A formula meal is a dish that follows a specific formula each time, but allows you to change up the flavors and ingredients to create different takes on the same dish. I love that formula meals are customizable and don't require a recipe. They’re definitely my preferred way to cook! In today’s formula meal walks we're putting together a healthy breakfast. Whether you're looking to start your day with a warm, cold, sweet, or savory dish -- I’ve got you covered.

Formula Meals: Healthy Breakfast

A formula meal is a dish that follows a specific formula each time, but allows you to change up the flavors and ingredients to create different takes on the same dish. I love that formula meals are customizable and don't require a recipe. They’re definitely my preferred way to cook! In today’s formula meal walks we're putting together a healthy breakfast. Whether you're looking to start your day with a warm, cold, sweet, or savory dish -- I’ve got you covered.If you’re like me, you seek out recipes that use clean ingredients and are simple to make — especially first thing in the morning. Most people know it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast, but many people are confused about what to eat. They want easy and delicious options that will keep them full and satisfied until lunch.

That’s where my formula meals come in.

What is a formula meal, you ask? A formula meal is a dish that follows a specific “formula” each time you make it, but also allows you to change up the flavors and ingredients to create different takes on the same meal. The best thing about a formula meal is that there’s no require required. It’s definitely my preferred way to cook!

In today’s formula meal walks we’re putting together a healthy breakfast. Whether you’re looking to start your day with a warm, cold, sweet, or savory dish — I’ve got you covered.

Some of the common mistakes I see with my clients are either skipping breakfast altogether OR eating an unbalanced breakfast. When designing any meal it’s super important to include a high fiber carbohydrate, a lean protein, and a healthy fat. Breakfast is no different. An unbalanced breakfast (or no breakfast at all!) can result in a mid-morning hunger crash, which usually leads to overeating and mindless snacking later in the day (not to mention a cranky attitude). Eating a balanced breakfast keeps you satisfied all morning long, helping you avoid the Starbucks drive thru (or the vending machine) by 10 am.

Here’s the formula:

1 part protein: Include a lean protein source like eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, hemp seeds, turkey or tempeh sausage, protein powder, and beans/legumes.

1 part fruits OR veggies: For savory options include sauteed veggies like spinach, peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini (great with eggs or even as a topping for savory oatmeal). On the sweeter side, fresh fruit is a great choice. Try sliced apples, berries with your yogurt or cottage cheese, or mashed bananas in your oatmeal. Tip: go seasonal when you can…think apples in the fall, peaches and strawberries in the summer, oranges in the winter, etc.

1 part healthy fat: Add a serving of healthy fats like nuts, flax seed, chia seed, eggs, avocado, cheese, nut flours (like almond flour for gluten free pancakes), or nut butter to add even more staying power to your breakfast. Sometimes the fat and the protein are combined together, and that makes it easy!

1 part whole grains OR beans: Fiber is a crucial part of a filling breakfast, and it can come in the form of whole grains or beans. A serving of whole grains typically includes oats, whole grain toast (sprouted if you can find it) or quinoa. Beans include black beans, lentils or even bean flours like chickpea for making gluten free dishes.

Remember, the combination of protein, fat, and fiber is what keeps you full and energized.

Looking For Inspiration? 

Want More Formula Meals? Try these:

Stir Fries

Quinoa Salad

Energy Balls

Egg Muffins

Superfood Salads

How to Stay on Track at Summer Cookouts

It might feel impossible to stay on track with your health goals when you’re hanging out at cookouts all summer long, but I assure you it can be done. Staying aligned with your health goals and still having fun can be done, it just takes some thoughtful preparation. Keep in mind not all these tips may work for you. This is totally normal. Use the ideas that match your specific situation and eating style. Remember, healthy eating is not "one way fits all." The strategies that feel right for you are the best ones!

I love firing up the grill and entertaining in the summer — it’s a great excuse to get outside, be around friends, and whip up some fresh, seasonal dishes. I’ve also been to plenty of cookouts and parties where the only options are hotdogs, potato salad, chips, and soda. I’m guessing you have, too?

It might feel impossible to stay on track with your health goals when you’re hanging out at cookouts all summer long, but I assure you it’s not. Staying aligned with your health goals and still having fun can be done, it just takes some thoughtful preparation.

Peruse, Then Choose

An oldie, but a goodie, my friends! Before you load up your plate, peruse all your options and take note of what’s there. Once you’ve done that, you can decide which foods you’ll actually enjoy before just mindlessly piling stuff on your plate. In other words, if you’re not in love with potato salad, don’t load it on your plate just because it’s there. It’s easy to eat mindlessly when you’re at a party (especially when tempting foods are the main focus) but taking a few minutes to check in and think about whether you really want something before you put it onto your plate is a great mindfulness exercise to keep you on track.

Bring a Healthy Dish

Bringing a healthy dish to the party is my personal secret weapon for cookout invites. Being a mostly plant-based eater, I tend to have less choices at cookouts, so sometimes my own dish is all I eat. But that’s not the case for everyone. At the very least, your own healthy dish can serve as a supplement to normal cookout fare to help balance your plate.

