Crunchy Chicken Tacos – A Balanced Lunchtime Treat
Sometimes what you really need is a good, emotionally satisfying CRUNCH! Not from carrots, celery, or lettuce either. That crunchy goodness in the photo is gluten-free, and you can achieve the same result at home by baking pita bread (gluten free or regular) in the oven at 400F for 7 minutes. Brush it with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic salt for a little added zing.
But it’s not just the bread I want to talk about, it’s the whole picture. The bigger picture: How Protein, Carbs and Fat work together. In our Crunchy Chicken Tacos, we have chicken breast, avocado, lettuce, and salsa – with a squeeze of lime – together for a reason. Studies show that eating a balanced meal of lean protein, carbs, and good fats (ie. not pizza!) creates less inflammation in the body, reducing risk for heart disease and cancer, and can help you lose weight.
Lean protein and good fat (rich in Omega 3s) work together to help you digest the carbs in your meal more slowly, which means you stay feeling full longer. But it goes a step further than that. By eating small portions of lean proteins and good fats with carbs, you’re keeping your insulin levels low, which means your brain isn’t yelling at your body to grow and store fat NOW! Best part? Eating more protein causes your pancreas to release glucagon, a fat-burning hormone that stabilizes blood sugar levels by releasing stored body fat for energy.
I know there are many diets out there that require eating all fats and proteins, or all carbs (ie. fruits, veggies and legumes), but there’s a lot to be said for having a balanced meal. We need carbs for energy. We need protein for our muscles and glands. And we need fats for healthy brain function – including hormones and nervous systems. That’s my kind of food pyramid.