grabs amino acids and stores them in muscles for recovery and repair or future
conversion into glucose if needed to maintain stable sugar levels.
Carbohydrates are divided into two classes: complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates give you sustained
energy (“timed release”) that results in less of an elevation in insulin and
less sugar fluctuations. They also
contain phytochemicals and B vitamins that simple carbs don't. Simple carbohydrates give you immediate energy
which results in high levels of insulin and greater fluctuations in sugar
levels, they are also low in magnesium and other trace minterals. In order to
maintain a balance between storage and use, it is recommended to eat only
complex carbohydrates. A simple rule of
thumb is if it’s white it’s full of simple carbohydrates (white bread/pasta,
Multiple studies have looked at consumption of large amounts
of simple carbohydrates and have found a correlation with elevation in bad
cholesterol (LDL), elevated triglycerides, increased inflammation and increased
incidence of inflammatory diseases. Also, as a general rule of thumb, most
simple carbohydrates are processed which also removes nutrients from the foods
(for example refined flour has 85% less magnesium, 78% less zinc and 81% less
Niacin than unrefined flour).
(more calories per serving): Oatmeal (1
cup dry), sweet potatoes
corn (1 cup), Peas (2 cups cooked). Each
serving contains 40 grams
carbohydrates. Others include whole grains and quinoa grain.
(less calories per serving): Broccoli
(1/2 cup), carrots (1 cup),
(1/2 cup), green beans (1/2 cup), lettuce (5 cups), greens (1 cup),
cup), spinach (3 ½ cups), zucchini (1cup), brussel sprouts (1cup)
Each serving contains 6 grams of
White pasta (8oz cooked), potatoes (8oz
baked), white rice (1 cup cooked). Each
contains 40-50 grams of carbohydrates
These are ultra
high density forms of immediate carbohydrates.
Examples are table
syrup, and fruit sugar (fructose).
Eating these cause huge sustained
insulin and over time can result in multiple metabolic problems.
One cup of
table sugar is equal to 96 grams of carbohydrates.
Fruit is a little tricky.
Even though fruit is full of simple carbohydrates, the absolute amount
is small. This is reflected in what is
called a Glycemic Load. For example,
grapes are full of simple carbohydrates but a cup of grapes has almost 1/4th
the carbohydrates as a cup of pasta. Also
fruits contain vitamins and antioxidants your body needs that white
carbohydrates like pasta don’t contain. There are also other substances known
as pytochemicals and polyphenolic compounds (ie- reservatrol) that are found in
fruits that are not nutrients per say but help regulate DNA and cell repair and
immune system function. Several studies of individuals eating large amounts of
fruits and vegetables have show a decrease in heart disease and improved
Finally, eating foods high in refined sugars or that are
processed result in increased appetite several hours later. These foods cause
fluctuating sugar levels and thus drive appetite 3-4 hours later resulting in decreased
satiety after meals and increased carbohydrate consumption.
Every tissue in your body is made up of protein (ie- muscle,
hair, skin). Proteins are the building
blocks of the metabolic engine of your bodyà
muscles. Without this metabolic engine your body would not burn fat
efficiently. Protein also helps increase
your metabolism every time you eat it by almost 20%! If eaten with carbohydrates it makes them
“time released” so that you get sustained energy with less elevation in
insulin. The average person needs about
1 gram/kg/day (ie- the average 150lb. person would need about 70 grams). One 4 oz serving (palm sized) of fish or
chicken contains between 20-25grams of protein.
Naturally lean protein is of a higher quality than protein sources
high in fats. Proteins from free range
animals have higher amounts of omega-3’s and vitamin D when compare to CAFO animals
(Contained Animal Feeding Operation, ie- industrial meat production). The
highest quality of protein in found in egg whites, coldwater fish (cod, salmon,
mackerel, sardines, tuna), and plant products (that are not processed). Getting
protein from various sources also increases the overall quality of that
All the cells of the body have some form of fat in them. Hormones are manufactured from fats, your
brain insulation is made of fat and fats lubricate your joints. So if you eliminate fat from your diet your
hormone production and brain function will be affected as well as multiple
chemical reactions in your body. Also your body will attempt to accumulate more
fat than usual and thus store more fat or convert more triglycerides to storage
Low fat diets tend to decrease the good cholesterol (HDL)
and increase triglycerides. Good fats
lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower cardiovascular disease. Strong evidence shows low fat diets tend to
increase heart disease and supports the idea, that as a whole, low fat diets
are bad for you.
