November 5th marks the "kickoff" of the ESHCA Fall 49-Day Nutrition Challenge. This section of the newsletter will be used to support the program over the next two months. There are many nutrition programs available resulting in more confusion then clarity. "Eat Clean" was chosen for this challenge because it does not eliminate any of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins or fats), instead it focuses on the benefits of all and encourages the best quality of each. Using the clean eating model as a base, allows you to easily change variables (foods), adjusting the program to meet your needs, i.e. lose weight, gain weight, improve your numbers, etc.
A)Menu Plan - Having a blueprint (template) to follow and a center point to start from is imperative to be successful and understand nutrition.
- The 7 Principles of Eat Clean are:
- Eat 5-6 meals each day!
- Breakfast is necessary!
- Eat a combination of protein and carbohydrate at each meal!
- Drink 66-99 oz. of water per day!
- Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, minerals and enzymes!
- Plan and prepare: buy the right groceries and carry your own food!
- Adhere to proper portion sizes!
B) Food List - How do I plan and prepare 5-6 daily meals? In the previous newsletter I stated that there were a number of easily identifiable variables (foods) including:
- Water - 66-99 oz./day (avoid drinking your calories)
- Complex carbs from vegetables and fruit - 5+ servings per day
- Complex carbs from starches including whole grains and veg/fruit (some veg/fruits are classified as starches and not veg/fruits; example: potatoes, bananas) - 1 to 3 servings per day
- Proteins (include dairy, nuts and beans) and lean proteins - 5 servings per day
- Healthy fats - 2 to 3 servings per day
The key is often in changing the choices of food not the amount of food. For example, replace a bowl of pasta and meatballs with a bowl of salad topped with chicken.
C) Food Log - For each meal (breakfast, am snack, lunch, pm snack, dinner, late pm snack) you simply pick a serving of protein (meat, dairy, nuts, beans) and a serving of carbohydrate (vegetable/fruit). At 1-3 meals you would add a "baseball" serving of starch (sweet potato, oatmeal, quinoa, bread, pasta) and at 2-3 meals you would add a "thumb-size" serving of healthy fat (olive oil, ground flaxseed, avocado).
Link to the menu plan, food list and food log at the bottom of the Nutrition Challenge section below.