Remember the plant in Little Shop of Horrors? Audrey II whose loudest cry was “Feed Me!” When I get hungry, my blood sugar drops and the only thing I can say is: FEED ME!!! I know exactly how Audrey felt!
Which is why I eat “early and often.” I hate turning an irrational and distinctly un-nice person! The antidote is eating 4-5 times a day. If I do my blood sugar stays even and my disposition sunny. As and added bonus I feel good and effortlessly maintain my weight since my metabolism is more efficient and I don’t get strange cravings. In the end I actually consume less calories per day.
There are a few caveats about eating often:
- Each meal needs to be small – if you count calories then you are looking at somewhere between 300 and 375 calories for each meal
- Each meal should be as balance between protein, carbs and fat as possible. I try to maintain a 35% protein, 35% carb and 30% fat balance
- Eat food; do not depend on protein bars, shakes and other expensive food substitutes
- If you need to eat one big meal each day and 4 small ones then eat the big meal as early in the day as possible; breakfast is best but lunch is also very good.
- Even if you aren’t hungry, eat like a 1/2 meal. Eating with keep you metabolism moving
This is all fairly simple IF you control your own schedule. But the world is pretty much set up on a three meal a day schema which sometimes makes eating often a challenge.
I usually carry something with me either in the car or in my purse. Almonds with dried fruit, Larabars or some of my home-made granola. If I have a cooler or access to a fridge I keep hummus and tortillas handy. If I am out and about I will try to grab a “green” smoothie with very little fruit and lots of veggies.
I have always been opposed to energy/protein bars. Usually lots of strange ingredients, sugar and full of soy protein (I’m allergic). Up until recently I have avoided them like the plague!
Larabars (a few are shown here) are the exception. Each bar is about 220 calories and has somewhere between 2 and 4 ingredients: things like dates, almonds, cashews, dried cherries, dried apples and dried blueberries. The bars are gluten-free, additive-free and they even taste good! Add a handful of almonds and you have a reasonable quick meal in an emergency.
My personal favorite is Cherry Pie. It contains dates, almonds and unsweetened dried cherries and weighs in at 200 calories. Since it is way out of balance (12% protein and 18% fat to 70% carbs) I eat them sparingly and always with a small handful of almonds. They aren’t the best thing by any means but they beat being hungry and they are simple and clean.
Got any quick meals/snacks that you particularly like? Please share them with us!