14 Aug Love Your Lunch (With Kelly LeVeque) + Recipes!
TEEN GIRL REVOLUTION
It’s complicated being a teenage girl today. We are told by society how we should act, how we should eat, what we should wear, and what we should look like.
But wait — we’re all totally different! We shouldn’t even try to be the same. Instead, we need to relish all of our differences. This means embracing our flaws, our strengths and our quirkiness . . . everything that makes us unique individuals.
We’re a new generation of teens. This time of our lives is special and we can live it our way. We will lift each other up, help each other be strong, healthy, vocal and true to ourselves.
This is the Teen Girl Revolution.
I am Sadie, a 15-year-old real food chef and health enthusiast. I’m excited to travel this journey with you.
One thing I would really like to help change for us teens is the fear and confusion over eating! In the lunchroom at school, I see a lot of girls eating low-fat foods or counting calories because they think that will help them lose weight.
Other girls are skipping lunch entirely. But then later in the day, they’re lightheaded and starving, so they go for a candy bar from the vending machine.
Meanwhile, the media teaches girls to be afraid of food. They encourage unhealthy eating habits and even starvation. Kids’ TV shows feature young girls worrying about their weight and trying to make themselves look good for boys.
How do we change all this? How can we empower each other to feel good about eating?
Let’s start by making our own school lunches! They can be just the way we want them, incredibly delicious and nutritious. Eating a healthy lunch will give us energy, and help us stay focused throughout the school day. It will also make being at school more fun, because sitting with friends and eating good food is one of life’s great joys! And when girls see other girls eating at lunchtime, they’ll realize that that’s a good thing!
What Is A “Healthy” Lunch?
So what exactly is a healthy lunch?
To learn more, I sat down with Kelly LeVeque. Kelly is an L.A.-based nutritionist to the stars and author of the bestselling book Body Love. We chatted about what a healthy lunch really looks like, and the many misconceptions facing girls and their food.
Kelly focuses on the “Fab Four,” which she says are ideal elements we should eat in every meal: protein, fat, fiber, and greens. With these four ingredients in your meals, you’ll know you’re making healthy choices. And get this: There’s no need to count calories or grams of fat. As Kelly explains, calories and fat are NOT the causes of weight gain! So all that counting does nothing more than make us feel stressed out.
Here are just a few things the Fab Four do for your body:
- Builds muscle
- Tells your brain when you’re full
- Nourishes every cell in your body
- Brain food — 90% of your brain is made of fat (pretty crazy, right?)
- Slows the absorption of sugar entering your body
- Removes toxins from your body
- Full of vitamins, minerals
- Loaded with antioxidants
You’ll notice that fat is one of the Fab Four. What? Wait, you say, I thought eating fat would make me fat. As it turns out, that is a myth, as Kelly reminds us. The truth is that eating fat does not make you fat! It’s the carbs that make people gain weight. Plus, fats are a key part of any healthy diet – we need them! And you can get healthy fats in so many ways. Some of my favorites that I love to eat every day are avocadoes, nuts, nut butters, fish and coconut oil.
You may also notice a food group that is not in the Fab Four: carbohydrates. This is no accident. So much of the American diet is made up of carbs, especially the processed grains in things like bread, pasta, and cereal. Yet they mainly just turn to sugar in your body.
We’re not talking about wiping out carbs entirely. The key is to think of them as a side dish or snack, instead the main course of your meal.
A word about sugar. Sugar is now well-known as one of the leading causes of weight gain and disease. We all feel bad after eating sweets because they spike our blood sugar, then we are left feeling tired. Then, we crave more sweets. (That’s sure happened to me!)
Great (Yummy) News!
But this doesn’t mean we have to avoid all sweets. Treats are an important part of my life. (I am a baker, after all!) All of the sweets I make myself are really low in unrefined sugar and high in protein, so they don’t give me a blood sugar spike and sugar rush. It’s the best of both worlds: low in sugar, but still incredibly yummy!
Here’s the very best part of the Fab Four: you can eat all you want, until you’re satisfied. The protein, fat, fiber, and greens will nourish you and leave you feeling wonderful afterwards.
So What Should I Make?
My friends are always jealous of the lunches I pack myself. When you pack your own lunch, you get to be independent, not relying on adults to decide what you eat!
Here’s an idea for your first healthy, Fab Four lunch: Chocolate-nut butter muffins, tuna salad, turkey-lettuce wraps and chopped veggies. Click HERE for all the recipes!!