Meal Planning

In this section, you will learn everything you need to know about meal timing (when to eat) and combining different food types (protein, vegetables and good carbs) for optimal results (how to eat). In each category (e.g. meal timing, breakfast, lunch and dinner categories) you will find a rule of thumb as well as elaborate and nuanced information that will help you understand the rule of thumb. Take your time to read this entire section carefully.

Please note that this section is for regular weeks (weeks 2-6 of The Six Week Reset) and that if you are in week 1, or if you need to do a little reset after having indulged for a few days, or if you are following any of the specialized advice sections, it’s best to choose the corresponding meal planning advice.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Breakfast

RULE OF THUMB: Start your day with a large glass of water or herbal tea and have breakfast that consists of two parts (1. protein and 2. vegetables and/or low GI fruits).

Hydration

If you often wake up craving something sweet instead of something savory, there’s a reason for this craving: dehydration. Start the day by hydrating your body and have a large glass of water or herbal tea upon waking, before reaching for that cup of coffee. Your body has been without water for a good eight hours at least and will be needing a top-up. Green tea, black tea, and coffee are diuretics (they make you pee), and therefore can dehydrate your body.

When you are craving sugar, always remember to first drink water and eat foods that are rich in protein (a boiled egg is perfect!). This water and protein combination will keep you feeling hydrated and full.

Breakfast

Start your morning every day in the following two parts (they do not have to be done in order so you can start with part 2 if you prefer it that way). The fruit options I suggest are low enough in sugar for you to start your day with it.

Part One

One serving of fruit or raw vegetables that are low in sugar and high in fiber.

HEALTH FACT

Raw foods stimulate enzyme production and support good digestion. They keep your system more alkaline (not acidic and less inflamed). Fruit also contains vitamin C and antioxidants which have many health benefits.

Having fruit is a healthy way of getting important fiber and vitamins into your body. However, having too much fruit can spike your blood sugar levels and increase bad bacteria in your gut. Fruit is indeed healthy but it’s important to bear in mind that natural sugar is still sugar, and like everything else on the EBS lifestyle guide, moderation is key. It’s also important to remember that portions are important, and your body doesn’t need much fruit to get the nutritional benefits.

The allowed fruits below are low in sugar and are ideal if you want fruit in the morning without the spike in blood sugar levels after a long fast (your last meal was probably about 10 hours earlier). When our stomachs are empty, any form of sugar including natural sugars will raise our blood sugar levels more than if we are eating sugar at the end of a meal or paired with fat or protein.

I suggest choosing one item from the following list:

  • One apple (skin on)
  • A large handful or ½ cup or 75g of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries
  • One large carrot
  • One small carrot and 6 cherry tomatoes or other crudités (cucumber, fennel, etc)

Part Two

This is the most important part of your breakfast. These healthy proteins will sustain your energy levels, give you mental clarity, improve your body composition, help your gut, and help your cell renewal process.

HEALTH FACT

Your body needs protein for cells to be healthy. Animal proteins contain a chain of 15 amino acids compared to 13 in plant protein. Plant proteins are not complete and do not contain vitamin B12, which is essential for blood production and for nervous system function.

You can have any of the breakfast options from the recipe section (choose “breakfast” in the “meal type” filter), that include

Keep in mind that some of the options on the list above are on the orange list. This means that you can have them a few times per week (not every day: check out the orange list for more details). Your best choice for breakfast is eggs and/or other types of animal protein along with vegetables and low sugar fruit!

Make sure to enjoy your breakfast, chew well, eat slowly, and mindfully. This helps to kick-start your digestive juice production into gear, which enhances absorption. It also makes you reach the feeling of satiety quicker. Be ready to feel fresh and energized every morning!

Do you have to eat breakfast?

Not everyone is used to having breakfast. However, on the Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle it’s best to have a protein-packed breakfast to kick in your metabolism and avoid overeating or snacking during the day. If you aren’t a breakfast person, you can have something light based on the type of foods recommended for breakfast, as long as you are not snacking on sweet foods or overeating later in the day. Men tend to do much better than women with intermittent fasting for hormonal reasons, so if you are a man, it is ok to skip breakfast and follow the meal planner for your other meals. You can increase the portions slightly for lunch and dinner as long as you do not snack or overeat.

Lunch

RULE OF THUMB: Choose one potion of animal protein (roughly the size and thickness of the palm of your hand) and twice as much vegetables. 

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but lunch shouldn’t be overlooked. Lunch can be a victim of the dreaded time crunch, but it’s really important to eat smart throughout the day so you don’t end up binging on junk food.

The following ratio should be used to plan your lunchtime meals: ⅓ protein and ⅔ vegetables. More precisely, the following should be included in your meal:

  • Any protein (the size and thickness of your palm)
  • Vegetables (twice as much as protein)
  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil / flaxseed oil / avocado oil / coconut oil
  • Dessert: none or low sugar fruit (berries or apple)

Protein is essential for energy, muscle maintenance, cell renewal, and much more. It will keep you fuller for longer and maintain muscle mass in your body. Make sure you include a side of non-starchy vegetables from the list, using a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or flaxseed oil in your dressing.

