Fixing healthy meals doesn’t mean you have to be a chef.

One of the top reasons I see people throw out their goal to eat healthier is a result of complicated cooking and intimidating recipes. What does it actually mean to eat healthier? There’s a lot of different definitions for “healthy,” but that’s for another post.

Healthy cooking can certainly include intricate recipes and a lot of preparation, but so can unhealthy cooking! Ultimately, making healthier food choices shouldn’t cause you stress or frustration.

Rethink your meals and understand what balanced meals means and you’ll be a lot less stressed about your food choices.

I’m not here to tell you how many meals a day you need to eat, how often, or how many calories you need because that’s based on a lot of different factors. But what you should include in a meal is at least vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

Vegetables and whole grains have fiber to help you feel full and satisfied. Fiber is also important to help us stay hydrated and keep our bowels regular.

Protein is important for repairing muscles in the body. Including lean sources such as 90% or greater beef, chicken and turkey without the skin, tofu, tempeh, the list goes on. Whatever protein you choose make sure to spread out your portions throughout the day to allow your body to actually absorb it. No, extra protein isn’t going to be stored as fat, but your body won’t be able to use it if you’re eating it all at once sitting.

Still feeling hungry? Quick tip: Go for more veggies and have fruit with yogurt as your dessert.

Here’s some examples of balanced combinations:

  • Leafy green salad with grilled chicken and brown rice
  • Burrito bowl with salad as the base, brown rice, chicken, fajita vegetables, salsa, guacamole
  • Oven-roasted veggies (any combo will do – sweet potatoes, asparagus, squash, broccoli), lean beef strips, quinoa

Want more ideas? Download my free Ebook here! 

Beginner’s Guide to Balanced Meals

Lauren Colston, RDN, LD

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