There are several
types of fats: Saturated, Trans
fats, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated.
A)SATURATED FATS: These are an essential fat that your body
needs, but not in large quantities. Less
than 10% of fats consumed should come from saturated fats. They come from
animal sources and are solid at room temperature. Think of lard (pig fat) or chicken/beef
grease. Large quantities of these are
associated with heart disease, elevated cholesterol and disequilibrium in your body’s
metabolism but small amounts are required. Coconut Oil is 91% saturated fats.
B)TRANS FATS: These
fats are solid at room temperature as well, however the origin of the fat is a
chemically modified plant source. A
plant oil (ie- corn oil/vegetable oil) has the amount of saturation altered in
it by a process called hydrogenation, they are also known as partially hydrogenated oils. The results are products like margarine. This is the form of fat found is almost every
type of potato chip or processed food and is used at almost every fast food
restaurant. These fats are cheap and
have a long storage life. However, they
are the most dangerous form of fat and are directly related to the formation of
plaques in the heart, heart attacks, and disequilibrium in the body’s metabolism. Some studies have shown a direct relationship
between consumption of trans fats and diabetes. They are commonly used however
due to their low cost and long shelf life.
These are good fats found in oils like Olive Oil, Avocado
Oil and Flaxseed Oil. They are high in
essential fatty acids your body uses in your cells and are thought to have
These are the fats found in fish oil and are even better
than monounsaturated oils. When we refer
to Omega-3 oils this is what we’re talking about. These fats actually help protect your heart
(consuming 1000mg of Omega-3 oils a day can decrease your risk of heart attack
by 25% and sudden death by 33%).
Twenty to twenty five percent of your calories should come
from good fats. Any less than 20% and
your hormone production and metabolism in your body will be affected. Sources of good oils include nuts, fish oil,
fish, flaxseed oil, natural peanut butter, avocados and extra virgin coconut
oil and well as cold water fish.
Water is the most abundant substance in your body. Over 65% of your body is composed of
water. Water is needed for all the
complex metabolic reactions in your body.
It cleanses your body from toxins and helps to maintain your body’s
temperature. It also helps to control
your appetite and is a vital part of any diet, weight loss, or weight
maintenance program. Cold water also
increased your metabolism. The average
person needs eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. If you are active you’ll need more.
EXAMPLE OF DAILY MEAL
7AM ½ cup of oatmeal with 1 egg, or ½ cup plane organic
yogurt with one egg.
9AM (snack) ¼
pecans/walnuts, or yogurt, or fruit
12NOON Lunch (see list below for meal ideas/options)
LARABAR (dried fruit/nut bar), or dried fruit with nuts, or yogurt, or
milk cheese (ie- Irish Cheese like Dubliner)
4:30PM Dinner (see list below)
dried or fresh fruit, fat free yogurt, smoothie (1/2 cup plain yogurt or
kefir with ½ cup
Proteins Carbs Veggies
chicken breast quinoa broccoli
turkey breast sweet
lentils yam lettuce
cold water fish squash carrots
raw cheese brown
grain pasta green beans
tuna oatmeal green peppers
lean ground beef beans spinach
top round steak barley tomato
buffalo/bison strawberries brussel sprouts
kefir melon cabbage
egg whites apple celery
plain yogurt plain
lima beans lima
other beans peas
*a serving of a meat product is typically considered to be
4oz or roughly a palm sized serving.
*think Mediterranean diet:
high in nuts, fruits, fish and olive oils. Lots of
omega-3 rich foods. Associated with decreased heart disease
in individuals by up to 50%.
*vitamin supplementation should be with good quality vitamins
certified by a secondary authority like the USP. Supplementation should include Vitamin D
2000-4000 units and fish oil 2000mg dailyl. Others to consider including with a
healthy diet are a multivitamin, calcium/magnesium/zinc and B-complex.
For those wanting some more specific ideas on meal
preparation below are a few recommendations on real food cooking resources.
There are many resources, these are a just starting point.
Real Rood: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig, From Scratch by Shaye Elliott
This site has cooking ideas for throughout the day.