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Dinner can be one of the most challenging meals to keep healthy.  Especially after a long day, it’s easy and tempting to either go out, or ordering in your favorite comfort meals.   For a lot of us, treating ourselves to a less than healthy dinner can be a reward to eating health for most of the day. Unfortunately, a high calorie dinner option can erase the entire effort put in during the day, and delay our wellness goals. Follow this easy guide to making healthier dinner choices.

EATING OUT:

AVOID ordering fried or battered items.  These menu items tend to be higher in calories.  Fried foods also absorb quite a bit of the oil it is fried in, resulting in an over consumption of damaged fats. Their consumption can leads to clogged arteries and other serious health problems.

INSTEAD:  Order grilled, poached, or sautéed options.  These items rely on seasoning and being cooked in their own juices for flavor as opposed to the fried oil/batter combo.

TRY THIS:  Ordering a healthy appetizer is a great way to get your veggies in and fill up on satiating and nutrient dense food.  Filling your stomach up partially with items such as: grilled vegetables, a Mediterranean platter or salad is tasty and won’t leave you craving something high fat, like a bottomless bucket of fried chicken J

SAUCE GUIDE: Even when we think we’re eating healthy, a lot of sugar and unnecessary fat is hidden in the sauces that come with our meals.  Classic favorites like Caesar dressing and BBQ sauce are major culprits.

 

INSTEAD… TRY THIS…
Creamy dressings i.e. Caesar, Ranch etc Vinaigrettes, any oil based herb dressing
Dressing directly on your salad or sauce on your meat Opt for dressing and sauces on the side to control how much you consume
Sugar sauces i.e. Teriyaki, BBQ, Honey Garlic etc Hot sauce, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon or lime

HOMEMADE DINNER:

Making dinner at home is a great way to sharpen your culinary skills, while being able to control what you eat.  Below are some simple guidelines to help keep homemade dinners healthy and super tasty.

RULE OF THUMB:

½ plate vegetables

¼ plate protein of choice

Optional – ¼ plate complex carbs ie. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa etc if your body needs it

1 tbsp of good fat i.e. EVOO, avocado oil, coconut oil etc

 

Basic Salad Dressing:

1 part Olive Oil (sometimes I used avocado oil to mix it up)

2 parts vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar, balsamic vinegar, vinegar of choice or lemon)

Fresh or dried herbs to taste

DINNER BASICS:

Roasted Chicken – An easy and lean protein choice that’s super easy to whip up.  Tips: rub coarsely ground salt and pepper onto the chicken’s skin.  Drizzle seasoned chicken with olive oil and roast in the oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temp is 165 degrees.  For crispy skin baste chicken every 20 mins.

More lean protein sources: Turkey, grass-fed beef & fish

Things to eat in moderation: Pork (and pork products i.e bacon), white potatoes & pasta

Food to avoid: White rice & white bread.  Anything fried!

Pre and Post Workout: If you tend to work out in the evening, you may want to consider eating a small meal before and after your gym session.  This will give you the necessary energy needed to complete your workout, while leaving room for the necessary nutrients needed for a speedy after workout recovery (complex carbs, good fats and protein)

Here are some examples of pre and post workout meals.  If this doesn’t seem appealing, eating half a plate of dinner, working out, then returning for the other half works perfectly well!
*Pre workout: nuts, seeds, homemade granola bar, banana, Greek yogurt, beans, eggs, brown rice, quinoa salad, fruits

*Post workout: Electrolyte drink, eggs, protein shakes: Vega, sun warrior.

 HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE REPLACEMENT DRINK

This recipe is for a tasty electrolyte drink that can take the place of sugary energy drinks such as Gatorade.  Mix this up after gym, or on a super hot day to stay adequately hydrated.

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Squeeze of lemon for taste

¼ tsp of sea or Himalayan salt

2 cups of filtered water

Mix all ingredients in a glass or water bottle.  Enjoy!

 

I hope these basic guidelines come in useful. This week, try using the portion guide provided and avoid foods in the moderation and avoid food lists.

 

Have a great week!!

Joël Jones – Holist Nutritionist & Yoga Teacher

www.thehumblecitysoul.com