FOOD & MENU IDEAS + RECIPES
FOOD AND MENU IDEAS
Changing eating patterns can be very difficult. Take a DEEP breath, and realize it takes time to break ingrained habits but IT CAN BE DONE!
Take some time to look up healthier recipes online – remember that just because they SAY they are healthy doesn’t make it so. The word “healthy” means different things to different people. Check nutrient percentages.
Understand that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed – it makes sense. Go with the feeling instead of fighting it, and be understanding with yourself.
By writing out your meal plan in advance, shopping for the ingredients, and preparing the ingredients, you lower the stress and anxiety of what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it. It also frees up your time and takes the what do I feel like eating out of your thought process.
While the program is based upon allowing yourself to eat ALL foods, it is best to keep foods healthy and clean 80-90% of the time. This means calorie dense, nutrient rich, non-processed lean foods that are low in sugar. Here are a few ideas:
- Chicken breasts
- Ground chicken breast
- Ground turkey breast
- Duck breast
- Pork tenderloin
- Fish – all kinds
- Lean red meat (burger meat 5%/95%)
- Bison meat (higher in fat but still healthy
- Turkey bacon – no nitrates
- Prosciutto – it may have nitrites but is packed full of flavor for a small amount
- Sliced no-nitrate lunch meats – just check sugar and sodium content
- Eggs – organic
- Quinoa – very calorie dense
*WHAT’S UP WITH SOY? Soy crops are 90% genetically modified, so if you’re eating soy that isn’t organic, it’s GMO. GMO’s have been linked to allergies, food sensitivities, and a host of other health problems. It’s a cheap filler, so GMO soy is hiding in sauces, dressings and almost all processed and prepackaged foods. Although the jury is out on hormonal disruption, our research strongly indicates that soy may increase estrogen levels leading to hormone imbalances. Soy products are most often produced in aluminum vats, and as Health Advisors and Nutritionists, we see a lot of aluminum toxicity. This shows up in the form of headaches, fatigue, acne, mental fog, and many other symptoms that you may never relate to heavy metal toxicity. Soy is also a legume and, like all legumes, soy contains phytic acid, lectins, and leptins. Phytates bind to beneficial minerals to prevent absorption causing mineral deficiencies. Lectins and leptins work together to fool your brain that you’re hungry, even when you’ve had enough. (Ever feel like you’re always hungry?) Soy is high in goitrogens, which can inhibit the thyroid from utilizing iodine properly, leading to hypothyroid issues. Soy also contains the enzyme protease, which can lead to digestive problems, inflammation, and a leaky gut.
PROTEIN (incomplete) / DAIRY
- Non-fat cottage cheese (watch the sugar here – Trader Joe’s is the best I’ve found)
- Low fat/Non-fat cheeses
- Low-fat milk (watch sugar here also – non-fat milk is higher in sugar)
- Unsweetened almond or other nut milks
- Unsweetened rice milk
- Yogurt, sugar free or very low in sugar
- Beans & rice combination – In order to make this protein complete, they must be combined
- Protein Powders – high quality, low sugar. These are not the best protein option but they work well when you are pressed for time or on the road. My favorites:
- Shakeology (note I am a distributor)
- Sun Warrior
- Protein bars – high quality, low sugar
- All leafy greens
- Brussel sprouts
- Green Beans
- Peas – fresh if possible
- Spaghetti Squash
- Summer Squash
- Sweet Potatoes (there are low sugar varieties available)
FRUITS: (In moderation)
Stick with the lower sugar fruits such as:
- Berries (check Glycemic Index for berry of choice)
- *Bananas – VERY high in sugar but you can use 1/8 – 1/4 to add to a smoothie. Cut them in advance and freeze them for portion control.
GRAINS/CARBS – Focus on foods that are high in fiber and low in simple sugars. Most every food has a sugar in it, but it’s the type of sugar and the additional ingredients that make an item preferable.
For carb cravings, I eat mushroom and spiralized zucchini. They have that great meaty texture.
- Bread – Whole grain (not whole wheat) and organic, such as Dave’s Killer Bread
- Brown rice – preferably organic
- Oatmeal – steel cut, preferably organic
- Quinoa – VERY calorie dense to watch serving size
- Tortillas – small, whole wheat, low carb
- Whole gains, such as amaranth, etc., but calorie dense
- Whole grain Wasa cracker
- Brown rice cakes – no sugar
- Whole wheat pastas, including gluten free if needed.
- Whole wheat, low carb tortillas
- Wallaby unsweetened organic yogurt – this has fruit but only 5g of sugar
- Oikos unsweetened organic yogurt
- Plain yogurt
- Light Sour Cream
- Non-fat cottage cheese – water sugar content in non-fat products
- Light cheeses – I like Babybell Light, as the portion are pre-packaged
- Unsweetened almond and nut milks
- Unsweetened rice milk
- Coconut milk creamer
- Coconut oil – great or sautéing vegetables.
