Mostly Plants….

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Here’s an email I sent someone months back about overhauling their diet.  This is a great basis for revamping your eating habits and its tailored for meat eaters and vegetarians alike….It throws in breakfast suggestions, substitutions, and even a bit on exercise. Again, this is all based on my own personal experience and what I found works best.

 

Michale Pollan

Okay the subject line is a quote from a book by Michael Pollan, but it’s seriously a good rule to live by.  Remember this whenever you eat.

Sooo here’s some eating tips/meal ideas

Breakfast:  Choose one of these meals, but always try and have a glass of water when you wake up/before you eat.  Also, I pair my breakfast with coffee and a tablespoon of coffee mate creamer.  During the week, I eat breakfast between 9-10 but as soon as I wake up I’ll have water or tea, and a couple berries to hold me over until I get to work to have breakfast.  At work I have coffee at like 10:30.  On weekends, I have coffee at like 7:30 and breakfast at like 8:30 or 9.  If you don’t drink coffee then go for tea or light juice. They have that Tropicana OJ with only 50 calories per cup!

1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal, made with water and 1/2cup skim milk. Throw in a sliced up banana with cinnamon and a bit of sweetener (I used splenda or sugar free maple syrup but you can use regular sugar or brown sugar).  I also ALWAYS eat my oatmeal with ¼ cup of Fiber 1 Original on top.  It adds extra protein and protein fills you up.  The key to making this small bit of oatmeal into a lot of oatmeal is to continually add water and microwave it until it soaks it all up.  You can get a huge filling bowl this way.

Make scrambled eggs in the microwave.  Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, microwave for 45 seconds, take them out, stir them around and microwave for another 30 seconds.  You can add as many vegetables into the scrambled eggs as you want.  Or fat free cheese!  And eat it with toast and jelly.  Skip the butter on the toast.

Smoothie – This is where you need some protein powder, use about 2 scoops.  I use Muscle Milk Light – any flavor.  Mix the powder with ½ cup skim milk, a banana, maybe ¼ cup of non fat yogurt, and whatever fruits or berries you might have.  Just experiment a bit until you find a combo you like.  I usually have to throw some splenda into my smoothie though because I like them to be sweet.  Eat that with a ½ cup of Fiber 1 or Cheerios or Special K cereal to hold you over.

You can also do the Bagel thins if you like bagels with low fat cream cheese.  I do low fat cream cheese then cut up veggies to mix it with or strawberries sliced on top of the bagel.  These are awesome and have them with a light yogurt.

Another quick easy breakfast – Slice of whole grain toast (about 100-120 calories per slice), put some peanut butter or almond butter on it, slice up a banana, and sprinkle cinnamon on top.  Eat the rest of the banana on the side.  Quick easy filling and it gets you all your protein and fiber too.

Morning Snack:  Have a snack mid morning…I usually eat breakfast at 830, eat a snack around 10 or 10:30 and have lunch between 1 and 2.  Also, drink something with your snack.  It’s important to drink a lot.  The packets you can mix with water are awesome if you hate plain water.  Just make sure the calories aren’t too bad (no more than like 10 calories per packet).  Tea is also great because if you crave sweets, you can add some milk and truvia for a great mid-morning sweet treat.  I’m a tea addict now a days.  Try www.adaiago.com

Greek yogurt is awesome – lots of protein to keep you full and I like to mix plain greek with jam.  You’re looking for greek yogurt to have about 130 calories or less per serving and at least 15g of protein. Stay away from the flavored kind and you’ll clock in at less than 100 calories with a great protein boost.

Yoplait Light yogurt is great too.

Eat a fruit, melon (melon’s awesome = mostly water and it fills you up).

Lunch: Again, this should also have some sort of drink with it.  Unsweetened iced tea with lemon, water, diet coke if you’re a soda addict, some sort of liquid to fill you up.

I do the lean cuisines a lot.  So pick one you like, throw some extra vegetables into it so it’s more filling or add a small salad to it.  Eating just a plain lean cuisine will not seem filling and you’ll be hungry in an hour.  You need to add things to it.

I also take leftovers from dinner the night before for lunch.  Again, I add extra vegetables or take some carrots and hummus on the side.

Salads are a big go-to lunch for me.  You can make these as big as you want.  Think of fruits and vegetables (as long as they’re raw or cooked with out oil/butter) to be calorie free foods!  I always add lots of variety to my salads.  If you like cheese on your salad, go for feta.  Its flavorful and one of the few cheeses that isn’t bad for you.  Go for light dressing – and measure it out.  Seriously, the serving size is 2 tablespoons.  Measure out and mix up your salad.  You’ll be surprised by how much dressing that really is.  I also eat my salads with baked pita chips or reduced fat wheat thins.

Soups are also good here. The brothy kind, not creamy.  Eat the whole can!  Throw in extra vegetables too.  Eat it with crackers or something crunchy and a small salad.  You want your soup to have 90-120 calories per serving – that’s about 200 per can which is totally fine for lunch.