Don’t Arrive Starving

If you’re planning on skipping breakfast and snacks to “save calories” for a summer soiree: don’t. When you show up to a party ravenous it’s nearly impossible to make sensible eating decisions. You’ll be too hungry to think through what you’re piling onto your plate (or into your mouth if it’s finger food) and you’re likely going to overeat. My advice for day-of-event noshing is to eat normally, but with an extra focus on getting in lots of fresh veggies and fiber. This will allow you to arrive already satisfied and help you to choose foods more in line with your goals, rather than feeling the need to “make up” for all the food you didn’t eat earlier in the day.

Stick to Your Plate

Eating without a plate is a surefire way to take in lots of unintentional calories. It’s way too easy to pick up a handful of this or that, unknowingly overdoing it before you even made your “real” plate. Rather than loitering around the food table, it’s a much better idea to place a handful of chips on your plate and then walk away.

Stop When You’re Satisfied

This is another time when taking a second to slow down and think about your food choices makes a big difference. Rather than eating until you’re stuffed, eat until you’re satisfied. It can take a lot of practice to recognize when you’re satisfied, but here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

Am I still hungry?
Am I finishing my plate just because it’s in front of me?
Am I even enjoying this food?
Am I thirsty?
Have I saved room for dessert? 🙂

If you’re satisfied, but just feel awkward without a plate or cup in your hands, sip on kombucha or seltzer water and focus on the company you’re in, rather than filling up another plate.

Pre-Commit

This is a great one if you already know the menu. Deciding what you’ll eat before you even arrive takes all the thinking out of the equation and allows you to just relax and have fun. This strategy works great when eating out at restaurants, too!

Keep in mind not all of these tips may work for you. This is totally normal. Use the ideas that match your specific situation and eating style. Remember, healthy eating is not “one way fits all.” The strategies that feel right for you are the best ones!

The Best Spiralized Veggie Noodle Recipes

Here are some of my favorite spiralized veggie recipes, from hearty main dishes to light and refreshing salads!

I love my spiralizer. It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools, and it definitely gets used in my kitchen at least once a week. I love pasta just as much as the next girl, but I’m always looking for fun ways to enjoy my veggies and get more in. Enjoying a big bowl of veggies that feels like a big bowl of pasta? Sign me up! Here are some of my favorite spiralized veggie recipes, from hearty main dishes to light and refreshing salads:

My Asparagus & Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto

This recipe couldn’t get much healthier – it’s veggie on veggie on veggie! From the zoodle base and the asparagus and tomato add-ins to the spinach-packed pesto, you’ve got the most satisfying bowl of veggies ever. The spinach pesto adds tons of savory flavor and creaminess, while the zoodles keep it light. It’s the perfect recipe to use up lots of farmer’s market produce.

My Creamy Sweet Potato Mushroom Pasta

Here’s another awesome veggie on veggie on veggie meal! Sweet potatoes make for excellent hearty spiralized noodles. Then these veggie noodles are mixed with mushrooms and onions for more veggie power and swirled in a creamy and rich sauce made of, you guessed it, more veggies! This is a great recipe for when you’re craving comfort food but still want a healthy meal.

My Lemony Zucchini Noodles with Spinach, Cherries & Pine Nuts

This cold zoodle dish is a delicious low carb and veggie-packed take on pasta salad. I love the combination of salty feta, sweet + tart cherries, and nutty pine nuts. This recipe is perfect for taking to a summer BBQ for a lightened up side dish.

Rainbow Veggie Pad Thai Noodles

This Pad Thai from Half-Baked Harvest mixes regular noodles with beet and sweet potato noodles for a satisfying, colorful, and veggie-filled version of traditional Pad Thai. The best part? This recipe is quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!

 

Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles

These noodles from Alex at Delish Knowledge are filled with salty, savory goodness from olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. The fresh veggies and basil keep everything light and summery, too. Yum!

Butternut Squash Noodles Carbonara with Mushroom Bacon

That’s right, these noodles from Kara Lydon are totally vegetarian, but keep all the smoky, savory, filling goodness of traditional carbonara pasta! The butternut squash noodles lighten up the dish, so you can still feel good about the cheesy sauce, and the mushroom bacon is a genius meaty addition. This is another great one for when you’re craving comfort food but want some veggies, too!

Zucchini Pasta with Lentil Bolognese

This zucchini pasta from Minimalist Baker is a hearty, vegetarian take on traditional pasta with meat sauce. I love the meaty flavor of the lentil bolognese with the light and fresh zucchini noodles. It’s just about the best veggie stand-in you’ll find for spaghetti and meat sauce. 😉

Fig & Zucchini Pasta with Hemp Seed Crumble

This light, summery zucchini pasta salad from Nutrition Stripped features a savory hemp seed crumble as a vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese. Anything with fresh figs and avocado is a win in my book!