How I Plan Healthy Meals

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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With wine, of course!

Mal and I had a low-key, but really nice Valentine’s Day night. It involved wine, a simple dinner, and cuddling on the couch with a Netflix movie. Perfect.

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We watched Bad Teacher, which was absolutely terrible. We even considered shutting it off a few times””it was that bad. The storyline was cheesy, the characters were weird (but not it a good way), and I didn’t even realize Jason Segal had a main role until halfway through the movie. Blah. Don’t waste your time on this one.

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A movie that was really good (much better than I expected) was Crazy Stupid Love””and not just because Ryan Gosling was in it with his shirt off (ok, maybe it was a little). Mal and I watched Crazy Stupid Love over the weekend, and I liked a lot of things about it: the acting, characters, storyline”¦ it was even pretty funny at times. I definitely recommend it.

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Anyway, onto dinner!

Dinner

Neither of us felt like cooking last night, so Mal and I did our own thing for dinner with leftovers from the refrigerator. I made myself an arugula salad, which I topped with leftover chicken stir fry and truffle salt.

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On the side: a toasted Everything bagel with cream cheese and a glass of wine. Random, but it worked.

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For dessert, I ate a zillion peanut M&Ms. This handful is a just small representation of how many I actually ate. Once I get going with the peanut M&Ms, I just can’t stop!

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Feel Great Weight

I frequently receive questions about the number of calories I consumed when I was trying to lose weight, and people are usually surprised when they hear my answer. Then (and now) I typically consume 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day. This might sound like a lot of calories compared to some of the 1,200-calorie plans you hear about, but finding my Feel Great Weight wasn’t a short-term diet just to shed pounds. The word diet often means a temporary and restrictive eating plan that helps you to lose weight, but when you stop the diet, you often gain the weight right back. My diet wasn’t temporary, but something I planned to sustain for the rest of my life. Plus, I knew that drastically reducing my daily calorie count would leave me hungry and miserable so I set out to make changes that would stick.

In the past, I just threw together whatever convenient and low-calorie meal I could get my hands on. A lot of the time, it was one of those 300-calorie frozen dinners. In theory, eating them made sense for slashing calories, but it always left me hungry later on, which led me to overeat. I quickly learned that I needed to plan well-rounded meals with a good amount of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to satisfy my hunger and keep me full for hours. Take a look at this slideshow for a few things to keep in mind when you’re planning healthy meals.

Question of the Day

What are your tips for planning a nutritious, delicious, and satisfying meal?

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70 Comments

  1. That sounds like a fun Valentines Day! I’m glad you said something about Bad Teacher…I’ve thought about getting it. Crazy Stupid Love on the other day was so great. I was a mess throughout the entire movie (I have no idea why) but I loved it. I loved the characters and the story.

  2. Did you know that the chocolate in M&M’s are deliberately engineered to make you want to eat more and more of them? They taste good enough to make you enjoy them, but not so good that they’re satisfying, so you keep going back for more. It’s not just a sweet tooth!

  3. We watched Crazy Stupid Love a week or two ago. It was pretty enjoyable. Especially the big scene where we figure out how everyone is connected. That was really funny!

  4. I agree, that movie was horrible- funny at times, but pretty horrible. I too eat on average a higher number of calories per day. Im big into weight lifting- so I do burn a lot every day. When Im meal planning I look for a serving of complex carbs and a lean protein as the base. I will add in healthy fats and veggies into some of the meals as well. I try and make everything myself so I know exactly what’s going into my body. I have a ton of clean healthy recipes on my blog!

  5. Girl, when I cook, it’s ALWAYS paired with wine! I don’t want to be labeled as “domestic”, so I figure, I’ll keep it classy and sultry with some vino. Your calorie count doesn’t sound too high, especially if you’re working out. I know they say 1,200 is the number to shoot for if a person is seriously overweight. And you most definitely were not. I am small (5’2″, happily about 98 lbs, muscular), and I work out like a beast. I eat about 2400 a day. Granted, I’m a seafood-eating vegetarian, but most people gawk at the number when they look at me. I enjoy the comments from co-workers when I’m eating a ginormous salad for lunch. They’re like “Holy salad…” or “That salad is as big as your face.” But even though the quantity (and quality) is huge, it’s not calorically dense at all. It’s amazing how much food you can consume when you make healthy choices! But I too love peanut M&Ms… =)

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