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 using the Isagenix Program, it’s suggested that you have one meal a day and replace the other two meals with an IsaLean™ Shake or other Isagenix meal replacement option such as an IsaLean™ Bar.
To ensure you provide your body with all the nourishment it needs in 1600 to 2500 kilojoules, here are some suggestions of what to include in your Shake Day third meal:
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 longer while supporting muscle growth and metabolism. The right amount is critical – research has shown about 20 to 40 grams of protein is optimal. Select lean meat options such as 140g (about the size of a smartphone) of free-range beef, cage-free chicken, wild salmon or other fish. If interested in non-meat protein sources, consider 3 to 4 eggs or egg whites, a cup of Greek-style yoghurt or 55-85g mixed nuts.
The body needs a steady source of energy, which can be provided through complex carbohydrates. Some healthy options are 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, organic brown rice or whole-grain pasta. If the typical grains don’t sound appealing to you, your body can still get the same fuel from 1 cup of baked sweet potatoes, beans, lentils or a corn tortilla. Any of these choices are low-glycemic 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 kilojoules 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 kilojoules. Fill half your plate at each meal with 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables such as apple or orange slices, berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, 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 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 1 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.
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. These can include basil, parsley, pepper, cinnamon and other tasty varieties.
Creating a meal that fits into an Isagenix Shake Day can be easier than you think if you focus on lean meat protein sources, complex carbohydrates, dark green cruciferous vegetables, other colourful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and portion control. These guidelines are a healthy suggestion for those dieting or just trying to eat healthy and can help third meals enhance your diet, not derail it.
Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in health adults. J Nutr. 2014; E pub ahead of print