This Blood-Sugar-Balancing Meal Prep Will Help You Avoid Hanger All Week Long

Whether you’re diabetic, looking to increase your energy levels and alertness, or trying to maintain a happy weight by preparing your body to burn its own fat, balancing blood sugar levels will play a large role in your daily routine.

So what does it mean to “balance” your blood sugar? Whenever you eat food, your incredibly complex and hardworking body breaks that down into glucose to send into the bloodstream. When this occurs, the hormone insulin is released by the pancreas to help assist the movement of that glucose in order for the body to store it as energy. Typically, your body creates the correct amount of insulin in order to match the specific type of food you eat. When this occurs and the levels are balanced, our body is able to then burn more stored fat.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it goes. When we eat high-glycemic foods that are broken down too quickly, such as actual sugar, our blood sugar rapidly spikes. These elevated levels of glucose cause a large amount of insulin to be released, in order to reduce the sugar, which is then followed by a large drop in blood sugar. This roller coaster of blood sugar levels can cause mood swings, hunger, more sugar cravings, and, in some instances, weight gain. In the long term, it can even lead to diabetes.

So how do you keep your blood sugar balanced?

First, try to avoid foods that are processed or full of refined sugar as much as possible. Consume foods that are low (below 55) on the glycemic scale: a measure that takes into account many factors of each food, including carbohydrate type, fiber, protein, fat, food form, and method of preparation. Finally, make sure that your meal includes a mix of protein, healthy fat, fiber, and nonstarchy fruits and vegetables. For protein, try adding some wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef into your meals; both are great in helping slow the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. For fruits and vegetables, try to incorporate tons of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, or low-fructose fruit, such as berries and kiwi.

Also, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! Try tossing in some adaptogens or spices to your dishes for not only flavor but also an extra health kick. Cinnamon, for instance, has been shown to assist in lowering blood sugar. My favorite way to make sure I’m getting my daily dose? Mixing it into my morning coffee.

This three-day meal prep incorporates all of these principles. If you’re looking for more meal-prep guides like these, be sure to check out my site.

The menu:

  • Day 1: Taco bowl with quinoa, black beans, spinach, avocado, and ground beef
  • Day 2: Burger salad with kale, burger patty, avocado, asparagus, cabbage, and carrots
  • Day 3: Mediterranean bowl with quinoa, chicken, cucumber, olives, spinach, avocado, lentils, and chicken

Dinners

  • Day 1: Salmon with broccoli, sautéed spinach, and asparagus
  • Day 2: Turmeric roasted chicken with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and sautéed kale
  • Day 3: Veggie and egg scramble with spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms

Snacks

  • Day 1: Plain, unsweetened yogurt with blueberries and cinnamon
  • Day 2: No-bake coconut tahini cashew bars
  • Day 3: Choice of previous two days

The prep work

Make the quinoa (to use in the Mediterranean bowl and the Taco bowl).

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Rinse the quinoa well.
  2. Place the quinoa in a pot with water and salt, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high.
  3. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is cooked through. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Roast the veggies (to use in the salmon dinner, turmeric chicken, and the egg scramble).

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 12 stalks)
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 8 to 10 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Halve the Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut the broccoli into florets. Cut the woody end off the asparagus.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the vegetables on the pan and toss them with the oil, salt, and pepper until they’re well-coated. Redistribute in an even layer.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cook the beef (to use in the taco bowl and the burger salad).

Ingredients

  • ½ pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning of choice
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Method

  1. Divide the ground beef into two halves.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium and add half the ground beef to it. Cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until almost brown and done, then add taco seasoning, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a generous shake of pepper. Continue to cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes in total. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Take the other half of the ground beef, mix it with ¼ teaspoon of salt and remaining pepper, and form it into 2 burger patties.
  4. Wipe out the pan and return it to medium heat. When it’s warm, cook the patties until cooked through, about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Roast the other proteins (to use in the salmon dinner, Mediterranean bowl, and the chicken dinner).

Ingredients

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place salmon on one baking sheet and generously coat with red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken on another baking sheet and generously coat with turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and freshly ground pepper. Add both pans to the oven.
  3. Cook the salmon for about 10 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked to around 165°F, with no pink the center. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare the other vegetables (to use in the burger salad, Mediterranean bowl, and the veggie and egg scramble).

Ingredients

  • ½ head purple cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • ½ large cucumber

Method

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage.
  2. Chop carrots into small disks.
  3. Chop the mushrooms into ½-inch pieces.
  4. Peel the cucumber if not organic, and chop into ½-inch pieces.

Prepare the beans and lentils (to use in the taco bowl & Mediterranean bowl).

Ingredients

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can of black beans
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can of lentils

Method

Rinse beans and lentils well, then pour into separate containers to put in the fridge.

Prepare the no-bake coconut tahini cashew bars.

Use this recipe.

Day 1

Lunch: Taco bowl

Sauté 2 cups of spinach in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat until wilted. Mix in half of the prepped quinoa, all the black beans, the cooked ground beef, and 1 avocado.

Snack: Top unsweetened yogurt of choice with berries and cinnamon.

Dinner: Salmon

Sauté 2 cups of spinach in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat until wilted. Plate with salmon, ⅓ of the prepped broccoli, and half of the prepped asparagus.

Day 2

Lunch: Burger Salad

Chop 4 large leaves of curly kale into bite-size pieces, then massage them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt. Mix with half the prepped asparagus, all the chopped cabbage and carrots, and ½ an avocado (reserve the second half for Day 3). Top with 1 burger patty.

Snack: No-bake coconut tahini bars

Dinner: Turmeric Chicken

Chop 4 large leaves of curly kale into bite-size pieces, then saute over medium-high in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and ¼ teaspoon of fine-grain sea salt until wilted. Plate with 1 chicken breast on top, with all of the Brussels sprouts and ⅓ of the broccoli on the side.

Day 3

Lunch: Mediterranean Bowl

Sauté 2 cups of spinach in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat until wilted. Mix with the remaining half of the quinoa, remaining chicken breast (cut into pieces), ¼ cup of olives, remaining ½ an avocado from Monday, all of the chopped cucumber, and all of the prepped lentils.

Snack: Tahini bars or coconut yogurt

Dinner: Veggie & Egg Scramble

Whisk 3 large eggs until homogenous. Add ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt and a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Add 1 cup of spinach, remaining broccoli, and mushrooms. Warm through, then add eggs, and cook, stirring frequently, until set.

By |2018-07-12T11:18:12+00:00July 12th, 2018|

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