As it slowly begins to "smell" like summer, I thought that many of you will start to pay a little more attention to your diet. So, what's better than seeing how 2,000 calories that we get daily from our meals and that are rich in nutrients look like? The goal, of course, is to choose foods or recipes that are low in sugar, saturated fats, and salt, while they should be high in fiber, complex carbs, and protein. The reason I chose 2000 calories as a number is because these are usually recommended for the average adult. You may have also noticed that this number is listed below the nutrition chart on the packaging of the products we buy from the supermarket as daily reference intake.
The ideal thing to do is to make proper dietary choices and improve our eating habits -of course by having complete meals. In other words, we take care not to neglect our diet and health, but to consume meals that contain the nutrients that our body needs and that meet the requirements of the healthy eating plate.
So, shall we take a look at a few recipes that you could include in your daily menu?
Breakfast: Porridge (267 kcal, Carbs: 38 g, Sugar: 15 g, Protein: 9 g, Fats: 8 g, Fiber: 3 g)
It is no coincidence that oats have become part of our daily diet. Especially in recent years, we come across it in countless recipes. The classic porridge recipe may range from 267 calories -like the above recipe- to 500 calories, depending on the ingredients and the amount you consume, of course. Such a breakfast is a good source of protein, fiber, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. Ideal to start your day feeling full and energetic!
Midday snack: Salmon avocado whole-wheat quesadillas (282 kcal, Carbs: 16 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 18 g, Fats: 16 g, Fiber: 2.6 g)
What's better than a brunch snack that will be both delicious and filling? This particular "sandwich" contains plenty of protein and "good" fats due to the salmon and avocado it contains. If you want, you can simply add some salad to your sandwich, and that way, you will fill your stomach without adding too many extra calories to your meal.
Lunch: Chicken chickpea and avocado salad (493 kcal, Carbs: 37 g, Sugar: 6.8 g, Protein: 23 g, Fats: 26 g, Fiber: 7.9 g)
For those of you who love chicken, its combination with legumes and other pseudo-cereals will seem unique. A balanced meal that contains complex carbs, protein, and "good" fats is ideal for lunch. In fact, this meal is rich in vitamin K, while it also contains niacin and many of the B-complex vitamins, manganese, magnesium, selenium, iron, and potassium, all the necessary nutrients for the body’s proper function.
Afternoon snack: Chocolate avocado mousse with orange (234 kcal, Carbs: 22 g, Sugar: 19 g, Protein: 4.7 g, Fats: 13 g, Fiber: 5.9 g)
And now, let's get to the dessert of our day! Yes, a homemade dessert which consists of nutrient-rich foods and not processed sugar or ingredients rich in saturated or trans fats. So, how delicious does a mousse with bananas, dates, cocoa, and avocado sound to you? It is rich in antioxidants and is a good source of fiber.
Dinner: Stuffed calamari (439 kcal, Carbs: 11 g, Sugar: 7.7 g, Protein: 34 g, Fats: 28 g, Fiber: 1.5 g)
As we’ve already said, seafood should be part of our weekly menu! For this reason, the above dish is something that you can add to your diet plan either as lunch or as dinner. Dinner generally needs to be a lighter meal that -at the same time- will make us feel full for longer and provide us with all the necessary nutrients. That's why, while we can consume a burger or souvlaki from time to time, we should make a little more proper and balanced choices in our daily lives!
Are you still a little hungry? So far, with the above meals, we are at 1700 calories - I say this in case you want to stop here! Otherwise, if you are a little hungry, then here’s another nutritious and healthy meal that you can have!
Extra snack: Bruschetta with vegetables and cream cheese (312 kcal, Carbs: 21 g, Sugar: 6.7 g, Protein: 14 g, Fats: 18 g, Fiber: 5.5 g)
Something small but complete that can -of course- satisfy any cravings you might have during the day. You can eat it as an extra small meal at any time of the day - it doesn't mean it's only an after-dinner snack! Just add it to your eating plan the moment you feel you may have a craving.
You see? It’s not so bad what the average person is supposed to be able to consume within his/her day!
The goal is to consume these calories from meals that will bring you satiety and provide you with all the macronutrients, several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By eating properly, you will quit mindless snacking, and you will eat whenever you should during the day. Of course, every person is different and you should always consult a specialist in terms of what is best for your body!
This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
* The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of blogs and articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.