- Olive oil (best for cooking) and extra virgin olive oil (best for dressings and drizzling)
- Grape seed oil
- Different flavor olive oils to make salad dressing and to saute my vegetables. LOVE lemon olive oil but be sure to buy a good quality one for the best flavor.
- Nuts (in moderation)
- Butter (in moderation)
- Almond butter is the best option but you can use other nut butters
- Galeos Dressing – At Von’s and Albertsons – It’s a very low calorie, low fat, low sugar dressing that tastes like Chinese chicken salad dressing. LOVE, LOVE this.
- Flavored vinegars to make salad dressing
- Soyaki or Island Soyaki – higher in sugar and salt but just for marinade.
- Peanut putter powder – awesome in smoothies
- Stevia drops. Sometimes you just need something sweet and this adds a bit of sweetness without being artificial.
- Herbal teas
BREAKFAST – Try non-traditional breakfast items for a delicious change of pace
- Scrambled eggs with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, 1 slice of turkey bacon (if we have it pre-made on hand), and 1 slice of Dave’s Killer Bread with 1 teaspoon of butter.
- Protein Shake
- Egg Frittata, made with 2 egg whites to every yolk
- Eggs of any sort
- Chicken breast (4 oz.), sweet potato or brown rice (1/3 cup), and avocado (2T) bowl
- Leftovers from Lunch or Dinner
- Oatmeal with protein powder added or with a protein shake
LUNCH – Eat the proper ratios of protein, carbs, and fat
- Romaine lettuce wrap with sliced turkey breast, tomato, sweet onion, 1 sliced Babybell light, and 1T avocado. ½ pear or ½ cup berries after Sometimes I’ll have half a pear AFTER I eat this or 1/2 cup of fresh berries.
- Same as above but using 1 whole wheat, low carb tortilla or Dave’s Killer bread.
- Soup (watch sodium levels) with added protein and 1 Tablespoon avocado.
- Sometimes I’m just too busy to eat lunch so I’ll have a shake.
DINNERS – Use a slow cooker for quick and easy meals
Sunday – Family: Whole chicken, green beans, brown rice with Quinoa.
Monday – Family: Healthy enchiladas You: Chicken salad
Tuesday – Taco Tuesday – Ground turkey BREAST with tomato sauce and spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic, low carb tortilla,
Non-fat or vegetarian refried beans and Salad
Family: Tacos or tostadas You: I used the taco meat to a taco salad (lots of veggies and 2T avocado) with 2 T reduced fat sour cream on top. I also crush up 1-2 tortilla chips and sprinkle it on top.
Wednesday – Family: Whole wheat spaghetti with chicken sausage, salad, whole grain rolls You: Spiralized zucchini with ½ cup spaghetti sauce and ½ sausage and salad
Thursday – Family: Pork loin, broccoli, brown rice pilaf. You: Pork, green beans, and 1/4 cup of the rice
Friday – Friday is pizza night in our household. Make your own:
- Heat a soft taco sized whole wheat, low carb tortilla in the oven until crisp.
- Put on 1-2 Tablespoons pizza sauce and toppings.
- Topping ideas – 1 slice Canadian bacon diced; 1/8 cup crushed pineapple; sliced turkey pepperoni; vegetables; basil – as long as it fits into your ratios be creative!
- Slice one Babybell light thinly and put it on top.
- Put it in the oven to heat and melt the cheese and serve it with a large salad.
SNACKERS – A snack should be just enough to get you through the to the next meal without feeling too hungry or full. Think of it as half a meal.
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1/4 cup pineapple with 8 almonds all mixed up.
- Roll up deli meat with ½-ounce light cheese
- Hard-boiled egg with ½ apple
- Celery and carrot sticks with homemade hummus
- Shakes are good snacks as long as you keep the calories and sugar low.
- Protein bar – half or whole
- Rolled up deli meat with cucumber, spinach, and avocado
- 2 ounces chicken breast, 8 almonds, cauliflower
- Plain greed yogurt with berries
- Celery sticks with 1 Tablespoon almond butter
- Hard-boiled egg and jicama.
- Mini can of tuna with whole grain Wasa cracker and avocado
- Smoked salmon and asparagus
- Sweet potato and diced turkey breast
- Half an apple with 1 Tablespoon almond butter
- Red bell pepper stick with tahini
- Lettuce roll with meat, light cheese and veggies
- Brussel sprouts, sweet potato, lean meat
- Tomato half with 2 ounces tuna and 1 Tablespoon avocado
- Hard-boiled egg and half a pear
6:00 AM Workout (or in evening)
7:30 AM Breakfast
10:30 AM Snacker
4:30 PM Snacker
6:00 PM Workout (or in morning)
7:30 PM Dinner