Good morning my friends!
It just came to my attention that my blog posts haven't been going out to all of you lovely people for about a month, so I apologize for that!! I've been sharing some fun tips in previous weeks, so if you've missed them, you can catch up here:
Before jumping into the meal plan, I did want to briefly talk about one thing. Did you know that eating in a hurry/while stressed/distracted can have a serious impact on your digestion?
It's true! Digestion actually starts when we look at food. This begins the digestive cascade of hormones and enzymes that we need to properly digest and absorb. This process is inhibited when we're in a hurry, feeling stressed, or pouring through our email inbox while we mindlessly feed ourselves. We've all heard "fight or flight" and "rest and digest," right? Those refer to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body. Just as they imply, we need to be in a calm and "resting" state to optimize our digestion.
Well, this past week I was working some overtime and ended up needing to teach a class at the time that I would usually eat my breakfast. Rather than wait until after class, I decided to go ahead and eat before, even though I was a little short on time. Sure enough, the food felt like a brick in my stomach, and my digestion was sluggish all day! (Granted, I was extremely busy all day, so I never really had a chance to get into rest and digest mode to let it catch up.) Even though I was trying to be mindful as I ate, just knowing that I only had 15 minutes until I needed to be in class was enough to slow down my system.
I've always been a slow eater, which works to my advantage. I usually take 20-40 minutes to eat a meal (thought I'll be honest, at lunch I am usually multitasking because we only get a 30 minute lunch break), chewing each bite thoroughly and enjoying it! If you find that you usually eat distracted, try eating mindfully for a meal (or few!) and see if you notice a difference!
A few practical tips:
1. Try putting your phone in the other room while you eat.
2. Try eating outside if you have the option.
3. Put your fork down in between bites so that you chew each bite completely.
Here's this week's meal plan:
Breakfast: BBQ Chicken with Yellow Squash and Green Beans // This meal was done in all of about 20 minutes, and I cooked all three parts at the same time! I chopped up 5 small yellow summer squash (I always choose organic here) and tossed with some olive oil and salt, then roasted at 350 for about 20 minutes until golden. At the same time, I cut two chicken breasts into large pieces and put them in my Instant Pot with about 1/2 cup Tessemae's Ketchup and 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar (makeshift BBQ sauce!). I cooked that on high pressure for 10 minutes then let the pressure release naturally. While that was cooking, I steamed some green beans on the stovetop. When the chicken was done, I shredded it so that it would soak up the sauce, and portioned everything out!
Lunch: No Cook // I'm trying out the new deli turkey from Trader Joe's this week! The ingredients are just organic turkey, water, and salt. So glad to see products like this hitting the market! I'll be having this with a soft boiled Vital Farms egg, some sprouted nuts, an apple, and one of the new seasonal flavors of Zupa (Green Gazpacho is my favorite of the two, but Spring Bean Mint is also good! "wholedailylife" for 15% off!)
Dinner: Peach Lamb Meatballs with Asparagus and Carrots // Asparagus was on sale at Sprouts this week and I had some leftover roasted carrots in the freezer from last weekend, so those were easy sides! I had a recipe for "peached glazed lamb meatballs" that I had saved a while back, but instead of going through the process of "glazing" them, I just chopped up about 2 cups of peaches and 1/2 cup of parsley and mixed these into 1 pound of lamb (I buy from US Wellness Meats) with 1 tsp salt...they didn't want to hold together very well but they were super quick to make!
Snack: I always have something else when I get home from work, but it always varies, which is why it doesn't make it into the picture. It might be a bar, a smoothie, or some leftovers from the weekend!
Have a great week!