The key to healthy weight management or weight loss is to ensure you are eating enough meals throughout the day to sustain your blood sugar and energy levels. By having 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks throughout the day, this ensures your body never runs out of feul and at the same time it can balance the metabolism. Even more, it is important to have healthy sources of protein and fat at every meal to ensure optimal energy and satiation. Most importantly, for healthy weight loss, remember that eliminating all fats and carbohydrates will not work. However, by clearing out the chemicals (eating organic), adding nutrient dense foods, and developing an internal practice for happiness and peace, you thereby create an effective plan for weight loss.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day: it gets your digestion firing, balances your blood sugar at the start of the day and keeps your energy revving past the morning…it is basically fuel for your brain! And when you ensure you are eating healthy, nutrient-packed foods–all of which provide nourishment for your brain–your focus will be on point throughout the day. Most importantly, making time to enjoy a healthy breakfast is a form of self-care and we could all use a little more of that in our busy, fast-paced lifestyles.
Quinoa Bowl + Lemon & Cinnamon Tea + Probiotic
- ⅔ cup cooked quinoa
- ⅓ cup nut milk (coconut, almond, or flax)
- ⅓ cup berries (frozen or fresh) + 1/2 banana
- 1-2 tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cardamom
- ¼ tsp clove
- 1/8 tsp stevia or 1 tsp honey
- 3-4 crushed Brazil nuts or 2 oz. pistachios
- Combine everything in a pan, warm to your liking
- Stir, test temperature and enjoy!
Quinoa is high in protein, which is helpful in satiation and sustaining energy first thing in the morning. It is an excellent source of magnesium and manganese and actually contains vitamins B2, vitamin E and dietary fiber. It also contains iron phosphorous, copper and zinc. Quinoa is wheat and gluten-free, so it is excellent for those who have allergies to grains. (Murray, 2005)
Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity according to the USDA. Take one teaspoon in the morning and then one teaspoon for lunch or dinner. (Bauman, 2015)
Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, especially anthocyanidins. Basically, these are antioxidants that make the berry a rich blue, purple and red pigment. These antioxidants protect the brain from oxidative stress and age-related conditions. In fact, they have even been found effective in treating diabetic retinopathy. High in Vitamin C, soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber, blueberries also aid digestion. Even more, blueberries are rich in manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin. (Murray, 2005)
Chromium rich foods, like Brazil nuts, can lower body weight, increase lean body mass, decrease cholesterol and improve glucose tolerance. Take note that Vitamin C enhances the absorption of chromium. (Murray, 2005)
Fruit + Handful of Nuts + Nettle or Green Tea
See health benefits of Brazil nuts here
Bitter Melon + Chicken
- 2 medium bitter melons (roughly 1¼ pounds; found in Asian Markets)
- ½ organic chicken breast (or any meat you prefer, about 4 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded ginger
- 2 teaspoon rice cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos (I use a little more)
- 1 teaspoon plus five tablespoons coconut or EVOO
- 1 teaspoon non-gmo cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground white or black cumin
- 1 tablespoon Chinese dried black beans (I doubled this; these are not hard dried American beans. Sold in Asian markets, they’re soft and sealed in plastic in the dried foods aisle. Not the same as black bean sauce in a jar)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced (I use at least 2) + 1-2 tsp. chili pepper flakes or cayenne
- Prepare the bitter melon: Bring a pot of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. While you wait, slice the bitter melons in half lengthwise then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice each half into ¼-inch thick slices on a diagonal. Once the water’s boiling, add the bitter melon slices and wait for the water to return to a boil. You may remove at this time or cook for another minute or two to reduce the bitterness. Drain and rinse under cold water (to stop cooking) and set aside.
- Prepare the chicken: Cut the chicken into thin strips. Place in a bowl and add to it the ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cooking oil, cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. Stir and set aside.
- Prepare the black beans: Rinse the black beans in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and mash with the garlic and set aside.
- Cook: Heat a skillet over high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil then add the chicken pieces. Cook without stirring for 1-2 minutes until one side of the chicken is brown then stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and also the black bean and garlic mixture. Add the bitter melon and stir-fry for about 1 minute then add the cooked chicken (and juices). Stir-fry for another minute then plate. Serve with rice.
*Adapted from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young
Bitter Melon helps lower blood sugar, is anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti- inflammatory. It is a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, carotenoids, vitamin C, folate, polyphenols, and fiber. (Bauman, 2015)
Black cumin (black seed) helps to reduce body weight and waist circumference. (Bauman, 2015)
Cacao Protein Balls + Herbal Tea + Berries
See recipe for Cacao Balls here.
