Easy Balanced Meal - the10principles

  • Easy balanced meal… it’s less sexy, but delicious!
  • Find out why an easy balanced meal helps you lose weight
  • Here’s a recipe I eat all the time

An easy balanced meal helps you reach your happy weight.

Yup, it’s true!

But sadly… the whole time I was overweight I would’ve been scared to eat the easy balanced meal I’m sharing in this post because I thought I should only eat small amounts of low-fat food at a time. So whenever I felt hungry, I’d try to shut my hunger pains down by drinking loads of diet pop and eating food like rice cakes, Melba toast and zero fat yogurt.

But now I know that diet and reduced-fat food is processed which makes it easier for you 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 the starve-binge-purge cycle. In other words, yo-yo dieting.

Easy Balanced Meal - the10principles

I lost weight when I started eating balanced meals

In my 2nd year of university I made a change.

By then I was completely confused by diet rules, tips and tricks.

So I went back-to-the-basics.

First I rejoined the school meal plan. Then I focused on making my plate look like the Eatwell Guide by eating whole foods from each food group in the recommended proportions.

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 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. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re hungry.

Understanding the difference between whole and processed food and how they effect your body, makes it easier 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 of balanced meals and balanced snacks when you’re hungry between meals. Then… (say in the voice of an elder who loves you):

Get yer pretty self back to:

  • reading a book you found on a dog walk
  • watching a documentary about a topic you know nothing about
  • digging out an old t-shirt that has the name of your favorite band, cutting out the image & sewing onto the back of a jean jacket

… or whatever else you love to do.
Eatwell Guide - the10principles

Try this recipe for an easy balanced meal

These days I do my own cooking (vs. eating low-fat packaged meals). 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 “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!) 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 visited us from England. And she gave us a cookbook called: A Girl Called Jack.

Less sexy cooking helps you reach a healthy weight

Easy Balanced Meal - the10principlesI 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 weekly food budget (that’s about $20 Canadian). 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.

Easy Balanced Meal - A Hearty Chilli

Mumma Jack’s Best Ever Chili

Serves: 4
1 X 400g tin of the baked beans, kidney beans and chopped tomatoes
1 diced onion, small chopped chili & vegetable stock cube
75ml of red wine (optional)
3 squares of dark chocolate (what!?)
a shake of cumin & paprika
a splash of oil

Step 1:
Put onion, chopped chili, cumin & paprika in a large sauté pan. Add the oil and cook on low heat until the onion softens.

Step 2:
Pour in the wine (optional), crumble in the stock cube & add the chopped tomato. Simmer on low heat.

Step 3:
Drain beans & add to the sauce 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. I also add a can of chickpeas. 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.

Here are more of Jack Monroe‘s recipes.

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.

If you tried this recipe, let me know what you thought or any substitutes you made.

And what’s your favorite easy balanced meal?

I wanna know!

Kelly Clark



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