***Before reading this, please understand I am not a doctor, nor a licenced nutritionist. Just an average gal who wants to feel alive and in the process of trying to get there, did A LOT of research!
This is extremely difficult to just blog, because it is the essence of the book I am writing. So much information to share that I have compiled over the years. Lord knows when the book will actually be completed, but someday it WILL!
I am currently attempting to help a couple people with a eating 'plan' that they can live with and will get them on track living healthier more fullfilling lives.
This is a new challenge for me! Some of the ladies I am helping have had serious surgeries (with dietary aftermath), diabetes, allergies, and 'dislike' of certain foods.
With food, I am:
#1. Not picky - I like just about everything (EXCEPT SPLIT PEA SOUP!- Oh and Cilantro, but I can handle a little.)
#2. Not Stubborn- There are many ways to 'healthify' just about any recipe. You do NOT HAVE to follow recipes to a T. Once you understand kitchen chemistry and food pairing, you will rock it!
#3. Adventurous- I am interested is stepping outside my kitchen to explore things that are first of all, delicious, and second, good for you.
#4. Not allergic- I've been blessed. No food allergies.
#5. Not limited- I'm generally heathly. I am 'allowed' to eat whatever I want.
One of the main focuses of my plan is the necessity to FEED your body.
Your body is a machine, it can be fully funcional or constantly needing tune ups.
FOOD= ENERGY .....or GAS for your car, if you will!
FOOD should consist of pure nutrients. <- This seems hard, but in reality it is really very simple.
Today, I will eat:
7AM- Green Smoothie (without yogurt or protein)- 200 Calories
9:30AM- Hot Tea & mmmMuffins Blueberry Oatmeal- 160 Calories
10:45AM- 1 Clementine- 35 Calories
11:45AM- Small Apple (78) & 1 Hard Boiled Egg (70)- 148 Calories
2PM- Baked Classics Potato Crisps -110 Calories
3:45- 1 Grapefruit-75 Calories
6PM- 1 Clementine (35) & 1 Protein Bar (175)-
7:30PM- Green Salad (45) with O&V (35), 6 Raw Mini Peppers (50), 1/2 portion Homemade Veggie Calzone (200) - 330 Calories
8:30PM- 1/4 C Pomegranate Arils (30), 1/4 C Vanilla YoChee (40) & 1/8 C Granola (45)- 115 Calories
Does this look like a DIET? Do you think I was starving at any point in the day? Does it seem to even the untrained eye that I got the nutrients I should have? Am I lacking anything?
SURPRISE! Today I will eat 1348 CALORIES.
With my current lifestyle, body type and activity level, I burn between 2200 & 3300 calories each day. So, that leaves me with a 852-1952 calorie deficit.
Are things starting to make sense?
I'm sure everyone has heard about eating 5-6 small meals a day. I prefer to look at it like I'm never eating a full meal- just snacking ALL day long. This is best for me no matter what I am eating or when, because I have a Rolling Hiatal Hernia and GERD. This past year, (due to the Hernia and GERD) I was troubled with Dysphagia, resulting in (2) Esophagial Dilations. When I eat too much (more than 4-5 bites) the food sits in my Esophagus and makes me feel like I need to regurgitate. <- I know, classy, huh?!
So- that is why I eat ALL THE TIME!
Eating continuously throughout the day (not overeating- there's a difference) allows your body to process the nutrients continuously and therefor does not store unnecessary food as fat. There is an issue with this though. When you eat a lot of calories in one sitting, your body doesn't have anything to do with all of it, and it stores the food. If you eat a little bit of nutrients, your body uses them and then tells you (fairly soon) that it is ready for more!
The Plan:You can choose from a lot of different things to eat. In fact, don't limit yourself at all. Just remember, you really don't want to eat more than your body needs, so you'll learn really fast what is a good choice.
For instance: "Can I eat French Fries?"
Yes, you can. Should you? Probably not.
We are human though and have cravings which we'll talk about later.
Take a look at this diagram.
Since there is virtually no nutritional value in french fries, they are not going to fill you up and they are not serving any actual purpose -besides fill a craving you 'think' you have.
You can do one of three things:
#1: Use will power and just say no :)
#2: Create a healthier version.
#3: Eat a VERY small portion of them (like 2 or 3) and pair it with something that is good for you.
Lets Look at the Food Groups:
This is the best food pyramid I have seen in a long long time!
VEGETABLES: 2 raw servings (Spinach) in the Green Smoothie, At least 2 raw servings in a lunch salad, 2 cooked servings in/with Dinner.
FRUITS: 2 servings (1/2 banana & 1/2 cup Blueberries) in the Green Smoothie. At least 3 servings throughout the day as snacks.
BEANS/LEGUMES: I've said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE beans. I eat a lot of Bean Burritos. Beans are really easy to throw in a casserole, soup, dip, stew, or just eat as a side plain.
SEEDS, NUTS & AVOCADOS: Chia Seed in the Green Smoothie and anything else I can get them into. I sometimes eat nuts as a snack or in a salad. Nut butter paired with apples or celery is a perfect snack. Avocados I eat just by themselves or in a salad- No more than 1/4 at a time.
WHOLE GRAINS & POTATOES: Anything in this category is already sparingly eaten. Oatmeal, granola bars and any bread, rice, or pasta that I consume is whole grain. Potatoes are sometimes a side dish for dinner (in different forms) but actually quite rare as they don't have a lot of nutritional value. I call potatoes a 'filler' because if you were truly starving, a potato would be helpful, but not very nutritious.
EGGS, FISH & FAT FREE DAIRY: Eggs almost on a daily basis (Hard Boiled) or egg whites in omeletes. Plus I use eggs as my binding agent for almost everything I bake. Fish we eat once a week (sometimes more). Fat Free Dairy comes in YoChee form at our house. I use it for a lot of things. We also put rice milk in the smoothie and cows milk is occasionally used for soups and baking. My son drinks vanilla coconut milk.
BEEF, SWEETS, PROCESSED FOOD & CHEESE: We eat Beef once a week or less and I normally pick it out or find an alternative (Bean Burrito). Sweets are always enjoyed, but should be for special occasions. I will tell you, I love to bake and can usually healthify a baked item to an acceptable, nutritious, consumable form. I love love love CHEESE. There is no way around it. I don't eat it everyday and the portion is 'normally' correct. Anytime I can subsitute YoChee for Cream Cheese, I'm all over it.
My head is spinning.