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General healthy eating formula desired.....


VaKim
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There are so many conflicting "perfect diets" out there, that it just makes things way too confusing when trying to come up with meal plans. I am somebody who does best with a sort of outline or formula that I can modify for my own personal use. I was like this with curriculum, and find I am the same with pretty much everything.

 

What I would really like to find is something like a daily meal plan, but instead of having the actual food listed, have a "category" with a list to choose from. Something like this.

 

Breakfast:

_oz. protein (list of foods to choose from)

_ oz. green vegetable ("")

_ oz. whole grain ("")

 

Anyhow, that basic idea. I have already determined that I would have 3 meals a day with no snacks, and some protein with each meal. But there is just so much other stuff out there. Like how you should eat fish so many times a week, blueberries every day, beans every day, nuts or seeds every day, etc. If I ate everything that was suggested to eat every day, I'd weigh 900 pounds! And while I would like to lose 15-20 pounds, I mainly want a healthy diet for life. Not a weight loss diet. Any ideas?

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Richard Simmons had something years ago like that.  It was called a Food Mover, and you closed little windows when you ate from a category.  I modified it for children by making a poster for the fridge that they could put magnets on.  It helped us all eat better and not restrict food.  You honestly could do something for yourself that is similar by putting together a picture document for either general food groups or by meal.

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I shoot for having no more than 1500-2000 mg of sodium, and no more than about 6-10g of sugar a day. I try to get in 45-60g of protein (I'm vegetarian) and "some" veggies and fruits each day. Also, no nitrates, and I try to stop eating at 6 pm.

 

The sugar is still a bit high, but a big improvement for me. I'm working on this area.

 

By following this, I find that I can't eat processed foods very much at all.

 

I've also added in a 1 mi. walk each day.

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My formula is much simpler. Using 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants' I plan plates that are half veg, one quarter protein and one quarter whole starch (whole grain bread or pasta, potatoes in their skins, etc.). My definition of food is mostly cooked from scratch, which avoids excessive salt, but without getting pedantic about it - the occasional sausage or shop bought biscuit won't hurt. That's it.

 

I do snack but mostly on raw veg.

Edited by Laura Corin
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My formula is much simpler. Using 'eat food, not too much, mostly plants' I plan plates that are half veg, one quarter protein and one quarter whole starch (whole grain bread or pasta, potatoes in their skins, etc.). My definition of food is mostly cooked from scratch, which avoids excessive salt, but without getting pedantic about it - the occasional sausage or shop bought biscuit won't hurt. That's it.

 

I do snack but mostly on raw veg.

 

I think for the grand majority of humans, this is a great approach.  

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It really does get confusing!

 

A couple of simple formulas I like are:

 

Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.

 

Another is the Whole30 meal template which is a great guide (IMO) whether or not I'm doing a full Whole30. Each meal should contain a protein, vegetables, and a healthy fat.

 

 

Another fan of the W30 meal template!

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There are so many conflicting "perfect diets" out there, that it just makes things way too confusing when trying to come up with meal plans. I am somebody who does best with a sort of outline or formula that I can modify for my own personal use. I was like this with curriculum, and find I am the same with pretty much everything.

 

What I would really like to find is something like a daily meal plan, but instead of having the actual food listed, have a "category" with a list to choose from. Something like this.

 

Breakfast:

_oz. protein (list of foods to choose from)

_ oz. green vegetable ("")

_ oz. whole grain ("")

 

Anyhow, that basic idea. I have already determined that I would have 3 meals a day with no snacks, and some protein with each meal. But there is just so much other stuff out there. Like how you should eat fish so many times a week, blueberries every day, beans every day, nuts or seeds every day, etc. If I ate everything that was suggested to eat every day, I'd weigh 900 pounds! And while I would like to lose 15-20 pounds, I mainly want a healthy diet for life. Not a weight loss diet. Any ideas?

 

Those suggestions come from the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND "diets" (ways of eating) which all have very strong research support in terms of maintaining health.  I do eat that way and lost 60 pounds eating that way. Daily I eat leafy greens and blueberries (or some other kinds of berries), nuts most days and am working on upping my beans---but it won't increase my weight to increase my beans. I aim for 8+ servings of fruits and veges a day. I eat fish 2-4 x per week (mostly salmon or cod.)When you have that much plant food, plus healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil, plus some protein, you are too full for a lot of other things that actually will cause weight gain like desserts, junk food, etc. Plus you feel fabulous. 

