In this country we’ve grown accustomed to potatoes and bread at dinnertime. The thing about this is that dinner isn’t the best time to fill up, ever.
We use most of our energy in the morning and afternoon, and need less calories as the day goes on. Have you heard this one before? “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a peasant.”
It’s an old adage that actually has research backing it up. Check this out from Boston.com:
Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) studied how changing the timing of meals by switching between a high calorie breakfast and a high calorie dinner, but keeping the total daily calories the same, would impact weight loss. In this 12-week study, 50 overweight women were randomly assigned to a 1,400-calorie diet that consisted of a breakfast of 700 calories, a lunch of 500 calories, and a dinner of 200 calories or the same calories and same food choices but with the breakfast and dinner meals switched.
While both groups lost significant amounts of weight, the women consuming the large breakfast lost an average of approximately 19 pounds compared to only about 8 pounds in the large dinner group. The breakfast group also lost twice as many inches around their waists than the large dinner eaters. Since the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite, was lower during the day in the breakfast group, these women also experienced higher levels of satiety, or that filling of fullness, throughout the day. In addition, large breakfast eaters also had significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose, and fat in their blood, which may help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
One of the best ways to eat dinner “like a peasant” is to stick with protein and veggies. I love the steamed green beans recipe below.
Start with a bag of washed and ready-to-go yellow and green beans (my bag also has sliced carrots in it). Add 3-5 tbsp of water to a pot and then drop the beans into the pot. I recently got this great steamer top from a friend and it has worked amazingly for me. I love how cute it is too. Turn your stove onto medium-high and leave the steamer top on for 5-15 minutes. The longer you leave the veggies on the stove, the softer they get. I love some crunch left in mine so I find that 7 minutes is perfect.
Simple? Um, yep. Ridiculously so, but also a great addition to any evening protein that’s fast and simple.
Steamed veggies may not seem that exciting but they’re wonderful when you zest them up a bit. I love using Penzey’s spices. I’m often trying new and different combinations to get different flavors from my veggies. I also drizzle 1-2 tsps of olive oil and will use different flavors that I pick up from my favorite olive oil and vinegar store, Vinaigrette. I love that I can buy small bottles to try their many different flavors.
Sometimes I’ll also add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice to bring a little acid and brighten up the veggies. There’s endless possibilities for yu-MMMMM-iness. Five M‘s for all the great choices and supreme healthiness of it all.
Some of my favorite combinations:
- Truffle olive oil/California Seasoned Pepper
- Rosemary olive oil/ Sunny Paris
- Garlic olive oil/ Mural of Flavor/ lemon juice
You can also steam squash, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, sugar snap peas, and more. Green beans happen to be one of my faves though.