Mini-Meal Basics

by Marla on August 24, 2009 · 13 comments

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The goal each day is to maintain balance and equilibrium mentally and physically. In order to do that we need to keep fuel in the tank. Mini-meals help to keep blood sugar levels in check. They are a well balanced combination of a lean protein, healthy fat, and whole food carbs. With these meals we can avoid potential spikes and crashes throughout the day. Staying well fed increases our ability to avoid reaching for poor food choices.

My cravings for higher calorie comfort food decreased exponentially once I started eating 6 smaller meals every day. Mini-meals are as important for our kids as they are for us. Demonstrated below are ideas with well rounded protein, fat and carbohydrate ratios that will keep you satisfied. Until the next meal.

snack-pick-smoked-salmon

Wild Smoked Salmon on Sprouted English Muffin

2 ounces wild smoked salmon, 2 tablespoons whipped light cream cheese, 1/2 Ezekiel sprouted wheat english muffin. Topped with minced dried onion, black pepper and fresh cilantro or chives. Try a Homemade Frappuccino with this.

toasted-cheese-and-chicken-breast

Open Faced Toasted Chicken and Cheese

2 ounces organic smoked chicken or turkey breast, one slice of havarti, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese. One slice of Ezekiel sprouted wheat bread. Topped with black pepper and fresh herbs. Toast until the cheese melts.

mini-pizzas

Mini Pizzas

One slice of  havarti, cheddar, mozzarella, etc. One slice Ezekiel sprouted wheat bread or sprouted english muffin, a few spoonfuls of your favorite tomato sauce. Layer sauce on top of bread, top with cheese and toast in toaster oven. Sprinkle with herbs.

hummus-tofu-pasta

Whole Grain Pasta with Hummus and Tofu

I know it might sound like an odd combo, but it is very tasty. This mini-meal has sauteed tofu, whole grain pasta, roasted red pepper hummus and fresh cilantro. Sometimes I grab whatever is in the fridge and make a little medley out of it. As long as I have the proper ingredients to get my nutrient ratios down it is fun to experiment with unique flavor combinations.

The bottom line with the mini-meal is have fun with it. Make up your own little sandwiches and small bowls of food. Always being mindful to protein, fat and carb ratios. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how they tie you over between the bigger meals of the day.

More Mini Meal Ideas

Here are some pre/post workout and general small meal suggestions. The mini-meal should be consumed about 1/2 hour before or after exercise, between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. Try to leave about 2 to 3 hours between all meals.

  • Cottage cheese: 1/2 cup lowfat or non-fat with a few tablespoons of chopped nuts or seeds
  • Egg whites: 1/2- 1 cup, scramble them up, sprinkle some seasonings and some cheese or hummus on top
  • Hard boiled egg: one egg plus 1/2 banana or 1 piece Ezikiel sprouted bread
  • Oat bran or oatmeal: (about 1/4 cup dry) with stevia to sweeten and 1 tsp ghee or butter or 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and some cinnamon
  • Yogurt parfait: fat free greek yogurt with stevia and ground flaxseeds or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, add some fruit if you wish. Try a Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfait
  • A fruity yogurt shake with flaxseed or some chopped nuts
  • Toast with spread: 1 piece of Ryvita Crispbread or Ezikiel toast with 1 tablespoon of a natural nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed) or whipped light cream cheese and a dab of all fruit jam
  • Puffed brown rice, spelt or kamut cakes with spread: 2 or 3 cakes with 2 ounces smoked salmon plus 2 tablespoons hummus or whipped light cream cheese.

Simple Garnishes

Chopped fresh herbs sprinkled on top of your open faced toasted sandwich make it extra special and good looking. Have some italian parsley, cilantro and basil on hand. Dried herbs are good too. Dried minced onion and toasted garlic add loads of flavor.

Toasting

This small addition of heat adds so much flavor and dimension to your meals. The crispiness of the bread and the slightly charred cheese creates such a great party in your mouth of flavors. The flavors seem to come together magically with the addition of heat.

 


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dryer Vent Cleaning September 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Excellent site, keep up the good work

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2 Tea March 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Howdy, I was just looking through some blogs and I got to your site from bing. I read some of your posts and thought they were really good. Thank you, I will visit your webpage again soon.

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3 Amanda March 20, 2011 at 6:56 am

Bookmarking this post… AWESOME recipes for so many occasions!

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4 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Great ideas! Hope you had a good weekend!

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5 Erika March 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I try to eat smaller meals more frequently, too – I find that I feel so much better! My favorite mini-meal these days is 1 slice of whole grain bread with 1/4 avocado and a few slices of smoked salmon. In fact, that’s my breakfast at least a few days a week.

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6 Marla March 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Erika: Smoked salmon and avocado is one of my favorite combos. Love it with toast and as hand rolls wrapped in nori seaweed sheets. That is the perfect way to start the day. Two healthy fats that keep you going for a while.

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7 Heather March 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Love this Marla! I often find myself grazing on the wrong
things during the day. I really love your suggestions.

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8 Shaina March 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Such a fantastic post, Marla. I hope you had a lovely weekend!

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9 Amanda March 21, 2011 at 5:55 am

What an awesome post Marla! Love all these mini meals

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10 Amy | She Wears Many Hats March 21, 2011 at 6:42 am

This is an area I really need to pay attention to. I go
long stretches without eating anything and then stuff my face out
of feeling starved. I’m sure it would help me drop some weight if I
could be better about it. Tasty ideas!

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