HEALTH FACT

Protein has wonderful properties but is also acidic. Having a side of vegetables will mitigate the acidity, as well as having healthy oils. Olive oil is very alkaline and packed with omega 9 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Dinner

RULE OF THUMB: Choose an equal amount of animal protein, vegetables and good carbs 

Stick to the following ratio and you’ll be well on your way to a nutritious meal to end your day: ⅓ animal protein ⅓ vegetables ⅓ good carbs. More precisely, the following should be included in your meal:

  • Any protein (the size and thickness of your palm)
  • Equal amount of vegetables
  • Equal amount of good carbs (note: good carbs usually come from vegetable sources as well!)
  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil / flaxseed oil / avocado oil / coconut oil
  • Dessert: none or low sugar fruit (berries or apple)

Good carbs 

HEALTH FACT

Carbohydrates release insulin which is the precursor to serotonin (the happy hormone and a natural appetite suppressant), and melatonin (the sleep hormone). As a result, very low carb diets can leave people depressed and never feeling full or satisfied.

Many carbohydrates like grains, beans, pulses, and potatoes are bad for gut bacteria (feed candida) and inflammatory (high in omega 6). So, the ideal choice is to pick carbohydrates from the green food list. Here are some good sources:

  • All root vegetables except white potatoes (sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beetroots, turnips)
  • Butternut squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Artichokes
  • Quinoa (be mindful of having too much as it can lead to constipation)

You will be in a good mood, feel satisfied and sleep well. These are all essential for your mental wellbeing and overall health.

Evening sugar craving tip

If you crave something sweet in the evening, you can make a cup of rooibos tea with a splash of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Sweeten with pure stevia. Licorice tea is naturally sweet too and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is not recommended if you have high blood pressure.

Additional information

Meal timing

RULE OF THUMB: plan 5 hours between meals and avoid snacking.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

It’s best to have 5 hours between meals, e.g. breakfast at 8 am, lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 6 pm. However, the Six Week Reset is very flexible and you can adjust the timings to fit your schedule. If you have an irregular schedule, please refer to the Unusual Eating Times specialized advice section.

In between (snacks)

It’s best to avoid snacking between meals as this raises your blood sugar levels. If you drink enough water and eat according to the advice in this section, you shouldn’t feel the need to snack. Often, snacks are high GI foods that tend to increase fat storage, insulin production and the risk of diabetes, disrupt hormones, cause mood swings, and leave you feeling hungry a few hours later after you experience a drop in your blood sugar levels. That being said, some people thrive on fasting between meals, while others do better with a little snack.This can vary depending on sleep, hormones, and other factors.

If you do feel like having a snack, make sure to choose a snack from the recipes section (choose the “snacks” option in the Meal Type filter). Here are some examples:

  • A piece of fruit paired with 10 almonds (preferably activated) with a cup of herbal tea
  • A 3 cm or 1-inch slice of light banana bread with a cup of herbal tea
  • An apple or a handful of berries with a cup of herbal tea – if you have an apple or berries (i.e., low sugar fruit), then you do not need to add nuts in order to lower the glycaemic index of your snack.
  • A sliced apple sprinkled with salt (can help if you feel dizzy)
  • A sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon (helps with sugar cravings as cinnamon is a natural sweetener and regulates blood sugar levels)
  • A boiled egg and a hot drink
  • A few slices of cold chicken or any lean protein that you fancy with a raw carrot
  • Crudités: carrot, cherry tomatoes, celery, fennel sprinkled with salt and herbs
  • One of my protein shakes (see in Recipes)
  • A cocoa collagen shake
  • A cup of vegetable or bone broth. This can be so satisfying and nutritious thanks to the minerals in the vegetable broth and collagen in the beef broth. Check the recipes section for the broth recipes.
  • Kale chips. Tear up a head of kale, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes at 120 and you’ll have crispy, crunchy perfection!

Are nuts OK?

Nuts are ok but eat them in moderation. They are high in fat which can overload the liver. The food lists set out the exact portions for nuts and how often you can enjoy them. I would suggest having activated nuts for better digestion and absorption. Check out the recipe on my YouTube channel.

HEALTH FACT

Soaking nuts overnight activates enzymes that help increase their nutritional value and break down phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.

Treats

RULE OF THUMB: enjoy your treat according to the treat system (see the Red List)

I like to call these “treats” rather than “cheats” because it’s important to enjoy yourself and treat yourself. However, if you find that you’re hungry every night after dinner, it’s important to figure out if you’re getting enough fuel throughout the day. It’s completely normal to want a treat once in a while but if it happens every day, I recommend making sure you’re hydrating enough daily and eating enough protein with your meals. Including a bit of healthy fats with dinner also helps reduce cravings at night. Try a drizzle of olive oil, ¼ avocado, or a small handful of almonds.

Drinks

From Weeks 2 to 6, you are allowed up to 4 cups of green tea, 3 cups of black tea, or 2 cups of coffee a day, to be consumed before noon. You can consume them at any time you would like from waking up until midday.