Healthy Meals in a Pinch

Egg Omelet

If you've read my book Lean and Mean, you'll know that I'm a big fan of leftover dinner for breakfast and lunch. You make enough at night to carry you through two more meals the following day. It's a convenient way to prepare your meals and stay on track.

There'll be the odd time, however, when there's not enough food for the following day. What do you do then?

Eggs Occasionally, Not Daily

If meat is scarce for breakfast, look no further than eggs. Eggs are a staple protein source for breakfast. In fact, for many people, eggs are the only protein source for breakfast. That's a mistake! Have them once or twice a week, but no more than that.

Trust me, I know what eating eggs daily can do to you. I used to have half a dozen eggs every morning for breakfast. I thought I was doing well until my energy levels started to wane around midmorning. A food intolerance test revealed a high score for egg whites and yolks, so out went the eggs, in came the meat, and up went my energy levels.

Now, I have eggs occasionally for breakfast, usually when there's no leftover meat, and I experience no more dips in energy.

The Right Tuna at the Right Time

What if there are no leftovers for lunch? Again, it's not a problem. I typically recommend a hearty leaf salad at that time. On the rare occasion that you have no protein from the night before, use tuna. I'm very particular about the type of tuna (I go through it in more detail in Lean and Mean), but assuming you get the right one, tuna is a convenient protein source.

At one point, I used to have two cans of tuna every day in my salad, and I'm not talking about the good stuff, I'm talking about whatever tuna was on special that week! Did I develop an intolerance to tuna? No, but my mercury levels went through the roof, so I stopped eating tuna completely for years and my mercury levels dropped dramatically.

When I reintroduced tuna, I made sure to get only the good stuff and to consume it on an infrequent basis, like once or twice a month. Mercury is no longer an issue, and now if there's no leftover protein for lunch, I go with tuna.

Superfoods are Super Convenient

What about dinner? Let's say you have some meat or fish to cook but no carbohydrates. What can you do then that's quick, convenient, and healthy?

The answer is simple, go with a "superfoods salad" like the one offered by Eat Smart. We always have some type of packaged kale, broccoli, and cabbage salad in the fridge. If there are no fibrous carbs one night, I'll put some of this stuff in a bowl, spruce it up with whatever is available (e.g., avocado, olives, sundried tomatoes, etc.), sprinkle some olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt, and voilà!

This is a raw vegetable salad without lettuce (have lettuce for lunch, not dinner). Although kale, broccoli, and cabbage are highly nutritious, keep in mind that they're goitrogenic foods that can have a negative impact on your thyroid if you eat them raw too often.

Bottom Line: Eggs, tuna, and packaged vegetable salads can come in handy when you don't have enough leftovers.

To your health,

John Paul Catanzaro

Related: A Simple After-School Snack
Related: A Quick Bedtime Snack

Posted Aug 15, 2018

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