What is the #1 thing you can do to nourish yourself for the day, but not overeat? Two words: portion control.
It is an established fact that we consume far too much as a nation. As individuals we hardly have a concept of what constitutes an appropriate serving size anymore. There are some visual cues that can be engaged to train our kids’ eyes and tummies to right-size our hunger and expectations.
Whether you are mom trying to maintain her weight or dad trying to lose a few or a kid trying to grow, do you know what each should be eating to hit that goal? Each body has different needs so there is no single right answer. It is a really great exercise to use an app or tracker to input each individual’s typical day and obtain your own barometer. No matter what you do, you will see that everything hinges on that #1 thing called portion control.
It is critical to start the day with a breakfast full of the right amount of protein, fibre and fuel.
Top five ways to control breakfast portions:
For a speedy, delicious way to make breakfast portions fun, consider making breakfast popsicles. The goodness is measured in for you and the out the door fun of mornings can go a lot more smoothly.
You don’t need to have traditional popsicle molds for these breakfast lifesavers, tiny paper cups on a cookie sheet will do. Consider using a plastic spoon as a stick so it can be eaten as muesli if it melts.
Makes 2-4 servings
Takes: 5 minutes plus freezing time
Prep and Cook:
Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to smooth into popsicle molds or paper cups. Top with more plain yogurt to fill to the top and top with an orange slice. Slide the spoon through and freeze overnight.
Hands up if you know someone who has gone ‘gluten free’ and you rolled your eyes. I know I have. The gluten-free craze has swept us off our feet and right onto our heads, causing confusion and misinformation. The Celiac Awareness Foundation estimates that only 1% of the population is truly celiac, requiring complete abstinence from all sources of gluten. An additional 6-9% may have a gluten intolerance that causes digestive upset and a host of other issues. The rest of us are just eating too much, eating too much wheat, have a system that is out of PH balance, are low digestive enzymes or other health related dietary issues. And the discomforts are all real but they are not gluten’s fault.
Here is the problem with ‘going gluten free’. Removing gluten and not choosing better quality food is gets you no further ahead. Products that still use refined white flour from rice or corn or other sources plus sugar are no better for you than their gluten containing brethren. They are only necessary if you truly can’t digest the gluten.
But there is a big ‘however’ here. Some gluten-free products are actually crafted with better ingredients. They are intended for an improved diet of whole healthy foods. Indeed, they serve the need of the 10% but they also feed the rest of us better. Here are a few that I have worked with and recommended.
Frozen Meal Pick: Antipasto’s Kitchen
GK Skinny Pasta is sold under the name ‘Antipasto’s Kitchen’ in Canada and found in the freezer section. Butternut squash ravioli that Nona would be proud of is a single serve meal that contains high-quality ingredients like crushed tomatoes (first!), squash and egg that all add up to a wholesome vegetarian dish. The more nutrient dense arrowroot flour is used rather than the corn starch that many gluten-free products substitute wheat flour with. It serves up 240 calories for its 5 g of protein and 6 grams of fibre.
Best Breakfast: Qi’a
Qi’a is a superfood intended to be used as a cereal. It contains chia seeds, buckwheat and hemp which are all gluten-free, nutrient-dense foods. This stuff goes with me everywhere and gets sprinkled on or stirred into other foods to enhance whatever I eat for breakfast. Toss me a yogurt from any corner store and I can be powered up in no time.
Smart Snacking: Que Pasa Organic Blue Corn Chips
Corn is one of the top genetically modified foods on the planet which is a good reason to avoid this naturally gluten-free starch. However, organic corn isn’t modified. And furthermore, organic blue corn contains the same phytonutrients that makes blueberries a powerhouse, anthocyanin. My pick is Que Pasa Organic Blue Corn Chips.
None of these products are slapped with a ‘gluten free’ label to disguise the fact that they are junk that has replaced cheap white flour with cheap rice flour. They are wholesome, delicious foods that happen to be digestible to those with an intolerance.