Clients often ask us what we eat. We thought we’d share how we think about healthy meals and some of our favorite menu ideas. Laura Menefee shares her morning food strategy and favorite recipe and Caitlin Maher shares how she thinks about food plus some great menu ideas.
Laura’s favorite breakfast — and why it’s important
Intermittent fasting is all the rage, but 90% of my clients who try it end up overcompensating (read: raiding the fridge) by the end of the day. So rather than creating optimal health, it adds stress, hunger, and overeating. Instead, skip that entire cycle by choosing a breakfast with a balance of carbs, fat, protein, and plenty of fiber. Protein oats perfectly fits the order.
As the weather warms, I’ve found myself tweaking my winter-rich cinnamon oats to something lighter. Introducing, my official new favorite protein oatmeal recipe of all time.
Orange Vanilla Protein Oats
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Gluten-free rolled oats (use less if you’re not a big morning appetite person, and more if you tend to have more of an appetite earlier in the day)
- 2 scoops Designs for Health Pea Protein – vanilla
- 1/4 cup unsweetened soy, almond, coconut, rice, or hemp milk
- Splash of Fresh orange juice (adjust to taste)
- 1 TBSP sunflower butter (or nut butter, but I really encourage you to try sunflower butter!)
- Optional (but great for texture) walnuts
If you’re short on time in the morning, this recipe can be made ahead of time! In fact, you can bulk-prepare 2-4 days worth of the recipe and save in the refrigerator as individual containers. Just reheat and sir in additional non dairy milk to your desired consistency.
Caitlin’s intuitive eating style
“I eat a whole foods based diet with an emphasis on protein and healthy fats. I find the more demands I have on my life the more I need to be mindful that I am getting enough protein and healthy fat with each meal. Instead of focusing on good versus bad foods I think about what my body needs and what brings me joy. I don’t believe in depriving myself or feeling guilt for a craving since a craving is often a sign of what my body needs if I just slow down enough to listen. Slowing down has helped me be more intuitive about my needs and what makes me feel good.”
Caitlin’s go-to lunch
For lunch I usually have a gluten-free wrap that has chia and flax seeds in it. On the wrap I always add half an avocado, some carrot shavings, cucumber, tomato, greens, such as Trader Joe’s herb and spring mix combo or Giant’s water crest and arugula combo. For protein, I add slices of chicken or turkey or a can of salmon or tuna. I make cooked quinoa for the week and add some to the wrap as well. Once a week or so I also add 2 slices of crispy bacon, which pairs nicely with the deli meat.
Caitlin’s Dinner Ideas
- For dinner, I rotate between tilapia, bison, salmon, lamb, shrimp, and chicken each night. My favorite meal to make is tilapia (seasoned and sometimes dipped in whole wheat panko) with beets, sweet potato, cauliflower, red bell pepper, and red onion sautéd then simmered in a coconut red curry sauce with some brown rice. I season with turmeric, ginger, cumin, and black pepper. Then add sesame seeds and cilantro on top.
- Bison is great because it is typically grass-fed, antibiotic, and hormone-free. It is higher in iron, zinc, and protein than beef and lower in fat (while being higher in Omega-3 fatty acids). I mix diced red onion, parsley, and mesquite seasoning in with the meat (careful not to add in too much since without added moisture it might fall apart due to its low-fat content). For sides, I make a grill basket with sweet potato, broccoli, yellow squash, and onion, with a Mediterranean or Creole seasoning. Then oregano, Himalayan pink salt, and some black pepper.
- If I’m in a spicy mood, I’ll cook and drain ground lamb and then simmer in an Indian curry sauce (Maya Kaimal brand makes some great dairy-free ones) with brown rice. In the rice cooker, I add a little coconut cream, olive oil, and cilantro. Veggies for this dish are sautéed golden beets, sweet potato, cauliflower, green onions, and bell pepper. Toward the end of the sauté, add some curry spice and turmeric then a dash of coconut milk to add some moisture to help the spices stick to the veggies better.
Stay tuned next week for more wisdom about eating, Monica’s food philosophy and go-to snack, foods our nutritionists can’t live without!