 

Protein is generally .8 g. per kg of body weight, but that depends on your activity level. Examples: eggs, beans, poultry, fish

 

At least 3 servings of whole grain per day is recommended by MIND diet--more for DASH and Mediterranean. They do not have to include wheat, and whole grain excludes white flour, rice, etc.  A serving is 1/2 c. oatmeal, 1 slice bread. You can look on the package of rice, quinoa, etc. for what constitutes a serving. 

 

Green veges: Leafy green veges: 1/2 cup cooked or 2 cups raw. (They cook down a LOT) 

 

 

Here are examples of my meals: 

 

Breakfast: 

 

Nearly every day: Fritatta of spinach (I use frozen chopped and heat it up first) with eggs. Sometimes I add onions garlic. Sometimes i use leftover veges from the night before chopped finely instead of spinach. Top with guacamole or chopped avocado.   I eat blueberries either with oatmeal or yogurt or kefir for my "next course" of breakfast.

 

Lunch possibilities:  leftovers from dinner;  salad with oil & vinegar dressing (either plain oil and vinegar or homemade vinagrette);  soup; black bean burrito with green & red pepper , jalapeno, onions, garlic, guacamole, yogurt (instead of sour cream) This cooks fast.  I often add some salmon to the salad, either canned or left over from the night before. Hummus with veges gives you your serving of beans. Nuts can go on salad. I tend to eat them for a snack in late afternoon, but you said you didn't want snacks. I eat walnuts & almonds most often.  

 

Dinner: fish tacos (cod pieces from Trader Joe's well seasoned,  purple cabbage slaw made with only lime juice (it's delicious) , guac, salsa, yogurt or sour cream. 

Cajun chicken (sprinkle skinless chicken with homemade cajun seasoning (no salt), greens with apple cider vinegar, black rice. 

Soup or salad

I use ground turkey a lot. It's cheap and much less fat than beef. Red meat is a treat only on Mediterranean , DASH, and MIND diets ---once a week or less. I use it in spaghetti sauce, shepherd's pie served with lots of sauteed cabbage  spaghetti squash casserole a la Molly Katzen, 

Bean burritos

Chili ---either white with chicken and green chili or red with meat only for flavoring if at all. 

I love roasted vegetables of all sorts. I plan for large portions of veges at dinner. 

 

I just have a mind set of looking for how to get some vegetables into every meal. I leave a bowl of fruit on the table for easy grabbing. That is dessert, too.  I also eat a few squares of dark chocolate when I want something sweet. Other than fruit or dark chocolate, desserts are very rare. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Edited by Laurie4b
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Richard Simmons had something years ago like that.  It was called a Food Mover, and you closed little windows when you ate from a category.  I modified it for children by making a poster for the fridge that they could put magnets on.  It helped us all eat better and not restrict food.  You honestly could do something for yourself that is similar by putting together a picture document for either general food groups or by meal.

 

He also had another, similar, program called Deal a Meal; I bought it YEARS ago. It's somewhat similar. You could probably find one or both on eBay.

 

I don't get as detailed as weighing how much of a particular food group I eat, but I do meal plan. I have a simple one page sheet that has breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day of the week. It helps me see how much of each food group I'm eating on a daily basis as well as weekly, so I just adjust if I think there's too much or not enough of something. I try to eat mostly vegetables. In fact, I usually save meat for dinner with the family but I'm on my own for breakfast and lunch. I try not to eat much sugar or any processed foods. I eat lowish carb (no white rice, bread, pasta) because I tend to gain if I eat that stuff, and I don't think it's particularly healthy for you.

 

I eat a wide variety of fruit, plain or with plain yogurt, for breakfast, or eggs and veggies, or a smoothie with veg & fruit, or an apple and peanut butter, sometimes oatmeal. For lunch I almost always have a salad with all sorts of veggies and dressing I make myself. I'll throw in some protein to keep me full, like tuna or egg or beans or leftover meat from dinner. Dinner a few days a week is a vegetarian entree and a few days a week is a protein, a veg, and a salad or greens of some kind.

 

I usually partake of "junk" food at family gatherings or other social events.

 

ETA: I never eat anything non or lowfat. Dairy I try to buy grassfed whole milk. And I eat a lot of avocado and use avocado oil for cooking (evoo when not)

Edited by whitestavern
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