Planning Meals: Just Keep It Simple

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion
“Planning Meals: Just Keep It Simple”
This week is great. We had our lifestyle classes yesterday, followed by our cooking class with chef James last night (thank you.. informative/delicious) and this Wednesday we have our Grocery tours at Trader Joe’s. All of this to help you learn how to eat properly!

The truth, as I’ve said many times on here, is that eating should not be complicated. It SHOULD NOT be complicated, but it HAS BECOME COMPLICATED. Let me simplify this for you: “Eat food, not too much and mostly plants.” Those words come from speaker, author and lecturer Michael Pollan. It just means that we should eat a mostly plant-based diet without obsessing over it. Food can provide nourishment to the body and soul, or it can be a slow form of poison. The food you eat now will have a profound effect on your health in the years to come, but guess what? You actually don’t need an expert to tell you how to eat. You already know what you should do, so just come up with a plan and make it happen. With that being said, I wholeheartedly believe in choosing a coach (like a dietitian ???? ) to help you get and stay on track. If you commit to planning your own healthy meals, you will quickly find that you are going against the grain in this obesogenic culture. Eating healthy is not convenient and easy, BUT it’s worth the effort. Here’s a tip: Stop focusing on what you can’t eat and instead FOCUS ON EATING MORE OF WHAT YOU SHOULD BE EATING. This concept is called “crowding out” and if you increase your intake of lean proteins, vegetables, beans/lentils, fiber-rich foods and some fruit, then you will have less room in your diet for junk food. It’s simple, but requires a plan. I encourage you to write it out.

Here it is in a nutshell:

– Eat lean proteins with meals. Fish, eggs, lean meats, tofu, beans and lentils are all good options
– Eat a LOT more vegetables and find sneaky, creative ways to fit vegetables into your recipes
– Drink a lot of fresh, pure water
– Go ahead and snack on some unsalted nuts or peanuts. These are packed with nutrition and help stave off cravings/hunger
– Go ahead and enjoy some fruit–fresh or frozen, but don’t overdo it. Use it in place of desserts
– Enjoy lowfat dairy which is also nutrient dense, but stay away from added sugars

Now for the foods to crowd out:

– added sugars (sweat tea, soda’s gatorades, candy, yogurt, etc). Start reading ingredients labels and look for sugar by any of its 100 different names
– refined carbohydrates (white flours, pasta’s, crackers, pastries, etc)
– highly processed foods. Hint: read the ingredients labels
– saturated fats from animal products like meats, dairy and cheese
– fast food and restaurant foods

Some specific foods to consider:

– veg omelet (Load up on the veggies!)
– Egg whites in a carton
– Hard boiled eggs
– Turkey breast slices (zero nitrates, low sodium)
– Lowfat plain yogurt (wean yourself off the high sugar stuff–can add 1/2 c berries or 1 tsp honey)
– Ezekial bread toast + 1 tsp natural nut butter
– Roasted cauliflower and broccoli
– baked sweet potato, plain
– individual frozen salmon filet’s or wild-caught fish/shrimp
– Dr Kracker Crackers
– Laughing cow light cheese
– String cheese
– Babybel cheese
– Think Thin Protein Bars
– Quest Banana Nut bar
– Nectar Natural Whey Protein Isolate
– La croix or club soda
– Green tea–the kind you brew yourself!

This is a list to get you started, but you’ll have to experiment with your own diet to find what truly works for you. I encourage you to come out to some of the grocery tours to get hands on experience. Tomorrow we’ll be at Trader Joe’s at 12p and at 6p Also visit our Nutrition Solutions Pinterest page:

About the Author
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach specializing in lifestyle transformation