Meal Three, our mid-day meal is consumed at our highest rate of digestion because of the most direct angle of sunlight at that hour in the day. That deserves so much more than a few cold pieces of meat and cheese shoved between slices of bread, don’t you think? It WOULD be lovely to borrow French culture and take the two hours to prepare and enjoy a delicious meal that so totally nourishes us as we slowly chew and digest, appreciating every morsel. And there are such days, for sure, as well as some that seem rushed and we reach for something quick, doing the best we can!
Nutritional components of a Low Glycemic Eating Plan Lunch are protein (4 oz or the size of your fist) and two vegetables, or protein with one vegetable and a complex carb (maintaining the consistent energy). Remember that, having had the second meal of energy food, you are looking for fuel that is nourishing, maintaining yourself for a vibrant afternoon, keeping yourself at a high level of responsiveness, mentally and physically. Some choices:
PROTEIN – lean meat (can be deli slices), many varieties of beans (without fat), lentils, fat-free cottage cheese, eggs, 2 Tbsp hummus, nuts.
VEGETABLES– ½ sweet potato, zucchini and other squashes, avocado (no more than ½), cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, salad greens (careful on the dressing for sugar content), peppers, onions, or “Anytime Side” (recipe below).*
COMPLEX CARBS (1/2 Cup) – brown rice, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Whole Grain.
A garnish of black olives might be tasty – essential fat!
If convenience is demanded or time is short, a spinach or wholegrain wrap is a decent choice. Avoid heavy dressings or high-fat cheeses (or don’t eat much of the cheese). Soups and sauces can contain high amounts of sodium and sugar that inhibit fine quality fuel and efficiency. Label reading is helpful.
*“Anytime Side” is a recipe my daughter Beth developed, inspired by a spa she visited in Arizona:
One Zucchini, grated to a very thin “spaghetti”
¼ Pepper, chopped
¼ Onion, chopped
Saute’ Pepper and Onion in Olive Oil until softened, not browned. Add Zucchini and continue for three to five minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste and mixing it, finally heaping it with a spatula into a mound. Remove and serve with eggs, or any dish at meals one, three or five. Recipe = One Serving!