In his new book The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!, Dr. Mark Hyman argues that insulin resistance is at the root of the nation’s obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes epidemic. He offers a six-week plan to balance blood sugar and reduce the risk of the chronic health problems associated with obesity and diabetes. In this excerpt, Dr. Hyman offers some tips for assembling quick, nutritious meals using whole, unprocessed foods.
Here’s what a very busy day’s meals might look like for me and how much time it takes me to make great food. I sometimes do use things with cans and labels. But only real food with one or two ingredients I can recognize like “navy beans” or “artichoke hearts” or “wild salmon.” I can make three meals in 30 minutes total. I work fast so it might take you a little longer. It won’t be fancy, but it will be delicious and satisfying.
Breakfast shake: Protein powder (rice, soy, hemp, pea or chia), frozen berries, unsweetened hemp milk, 1 tablespoon omega-3 oil, and a small handful of walnuts or almonds. Toss in a blender, blend, and drink. Time to make and consume: 5 minutes.
Lunch: Prewashed arugula or mixed greens, a can of rinsed white beans, a jar or can of artichoke hearts. Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper. Combine, and eat. Time to make: less than 5 minutes.
Snacks: Raw almonds or cashews. Time to make: 0 minutes.
Dinner: Prepare a pot of short-grain brown rice ahead of time (it lasts 3-4 days in the fridge). Simply add two cups of water to 1 cup of rinsed brown rice, bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer for 45 minutes. I then take the rice, put some in a bowl, and heat it in the microwave (not ideal, but you do what you gotta do!) or sauté it in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil and salt (it tastes better this way). If I’ve sautéed it, I put the rice in a bowl and use the same pan to cook some prewashed spinach or other dark chopped green leafy veggies like kale, collards, chard or some broccolini or asparagus. I add a little olive oil, some precrushed or prepeeled garlic (I told you I am very busy!) to the greens, and quickly sauté at medium heat in the pan. I add a little wheat-free tamari or salt and a few tablespoons of water to prevent it from sticking. I then put some canned wild salmon in the bowl with the rice. I put the greens (a large amount because they are filling, full of nutrients and contain very few calories) on top of the fish and rice. And I have a delicious meal. Time to cook: 15 minutes at most — I do it in under 10. Imagine what you could do in an hour!
For more variety, you can use the same basic set of steps above and simply change the ingredients or the order. Use frozen blackberries and nut butter in your shake one day, blueberries and walnuts the next. Add canned salmon or sardines to the mixed greens for lunch. Try the navy beans at dinner, or sauté a chicken breast to go with the brown rice and veggies (or dice it for chicken veggie stir-fry). Don’t care for rice? Try quinoa or buckwheat instead — all are wonderful whole grains that can be cooked in advance.
Excerpted with permission from The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now! By Mark Hyman, MD, author of the bestsellersUltraMetabolism and The UltraMind Solution.