Hi everyone, Dr. Junger here.
Years ago, I moved to Venice after working at the We Care Detoxification Spa in Palm Springs. This was a time when the “cleansing wave” followed me wherever I went.
I found a great property, three blocks from the beach, with three small craftsman cottages that shared a garden. I lived in one of them and my guests stayed in the other two.
The cottages all had blenders, juicers, and water filters. My guests stayed for some time and followed the cleanses I designed for them. Soon my neighbors started stopping by.
We prepared smoothies, juices, and all kinds of healthy foods. Many great chefs came by and prepared food for whoever was there at the time. And it was always packed with people.
Day and night I discussed good nutrition, explaining the value of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. I suggested they buy a blender, a juicer, and a few other tools that I use every day.
But even with all the talk of recipes and food preparation, as they came to the end of their cleanses, almost every single patient asked:
“So, Doc, now what? What do I eat? How do I prepare healthy meals?”
Clean Meal Templates
We all can learn how to create delicious clean meals. It just takes a little time, education, and a belief that it matters.
And even if you’ve been eating clean for a while, we all hit a point where we experience “food fatigue” and need to shake up our approach.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you our breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner meal templates. These will give you ways to quickly come up with easy recipe ideas that work.
What’s a meal template?
Meal templates are like the frame of a house. They don’t focus on what color the walls are or on the style of furniture. They focus on the most important elements so they can help you make decisions quickly.
Below, my team and I have created five breakfast meal templates that you can use to create clean breakfast options each and every day. Remember, these aren’t the specific recipes but they will guide you when you’re figuring out what you want to eat. And, they can help you make suggestions to friends and family about what clean eating looks like.
Breakfast Meal Ideas
We love having people focus on their breakfast options first when they are looking to add in more clean food to their diet. It’s not just because it’s the first meal of the day but because research has shown that our food choices get worse throughout the day.
A simple way to improve this situation is: get into the habit of having a clean breakfast.
One of the most important tools of the Clean Cleanse, shakes are a great way to get a blast of water, easily digestible nutrients and fiber.
Shakes are simple to make, affordable, and infinitely changeable. They're great to have after a morning workout and while traveling. More and more, you can find smoothie and juice bars around the country. Many of our team members will ask them to add a Daily Shake packet to their order for extra nutrients.
#2 Hot Cereals
There’s no need to get rid of hot cereal from your breakfast options if you’re eating clean. We recommend that you switch out the normal gluten-based cereals for rice, quinoa, or buckwheat. Quinoa flakes and rice-type flakes are also great alternatives to oatmeal if you find it doesn’t work for you.
Add in some coconut or almond milk with berries and you’ve got a nice affordable and sustaining meal.
#3 Fruit + nuts
A few pieces of fruit plus a small handful of nuts have been a breakfast and snack option for bodybuilders for years. Any combination of your favorite fruit and nuts or nut butter will work. For example, try berries, one or two bananas, and an orange. Then, try a small handful of almonds or macadamia nuts.
#4 Protein + veggies
Savory breakfasts are a great way to add variety. A simple combination we make at the Clean office all the time is Protein + Veggies cooked in coconut oil. Add a protein such as pastured eggs, salmon, or chicken sausage with any veggies you have (spinach, chard, carrots, onions, etc.). For vegetarians, beans and potatoes can work as well. This is also a great way to use up any dinner or lunch leftovers.
#5 Yogurt and Fruit
A classic breakfast option, we recommend going non-dairy much of the time using coconut yogurt or making a chia pudding. Add fruit as a topping and you’re good to go. Two advanced options: 1. Open up a few probiotic capsules and add them to your yogurt. 2. Mix in a scoop of protein powder for more nutrients.
We’ll share with you our meal ideas for lunches at home and at work. Stay tuned.
To your health,
Alejandro Junger M.D.