Many people eat their largest meal at dinner, which is the time of day when we have the most time to prepare food and sit down to a meal with our family. However, this is the time of day when our digestive system is starting to slow down and the body is preparing for sleep. It’s also at this time of the day that our hormones and metabolism decrease. It is actually better to eat a hearty breakfast and large lunch, when our digestive system is at its peak and we need fuel to get through the day.
A dinner of healthy carbohydrates and a small amount of protein helps with the body’s relaxation and detoxification functions that happen while you sleep. A large salad as the main course of your dinner helps to support these functions and can also contribute to weight loss.
Eating a breakfast with plenty of protein and healthy fats, a large lunch full of vegetables and protein and a light dinner with a lot of vegetables and a small amount of healthy carbohydrates or protein at about the same time each day will help keep your body and its energy levels balanced and functioning properly. A mid-morning and late afternoon snack can also be added if you are feeling hungry.
Some suggested dinner ideas include:
Salads: A large salad with plenty of fresh, organic greens and colorful vegetables. Remember to watch the ingredients in your salad dressings. A light dressing of olive oil and lemon juice is best. Or, start with a large bowl of fresh steamed, sautéed or stir fried vegetables.
To the vegetables add any of the following:
Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, millet, couscous, amaranth, buckwheat, or other brown rice pastas.
Meats/Seafood: Small portions of grass-fed meats or wild caught fish.
Soups: Bean, lentil or rice soups with plenty of vegetables and homemade broths.
Keep your portions small but enough to fill you. View the rest of our blog for lots of great recipe ideas!
Bottom Line: It takes some effort to switch your main meal from dinner to lunch but it makes a significant difference in supporting your body’s natural systems. Make vegetables the main course of dinner and add small portions of grains, beans, meats or fish as a side dish.
Rebecca Haines, Certified Nutritional Consultant & Certified Holistic Health Coach