I have been asked over the years to write a meal plan or a cook book. I have been asked numerous times what diet do I follow? I do not follow any diet. I believe diets fail! Personally the word "diet" alone will send me running back for the hills I came from. I think we need to get the word "diet" out of our vocabulary and change it to "life style" because that is exactly what it is.
Here is another God awful truth. I can not cook! The Italian gene stopped at my mother and my cousins. I have no idea what happened to me. My job when I was little was to make the salads and then get out of the kitchen and that is where I stayed all my life....out of the kitchen haha. People that know me well can attest to that. So a cookbook is out of my vocabulary as well haha. What I can do is prepare a lean mean eating plan that will become your life style. The only problem is there is no one size fits all when it comes to meal planning. Counseling people on a personalized eating plan service is something I have thought heavily about adding to my blog. This way I can do online counseling one on one with an individual's lifestyle and prepare a plan that will lead to success! Sign up for my newsletter and I will keep you posted!
I do not eat "meals" throughout the day. I will eat 5 or 6 mini meals that would probably constitute as snacks to others. There are several reasons behind this. One being there is a constant energy flow. There are very little crashes in the blood sugar and ones mood because we are keeping it on a even keel line by eating enough to fuel us BUT not enough to make us feel full and lead to a carb crash 20 minutes later. The second most important thing is we are not starving our metabolism. We are giving it the fuel it needs to keep it at a fat burning level.
The key to this "Body For Life" way of eating is the "free day" where I can splurge a little and not feel all too guilty! The other days I just try to keep it as consistent as I can with one major constant by pairing a portion of carbohydrates with a portion of protein at every single mini meal I eat. I go more in depth about this subject in my article "22 vs. 42" and how my eating bible has ALWAYS been in the book "Body For Life" by Bill Phillips. I have not strayed from that eating life style ever since I was 18! Being 42 with three c-sections, it has proven to me over and over again to be one of the best eating plans of all time. After my pregnancies, even though I had eaten healthy and worked out throughout out all of them, I had gained about 70 pounds from each of them and that is AFTER I gave birth to all of my children. I literally lost the pounds they weighed when they were born and maybe a pound or two more, I was like, what the heck!!!!! It was definitely mentally hard to think I could lose the weight and get back in shape the right way. It took me a good seven months to even notice a budge in my weight. I mentally had to tell myself to keep going. Remind myself over and over again that this eating plan has always worked for me and it will work again! I did work out, but let me tell you something...."Abs ARE made in the kitchen". You can work out until the cows come home but if your eating habits suck, so will your body transformation. The two go hand in hand. There is no getting around it if you want to do it the right way. This is without cutting out any major food groups, depriving or starving your body. I had to keep at it and I am telling you to do the same!
At first it is very much a conscious effort and I would say after about two months it becomes easier to make good decisions AND in about 6 months it becomes a "lifestyle". After about 22 years, I have NO idea how to eat any different. I also add in healthy fats to a few of those meals and veggies as much as I can. We can NOT be afraid to eat healthy fats. They will not make you gain weight and they will not raise your cholesterol by clogging your arteries. I could go fully in depth on that subject but I may just write a whole article on that!
Today I am just going to list some of the healthier fats our body needs to be at its best. I am going to list some complex carbs that our body uses for energy instead of the unhealthier starchy carbs, such as sugary foods and refined grains that are transformed to triglycerides and stored as fat. Lastly I will list some lean proteins to help us build lean muscle mass and help fuel our bodies with the proper amino acids.
As far as portion control, a good rule of thumb in carbohydrate portions is if you close your fist, your fist is about the size of your carb at that meal. Now open your fist and look at your palm, that is about the size your protein portion should be. I know it can be difficult when you go out to dinner. A little tip is to ask the waiter or waitress to wrap up half of your meal before they bring it out, that way you can enjoy and not worry too much about over eating.
PROTEIN: Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Lean Ground Turkey, Salmon, Orange Roughy, Tuna, Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Top Round Steak, Top Sirloin Steak, Lean Ground Beef, Buffalo, Lean Ham, Egg Whites or substitutes, Low-fat Cottage Cheese, Grass fed Protein Powder.
CARBOHYDRATES: Baked Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Squash, Pumpkin, Steamed Brown Rice, Steamed Wild rRce, Oatmeal, Barley, Beans, Strawberries, Melon, Apples, Oranges, Yogart, Whole-wheat Bread, Sour Dough Bread.
ESSENTIAL FATS: Avocado, Sunflower Seeds or Sunflower Butter, Dark Chocolate, Whole Eggs, Fish, Nuts, Seeds, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Coconuts and Coconut Oil.
Looking at a list and picking out foods you may eat is a bit different than actually putting them together during the day everyday as mini meals. Here is a couple sample meals mostly from "Body for Life" book by Bill Phillips that may be paired up throughout the day. I have also made a video below on tips on what to do if you are planning on running errands for a good part of the day.
7:00a.m. Four Egg-whites and one yolk, 1/2 cup of oatmeal.
9:00-10:00a.m Protein shake
12:00-1:00p.m Grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and a veggie
3:00p.m Nutrition bar and a apple
5:00-6:00p.m. Eye of round steak with sweet potatoes and green beans
9:00 Cottage cheese with pineapple
7a.m Breakfast wrap (four egg whites with one yolk, low sodium turkey sausage, skim mozzarella cheese, salsa, whole wheat tortilla)
12:00-1:00p.m. Salmon, brown rice and spinach
5:00-6:00p.m. Pork tenderloin with asparagus and baked potatoes
9:00p.m. Cottage cheese with strawberries
7a.m Kodiak pancakes with fruit
9:00-10:00a.m. Protein shake
12:00-1:00p.m. Chicken fajita wraps
3:00p.m. Apple with peanut butter
5:00-6:00p.m. Rosemary chicken with mushroom gravy, snap peas and whole wheat pasta( it is important to remember the portion control rule especially when eating pasta. There IS such a thing a over eating healthy foods!)
IF you do not plan ahead and you get to the point of starving that is usually when we have a tendency to make irrational decisions on what we want to eat and over eat in a hurry without even realizing it. Then about 20-30 minutes later we crash and need a nap!
Below in my video are some ideas of how to prepare food when we have a bit of errands to run (the bars I showed in my video that I carry are called Rx bars! I had a brain fart in my video! I read the wrong name).
Please feel free to comment below!
Photo credit by Zifeng Xia from Pexels
Always Thankful, Katie
This is one of my favorite quotes, especially after I had my babies and had to lose weight......"It took more than a day and 9 months to put it on, it will take more than a day to take it off"
"One must eat to live, not live to eat."-Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
"Don't dig your grave with you own knife and fork."-Old English Proverb