 

Afternoon Snack:  Have a granola bar.  I like Special K, LaraBars, Luna Bars, whatever you like.  Eat a piece of fruit.  Go for veggies and hummus.  Light yogurt.  Or get a small smoothie somewhere.  You’re looking for a snack that’s between 100-200 calories.  Mixed nuts are good but follow the serving size.  Sometimes my afternoon snack is a “special drink” like something from Starbucks, as long as it’s the light version, or whatever I  might be craving.  This is my healthy “treat.”

Dinner: Baked chicken with BBQ sauce, brown rice (1/2 cup uncooked) mixed with some store bought stir fry sauce or sprinkled with parmesan cheese and garlic powder with a side of mixed vegetables or a salad again. Have steamed or baked fish if you don’t want chicken.  Also, when cooking meat on your own, add lots of spices.  You can fink McCormick spice mixes at the grocery store.  Sprinkle them on meat and vegetables.  Spices add flavor.  If something is flavorful, it’ll taste good.

Eat sushi, just stay away from mayo or the fried stuff. Pair it with miso soup or edamame or seaweed salad.

Salad with grilled meat &  dressing on the side.  Do the whole, dip your fork in the dressing then grab some salad.

Try eating veggie burgers. Honestly, you can get mixed vegetable kinds that are good.  Serve it like you would a regular burger, use fat free cheese.

Honestly, dinner’s whatever you’d normally have.  Just make it healthy.  Bake the meat instead of cooking in oil or frying.  Choose steamed vegetables.   Check out this website www.hungrygirl.com  She offers a ton of recipes that are healthy that taste full flavored.  Some need special ingredients, but I promise they’re worth it.  Cooking her recipes are easy and they involve meat.  But seriously, check out her site. I own all her cookbooks and I really love them.  Even though they seem a bit cartoonish.

If you’re out to eat, ask them to make the vegetables without oil or seasoning then just add salt and pepper to them at the table.  Tell them to cook your meat without a lot of oil.  Ask for dressing or sauces on the side that way you can control the amount.  It sounds demanding, but trust me, they’ll make your food the way you want them to.  Just be nice about it!   Also, before you eat, have a glass of water. Just gulp it down to fill you up.  And pay attention to your stomach so you can tell when you’re really full or not.

Treats: I love frozen cool whip in a bowl with chocolate chips or sugar free chocolate syrup and strawberries.  Make another smoothie if you want.  Just make it smaller.

Have 1 graham cracker with peanut butter and chocolate chips on top.

Make Swiss Miss diet hot chocolate with cool whip on top.

Try frozen yogurt with nuts.

Your “treat” should be about 120-180 calories tops.

Alcohol: Go for light beer if you drink beer.  Go for “skinny” cocktails if the restaurant offers them.  Stay away from margaritas and pina coladas.  Drink SODA WATER with flavored vodka and squeeze an orange or lime or lemon in it or if you really need a mixer, ask for soda water, flavored vodka of your choice and a SPLASH of OJ, cranberry juice, tea….  Go for wine – 2 glasses max.  And drink water with your alcohol.  Also – clear alcohol has less calories than the colored stuff.  So say no to rum, whiskey, and that horrible  UV vodka with the crazy colors.  More expensive clear alcohol tastes better and it has a higher percentage of actual alcohol, so you’ll still get the buzz without having to buy extra drinks.

Exercise:  Aim for 5-6 days a week of exercise.  Here’s my plan…

3 days a week of 1 hour cardio with abs.  I do a full hour on the machines, switching the machines every 20 mins so I don’t get bored.  Also take cardio classes if you don’t like the machines – kickboxing, spin, step, zumba (which is actually fun).  And if you want some cardio workouts, I can give you some of mine too.  I have a treadmill walking workout that burns tons of calories.

2 days a week I do Body Pump with a half hour of cardio or at least some kind of strength training.  Currently I’m on a Pure Barre kick and have noticed a great difference in my body – more on that in a future post.

2 days off a week – or I might take an early morning walk (no more than 30 mins) or a short easy 30 min bike ride.  Or a yoga class.  It’s great for core and ab muscles, it stretches and relaxes you.  I like the heated classes personally.  But you should try a bunch to find the ones you like.  I usually try and fit in as much exercise as I can while still listening to my body.  Even if you don’t want to work out, get your butt to the gym, do cardio for 10 mins then ask yourself if you really want to go home.  Chances are, you’ll probably finish your work out even if it’s half ass-ed.  The point is, you did it and you’ll feel better about yourself.  Also, it takes about 2 weeks for a habit to form – so in that amount of time you should be come used to getting to the gym or exercising regularly.

 

So that’s my life style over view – take my tips and bend them as you may to create a healthy lifestyle that works for you.  And in the future, add my recipes and other tips and tricks and I’m sure you’ll find the balance you need to feel satisfied with food, exercise, and your appearance. Just remember – plants!

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