Building a Balanced Meal

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Planning out meals may come easy to some, but for others, it’s a daunting task. We have shared in the past how we set ourselves up for success with pre-planning meals, but what does this actually look like? We are going to spend some time helping you understand what it means to build a balanced meal. Remember, folks, that these are meal ideas based on earth grown nutrient foods we have eaten in the past and have found success with, but are by no means prescribed meal plans. Although we do work with Registered Dietitians, we ourselves are nutrition counselors, so please request to work with an RD before taking on a new meal plan.

A balanced meal to us, and especially in the macro counting world, means you must incorporate a healthy fat, lean protein, and a fruit/veggie/whole grain based carb, all while making sure the meal is fiber dense. By sticking to earth grown nutrient foods and changing up your fruits/veggies often, you will ensure that you are getting the necessary micro-nutrients your body needs as well!

Here at FFF, we encourage our clients to use carbs around their workouts for a variety of reasons, but for today’s example, we are going to plan meals out with even portions of macros as if this was a rest day. You will first have to determine (or let us determine for you) how much protein, fat and carbs you will eat in the day and how many meals you plan to eat. For today’s example, let’s use 150 protein/200 carbs/65 fat with 5 meals per day, and a 35g fiber goal. With these given numbers, you will plan to eat around 30p/40c/13f per meal.

Let’s start with some meal ideas and then build a grocery list around it. Maybe an egg scramble with avocado toast, a Dolce inspired breakfast bowl, an easy protein shake, some kind of salad, quinoa “fried rice”, a tuna sandwich, and yogurt mixed with fruit. Now that we have meal ideas, we make the list…some of these items are staples in our pantry and wouldn’t necessarily make it on our “weekly” grocery list, but to give you an idea of the foods we will use:

Protein:

  1. Chicken breast
  2. Lean ground turkey
  3. Canned tuna
  4. Eggs

Produce:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Avocado
  3. Spinach
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Grape tomatoes
  6. Bananas
  7. Blueberries
  8. Apples
  9. Strawberries

Other:

  1. Oat bran
  2. Almond butter
  3. Chia seeds
  4. Hemp seeds
  5. Goat cheese
  6. Poppyseed dressing
  7. Ezekiel/sprouted bread
  8. Quinoa
  9. Whey protein powder
  10. Greek yogurt

We’ve got our groceries and now it’s building time! We start building by first basing the meals around our protein, as this seems to be the toughest macro to hit without going over on fat (you will notice as you add in your proteins, your fat will start to creep up, just make sure you save some room for a healthy fat source within your meal.) You will also probably have to change portions as you add foods, but just start by adding your proteins for each meal and mess around with portions later. After you have added your protein source to each meal, move on to carbs. Again, as you add carbs in, you may notice your fat totals sneaking back up. We are saving fat for last for a reason, as these are by far the toughest to stay within for most.

Again, the below meal ideas were decided upon earlier before we made our grocery trip. These can be repeated daily for the week, or get creative each day by using the ingredients in different ways!

Meal 1: 2 whole eggs + 3 egg whites scrambled with 1c mushroom, 50g cherry tomatoes, and 50g spinach. Pair this with 1 slice Ezekiel toast topped with 30g avocado and 100g apple on the side. (30p/39c/15f, 8 fiber)

Meal 2: 1/4c oat bran cooked together with 50g blueberries, 1/2tbsp chia seeds, and 1/2tbsp hemp seeds then topped with 8g almond butter and 2oz banana. Pair this with 1 scoop protein powder in a shake. (29p/49c/12f, 11 fiber)

Meal 3: 85g spinach topped with 200g sliced strawberries, 1.5oz cooked chicken, 1/2oz goat cheese, and 16g poppyseed dressing. (22p/24c/11f, 5 fiber)

Meal 4: 1c cooked quinoa heated together with 3oz cooked lean turkey, 1 whole egg, 4oz broccoli, and 1tbsp soy sauce. (35p/40c/15f, 5 fiber)

Meal 5: 2oz canned tuna mixed together with 35g avocado and spread between two slices of Ezekiel bread. Pair with 3oz greek yogurt topped with 50g blueberries and 50g strawberries. (34p/47c/11f, 10 fiber)

*The daily totals come out to be 150p/199c/63f, 39 fiber. Again, this took some playing around with numbers to get the right ratios, but it’s worth the planning to be able to build a balanced meal while staying within your parameters. If you are not a macro counter, you can still use these guidelines. Start your meal with a protein source and build around it. Add in your healthy carbs and fats, making sure not to go overboard on any one category. It also should be mentioned that these meals are based on using a calorie free cooking spray. You may choose to use oils to cook with, and if that’s the case, then you must account for the fats used to cook with.

We are always open to questions or ideas. If you have some tricks of your own on how to build meals, please let us know! If you are curious about other meals we like to put together – then just reach out! Lastly, if you want to know what your macros should be for your life goals, then we are just a message away!

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