This blog post is in response to a prompt about eating “light to heavy” for the Beauty Detox food blogging community. I’m writing as a fun way to share some fast, easy, nutritious recipe variations. 

One of the best tips I’ve picked up from Kimberly Snyder (author of Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Solution), is the concept of eating light to heavy. Basically, you eat foods that digest quicker before you eat foods that are heavier and take longer to digest. Fruits digest very quickly, vegetables also digest quickly. Carbohydrates take longer to digest, and protein is the “heaviest” food– so it’s best to eat protein at the end of your meal (after you’ve eaten your vegetables), and even at the end of the day. It’s best to eat lighter meals earlier in the day, and save your heaviest meal for dinner because your body has a long time to digest the food and move it through your system. That’s the basic idea.

My husband and I both come from big Italian families that love food and dessert. When we spend holidays with my husband’s family, they eat a huge plate of ravioli with meat sauce as a first course. Now, don’t get me wrong, my mother-in-law is an amazing cook and that ravioli is GOOD, but this is just an example of eating heavy to heavier. After the ravioli, we take a break and come back for the main course, which consists of salad, assorted vegetables, meats, potatoes, etc. After the big dinner comes the fruit course. This is bad bad bad if you are trying to eat light to heavy. : ) Not good for the digestion at all because the fruit is trying to run past the big dinner and even past the ravioli!!! Finally, we’ve got dessert. If you’re eating light to heavy, it’s best to have dessert in it’s usual spot at the end of the day, so this aspect of the holiday gatherings does fall in line with the “light to heavy” principle.

If we were to reorganize the holiday to eat “light to heavy” we’d start off the day with fruit (best to eat fruit on an empty stomach). A little while later we’d have some salad and vegetables, then any carbohydrates, then any meat/chicken/fish, then dessert at the end of the day. Now, I’m not about to mess with the Italian cultural traditions of when and how to serve the food, so this is all just hypothetical. ; )

On an average day, I do like to try to eat light to heavy if possible, as it helps me to feel more energized and light throughout the day.

Scroll down for many new recipe variations … 10 minutes or less prep time!