- Easy balanced meal that’s LESS SEXY… but delicious!
- Why an easy balanced meal helps you lose weight
- Step-by-step photos to assemble this easy meal balanced
Balanced meals help you unlock your HAPPY weight
Yup, it’s true!
But sadly… the whole time I was trying to lose weight I would’ve been scared to eat the easy balanced meal I’m sharing in this post.
I thought if I want to lose weight, I should only eat small amounts of low-fat food at a time. So whenever I felt hungry, I’d drink loads of diet pop and eat rice cakes, Melba Toast and ultra-low-fat yogurt.
But I never felt satisfied.
Now I know that diet and reduced-fat food is processed which keeps you hungry and makes it easier to gain weight.
Low-fat processed foods don’t meet your body’s needs. So you end up feeling preoccupied by hunger—which can lead to yo-yo dieting.
Yo-Yo is basically the starve-binge-purge cycle.
I talk about this cycle all the time:
Easy balanced meals break the cycle
Pairing LANGUAGE with ACTION is the first step to breaking a self-defeating pattern.
I had no idea I whipped around the starve-binge-purge cycle for years… Until my doctor told me about it.
I just thought I had willpower and moments of weakness.
Grazing rather than eating balanced meals triggered overeating and eventually bingeing.
I lost weight when I started eating easy balanced meals
In my 2nd year of university I had a HUGE turning point.
By then I was completely confused by diet rules, tips and tricks.
So I went back-to-the-basics.
Unfortunately it was a bit more dramatic than that… but going back to 3 meals a day was EXACTLY what I needed.
First I rejoined the school meal plan.
Then I focused on making my plate look like the Eatwell Guide at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
By eating whole foods from each food group in the recommended proportions, baby!
Why the Eatwell Guide focuses on whole foods
The added salt, sugar and unnatural fat found in processed foods make it hard to know when to stop eating.
Whereas easy balanced meals made of natural foods fill you up naturally (get it?!) so you don’t overeat.
Whole foods also fill you up looonger, because your body has to do the processing!
The beauty of feeling satisfied is you can focus on everything else
I mean, it’s hard to follow the plot line in 50 Shades of Grey when you’re hungry.
Someone in my book club chose that book ↑↑↑
And as a Type A person who can struggle with self care—all my work must be done, down to the last detail, before I attend to myself—what I love most about Christian is his ability to keep everything orderly and be perfectly polished. Like his custom white button-down shirts were always crisp-ily ironed. I want to be that person! (I’m the girl at the red light searching her purse for her other earring… )
While the organizational aspect of Christian Grey was not a topic my book club was keen to discuss over the 7 hour period we convened, every post-it note I put in my book was a scene in which his house, his car, his briefcase… described how he had everything perfectly in place.
How to make an easy balanced meal a no-brainer
Understanding the difference between:
And how each reacts in your body
makes it straight forward to choose an easy balanced meal over low-fat diet food.
Stop grazing all day and eat a delicious & easy balanced meal instead!
Eat 3 balanced meals and balanced snacks when you’re hungry between meals.
Get yer pretty self back to:
- reading a book you found in a box at the end of your neighbor’s walk with a sign that said “TAKE ME”
- watching a documentary about Partner’s In Health (this doc is fascinating, heart-breaking and surprisingly FUNNY)
- digging out an old t-shirt that has the name of your favorite band, cutting out the image & sewing it onto the back of a jean jacket
… or whatever you do in your free time.
Try this recipe for an easy balanced meal
For the last 23+ years that I’ve had a healthy relationship with food, I do my own cooking (vs. eating low-fat packaged snacks).
To be accurate, I usually do the washing up as my partner, Alex loves to cook.
But I’m a good sous-chef!
(Just checked the spelling on that and thought it would say “kitchen helper”… But apparently, I’m “second in command.”)
While we like trying new and more involved recipes when there’s time, we often choose a recipe that can be prepared quickly (and doubled to eat a few days in a row!)
But the focus is always eating something from every food group and using the most natural ingredients possible.
Sometimes it’s literally meat, potatoes and a salad with cheese (to cover the dairy food group) along with a home-made salad dressing. Even if it’s just oil and vinegar.
We also have some easy balanced meals that are our go-to recipes.
