A busy day following the Happy Healthy Brain Diet
Eating healthy is fun and all, but how do you decide when to eat and drink what? For me, it really works to have ‘go-to’ meals for when I don’t have much time or space in my mind to think about it, so I don’t go to unhealthy things when I get stressed. To inspire you for easy, go-to meals, here is a standard day in days I get stressed, inspired by the Happy Healthy Brain Diet!
Good morning sunshine!
A good day starts with a good breakfast! However, I usually have to get up at 6 A.M. and I refuse to go up earlier for a big breakfast. Therefore, right when I get up, I make a cup of green tea and drink a glass of water. Then I heat up some olive oil in a pan and throw in a fist full of spinach. When those leaves are beginning to shrink, I crack open an egg (or two, depending on how hungry I am) above the spinach and bake it nice and crispy. Then, I turn in for just a minute, whilst I grind some black pepper over it. The egg and spinach go on a wholewheat bun and there we go!
This quick and easy meal contains everything I need for a good start: green tea provides me with some antioxidants, the spinach adds the magnesium, fibers, vitamin B6, proteins, zinc and some Omega 3 fatty acids, the egg adds tryptophan, even more protein, even more omega 3 fatty acids, even more zinc and more antioxidants. Then, for the brain to make serotonin, you only need some carbohydrates, which is where the bread comes in. The black pepper has piperine, which is also linked to better mental health, but it also just adds a lot of flavor. You could also add turmeric to make it even more healthy, but I personally dislike strong flavours in the morning, which is why I skip that step. Furthermore, I bake the egg in olive oil, since this contains more healthy fats than most butters do.
On the road, I like to eat a banana as well, since the breakfast without the banana only contains 161 kcal, which is far too little for me. A normal banana adds about 90-100 kcal extra and adds a lot of fiber. At the office, I also drink a cappuccino, which adds about 100 kcal as well. With these extra’s, I consume about 361 kcal throughout the morning. For me, this is enough to make it through the morning. However, this depends on your body’s needs. Therefore, it could very well be that you need to eat a little more. You can for instance add an extra egg or add mushrooms to make it somewhat more filling.
If I have trouble with sleeping, I sometimes also prep some overnight oats in the evening and take those with me on the train. This saves me a lot of time in the morning and it is also very delicious.
Throughout the day
Throughout the day, I barely eat snacks. This works well for me, because I get more satisfaction out of consciously enjoying and focussing on bigger meals instead of snacking throughout the day. However, this differs per person. When I am at work, I usually eat 2 pieces of fruit, which are often grapes, pears or tangerines. These add healthy sugars, vitamins and fibers to make me feel fuller. I also bring a wholewheat bun with (pure) peanut butter for the carbohydrates and fatty acids.
I drink only water and green tea during the day and around four o’clock, I change to white tea. Drinking a lot keeps me from snacking (because I ‘munch’ on tea), makes me feel fuller for longer and the tea gives me many antioxidants and cafeine, which gives me a slow release of energy at work, without getting too hyper or dehydrated, which could happen if I drank coffee instead of tea. I always do bring snacks, which could either be a healthy energy bar or a small piece of dark chocolate, however I do not always feel the need to eat them. This adds up to about 500 kcal.
For dinner, I eat a little more varied of course. Quick and easy meals I eat a lot are pasta with tomato sauce and veggies or grilled veggies with fish filets (both out of the airfryer without added oil) and boiled, sweet potatoes. However, I also try to prep food in the weekends, so I also often eat mixtures that can go in wraps or moussaka. On the rest of my blog, you can find a lot of easy recipes that fit in well with the ‘Happy Brain Diet’, so I won’t spend too much time on this here. When I am being more strict on the amount of calories I consume, I strive to eat about 1500 calories a day. This means that I have about 550-600 calories left after my breakfast, lunch and snacks, which is often enough. However, if I need to go over that, for instance when eating moussaka, this is fine as well, since health always comes before the amount of calories. When I try to stay on the same weight, I give myself more calories at dinner, since this is my favourite meal of the day.
If you would like to get more ideas on how to eat healthy and stay happy, please click here for more healthy recipes or here for the lay-out of the Happy Brain diet! If you could like to contact me, please respond in the comments!
Lots of love,
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