Sally sat down as I looked over her weekly food diary. There it was in black and white; Prime Rib, Chicken Alfredo, Bratwurst, Chicken Fried Steak . . . !
“Sally,” I asked. “Why did you eat these?”
“Well Ellie, you said anything was fine in moderation.”
Sigh. Yes, I certainly said that more than once. I discovered ‘moderation’ is a subjective term and realized clarification was in order. I patiently explained that although anything was truly fine in moderation, I didn’t mean consuming fattening foods every day, especially while striving to become healthier.
How many calories you should eat daily depends on your individual age, height, weight and activity. (Google weight calculators.) If you want to lose, consume 500 calories less but not less than 1200 per day or your body won’t receive the necessary calories to work effectively. To keep your body running like a locomotive on coal, eat mini-meals throughout the day. When a train runs out of steam, it’s slower to rev up.
Your typical dinner should look like this: 60% fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 15% comprise grilled, broiled or baked lean protein. The rest, 25%, can be filled with good fats: olive, canola oil, avocados, salad dressing, coconut, nuts or an occasional desert. We are adults, we live under grace and we can choose what we want.
Still too complicated?
“ELLIE’S HEALTHY-LIVING – RULE OF THUMB”: Your plate should contain 5x’s more vegetables than meat. Simple.
- Cover your plate with nutrient dense vegetables such as brocolli, asparagus, green beans, peas, red/green peppers, onions, cauliflower, brussell sprouts. These foods create an alkalizing environment in which cancer cells cannot thrive. Strive to consume 4-5 cups of vegetables daily. Vegetables are primarily water so you’ll hydrate yourself while consuming nutrients and fiber!
- Lean meats: 3-4 oz of lean meat is all you need at one time, (approximate size of your palm or deck of cards).
- Your body needs variety. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytonutrients have different responsibilities. Everything’s meant to work together for good. Disregarding a vital nutrient will change your body’s chemistry.
Many dieters avoid beef. There’s no need to. London Broil, Filet Mignon, Sirloin Steak, Tenderloin, eye of round or top round have approximately 6 grams of fat per 3.5 oz serving. Dark meat chicken, (legs/thighs) actually has a higher fat content at 11 grams per serving.
Beef also contains high amounts of B12 which is an energy vitamin! That doesn’t mean you should eat beef every night. Consume chicken, turkey or pork for variety. But a steak sandwich? No problem. Grill Sirloin, slice 3 oz, place on a whole grain roll, smother it in grilled mushrooms, peppers and onions, even add a thin slice of mozarella. Include a green salad with 1 tbsp dressing. Are you suffering? No. Food should have flavor and be enjoyable to eat!
Lean pork, (loin) contains Thiamine, the “feel-good” vitamin. Add herbs, garlic, fruit, seasonings and consume nutrients!
Any broiled, grilled or baked fish; Tilapia, salmon, Swai, halibut, codfish, shrimp are wonderful additions to your eating plan. Add lemon, herbs, wine or salsa for variety.
Add a whole grain; potatoes, corn, brown rice, barley, pasta. You mean I can eat potatoes too? Aren’t potatoes bad for me? A potato contains vitamins A, E, D, K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Does that sound like something God wants you to avoid? Resist placing tons of butter, sour cream or drowning it in oil and it’ll stay healthy. Sweet potatoes are even better!
Pasta? Again, buy whole grain. Create tomato sauces with lots of vegetables! I’ve replaced heavy cream with neufchatel/light cream cheese and parmesan, creating a fabulous 20% fat alfredo sauce!
Change habits, honor God and become a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”