Plan and prepare
The biggest mistake people make is not planning their meals and snacks. Have pre-cut veggies and easy to grab fruits, string cheese, and quick protein sources to curb hunger. Prepare salads, steamed vegetables, and grilled or crock-pot chicken to have for meals and snacks at the beginning of the week. Don’t let yourself get too hungry or you will eat whatever you crave or see.
Vegetables: 50 – 60% of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables raw, steamed, or cooked. These include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, celery, green beans, zucchini, etc. Try to include 2 different types with both lunch and dinner. Have cut-up vegetables on hand for snacks. Aim for 4 cups of vegetables a day.
25% of the plate should include a lean source of protein (chicken, turkey, etc.). Each meal should have about 20-30 grams of protein for optimal healing and blood sugar balance. Serving sizes should be the size of your palm or ½-1 cup.
10-15% of the plate should be high carbohydrate sources that include starchy vegetables (corn, peas, beets, squash, potatoes, and beans), fruit, or grains.
5% of the plate should be healthy fats used in salad dressings, on vegetables, or to cook meat in. These include butter, nuts, avocados, and healthy oils including olive, avocado, and coconut oil. Try to avoid fake butter, margarine, and canola or vegetable oils.
Start the day out with a protein-based meal. Don’t skip this meal or eat sugary cereals, pastries, etc. A good breakfast will help prevent food cravings later and increase production of hormones and brain chemicals. Examples are eggs and whole wheat toast or fruit, cottage cheese and yogurt or fruit, oatmeal (not instant) with fruit and an egg, Greek yogurt or plain yogurt smoothies with berries, protein powder shakes, etc.
Choose organic fruits, vegetables, and meats if possible.
Organic foods help to decrease the stress on organs and allow hormones to function properly. It is especially important to choose organic produce for those where the skin does not have to be removed to eat (apples, celery, grapes, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.).
Cook with healthy oils.
Use butter and coconut oil for spreads and cooking, olive oil for dressings, and avocado oil for higher temperature cooking (all found at Costco.) Avoid vegetable and canola oils as much as possible.
Limit processed foods
Try to cook with more whole and natural based foods instead of canned or packaged. Make your own cream of chicken/mushroom soup substitutes, salad dressings, etc.