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The Missing Ingredient: Eating for more energy and less food cravings

A simple framework to create sustained energy and reduce inflammation in your body
The Missing Ingredient by Gwen Johnson

You eat three meals a day, but if you’re not you’re probably not feeling your best.

However, you can eat for increased energy, mood and focus, reduced inflammation and weight, and optimised mental and physical health by making a few changes to your meals.


Start your day with a high protein, healthy fat focused meal that includes plenty of plant fibre. Let the protein and healthy fat be the star of this show for sustained energy and curbed food cravings for the ENTIRE DAY.

I always suggest eating a savoury breakfast for at least seven days, and observe how it impacts your energy, mood, cravings and choices…I dare you to try!


Lunch is often a simple carb heavy afterthought that leads to energy crashes, food cravings and hangry vibes in the afternoon (3 p.m. slump anyone?).

Our goal with lunch is to treat it like a proper meal that includes protein, plants, complex carbs and healthy fat.

Ideally it will also include proper silverware, your headphones to listen to a meditation, and sitting outside or in front of a window while you eat, even if you only have 10 minutes.

This is your REBOOT for the rest of the afternoon, so make it count.


Enjoy complex carbs or starchy veggies to create a final boost of energy before bedtime, but make sure you include appropriate plants, protein and healthy fats to sustain you!

Ideally, you want to be eating 3-4 hours before you go to bed, and then let yourself rest and digest between dinner and breakfast.

This improves your sleep, insulin levels, supports a healthy microbiome and reduces inflammation, anxiety, stress and depression.

It’s time to ditch night-time snacking.


Focus on eating three proper meals a day that are filling, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of stress and lacking sleep, but if you do have something sweet, aim to eat it AFTER you’ve enjoyed your full, well balanced meal, NOT on an empty stomach. This helps stabilize your blood sugar and stops you from going wild and overeating sweet things.

When you snack, include healthy fat and protein to create fullness.

And there you have it, a simple framework to create sustained energy and reduce inflammation in your body!

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Gwen Johnson is aCertified Functional Medicine Life Coach, podcast host for The Missing Ingredient with Gwen, and Telus StoryHive host of The Missing Ingredient Cooking Show.

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Read: Thee simple tips for improving gut health