Your first meal should be within ONE hour of waking up.
Usually, I tend to think of my first and last meals (since dinner is usually a planned meal)
and divide the hours up as evenly as possible between those 2 meals.
You want to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning and by eating every 4 hours,
you keep your blood glucose levels balanced. Avoiding the spikes in glucose will
help control binging and cravings because you will always feel satisfied.
Protein builds and repairs muscle.
Protein produces hormones.
Protein supports the immune system.
Protein replaces red blood cells.
Protein provides energy only when other sources are no longer available (starvation, malnutrition).
Extra protein does not build muscle bulk…exercise does
Fruits and vegetables contain many of the minerals you need, including calcium
and iron that are found in dark green leafy vegetables. Calcium is used throughout your
body, and is especially important for strong bones and teeth. Plus you need iron to help
your red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body.
Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of magnesium and potassium, which help keep
your muscles working (including that really important muscle -- your heart) and help
regulate your blood pressure.
The polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables trigger antioxidant activity that
protects the cells in your body and some, such as quercetin (red apples and watermelon)
and resveratrol (grapes) are anti-inflammatory in nature. Some of the phytonutrients
appear to protect you against cancer, such as falcarinol, which is found in carrots
and indole-3 carbonyl, which is in broccoli.
Fruits and vegetables also supply dietary fiber, which is often deficient in a typical
western diet. You need high fiber foods to keep your digestive system working normally
and to help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Eating high fiber foods also
helps keep you feeling full, which is good for losing or maintaining your weight.
Eating foods high in fiber has been found to reduce symptoms of chronic constipation,
diverticular disease and some types of 'irritable bowel'. Dietary fiber, also known as roughage
or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other
food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and
absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Therefore, it passes virtually unchanged through
your stomach and small intestine and into your colon.
Some tips for increasing fiber in your diet:
Serve bean, pea, or lentil main dishes instead of meat, chicken, or fish, one or more times each week.
Serve whole grain bread with dinner when it fits into the meal. (Go easy on the butter or margarine!)
Eat a whole orange instead of orange juice for breakfast sometimes.
Have fresh fruit for dessert instead of a sweet dessert.
Grate fresh carrot into cole slaw and other salads.
Add sliced banana, peach, or other fruit to your cereal.
Keep prepared carrot and celery sticks, cucumber rounds, and other fresh vegetables at work for a quick, high fiber (and low fat) snack.
Keep whole wheat crackers at work for an easy, high fiber snack.
Get Good Fats in Your Diet. Not all the fats that you eat are "bad".
Among them are the omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods including walnuts,
some fruits and vegetables, and coldwater fish such as salmon, anchovies,
sardines and anchovies. Some fats are actually very good for you and should
be consumed to promote good health. Good fats have many benefits but the
biggest is the reduction in cardiovascular disease.
Try to get a few of the good fats listed here:
Olive oil: Olive oil contains phenol, which keeps your arteries elastic.
This helps prevent heart attacks by allowing your arteries to handle changes
in your blood flow.
Salmon and cold water fish: Salmon, anchovies, sardines and cod are chock
full of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are good fats to lower inflammation
in the body.
Flax seeds: Flax seeds are also high in omega 3 fatty acids. These tiny seeds
are a great provider of fiber in your diet also. Try flax seeds on your salad.
Avocado: Avocado’s are high in monounsaturated fats, which are good fats.
Remember saturated fats are bad for you (saturated sucks). Avocados have been known
to lower cholesterol levels. Try avocado on your salad. Top your tacos or burritos.
Make a great guacamole!
Fish oil pills: Want an easy way to get good fats into your diet try fish oil
pills. Fish oil pills are filled with the omega 3 fatty acids and provide all the benefits.
Sugar addiction is the single biggest cause of diet failure in the USA. The hardest
part is staying off of sugar for the 12-18 months it can take for your body to finally
recognize sugar as something it doesn't want.
Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely
know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware
that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup, milk and fruit juice.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
One of the main causes of constipation is a lack of hydration. You should drink 6 to 8
glasses of purified water each day to promote a healthy bowel. Adding lots of water
is always good in the diet.
The human body is a water machine, designed to run primarily on water and minerals.
By weight our body is about 72% water, another 8% is a combination of chemical compounds
and the remaining 20% is bone and solid tissue. Our brain is over 80% water and controls
each and every process that happens inside of our body.From the most basic standpoint it is a
common sense equation, if we are made up of 72% plain water, then naturally the quality
of the water we consume will have a very dramatic impact on our overall state of health.
Every healing and life giving process that happens in our body happens through Water!
Following this meal pattern:
ALWAYS eat a protein, vegetable, fruit, fiber and fat.
Here are some of my recent meal plates....