –  it will save you time and worry; prep few meals in advance on Sunday – chopped up veggies, cook soup – make it easy and colorful ; organise salad bar in your fridge
  4. Prep some healthy snacks – when you work intensively your brain needs power-  I love oven roasted nuts in a bit of maple syrup and tamari
  5. Schedule tme for self-care – yoga, meditation, journalling , walks, family hugs (also virtual) and play
  6. Schedule time for exercise  
  7. Cut down on time wasters – social media, Netflix, arguments, gossips, self-pity
  8. Delegate some of your tasks; if your other half works full time it is not an excuse for not doing anything in the house; everyone has responsibility to contribute.
  9. Leave your ego at the door, you will have low days and acknowledge that, give yourself grace, don’t be a super woman thinking you can do this any time and any day

Having a routine you can follow most of the times and the one which you will love can help you immensely. Routine takes time to work out and get used to. Motivation here is the key but it only works for few weeks , the rest is self-discipline, and not giving up. People who consistently follow the routine find they have more time for what they love, are happier and feel safe. 

How about you, who you would like to feel. Would you like to establish routine you will love and able to maintain? If yes and you do not know where to start, let’s chat. My 60 minute Discovery Session  is free – book here. During the session I wil have few questions for you, to understand where you are on your journey, what is holding you back and how we can work together. 

P.S. And If you are after delicious roasted chickpea salad with sun-dried tomatoes – find it here .

Take Care

Love M.