Creating meals that improve energy and performance

Are you ever hungry within 30 minutes of having oatmeal in the morning or still starving despite bringing a salad with chicken for lunch?

It’s likely because the meal was missing one of the 4 components of a complete plate: complex carbohydrate, protein, fat, or fiber.

Start building complete meals and you’ll have more energy at workouts and during the day, improve recovery, and decrease cravings.

On your plate aim to make room for:

Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and fruit.

They’re great because they:

- Provide fuel to the muscle and brain

- Rich source of fiber to support stable blood sugars

- Great source of vitamins and minerals

- Support a healthy gut microbiome

Protein rich foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds.

They’re great because they:

- Contain essential amino acids that support muscle repair and growth.

- Support immune and cellular function.

- Digest slowly to support stable blood sugars and feeling satisfied at meals.

- Provide vitamins and minerals like B12, iron, and calcium

Healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil, avocado, peanuts, nuts, seeds, fatty fish.

They’re great because they:

- Support brain health and nerve function

- Facilitate the absorption of vitamins and provide antioxidants

- Slow digestion and feeling satisfied at meals

Fiber and micronutrient rich foods like all the fruit and vegetables.

They’re great because they:

- Provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

- Support immune function and decrease inflammation.

- Great source of fiber to support healthy gut microbiome

- Provide volume to meals to feel full and satisfied.

How to put this all onto one plate

Serving sizes of each macronutrient will depend on a few factors like gender, body composition, physical activity, and health goals. To figure out your specific amounts follow the steps here or work with a dietitian to help you.

To get you started aim to build your plate to have:

~1/2 to 2 cups of complex carbohydrates

~3-6 oz of protein rich foods

~1-3 c of vegetables

~1-2 servings of fruit

~1-2 tbs of healthy fat

What this might look like:


Overnight Power oats

Old fashion oatmeal (Complex carbs)

Greek yogurt (Protein)

Mixed berries (Fiber, micronutrients, carbs)

Chia seeds (Healthy fat, fiber)

Nut butter (Healthy fat, protein)


Veggie Power Bowl

1c Lentils (Protein, complex carbs)

1c Butternut squash (Complex carbs)

Chopped Kale (Fiber, micronutrients)

Olive oil dressing (Healthy fat)

Pumpkin seeds (Healthy fat, protein)

2-3 Tangerines (Fiber, micronutrients, carbs)


Bento snack box

Mixed nuts (Healthy fat, protein)

Sugar snap peas, bell peppers, and cucumber (Fiber, micronutrients)

Hummus (Fiber, healthy fat)

Whole grain crackers (Complex carbs)


Grilled chicken or fish tacos

Corn tortillas (Complex carbs)

Black beans (Complex carbs, protein)

Grilled fish or chicken (Protein)

Guacamole (Healthy fat)

Shredded cabbage and sliced bell peppers (Fiber, micronutrients)

Let’s review the benefits:

- Your body will get the fuel it needs from carbohydrate and protein to power through workouts and recover quicker.

- The combination of protein, fat, and fiber will leave you feeling full and satisfied longer.

- You’ll be less likely to overeat or give in to evening snacking.

Start today, at your next meal fill in any missing pieces and pay attention if your hunger and energy improve. I have a feeling it will.

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