I get this question a lot: Lindsay, what do YOU eat? I actually love the question, but I stick to two words: WHOLE FOODS—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, fatty fish, lean meats/poultry, eggs, healthy oils, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and minimal processed foods. Of course it isn’t perfect and I do love my chocolate from time to time, but I can confidently say I stick to an H3 way of eating with some extra calories here and there—1200 calories per day would leave me passed out in my office if I tried to keep that up on a consistent basis. No one wants that. Anyways, the following foods and meals are constantly in my meal plan:
- Pan Seared Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. I am constantly making this dinner. I have finally nailed down the cooking technique of pan searing fish then finishing the cooking in the oven. As the Brussels sprouts are roasting in the oven, I’m doing my preparation for the salmon. In regards to meal planning, I’ll make extra salmon and Brussels to incorporate later on in the week.
- Chicken Salads. I would bet 3 out of my 7 lunches per week consist of a salad. I bake 3-4 chicken breasts on a Sunday; meanwhile, I spend time chopping vegetables and adding mixed greens into my salad containers as the chicken is cooking away. This is when I have to get creative or my salads would get boring after week 2. Common mix-ins: cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cashews, toasted coconut, leftover roasted vegetables, raisins, cranberries, feta cheese (use a light brand), and various leafy greens. See picture.
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Spinach. I love using the grill so I’ll put grill marks onto the pork tenderloin then finish in the oven. As the pork is cooking through, I add my sweet potatoes to the oven and make sure they are seasoned with a touch of salt, white pepper and garlic powder. My very last step is sautéing the spinach because it cooks up so fast—makes my life easier since I’ve spent more time on the pork and sweet potatoes.
- Hashes. Talk about an easy re-heatable meal. As seen in the picture, I roasted off extra sweet potatoes and while that was roasting I decided to sauté onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers (seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme). Once the sweet potatoes were complete I added them to the vegetable mix and let it cool down. I evenly distribute my “hash” to my containers and add leftover pork tenderloin for a nice lunch or dinner later in the week. This would also be very vegetarian friendly by incorporating black beans instead of the pork tenderloin.
- Nuts. Everyone in the kitchen knows that this is my daily metabomeal. As long as I portion them out, they are great mid-afternoon and holds me over until dinner. Added bonus—they add texture to a lot of dishes. I love making salads or rice pilafs with sliced almonds or chopped pecans to get the crunch.
- Omelets and Scrambles—the perfect “back-up meal.” Every now and then I get home later than expected and the thought of waiting an hour for dinner isn’t realistic. I’ll pull out mushrooms, onions and spinach and let that cook down. Once cooked, I add some eggs and make a nice scramble. A touch of parmesan at the end gives me that little bit of saltiness needed. On the side, I may have a toasted whole wheat English muffin or some fruit. I love this because I always have these ingredients in the refrigerator.
At the end of the day, I am a home cook—I am not fancy and I am still learning a lot from Chef Karla and Chef Hicham. They inspire me to try new things, but I know I have to make it realistic at home. I’ll have a slice of pizza every now and then and there is nothing I love more than an awesome burger, but I know I have the ability to cook so why not DO IT, have some fun and know that it is only benefiting my health as well as creating my own specialties.