This 1-Day Healthy Eating Meal Plan Will Help You Get Back on Track
When you're feeling sluggish and ~off~, this simple guide will give your body the reboot it needs.
Maybe you spent one too many weeknights trying new restaurants with your best friends, took a week-long getaway to a foodie haven, or just had a bad case of the chocolate cravings this month. Whatever your reason for straying from your healthy eating goals (or Dry January), you might not be feeling so hot afterward.
"Overindulging can disrupt your GI system and slow down your digestion,” says Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and the author of the new book Hanger Management. “To rev your metabolism and feel fired up, feed your body right. It’s about nourishing yourself mindfully.”
That means meals packed with the nutrients you need to get your body back to feeling its best. Luckily, you can reenergize yourself in just one day with the help of this meal plan. In general, be sure to include a mix of protein, fiber, and vegetables to give your body the reboot it needs. (Want more than one day? Try this 30-Day Clean-ish Eating Challenge.)
“You can’t beat some eggs and whole-grain toast to get yourself back on track,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., a Shape Brain Trust member and the author of The Small Change Diet. Eggs contain vitamin B12, which gives you energy. They’re also rich in cysteine, an amino acid that helps your body produce glutathione, an antioxidant that becomes depleted when you drink alcohol, she says. Healthy whole-grain toast (note the difference between whole wheat and whole grain) is loaded with filling fiber, keeping you satiated all morning.
For an extra boost: Add a side of sliced banana for potassium, a mineral that helps regulate the levels of fluids in your system and enhances muscle strength, says Albers.
Avoid anything heavy, which can cause you to feel sluggish. Opt for a salad with dark leafy greens (such as spinach or kale), which contain minerals like magnesium and calcium that many of us don’t get enough of. Then add veggies along with muscle-building protein, like chicken or canned tuna, says Gans. If you're a plant-based eater, top your bowl with vitamin B–rich chickpeas for staying power. (One of these ultra-satisfying salads will do the trick.)
For an extra boost: Drink plenty of water at lunch and throughout the afternoon to stay hydrated, says Albers. Hydration is critical for energy.
Broiled salmon with roasted vegetables is an excellent choice for your last meal of the day. The produce gives you antioxidants, and the fish supplies protein and healthy fats, says Gans. Or try pasta with shrimp and veggies sautéed with garlic and olive oil for the same benefits.
For an extra boost: Munch on an apple, a pear, or an orange for an after-dinner snack. These fruits not only are filled with vitamins and fiber but also have a high (that is, energizing) water content, says Albers.