Food

4 Ways to Keep Your Meals Interesting

Often a slight shift is all you need to keep things exciting.

Maybe when you started Weight Watchers, you saw changes right away. But now, the changes in your body aren’t as noticeable to you. Or maybe you’re sick of eating the 'same old stuff' every day and you want to try something different. Maybe you just want to up the ante and see different results. Whatever the case, a slight tweak could be all that you need to see more results or feel more benefits.

Instead of throwing in the towel, taking a break, or doing a 180 degree shift, why not try pivoting 90 degrees instead? Often a little tweak is all it takes to get yourself back on track. Try this one-day plan that contains many of the same nutrients that you’re used to eating – but just wrapped up in a different package.

Instead of a smoothie for breakfast…

So many people turn to the convenience of a smoothie in the morning. It’s quick to make, you can pack it with protein, fruit and even veggies, and you can drink it anywhere. By the time you add all your measuring scoops and this and that and clean the blender, you may not have saved much time (seriously!). And do you find that it keeps you feeling full? (Many people say, “No!”)

But for the same number of SmartPoints, why not have some eggs instead? Two eggs scrambled, with two tablespoons of store-bought salsa, with a few slices of cucumber or a handful of berries on the side, with an optional ¼ of avocado is around the same number of SmartPoints as a smoothie, but will keep you going much longer.

Why this is good: Studies show that a breakfast high in protein and fat is the way to go for women. Not only will it fuel your body (and brain) for the day ahead, it will also help to reduce your hunger throughout the day and keep your hormones balanced. And eggs are rich in nutrients, like choline, that help to nourish your brain and improve the connections between your neurotransmitters.

Instead of a big salad with chicken for lunch…

A nice big salad with grilled chicken is a go-to for so many people. But if you eat it day after day, that big salad can induce big boredom. There’s nothing wrong with a big salad with some protein. In many ways, it’s a perfect meal. How else can you get plenty of leafy greens, some healthy fats and protein in such a clean package?

But the next time you need a little change of pace, why not try a veggie protein bowl?

Put ½ cup of cooked green or black lentils (for 3 SmartPoints) and three ounces of cooked chicken (for 2 SmartPoints) at the bottom of a bowl and top with all manner of vegetables, like chopped radishes, grated carrot and beet (when they’re raw and grated, they’re 0 SmartPoints), thinly sliced red onions, cucumber and tomato. Add plenty of fresh herbs and dress it with some lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt.

Why this is good: According to many types of traditional medicine, digestion is strongest midday. For this reason, this is the best time to eat foods that typically take more energy to digest, like richer and more fibrous, raw veggies. Adding the slow burning protein and complex carbohydrates (from the lentils) will help keep you fuller, longer.

Instead of a low-fat granola bar as a snack…

If you’re trying these tweaks, you may find that you don’t need that afternoon snack. But if you do, skip that low-fat granola bar, and opt for something with a little more protein. A handful of nuts is great and all, but in the throes of an afternoon snack attack, it can be hard to stop at a handful.

Instead, try a chia pudding, by combining 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with ¾ cup of almond or skim milk. The seeds will expand as they absorb the liquid, leaving you with a healthy “pudding.” Top with any type of fruit that you love and sweeten to taste with stevia and a pinch of cinnamon.

Why this is good: Chia seeds were used by Aztec warriors for energy and stamina. They’re rich in fibre, protein and healthy fats that will keep you feeling full long after that low-fat granola bar wears off.

Instead of grilled protein and vegetables…

Grilled protein and vegetables, maybe with a side of rice or potato, is a pretty basic and delicious dinner. But if this dinner comes to your plate night after night, you may be in need of a dinner makeover.

For your next dinner, why not mix things up wildly (and literally), by making a raw blended soup? Gazpacho, the traditional Spanish tomato and green pepper soup, is probably the most well known raw soup. For good reason – gazpacho is not only cooling in the summer heat, but it is also filling. And coming in at 3 SmartPoints per cup, you can easily fill a soup bowl with double that amount. Add a piece of grilled protein, like seared scallops, for a delicious and unusual dinner. Don’t forget to top your gazpacho with crunchy vegetable garnishes, like tomatoes and cucumber and peppers and onions. Some people love croutons, but we’ll leave that up to you. The crunchiness will slow you down as you eat.

Why this is good: Vegetable-based soups are a great way to boost nutrient intake while filling you up. But raw soups are a next-level healthy type of soup. Not heating the soup means that more of the vegetables’ vitamins and enzymes are left intact. As you age, your body stops producing enzymes, so it is important to eat plenty of enzyme-rich raw fruits and vegetables. And blending the soup helps to make it more digestible, which is perfect for a nighttime meal, as your digestions slows at night.