Do you give any thought to your upcoming week’s meals?
For many folks, weekends are the best time to plan their meals and tend to the grocery shopping. While I’ve never really mastered the planning of every single meal of the week, I’d say it’s by choice that I haven’t! I choose to enjoy some spontaneity and the option to eat out when it works for us.
I do, however, start the week off strong on Sundays. By the time Sunday rolls around, I know what’s for breakfast/brunch, and dinner for at least the first half of the week, and I always plan on making enough for multiple meals. I like to start “strong”, knowing I’ll most likely fall off track later in the week! I know myself well.
I spend a good deal of time in the kitchen a few times per week (vs. daily) to ensure that I’m making foods that are nutritionally loaded, and in an effort to avoid the seemingly more convenient, less healthy, and more toxic choices. e.g. cereal, toast, pizza, etc. It’s worth my time to create healthy options for my family… but I really like to make sure I’m maximizing my time by making enough for multiple meals.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share a simple “5-S” approach to fueling up with great nutrition. It’s just 5 different ways that you can pack massive nutrition (a lot of it from plant-based sources) into your daily meals and routines. The first 4 are foods/beverages that can be loaded up with a ton of nutritional value… and maybe you’re not taking full advantage of these meals as vehicles for massive nutrition. And, quite possibly, your recipients won’t even realize just how healthy they actually are!
5-S’s to Maximize Your Nutritional Fuel:
1) Soups, Stews, & Stocks – The sky’s the limit here! You can load up just about any vegetable into soups & stews, fresh herbs, and a wide variety of protein sources. It’s amazing what the pickiest of eaters will joyfully consume when it’s mixed in with a bunch of other delicious ingredients! I think soups & stews seem to ‘dilute’ some of the stronger flavors that tend to keep that picky eater from enjoying certain foods on their own or prepared in different ways…. yet these simmering delicacies can bring out the best nutritional value of these foods. Win-win!
Try something new… expand your list of healthy ingredients. Incorporate traditional bone broth (from ‘clean’ sources) and you might just live forever!
2) Salads – Similar thinking here. Think outside the standard salad bowl – we can do so much better than iceberg lettuce with cucumber and tomatoes! First step to a more nutritionally dense salad: upgrade your lettuce choices! Generally speaking, the darker the lettuce, the better. Variety is important, too.
Make your salad the main course on a regular basis. Consider adding several roasted vegetables (I love adding roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.), raw nuts & seeds, sprouts, avocados, and of course protein sources like meat & eggs, etc. If you’re not avoiding beans in your diet, throw in a few of those, too! Keep your salad dressing choices simple, inexpensive, & clean by whipping up your own concoctions at home with healthy oils (olive, avocado, etc.) and balsamic vinegar, grainy mustards… lots to choose from.
3) Single Dish Meals – Casseroles & Frittatas are a staple around here. It’s amazing the assortment of healthy foods you can load these up with!! In the past week, I made a casserole (that provided breakfast for 3 days) with pasture-raised eggs, left over pieces of steak from the previous night’s dinner, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, parsnips, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, garlic, & onions! Load ‘em up! A couple days ago, I made a mega frittata using very similar ingredients, just fewer starchy carbs (sweet potatoes & carrots), more cruciferous veggies (broccoli & cauliflower), and added Brussels sprouts and asparagus.
My family loves these dishes, and I love knowing they’re being fueled with powerful nutrition.
4) Smoothies – Always a good option for a quick meal replacement or snack…. IF you keep it healthy and low in sugar content. If you’re using fruit (a.k.a. “God’s candy”) you probably don’t need to be adding another source of sugar (honey, juice, etc.). Fruit is sweet enough! That being said, the lowest glycemic fruits are also some of the highest in nutritional power: berries!
Don’t forget some other healthy options to throw in there – like frozen spinach, or a more complete greens assortment like you can find in the frozen foods area of most stores now. We use one that’s a combination of kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and spinach. AND, you can’t taste any of it! Try avocado, almond butter, coconut oil, full-fat coconut milk… even an egg! We’ve got a few “clean” protein powder options that we’ll add, too.
I also like to add our fish oil/cod liver oil, probiotics, hemp, fiber, Greens… and whatever nutritional add-ons I remember that day!
5) Supplements – Supplements are *supposed to be* more like nutritional complements… we should get most of our nutrition from real, whole foods. But that’s not always easy to do these days. So, I love a well-rounded supplement like Greens that fills in the gaps that our modern day diets leave behind. And essential fatty acids, probiotics, vitamin D, magnesium… and some others that are core, foundational nutrients.
The point is, the overwhelming majority of people living in our modern world NEED to supplement their diets in order to get everything their bodies ‘need’!!
Of course, we really shouldn’t be supplementing nutrients unless we’re deficient in them, right? Many nutrients, we can assume we’re deficient in, based on the North American food supply and our modern eating habits. But, to know for certain what you should and should not be supplementing with, and what foods YOU personally should and should not be eating right now, I highly recommend nutritional & food testing. If you’d like more information about that, just ask!
How do YOU maximize the nutritional value of your meals, snacks, and beverages?
Do you plan any of your meals ahead of time? Or do you prefer to wing it?
Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a long-time presence in the field of Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 21 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud home schooling mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.
Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement, and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com, http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline and http://Twitter.com/DrMomOnline.
Also, check out her available books at http://amazon.com/author/drcolleen .
For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at email@example.com or http://Facebook.com/DrMomOnline. Food intolerance/sensitivity testing is also available to all U.S. residents. Personalized distance programs are available.