Hey, friends. It’s Wednesdayyy which means it’s the perfect day to showcase a day of eats for WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday). My eats are from Tuesday.
Let’s go through a day of eats, shall we?
Breakfast #1: A coconut flour pancake, made with 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 egg, 1 egg white, a sprinkle of cinnamon and vanilla extract, topped with peanut butter and berries.
I wrote a post before Thanksgiving about some healthy holiday lifestyle switches to make without sacrificing food, and it seems like a good time to discuss this again with all the resolutions being made. There are easy swaps we can make on a daily basis that offer more nutrient density, meaning they provide our body with more nutrients per gram of calories (sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, greek yogurt rather than mayo, whole apples rather than apple juice). Eating more nutrient dense foods definitely earns you a gold star on the path to better health. However, fat has been back in the spotlight lately for various reasons, but I wanted to talk about it today because incorporating fat into your diet can actually be a healthy habit!
One food-related goal I’ll be working on throughout the year is eating balanced meals, which means I’ll aim to have a protein, fat, and carbohydrate (try to make this a complex carbohydrate as much as possible) at every meal. While this won’t always be feasible (c’mon, I’m a girl with a sweet tooth and sometimes I’ll just eat my carb-loaded piece of cake), it is actually very important and it’s a switch that many of you should aim to make too, if you’re not already doing so! I’m totally guilty of just grabbing a banana or apple on it’s own and calling that my snack but for the reasons I’ll discuss below, I’m always going to try to pair those with a protein/fat!
I met up with the lovely Kate for coffee and breakfast #2 at one of my favorite Charlotte places, Sunflour Bakery. I feel like I know Kate from reading her blog but it was so nice to meet her in person, and chat about life and nutrition things. She is such a sweetheart!
To speak candidly, I don’t like seeing recipes that boast “low fat” or “no sugar,” and instead use fake ingredients in their place. These are recipes for disaster; they are not balanced, they will not fill you up, and they will just leave you craving those high palatable foods that you tried to avoid in the first place. It’s an endless cycle that I urge you not to start.
Why you should eat more fat
Fat gets a bad wrap because people still think that eating more fat causes your body to retain more fat. No No No. This is just not how the body works, and biochemistry can teach you why. Fat has so many beneficial functions, such as supporting brain and eye function, regulating hormones (hence: sleeping, hunger, and keeping us full), ensuring proper nerve signalling, and decreasing inflammation in the body. AND, EVEN MORE, fat is important for your bones and for absorbing vitamins, namely A, D, E and K. These are fat-soluble vitamins which means they need to be taken with fat to be effectively absorbed. So while enjoying a salad, you aren’t doing yourself any favors ordering the fat-free dressing because you won’t absorb many of those nutrients. Go for the full fat dressing (just use less; it will be more flavorful afterall) or use olive oil. Or, add an avocado or some olives, or put some meat, nuts, seeds or cheese on top.
Did you experience constant sugar cravings over the holidays? I did. Like you could eat cookies all day for every meal? Ehh…I’m guilty. It’s because once we’re introduced to that sweetness, it becomes addictive. And if we don’t have adequate fat or protein in our systems to slow down the blood sugar spike, our blood sugar goes for a ride and leaves us feeling empty and then craving more sugar.
If our blood sugar spikes up, we are:
- a) more likely to eat more and crave something sweet again,
- b) feel anxious, tired or have low energy (counter intuitive, I know),
- OR, c) store more carbohydrates as fat because insulin is a storage hormone. Most of us gain some weight over the holidays – more often than not, it’s from all the sugar we’re eating (not fat), in addition to our higher caloric intake overall.
Try to pair those carbohydrates with protein and fat so you can prevent that blood sugar spike, which is so important in helping our bodies stay within homeostasis.
And for dinner, this yummy stuffed sweet potato, stuffed with chicken sausage, goat cheese and avocado. Recipe to come on Fridayyy. These babies are one of my most favorite things ever.
Also, cocktails with the hubs at The Cellar at Duckworths. This place is legit. Yay for so many artisinal cocktail bars in Charlotte.
Isn’t Charlotte beautiful?!
And dessert = greek yogurt with bananas and peanut butter, and hot chocolate with marshmellows 🙂
If you’re still dealing with those post-holiday cravings, try adding in some healthy fats. When in doubt, spread some nut butter or butter for some power, or pair snacks with string cheese or edamame. Start cooking with avocado, coconut or olive oil. Adding in these fats should help with cravings. Cheers to health in 2016. Linking with Health and Happiness.
What’s your favorite healthy fat? Mine is drippy peanut butter, hands down.