Eat to Boost Metabolism and All-Day Energy: Meal Planning Guide & Recipes

Naturopathic physician, chef and TV health-news host Dr. James Rouse maps out what, when and how much to eat to help you stay off the roller coaster.

Is 3 p.m. your crash time? Or do you find yourself prowling the premises for candy at 10:30 (a.m. OR p.m.)? Even if you're one of those people who usually wakes up rested and ready to go, the energy roller coaster can easily take you down later in the day.

Want to get off the ride? Naturopathic physician and chef James Rouse says you're in the driver's seat — you just need a map.

What, when and how much you eat, explains "Dr. James" can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, helping you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus and avoid cravings.

He explains that with the right portions, the right mix of nutrients and strategic timing of meals and snacks, you can have more all-day energy and avoid the physical and mental roller coaster.

Dr. James recommends the guide below that includes examples of some specific food options to try in each nutrient group that will give you a metabolism boost without the crash you get from caffeine and sugar. Read more about how and why his plan works in Getting Burned by Your Metabolism?

 

 

WHEN?
WHAT FOOD OPTIONS +
HOW MUCH?
HOW THEY BOOST METABOLISM?
Breakfast
(6-8 a.m.)
2-egg vegetable omelet (1 cup vegetables)
2 slices of French toast
Two hard-boiled eggs, toast and 1/2 grapefruit
Whole grain cereal with blueberries and almonds
Most likely, you’ve had nothing to eat for 10 to 12 hours, and your metabolism needs a cue to start burning. If you miss this morning window, you set the stage for your brain and body to go into "energy debt," slowing your metabolism and leading to low energy and fatigue.
Snack
(9:30-10:30 a.m.)
1 whole grain/fruit bar + 1 cup of yogurt
1 apple
16 oz. fruit smoothie with protein powder
You get to work and start chasing deadlines, e-mails and voicemails — and the day just began! Your body needs longer-burning complex carbohydrates to get the energy it needs the rest of the day.
Lunch
(12-1 p.m.)
Open-face turkey veggie sandwich (recipe below)
Lean deli meat (1-2 slices) and tomato wrap
1 veggie burger
Dopamine, which stimulates circulation and metabolism, and norepinephrine, which promotes feelings of clarity and motivation, can get a boost from lean meat and other protein sources. Eating these types of foods gives you a spike of energy to get through the rest of your day.
Snack
(2-3 p.m.)
String cheese (1-2 pieces)
Edamame (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup)
Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup)
Almonds (15-20)
As you move into the late afternoon, you need to adjust your energy and calorie needs to allow for conscious "downshifting" and support optimal all-day and all-night metabolism. The simpler the snack the better, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds or cheese.
Dinner
(5:30-6:30 p.m.)
Grilled salmon salad with pears and walnuts (recipe below)
1 portobello mushroom and roasted asparagus (8-10 spears) with 1/2 cup brown rice
1 chicken (1/3 cup) and spinach enchilada
As your energy needs come to a close for the day, choose vegetable-based carbohydrates and protein. These are very easy on your blood sugar and require less insulin from your body to manage, preparing your body for optimal sleep-time metabolism.
Dessert*
(At least 1-1/2 to 2 hours before bedtime)
1 slice zucchini protein bread (add 1/2 cup of protein powder to the recipe)
1 berry smoothie popsicle
Overnight, your body either stores fat or burns it. Make sure it’s the latter by staying away from refined sugar. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, low-fat dairy products or a smoothie with a protein-powder or dairy product boost. You’ll sleep better, burn fat and calories better and wake up with more mental clarity.
*optional
 

Recipes

OPEN-FACE TURKEY VEGGIE SANDWICH

Open-Face Turkey Veggie Sandwich Recipe

1 cup bell peppers, sliced (use a mix of red, green and yellow)
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
4 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1 pound cooked turkey breast, sliced
2 ounces Monterey jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the peppers and onions until they’re tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet. Top each slice of bread with about a half teaspoon each of mayonnaise and mustard. Divide the turkey into four servings. Top the mayonnaise and mustard with turkey, followed by the bell peppers, onions and a thin slice of cheese. Heat in oven for 5 minutes. Hint: You could also prepare this recipe in a toaster oven.
Serves 4

Per Serving:

297 Calories; 10g Fat (31 percent calories from fat); 31g Protein; 19g Carbohydrates; 3g Dietary Fiber; 76mg Cholesterol; 558mg Sodium


GRILLED SALMON SALAD WITH PEARS AND WALNUTS

Grilled Salmon Salad Recipe

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 each salmon fillets
1/3 cup walnuts
4 cups greens
2 ripe Bartlett pears, thinly sliced

Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended. Drizzle each fillet with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of this vinaigrette mixture. Grill salmon on oiled hot grill, turning once during cooking, about 6 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness. Do not overcook. For the salad, spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast at 275°F for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss the salad greens with some of the vinaigrette. Mound the salad greens on a large platter. Top with the pears, warm salmon and walnuts. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salmon.

Serves 4

Per Serving:
491 Calories; 27g Fat (48.4 percent calories from fat); 37g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 88mg Cholesterol; 662mg Sodium

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