I woke up crazy early today to rain and darkness, now almost four hours later it’s still rainy and gloomy. You know it’s bad when the dog is cuddled up on the couch and not looking for her walk. Days like this have us wanting comfort, something to ease us through the day. Often times we crave something sweet or a heavy comfort food. Occasionally a treat food is fine but, while tasting delicious, these foods don’t always sustain us throughout our busy day. A coffee and muffin leads to mid-morning slump and hunger, heavy foods leave us feeling sleepy and wanting a nap.
What to do? Make a healthier version of your favorite food. I love a pumpkin muffin or sweet bread this time of year but for 500+ calories a pop I could have a plate of spaghetti with meatballs and sausage. (not really what I’d like for breakfast but you get the idea). So I had oatmeal with pumpkin, unsweetend almond milk, a tablesspoon of cacao nibs,tablespoon of walnuts, teaspoon of honey, pumpkin pie spice and a sprinkle (about 1/2 tsp) of vanilla sugar on top. It had all the flavors of my favorite pumpkin bread and no guilt. There is fiber, whole grains, protein and healthy fat in one bowl. It clocks in under 400 calories and will keep me full and energized throughout the morning.
Lunch today will be soup and a toasted cheese sandwich. I made soup yesterday with an eye toward the wet and chilly weather. I control the ingredients in the soup so I know it’s low sodium, healthy and full of fresh ingredients. The sandwich will be part skim mozzarella with tomatoes on a sprouted grain bread. Again, quality ingredients that will keep me full and energized. I realize a lot of people will buy lunch today. A broth based soup will be less caloric than a cream based soup. A lentil, split pea or black bean will have a great mix of protein and fiber – perfect for energy and satiety. Choose a whole-wheat bread for your sandwich and say yes to lettuce & tomato to keep you full for longer and your blood sugar even.
Little tweaks in your recipes can make a big difference in your health. Whatever the dish make sure it’s got a mix of protein, healthy carbs (vegetables are carbs) and a healthy fat so you can keep your energy levels up for anything that pops up during your day.