10 Mar Own Your Health: Three Squares A Day
Don’t you wonder sometimes where certain phrases come from? I’ve heard about eating three squares a day since childhood and understood it to mean getting three good meals into my body. Which is correct, if something is square it means its satisfying and filling. However, I never explored to see where it originated.
There are a few possibilities; one is that sailors used to eat off wooden boards that were square in shape and when they were filled with food they were provided a “square meal”. Another idea behind this phrase comes from Britain, where the dinner plate was a square piece of wood with a bowl carved out to hold their stew. They would always travel with their dinner plate in hopes of being provided a “square meal”. Lastly there was a time in the U.S. military when you were required to sit formally at meals, upright with arms at right angles forming a square shape. Meals in the mess hall were always a “square meal”.
The importance of three squares a day goes beyond just being provided three satisfying, filling meals; it’s about providing our body the opportunity to function at it’s best.
There’s been a big push since the 1980’s to eat small meals all day long with the goal of revving up your metabolism. Just as many of you have probably done, I’ve given it a whirl focusing on 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day. It didn’t last long, and for the last 7 years I’ve had three squares a day with very few snacks in between.
While there is no definitive answer for everyone, you may want to consider these facts. There is very little hard evidence to show that eating small meals does anything to change your metabolism, and the weight loss benefits are no different than eating three meals a day. Honestly, there is a fair amount of evidence that questions the theory of eating small meals.
What matters most when you consider weight, energy, longevity and health is the quality and quantity of food intake. The people who are eating 5-6 small meals a day are most likely grabbing convenient protein bars, or quick prepackaged foods as snacks versus whipping up a vegetable rich option. The quality of the food is less than optimal, and when your body isn’t nourished properly you experience increased cravings.
There is also an opportunity to eat an increased amount of calories when eating small meals all day long. This can lead to increased cravings and excess weight.
By eating three squares a day, you tend to eat higher quality foods in appropriate quantities. Evidence shows that longevity is a result of eating this way and when your body feels hunger, you more readily reduce oxidative stress which feeds disease.
You are the best judge of your body, and it’s needs. Take a good look at how you’re fueling the body. Most Americans are undernourished; are you taking steps to make sure you have all the vitamins and minerals you need?
When switching over to three squares a day, be sure to do it over time. Take a week to let your body transition; select dishes rich in healthy fat, fiber, protein and vegetables. Drink plenty of water be sure to get daily exercise.
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Cheers to your health and happiness!
Pork and Slaw Wrap
1⁄2 cup Shredded pork with jalapeno and pineapple
- 1 small to medium pork butt roast
- 3 jalapenos with seeds, diced
- ½ of a fresh pineapple, core removed and diced
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of molasses
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup Apple slaw
- 1 granny smith apple, shredded
- ¼ of a purple cabbage, shredded
- Pinch of celery seed
- 2 tbsp garlic aioli (1 cup mayonnaise 4 large garlic cloves ¼ cup EVOO ½ cup water)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 wrap (GF or any favorite of yours)
In a crockpot, place pork roast into center and top with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours. Use two forks to pull the pork apart, stir into sauce and serve.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend on high until thick. Pour into a glass mason jar, cover and refrigerate. Use as needed, it will keep in the refrigerator for a month in an airtight container.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, agave, garlic aioli, celery seed, sea salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar. Fold in apple, cabbage and cherries. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve or refrigerate.
Place 1⁄2 cup of pork onto center of wrap and spoon apple slaw over the shredded pork. Fold the wrap and enjoy! Feel free to serve with an additional serving of slaw on the side.
Recipe compliments of “The Daily Essentials Cookbook Collection: Lunch” by Angela Gaffney & Janielle Hultberg