By Jessica Sepel
Meal 1 – Breakfast
Think protein rich
- Jess’s Power Protein Smoothie made with berries, greens, protein powder and almond milk
- 2 eggs – boiled, poached or scrambled with sautéed greens and avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and rock salt. Optional to have 2 brown rice cakes or a slice of gluten-free toast.
- Gluten-free porridge (quinoa/buckwheat/amaranth) with water. Add berries, a sprinkle of nuts/seeds and cinnamon (add whey protein or nut milk for a creamier consistency and a higher protein content).
- Gluten-free muesli. Buy it ready made (make sure it is refined sugar-free) or make your own mix with puffed quinoa/buckwheat/amaranth, activated buckinis, coconut flakes, mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruits) with almond milk; sugar-free yoghurt.
Meal 2 – Morning Tea
Think low GI, high protein snack
- ¼ cup raw nuts/seeds
- 1 tsp. nut butter with 1 green apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Veggie sticks with hummus/tahini
- 2 sugar-free protein balls
- Protein shake (if not for breakfast)
- 1 low GI fruit (green apple, ½ cup berries, citrus fruits)
- 1 raw food bar/protein bar (natural with no refined sugars)
- 150g of lean meat and a handful of green veggies (resembles a small lunch)
Top tip:While you’re munching…this is a great time to go outside and get a vitamin D hit. 15-20 minutes of sunshine a day will keep thyroid problems, depression and weight gain at bay.
Meal 3 – Lunch
Think combination of dark, leafy greens + 1 portion of protein + 1 unit of good fat + 1 unit of starch (starchy veggies, gluten-free grains or legumes and beans). This will make sure your body slowly releases energy for the rest of the day so you don’t experience the dreaded afternoon lull.
Did you know? Most people feel fuller when they add a portion of fat to their lunch. It does wonders for energy levels in the afternoon. Goodbye, 3pm slump!
Options: About 150-200 grams of lean meat (rotate between chicken, beef, lamb or fish) grilled, boiled, poached, pan fried or oven baked; lots of veggies, raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted or stir fried (the greener the better, e.g. broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale). If you likel, add about 30g of boiled quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice or amaranth, or ½ cup sweet potato/pumpkin/beetroot, to these meals.
Meal 4 – Afternoon Tea
Think protein rich, avoiding sugar/starch to keep cravings at bay
- Chopped carrots, celery and cucumber with 2 tbsp. hummus or tahini
- 1 boiled egg with chopped veggies
- Nori veggie wrap – layer nori with 1 tbsp. hummus and chopped veggies, then roll it up!
- Protein shake with 8-10 nuts
Meal 5 – Dinner
Think protein + veg + salad
Top Tip: If you are on a weight loss journey, avoid starch at night.
Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day. As your body is winding down and preparing for sleep, it’s your job to feed it one last hit of nutrition before it ‘fasts’ overnight. So think protein with greens – lots of greens! A small portion of starchy carbs, like sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, is okay as well. If you are on a weight loss plan, avoid starch after 3pm.
- Grilled chicken breast with veggies. Go for greens: steamed/sautéed spinach, asparagus, broccoli and a green salad.
- Lamb back straps. Serve with pesto green beans and a side salad and or sautéed kale (cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with rock salt, chili and pepper).
- Cajun-spiced perch. Fry in coconut oil with steamed/pan-fried kale. Drizzle with lemon juice, sea salt and olive and serve with kale and sweet potato mash.
- Meat or chicken breast patties. Ditch the bread and wrap in lettuce ‘buns’ instead. Add mixed veggies of your choice.
- Chicken tenderloins. Marinate in rosemary, olive oil, 1 clove garlic and lemon juice. Serve with baked sweet potato and a green salad.
- Chicken/beef stir-fry with vegetables. Use tamari and sesame oil as the sauce.
- Sesame salmon fillet. Marinate in tamari, ginger, sesame seeds and lemon juice, and serve with steamed asparagus, green beans and broccoli.
- Steamed fish with ginger, shallots, bok choy and broccolini. Super healthy and easy to make, this is a winner on weeknights.
- Lean grass-fed beef fillet. Place on a bed of broccoli or sweet potato mash. Serve with a side of ricotta and thyme-baked mushrooms.
- Grilled herb-crusted fish. Opt for snapper, barramundi, or John Dory, and dish up with grilled mushrooms and broccoli along with a quinoa and tabouli salad.
- Lentil/chicken/minestrone (with beans) soup. Make sure the soup includes some kind of protein.
- Deboned roasted chicken. Enjoy with roasted cumin-spiced cauliflower and broccoli.
- Grilled tuna steak. Top with fresh herbs, olive oil, and Himalayan salt and serve with roasted beetroot and quinoa salad. Savour this one – you should only eat tuna occasionally due to the high mercury content.
- Stir-fried bok choy with chicken breast. For the sauce, use lemon juice and tamari.
- Grilled chicken breast/thigh. Drizzle with a yoghurt dressing made from Greek yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Grilled Cajun spiced John Dory fish. Serve with roasted fennel, cauliflower and a side green salad.
- Roast lamb with eggplant and tahini salad. Add grilled veggies if you’re really hungry.
- Beef fillet with sautéed veggies. Ready for a flavour explosion? You can’t go beat mushrooms, leeks, onion and spinach.
- Moroccan-spiced chicken salad. This is a great option if you’re looking for a light meal.
- Veggie frittata with a green salad. Add goat’s cheese to the salad or serve it with stuffed capsicums.
- Zucchini ‘bolognaise’ with lean beef/chicken mince. Like pasta, only loaded with nutritional value!
- Grilled salmon/snapper. Marinate in olive oil and herbs, and serve with cauliflower or broccoli mash.
- Lettuce cups. Fill iceberg lettuce with vegetables and protein of choice. I love to add homemade guacamole, tahini or hummus too.
- Protein smoothie. For those nights when you just can’t be bothered to cook.
- Lettuce cups – iceberg lettuce filled with vegetables and protein of choice. I love to add some homemade guacamole, tahini or hummus too.