Have you ever thought about how you should put meals together? What should be included in your meals? Or just what to eat in general? My hope for this article is to clear up some of the confusion about making meals and just nutrition in general.
What if I told you my favorite meal was chicken, mac n cheese, and air fried zucchini? What do you think of that meal? Good? Bad? Healthy? Or nah? Keep this in mind throughout this article and see if your opinion changes.
What if I also told you that you do not have to cut anything out of your diet to be healthy (this has nothing to do with if you have a medical condition that requires you to remove something from your diet- ex: celiac disease)? So many diets out there and people in general are too focused on cutting foods out of their diets instead of looking at where they can add foods to their diets. Lets go back to my favorite meal. Lets say you usually just have mac n cheese for dinner. Instead of taking the mac n cheese out of this meal and exchanging it with something that, lets say is more “acceptable” when it comes to diets, like rice, simply add a protein source (chicken) and add a fiber/veggie source (zucchini). The way that I keep nutrition simple is by having a protein source, a fat source, a carb source, and a fiber source in my meals. Nutrition is made out to be some confusing and elaborate thing. You’ve probably at one point heard, don’t eat carbs, don’t eat fruit, don’t eat fat, protein is going to kill you, diary is going to kill you, honestly there is so much bull crap out there I cant even keep track. Focus on the amount you’re eating, instead of what you are eating. Truth is no food can make you gain weight if you are eating in a calorie deficit or at maintenance. All foods fit and the sooner you realize that, the sooner nutrition starts to make some actual sense.
Macronutrients are nutrients that we need in large quantities. These include protein, carbohydrates, and fats (if you would like to know more about macronutrients and why you need every single one of them- click here for protein, carbohydrates, and fats) . I like to structure my meals with the macronutrients in mind and have at least one of each in every meal. For women a serving of protein is about the size of your palm, a carbohydrate serving is about the size of your cupped hand, a serving of fat is about the size of your thumb, and a serving of vegetables is about the size of your fist. For men, just double it. So a serving of protein is two palms, two cupped hands for carbs, two thumbs, and two fists. Don’t get caught up in the numbers, if you notice you are sill hungry increase your portion sizes.
-Always have an easy vegetable on hand. You can buy pre cut vegetables, frozen, canned, fresh, or cut them up yourself.
-Always have an easy protein source on hand that you can make a meal out of. Tyson has really good air fryer chicken strips and some stores sell already made chicken.
-Salads are really easy to add to any meal
-Smoothies are super easy for on the go
-Greek yogurt, fruit, and chex cereal is a super easy snack
Scroll to the bottom for a macronutrient cheat sheet (this cheat sheet is great if you are new to learning about macronutrients or just need some new foods to add to your grocery list. Don’t live and die by this list there is hundreds of other foods)
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Note: Cottage cheese, PB, and Protein bars are a combination of protein, carbs, and fats