Undiagnosed essential fatty acid (EFAs) deficiencies can lead to neuro-endocrine imbalances and impaired metabolism, according to National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES). In other words, if your metabolism is not working correctly due to nutrients deficiencies, you will not be able to manage your weight. EFAs are found mainly in fish like wild salmon and sardines, chia, flax, walnuts, hempseeds and blue-green algae’s like spirulina and chlorella. Including these foods into your meal rotation at least 3-4 times per week will ensure proper levels of EFAs.
Wild Salmon + Probiotic Boost
- 3-4 oz Wild Salmon
- 1-2 tsp of EVOO for sautéing
- 1 tsp of dried or 2 tsp of fresh herb of choice (rosemary, thyme, dill)
- 2 cups of lightly steamed greens like dandelion, purslane or spinach
- ¼ c. of chopped cilantro or parlsey for garnish
- 1/8 tsp of Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp of granulated dried kelp or nori
- 1-2 tbs sauerkraut or kimchi
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- ½ freshed squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp flaxseed
- ½ avocado
- Rinse salmon with filtered water. Rub with 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 tsp sea salt, dried or fresh herb of choice and a dash of lemon juice. On medium heat melt butter in sauté pan.
- Next, place salmon in pan and sauté for 7 minutes on each side. In separate pan, lightly sauté or steam 2 cups of greens with olive oil. You may add onion or garlic if desired.
- Place on plate. Rinse parsley or cilantro, chop and put over greens. Remove salmon and place on top of greens and parsley. Add a dash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, flax and kelp. Complement the salmon with sides of avocado and sauerkraut or kimchi for a wonderful addition of healthy fat and probiotics–both of which are great for digestion.
Wild salmon provides essential fatty acids, which help you trim calories quickly. Consuming 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA (3 oz. wild salmon or handful of walnuts) can cut calorie intake by 22%. Omega-3’s rev the production of leptin, a hormone that boots satiety. (Journal of Dietary Supplements). Wild salmon also aides in proper pineal function and estrogen balance in women—two key functions in balancing adrenals and thyroid. Wild salmon is an excellent source of protein and it is helpful to increase protein in the diet during times of stress or fatigue. Moreover, protein is essential for making hormones, neurotransmitters and enzymes. Salmon also has the beneficial vitamin, B5 (Pantothenic Acid), which creates adrenal hormones. (Bauman, 2015)
Sea vegetables like Kelp and Nori provide trace minerals to help support the adrenals and thyroid, so they may properly secrete hormones. Other varies include Kombu, Wakame, Agar Agar, Bladderwrack, and Hijiki. It is important to look for organic varieties free from hydrogenated oils like canola. Atlantic varies are favorable. (Bauman, 2015)
Sea salt has numerous trace minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc among other beneficial elements. Minerals are a tremendous support to the adrenals in times of stress because the body uses them up so quickly to try to maintain balance. Amazingly, sea salt acts like digestive enzyme enhancers, which help the body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat, which can ultimately support the healing. (Murray, 2005)
It is absolutely fine to enjoy yummy homemade desserts, while also managing weight. The important take away is to make sure you are using healthy, plant-based sweeteners and cooking with whole food ingredients like organic fruits, gluten-free flours and diary alternatives if intolerant. It is important to enjoy your life and your food and not get caught up in calorie counting. Instead, focus on real, whole foods and the pounds will shed without even trying. For a healthy sweetener guide click here
Poached Pears + Chocolate Drizzle
See recipe for Poached Pears here
The Take Away
To initiate weight loss and ultimately keep the weight off, one really must adopt a complete lifestyle and mindset change. There are numerous factors that disrupt proper metabolic balance, which include: stress, toxicity, poor eating habits and choices, trauma, sedentary lifestyle and addictive coping. By shifting and changing these imbalances it becomes possible to shed those extra pounds. Furthermore, by allowing the body to detox with healthy organic plant-based foods, expressing healthy emotions, adding in key nutrients, daily exercise and developing a spiritual practice–successful, sustainable weight loss becomes achievable.
Wishing you divine health!
❤ Eat Your Greens Out
Bauman, E. (2015). Therapeutic Nutrition Textbook, Part 1. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College.
Murray, Michael, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005.
National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey, (2010). 97% of people in the US deficient in EFAs abd 60% deficient in Magnesium.