# 5 small meals a day keeps your fire burning…

Did you know that eating 5-6 small meals a day has as much an effect on your metabolism as exercising for 1 hour a day?!

Your metabolism is like an open fire and your body, the cabin that needs heating. In order to keep your body heated and feeling great, you need to ensure your fire stays lit during your waking hours.

Imagine going on a trip to the snow. You arrive at your cabin first thing in the morning. It’s freezing outside. You open the front door and spot a beautiful open fire place. Perfect! Next to the fire place is a pile of logs and kindling. To get a fire started you need a little bit of kindling and then a bigger log on top to really crank up the heat and ensure the flame lasts.

After around 3 hours you notice the flame subsiding. Instead of throwing another large log on the fire (all that will do is slow down the flame and take time again to reheat) you place some smaller twigs in amongst the subsiding flames to get the fire cranking again. The flames crackle for another 3 hours until again you need to top up the fire with more kindling. This process carries on another 2-3 times throughout the day and into the evening.

In the final hours before bed, it’s not necessary to top up the fire as you prefer the flames to slow right down whilst you sleep. When you wake in the morning you’re ready to crank the fire again, starting the process again.

Relating this to your metabolism…

Starting your day with a nutritious, energy dense meal containing slow burning foods, kick starts your metabolism (fire). In around 3 hours, when your body has used the fuel from the mornings meal, top up your fire (metabolism) with a small snack. Continue this process until a couple of hours before bed, when your body doesn’t need any more energy as you a preparing to sleep. This process ensures your metabolism stays elevated and you are burning the greatest number of kilojoules throughout the day.

The hardest part about eating 5-6 small meals a day isn’t the eating; it’s not feeling hungry at first. After a few weeks of creating this habit you will start to notice your stomach rumble every few hours, informing you that you are hungry. This is a good thing! It means your metabolism is firing and your body is correctly using all the fuel from the previous meal.

Alternatively you can make the time to exercise for an hour every day as this will create around the same amount of heat in your body as eating 5 small meals a day.

Sample meal plan…

Breakfast: ½ cup porridge cooked with 1 cup low-fat or soy milk, 1 tbs Chia seeds, topped with Rapadura sugar and half a small Banana (see below for ideas)

Morning Tea: Medium size apple with 20 almonds (with your morning coffee!)

Lunch: 2 Mountain Bread wraps with salmon, light philly cheese, ¼ avocado, tomato and lettuce

Afternoon Tea: Fresh Strawberries + cup of herbal tea

DinnerChicken & canellini bean salad (see below for recipe)

Porridge idea

The ingredients are Rolled Oats, Rolled Triticale, Polenta & Linseed. This is a delightful blend that is quick and easy to cook. To prepare this porridge add 1 part porridge & 2 parts milk or water to a saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 5-10mins stirring frequently. Serve with a splash of milk & maple syrup or rapadura sugar. Try adding some of your favourite dried fruits & or cinnamon whilst cooking if your taste buds are looking for something new to try.

If you can remember, try soaking this blend overnight in acidulated water (add a squeeze of lemon juice to the water). This simple practice will vastly improve the nutritional benefits of this porridge blend. Soaking it acidulated water allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other useful organisms to break down & neutralise most of the phytic acids naturally found in grains. This helps our bodys in the digestion of the blend which improves the nutritional benefits we get from it. It also makes it smoother and creamier in texture.

Chicken & canellini bean salad
Serves 4Ingredients
800g Chicken breast (preferbly organic/free-range)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1.5 Tbs wholegrain mustard
2.5 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
500g of Canellini beans (canned or cooked)
300g Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 x bunch Asparagus stems
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
1 lemon cut into wedges, to serveMethod
Season chicken with pepper and salt. Whisk garlic, mustard and vinegar in a dish. Add chicken, turn to coat. Cover and place in fridge for 20minutes.
Preheat bbq plate (or pan) on high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Lightly spray chicken with oil. Cook for a minute on each side or until golden.
Reduce heat to low. Cook chicken for 6-8 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover and leave rest for 5 minutes.
Blanch asparagus for 3 minutes, leaving them vibrant green and still crunchy.
Slice chicken. Combine beans, tomato, parmesan, rocket and chicken in a large bowl. Toss gently.
Spoon onto serving plates. Season as you wish. Serve with lemon.

Organic Rapadura Sugar 
Organic Rapadura is an unrefined sugar, popular for its unique caramel flavour, fine grain and gorgeous golden colour. It is produced by simply evaporating the water from the organic sugar cane juice. It has high nutritional value as it retains most of the natural vitamins and minerals, because, unlike other sugar it is not separated from the nutrient dense molasses part of the sugar cane during the pressing and drying process.Rapadura is the perfect product for baking and the sweetening of food and drinks. Simply substitute 1 cup of rapadura for 1 cup of other sugars (e.g. white/raw/brown) in any recipe. In Colombia it is dissolved in water with ice and a touch of lemon and served as an energy boosting summer drink. Why not try this yourself!

Organic Rapadura is made from organically grown sugar cane, mostly through fair trade programs in Colombia and Brazil.

by Lauren E on August 11, 2011  http://www.goodness.com.au/ 

For the past five years I have worked in the health & fitness industry as a personal trainer. Working day in and day out with people who have weight loss as their number one goal, it turned my focus to nutrition.

I am in my first year completing an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine and participate in as many wholefood cooking classes as possible (I love cooking!). I am looking forward to the day I get to share my knowledge with others and help people achieve their weight loss desires, all whilst still eating fabulous food.

When I am not studying or working I am in the gym training, running, hanging out with those closest to me or planning my next holiday.

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