Most of us live perpetually busy lifestyles where we are constantly on-the-go. This oftentimes makes it difficult to shop, prepare and sit down to complete, nutritious meals. This, in turn, makes it easier to simply rely on the drive-thru or prepackaged meals when you come home starving or are running out the door for after-work activities.
CROCKPOT TO THE RESCUE!!! I tell my busiest clients to dust of this handy piece of cooking equipment and to make it their new best friend. Why? It does 95% of the work for you. All you have to do is a little prep before and then enjoy the fruits of it’s labor afterwards. Plus, there’s nothing better than walking into your house and smelling a delicious meal after a long day. The only finger you have to lift simply involves holding your utensils to dig in. Perfection.
Crockpot Italian Stuffed Peppers
6 bell peppers, cored and seeds removed
1 lb. ground turkey/lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
2/3 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup onion, diced
4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Additional marinara sauce for topping
In a large bowl combine all ingredients from ground meat to Italian seasoning. Stuff equal amounts into each bell pepper.
Pour about ½-3/4 cup of water into the crockpot (this prevents peppers from sticking). Place stuffed bell peppers inside, cover and set on low for 6 hours. Once done, split peppers in half and top with additional marinara sauce and sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese. Cover and warm until cheese has melted. Enjoy!
Unless you have time to go all out in the mornings, most breakfasts are simple, quick and easy to prepare and eat, oftentimes on the run. Things like cereal, granola bars, toast, fruit, etc. While I would rather see someone eat at least SOMETHING, these things lack protein, which leaves you starving and raiding the office candy jar before 10am. I can’t tell you how many clients come to me complaining that they can never get full and the culprit usually starts with a sparse, carbohydrate-based morning meal.
Here are the reasons why I recommend beefing up (haha) your morning meal:
- Consuming a higher protein diet has been show to reduce overall calorie consumption throughout the day.
- Protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates, keeping you fuller longer.
- It reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin and increases the satiety hormone peptide YY.
- Protein helps speed up your metabolism because it takes more energy for your body to digest. This is called the thermic effect of food.
And here are some tips on how to do it if you eat:
- Oatmeal or Cereal
- Cook it in milk instead of water (oats) or drink all the milk (cereal) (+8g PRO)
- Add 1 Tbs. nut butter or 2 Tbs. whole nuts (+4g PRO)
- Stir in an egg white (oats) (+3g PRO)
- Toast, bagel, English muffin
- Choose the whole grain variety (+2-4g PRO)
- Swap butter for nut butter (+4g PRO)
- Swap cream cheese for vanilla Greek yogurt (+6g PRO)
- Use the WHOLE egg, not just the white (+3g PRO)
- Add a slice of cheese (+5g PRO)
- Granola bar
- Crumble on top of a container of Greek yogurt (+12g PRO)
- Choose a high-protein brand (Kashi GoLean, Luna bars, RX bars are some of my favorites)
- Add a hardboiled egg or a handful of nuts (+4-6g PRO)
Now, is it breakfast yet?!?