Grey’s Anatomy. The Mindy Project. Suits. What do all of these shows have in common? Netflix – oh, and are my favourite TV shows. Raise your hand if you have ever found yourself binge watching TV shows available on Netflix. Raise your other hand if you have found yourself mindlessly eating while watching these shows. Believe it or not, both of my hands went up. Who doesn’t like to sit back and unwind after a long work day by eating a big dinner, drinking some wine, and/or munching down on some ‘feel good’ snacks? Have you ever paid attention to exactly how much food or liquid was consumed during an unwinding (aka mindless eating) session? Mindless eating can result in overeating. Whether it be watching TV, responding to emails, or Instagraming while eating, if your mind is not fully engaged in the process of food consumption (i.e. your body is not honouring physical and satiety cues) overeating can result.
Overeating causes your body to work that much harder to digest and absorb the large amounts of food consumed. The result? Fatigue. The overproduction of insulin (hormone responsible for moving glucose into cells) can lower the amount of sugar available for immediate energy – this attributes to low energy levels. While chronic overeating can lead to low energy levels, low energy levels can lead to overeating all of which can lead to weight gain and fatigue. Sounds like a lose-lose situation, right? Wrong – there is hope if this vicious cycle can be broken. Consuming well portioned and balanced meals, adequate sleep, and controlling stress are some factors that can help break the overeating-low energy cycle. One rule that I encourage my clients to adhere to is to consume a healthy snack if meals are greater than 5 hours apart. This can help prevent overeating (i.e. unbalanced and large food portions) at the next meal. Examples of energy sustaining snacks include 6 oz low fat Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of natural granola and fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of berries with 1 oz nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds) and 5 whole grain cracker with 1/4 cup hummus. Time to clean up your diet? Put mindless munching to rest and reclaim your energy levels? Connect with me.
Basil and Mushroom Chicken Carrot Fettuccine
Makes 2 servings
200g chicken breast, cut up
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp garlic, minced
1/2c white mushrooms, cut up
1/2c red bell pepper, diced
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 roma tomato, diced
3 large carrots, ends removed, peeled into ribbons
1c marinara sauce
Black pepper, ground (to taste)
Using a vegetable peeler, peel carrots into ribbons and set aside.
In a skillet, cook chicken breast with cooking spray. Set aside once cooked.
In a large pan, add olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, red pepper and two tablespoons of basil. Sauté for approximately four to five minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for approximately seven minutes.
Add the marinara sauce and carrots to the pan – mix well. Cover the pan and let it cook for approximately 6 minutes.
Add the cooked the chicken breast to the pan, cover, and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Once cooked, add black pepper and divide among two bowls. Garnish with remaining basil.
Note: to make this gluten free recipe vegetarian, omit the chicken or use extra firm tofu. Happy eating!
Nutritional Information (per serving including chicken):
Energy: 390kcal Protein: 35g Fat: 16g (2.5g saturated fat)
Carbohydrate: 26g Fibre: 7g