Meal Timing and Combinations

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,623
    Nutrition Expert Elizabeth Blumber discusses meal timing and combinations.

    Elizabeth Blumberg:Hi! My name is Elizabeth Blumberg and I am talking about understanding the connection between nutrition and stress. Now we are going to talk about functional eating, portion control, meal timing and meal combinations. Let's start of with functional eating.

    Functional eating is the best way to eat for fuel, and that's fueling your body for optimal energy. We will start of by looking at carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, such as apples, or oranges, or really any of fruit or even bread or Multi-Grain crackers, provide you with a quick form of energy. Now while this quick burst of energy is very helpful and important, it's rather short lived.

    So we live on to another form of macronutrient and that's protein. Protein, typically found in lean meats, chicken, other forms of poultry, fish and low fat dairy products, is actually utilized to provide you with energy but it's more long-term energy. In addition, protein also helps to stimulate brain function and it also helps to support your stress-coping glands, that's the adrenals.

    Next we have fat. Fat is also important for balancing your energy levels for even a longer stretch of time. In fact, without enough fat in your diet you might actually find yourself pretty hungry and finally, you need food even more frequently than it would be recommended. So combining proteins, fats and carbohydrates, is essential for optimal stress management and adrenal gland balance.

    Next, portion control. Many of you may be thinking portion control will probably talk about eating eight ounces of this, or half of cup of that but I would like to take it into, sort of, a different direction. With respect to portion control and managing stress, we look closely at carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are very difficult for the body to metabolize when under stress. So having too many of them can actually end-up having a negative effect, particularly on weight.

    The opposite is also true. Having too few carbohydrates such as following a diet, like the Atkins Diet, can also be very stressful to the body because long-term suppression of insulin and carbohydrate intake can lead to a sling of metabolism. So the conclusion is, you don't want to have too many carbs, but you don't want to have too few. So how do you couple everything together to provide for that optimal balance? Well, one example would be an apple. As we discussed, it's a carbohydrate, it gives you quick energy. However, it's short lived. So with that apple, we would combine, let's say, for example, a palm full of nuts. Healthy fat and also protein. So there is your perfect balance. That helps to sustain your energy levels, balance your blood sugars and promote balance stress for throughout the rest of the day.

    Now, what about the timing of your meals? We cannot emphasize just how important meal timing is. You have probably heard the saying, you are what you eat. But I also believe you are when you eat and that is when you eat can dictate how much and the types of foods that you end-up choosing. Upon, waking in the morning, you need to make sure that you eat within one hour. From there, you need to fuel your body every three to four hours and each meal and snack must contain some form of a protein, a carbohydrate and a fat. An example of a main meal that would resemble this equation would include your protein being a piece of grilled chicken breast, your carbohydrate could be in fact, beans or lentils, or maybe even carrots. And then your healthy fat could be a little bit of salad dressing, maybe an olive oil based salad dressing on a nice big green bed of lettuce. That is the perfect combination of utilizing your nutrients for stress management.

    Now, not only should you eat every three to four hours, but you do want to make sure that you have four to six meals throughout the day. So we don't want just keep eating until midnight. So four to six times per day, every three to four hours to ensure optimal stress management through nutrition. Next, we are going to talk about the ways in which vitamins and minerals can be used to better support your stress.