When you eat may have a great effect on your weight and mood. Here are the rules for timing your meals.
1) Always eat breakfast. Your blood sugar should go down at night from fasting during the sleeping hours and you should want to eat in the morning. If you cannot face bacon and eggs, try plain organic yogurt with fruit and nuts. If you like your yogurt sweet, add plain or flavored Stevia. Stevia is a South American herb that tastes sweet but is not sugar and has no calories. Look for flavors like chocolate, orange, hazelnut and vanilla cream. A shake made with Whey or rice protein or a nutritious shake powder is another alternative. Eggs are better than oatmeal for stabilizing blood sugar and carrying you through to lunch. Any healthy food you enjoy can be eaten at breakfast. Try smoked salmon or lox straight or chopped in scrambled eggs, for a change. Smoked salmon can be enjoyed carb-free, with fresh lemon juice sprinkled on, and capers on the side. Nut butters spread on celery or apples are another carb-free choice.
2) Skip bread for lunch. The all-American sandwich is making almost all Americans obese, it seems. Bread at lunch can also give you a blood sugar crash at 3-4 p.m. that will leave you sleepy and lethargic and have reaching for coffee and carbohydrate-loaded snacks. Try lettuce wraps for sandwiches, switch to gluten-free bread if you are not over weight and get at least moderate exercise. Eat salad and a protein source to lose weight, and feel bright all afternoon. Dress the salad with an olive oil dressing, mixed with lemon juice or vinegar and flavored with herbs of choice. Most bottled dressings are made with unhealthy oils, such as Canola, Soybean, or other type of processed oils. Processed oils should be avoided completely and only virgin, raw oils are healthy.
3) Dinner should be eaten before 8 p.m. If you work late, eat protein and/or fat for a snack. Carbs like bread or crackers will convert quickly to sugar and then get stored as fat. Try plain organic yogurt sweetened with Stevia (no calorie natural herbal sweetener) and sprinkled with raw nuts for crunch. Have celery or an apple with a small amount of nut butter.
4) Try skipping all bread and grain products (and skip sugar) for a week and see how you different you feel. You may experience a lighter mood, increased energy, and less aches or pains. Add a good quality fish oil product and increase slowly until you are taking 6 capsules a day for a few weeks. You also may find out that you are much easier to get along with when your blood sugar is stable. Don’t be surprised if your co-workers start checking your lunch bag or having salads delivered to you. Life may look brighter if you are not serving it up between two slices of bread.
Anne Dunev, PhD
Naturopath (Doctor of Natural Medicine),
Certified Nutritionist & Certified Health Educator.