Have you ever felt lost when preparing a balanced, healthy meal? What makes a meal balanced is its incorporation of all the essential components: lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fibre and vitamins and minerals. When following the Isagenix® System, it’s suggested that you have one 400-600 calorie meal a day and replace the other two meals with an IsaLean Shake – a nutritious, low-glycaemic, meal replacement that delivers quality protein, energy-fuelling carbohydrates, good fats and filling fibre.

If you’re stuck on how to provide the right nourishment when building your meal on a Shake Day, check out these handy tips to help get you started.

First, start with the base of your meal, the lean protein. Providing your body with a quality source of protein at each meal will help you feel satisfied whilst supporting muscle growth and metabolism. To ensure you’re getting the protein you need, the portion on your plate should be about the size of your palm.

No matter your dietary requirements, including lean protein into your meals is super easy. Free-range beef, cage-free chicken, sustainably-sourced wild salmon or white fish, cage-free eggs or egg whites, Greek yoghurt, tofu and tempeh are all great sources of protein to serve as the base of your meal.

For a steady source of energy to keep your body, and brain, functioning at its peak, including complex carbohydrates into your diet is critical. Some healthy options are cooked oatmeal, wholegrain pasta, quinoa, brown rice, wholegrain wraps and bread.

If the typical grains don’t sound appealing to you, your body can still get the same fuel from baked sweet potatoes, beans, lentils or chickpeas. The portion of complex carbohydrates on your plate should be about the size of your fist. Any of these choices are low-glyacemic and shouldn’t cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar that could lead to a crash.

Fruits and vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables have so few calories and are so densely packed with nutrients, including fibre, that there’s no strict limit to portion size, so adding more can be a great way to raise volume of your meal and help fill you up without over-consuming calories.

Fill half your plate at each meal with two to three cups of fruits and vegetables (about the size of two fists) such as apple or orange slices, berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, zucchini, steamed vegetables or a mixed green salad. To add some colour to your plate, try options such as sliced tomatoes, carrots or capsicums. If you’re still feeling hungry after your meal, you can’t go wrong with a second helping of vegetables.

Healthy fats
Healthy fats are often neglected when planning a meal because of the negative stigma fats carry, however, these fats are important to your body’s health and can make any meal more satisfying. Adding half an avocado or one tablespoon of pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds to any salad or plate is an easy way to give your body an adequate source of fatty acids. Other healthy options include olive oil and coconut oil.

Herbs and spices
Lastly, remember to add flavour in the form of fresh herbs, spices or condiments, which can provide important antioxidant vitamins and polyphenols. They’re also an easy way to switch up your flavours and make any healthy meal unique and delicious. These can include basil, parsley, dill, paprika, cumin, chilli, turmeric, sage, thyme, pepper, cinnamon and other tasty varieties – get creative!

Creating a meal that fits into an Isagenix Shake Day can be easier than you think if you focus on lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, dark green cruciferous vegetables, other colourful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and portion control. For healthy recipe ideas, head to ANZ.IsaFYI.com and type ‘recipes’ into the search bar, or grab a copy of the Better Living recipe book from IsaSalesTools.com.au.