Healthy Living: Avoiding the 'Quarantine 15'

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We all know about the 'freshman 15' when go off to college and gain a couple of pounds navigating a new lifestyle. Well all of us are dealing with a new way of doing things, and that includes how and what we eat. Many of us are working from home and that means full access to the pantry, all day.

Nutritionist Deborah Enos shares some easy recipes to keep you fuller longer to help us all avoid the 'Quarantine 15.'

From Nutritionist Deborah Enos:

In this quarantine season, so many of us are turning to carbs and alcohol as a form of stress management. There’s a good reason why this works in the short term, carbs create serotonin, that feel good chemical that just makes us feel happy and relaxed. Again, feels great in the short term but long term can lead to weight gain and potentially pre-diabetes.

When the carbs hit your bloodstream they very quickly turn into sugar. That sugar can make you feel great for about 45 minutes. However, once the sugar is gone your body starts looking for a carb hit so it can feel good again.

Why does lunch matter?

If you eat a lunch that is at least 40% protein, 30+% fiber and 30% fat you will be full for at least 4 hours, your brain will be more engaged due to the fat/protein content and the fiber will help to quell the cravings.

Here are three key nutrients you need at lunch to keep the afternoon carb cravings at bay! And bonus, you will end up feeling energized and motivated and it will help keep you full so you stay out of the fridge!

Protein: The protein works to keep you full. Eggs (not just for breakfast) nut butters or add collagen protein to you coffee or tea.

Fat: Fat will help to keep you satiated, which means you will be less tempted by junk foods. Add nuts & seeds to your salad or slice some avocado on your sandwich.

Fiber: Fiber gives your stomach a workout (this is a good thing!) fiber slows down how quickly food moves through your gut. Which means, if your gut is working on food it won’t want to keep eating food. Beans are a fantastic source of both fiber and protein. Add beans to EVERYTHING try black beans with eggs or garbanzos mixed with a green or Greek salad.

How to put together a high energy lunch in less than 10 minutes.

Eggs are not just for breakfast! They are inexpensive and are power packed with protein (2 eggs have 12+ grams of protein, almost 25% of the RDA)

High Energy Avocado Eggs

2 tsp of avocado oil or ghee

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 large garlic clove, sliced

2 large eggs

1 can of black beans (my fav is S & W Black Beans)

½ cup of chopped cherry tomatoes

¼ tsp cumin seeds

1 small avocado, sliced

1 handful fresh, chopped cilantro

1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

Heat the oil on medium in a large sauté pan. Add the pepper, tomatoes & garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the S & W Black Beans with some of the juice and let it cook for about a minute (you’re warming up the beans; they don’t need to be cooked). Sprinkle the mixture with cumin and push the bean mixture aside and crack your eggs into the pan.

When the eggs are cooked to your preference, pull off the stove and add you avocado, squeeze of lime & the cilantro.

No cook lunch…what to do with all that tuna?

5 Minute Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Bag of salad or any lettuce greens

1/4 cup of each of these ingredients: sliced Kalamata olives, chopped cukes, cherry tomatoes (halved) & sliced avocado.

½ cup of crumbled feta

Can of your favorite tuna.

Grab a bag of salad; add the avocado, Kalamata olives, cukes, cherry tomatoes & crumbled feta and drained can of tuna.

Top with your favorite vinaigrette, my current fav is Girard’s Champagne Vinaigrette.

For more from Deborah, click here 

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