Have you ever felt lost when preparing a balanced, healthy meal? What makes a meal balanced is its incorporation of all the essential components—lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. When using the Isagenix System, it’s suggested you have one meal a day and replace the other two meals with an IsaLean Shake or other Isagenix meal replacement option.
To ensure you provide your body with all the nourishment it needs in 400 to 600 calories, here are some suggestions:
First start with the base of your meal, the lean protein. Providing your body with a quality source of protein at each meal will help you feel satisfied longer while supporting muscle growth and metabolism. The right amount is critical, as research has shown about 20 to 40 grams of protein is optimal. Select lean meat options such as 5 ounces (about the size of a smartphone) of free-range beef, cage-free chicken, wild salmon, or other fish. If interested in non-meat protein sources, consider 3 to 4 eggs or egg whites, a cup of Greek-style yogurt, or 2 to 3 ounces of mixed nuts.
The body needs a steady source of energy, which can be provided through complex carbohydrates. Some healthy options are 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, organic brown rice, or whole-grain pasta. If the typical grains don’t sound appealing to you, your body can still get the same fuel from 1 cup of baked yams or sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, or a corn tortilla. Any of these choices are low-glycemic and shouldn’t cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar that could lead to a crash.
Most fruits and vegetables have so few calories and are so densely packed with nutrients, including fiber, that there’s no strict limit to portion size, so adding more can be a great way to raise volume of your meal and help fill you up without over consuming calories. Fill half your plate at each meal with 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables such as apple or orange slices, berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, steamed vegetables, or a mixed green salad. To add some color to your plate, try options such as sliced tomatoes, carrots, or bell peppers. If you’re still feeling hungry after your meal, you can’t go wrong with a second helping of vegetables.
Healthy fats are often neglected when planning a meal because of the negative stigma fats carry; however, these fats are important to your body’s health and can make any meal more satisfying. Adding half an avocado or 1 tablespoon of pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds to any salad or plate is an easy way to give your body an adequate source of fatty acids. Incorporating IsaCrunch into your meal provides your body with essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for health.
Lastly, remember to add flavor in the form of fresh herbs, spices, or condiments, which can provide important antioxidant vitamins and polyphenols. These can include basil, parsley, pepper, cinnamon, and other tasty varieties.
Creating a meal that fits into an Isagenix Shake Day can be easier than you think if you focus on lean meat protein sources, complex carbohydrates, dark green cruciferous vegetables, other colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and portion control. (See our 400-600 Calorie Meal Ideas chart for future reference.) These guidelines are a healthy suggestion for those dieting or just trying to eat healthy and can help third meals enhance your diet, not derail it.
Reference: Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in health adults. J Nutr. 2014; E pub ahead of print