So, here’s the deal – I don’t believe in diets.
I tried the Whole 30 diet and lasted less than a week. There are a lot of things that I like about the Whole 30 program don’t get me wrong, but I can’t conceptually get down with how restrictive it is. I found myself eliminating foods that in moderation aren’t bad for you (think oats, rice, quinoa, chickpeas). These are foods that I eat almost on a daily basis (in moderation, of course). My other issue with most diets is the negative behavioral and cognitive response that our bodies have to restricted foods. Did you know that depriving yourself of certain foods can actually make you crave it more? Hello binge eating.
I don’t have a get [fill in the blank] quick diet, but if you are looking to make a lifestyle change for the healthier – Real Foods “Diet” is a great place to start. It’s basically my own mix between Paleo and Whole 30, but not as restrictive and therefore more maintainable/realistic.
Eat: Real foods. Meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and good fat from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. The best foods have few ingredients and all pronounceable ingredients.
Avoid: Dairy, artificial sugar, high starch foods (white bread/rice/pasta), processed foods, soft drinks
Eat breakfast every day. Get your metabolism started and you wont be starving by lunch time/tempted to eat a big lunch.
Eat smaller meals through out the day (substitute snacks in between).
Eat balanced meals (protein, vegetable, “starch”). *eat tons of vegetables, some protein and limit starch
Alright, now that you have the basics down here are some ideas for different meals and a list of other foods at the bottom to keep it fresh. Keep in mind the keys is everything in moderation!
Omelet or scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, diced turkey breast or chicken breast (no cheese)
Salad w protein (add avocado, onions, peppers, egg..)
Grilled chicken (add sides – spinach, tomatoes, brown rice/sweet potatoes* *limit)
Spaghetti squash/Zucchini Noodles (pesto, marinara* *limit amount of sauce) add chicken or turkey meatballs (add ins – mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach..)
Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Tilapia)
Broccoli/ Cauliflower (steamed or roasted)
Brown rice (limit)
*Use EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, artichoke for seasoning/cooking fish and chicken
*Pair Fish/Chicken with a vegetable (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower) and a “starch” (brown rice, sweet potatoes or substitute spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles)
Fish (best is wild-caught or sutainably fished, farm-raised is OK)
Poultry – chicken, turkey (pastured, organic, or store-bought w skin removed)
Processed Meants – sausage, deli meat (grass-fed/pastured or organic..avoid added sugar, MSG, etc.)
**quick tip : buying fresh fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish and organic poultry can add up quickly. Check out your local farmers market for good deals, eat whats in season (not only is it fresher, but typically less expensive as well) and minimize waste (see where you can use the same ingredients in multiple meals).