Recently, Alex’s mum gave us a cookbook called: A Girl Called Jack.
Less sexy cooking helps you reach a healthy weight
I love this cookbook because the recipes are fast, easy, cheap and use regular ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
The author is Jack Monroe. Her cookbook is based on recipes she created when she and her baby son were trying to survive on a 10 pound per weekly food budget.
That’s about $13.42 USD to cover 3 meals a day X 2 people over a week = 42 meals between them!
I’m so inspired by resourceful people!
In her cookbook she states:
…cooking at home needs to be presented as less glossy, less sexy, less intimidating and more accessible, more about what you can make from what’s in the cupboard, to spend less, reduce waste, and knock up a meal in ten minutes when you get home from work, or when you have a toddler tugging on your leg.
-Jack Monroe, author and campaigner on poverty issues
What an awesome cooking philosophy!
Easy balanced meal made of regular ingredients
Here’s a recipe I’ve been making a lot… that has an unexpected ingredient.
Mumma Jack’s Best Ever Chili
1 X 400g tin of the baked beans and kidney beans
(I use 2 cans of ANY beans we’ve got in the house… chickpeas are awesome in this dish)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 diced onion (we use 3!)
small chopped chili (we use 3!)
& vegetable stock cube
(if you have bone broth, use that magic liquid instead)
75ml of red wine (optional)
3 squares of dark chocolate (what!?)
a shake (or, you guessed it, 3!) of cumin & paprika
a splash of olive oil (2-3 tbsp to coat the onions)
Put onion, chopped chili, cumin & paprika in a large sauté pan. Add the oil and cook on low heat until the onion softens.
Pour in the wine (optional), crumble in the stock cube & add the chopped tomato. Simmer on low heat.
Add beans along with (the secret ingredient) chocolate. Stir. Serve when heated through.
N.B. Jack’s recipe suggests rinsing the tomato sauce off the baked beans but I don’t. The chocolate didn’t appeal to me but it works! Double this recipe to make enough for a few nights.
Turn this recipe into an easy balanced meal:
Add broccoli and serve on rice with a dollop of full-fat Greek Yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese, along with a little pepper.
Another way to serve this easy balanced meal
When cookbooks take photos they:
GLUE food together
coat food in oil
use raw food so the color stays brilliant
and so on…
I haven’t done any of those things!
This is the REAL plate of food I ate last night.
It might not look pretty but it was delicious!
A. Grab a big plate
This one’s from the Salvation Army and it’s kinda a hybrid: half bowl and half plate…. very useful indeed!
(Try to work “indeed!” into a conversation you have sometime today, ok?)
B. Make salad your first layer
We use the Caesar Salad Dressing recipe in my book (Pg. 74) that shares how I lost 30 pounds 23+ years ago:
C. Scoop rice onto salad
D. Ladle chili onto rice
E. Spoon sour cream or cottage cheese onto chili
F. Sprinkle cilantro onto… you guessed it, the dairy topping of your choice
You got yerself an easy balanced meal
One you can enjoy for a few nights in a row.
And if you’re wearing a custom, white button-down shirt ironed crisp-ily, be sure to put on an apron.
Tomato splotches are not a good look.
Christian Grey would agree.
More recipes you can make into easy balanced meals
Here are more of Jack Monroe‘s cheap and cheerful home-cooked meals.
If you like cooking with the music on, give this song a whirl.
The lyrics are: Love’s not a hard thing to find.
…Just like the ingredients in this recipe.
Hard thing to find, by Royal Wood
Do you love chocolate? Well, guess what! Chocolate helps you lose weight. Here’s more about that.
When you try this easy balanced meal
Let me know what you thought or any substitutes you made.
Also, I’d love to know, what’s your favorite easy balanced meal?
Want more ideas? Check out the free ONE DAY Meal Plan below.
It’s an example of the kinds of meals and snacks I eat all the time, that made it easy to unlock my H 🙂 PPY weight without dieting more than 2 decades ago ↓↓↓
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Hi Kelly! I made this chili dish tonight exactly as the directions say. It was just perfect. Will be a family favorite. Thanks! 🙂
Thanks Rubi! I love it too! And it’s one of those recipes you can learn by heart after making it just a few times. xo