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You may be thinking, "but I WANT a meal plan - just tell me what to eat so I don't have to figure it out!"



Unfortunately, when we try to follow a super specific program or rigid prescription, many things can - and do - go wrong.

Typically, one of three things will happen with a diet or meal plan:

  • You don't stick to it like you are supposed to (because we are human and have a life!)

  • You follow it perfectly (but it becomes too strict for too long)

  • You follow the plan for a while but don't really enjoy it so it is not sustainable long term

Let's dive into each of these a little more...

1. You don't stick to the meal plan or diet the way you are supposed to

Unless you plan to never get busy, always be prepared, pass up birthday party and dinner invites, skip vacations, and stick to a schedule all day every day - LIFE will get in the way of your "perfect" meal plan.

Paying someone to create a meal plan for your life could also cause you to rebel against it.

For example, you have one slip up on Wednesday and then say "screw it" and eat crap the rest of the week!

You begin to hate that 4oz piece of chicken, despise the process, and quit all together. You conclude that "healthy eating" sucks.

This is super unfortunate because you missed your chance to LEARN how to make healthier, more enjoyable, and lasting choices

Learning to eat properly and make healthy choices - and indulge now and then - is a much more sustainable and enjoyable way to live!

Ok, on to scenario two...

2. You follow the plan perfectly (but it becomes too strict for too long)

Strict prescription meal plans that tell you to eat this much at this time are for body builders and competitive athletes.

They are meant to be short term. They are designed to help a person get to a specific short term goal (ex: drop 10 lbs). But what happens when that "diet" or "meal plan" is over?

You either go back to your old way of eating because you don't know what else to do or you follow a plan that was meant to be temporary for too long - which could lead to deficiencies, disordered eating habits, or other health (mental, metabolic, hormonal) consequences.

Here is what happens when you go on a restrictive diet:

  • The first - or maybe even second time - you may lose a lot of weight, but consequently your metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight down the road.

  • If you do lose a lot of weight on a restrictive diet and are not eating enough protein or building muscle, you will be losing muscle mass - and muscle burns fat.

  • You deprive yourself and then over indulge.

  • You eventually lose motivation and gain the weight back.

Ok, moving on…

3. You follow the plan for a while but don't really enjoy it so it is not sustainable long term

Sustainability = Success

Question to ask yourself: Could I eat this way next month? Next year?

It has to be sustainable, otherwise it won't last.

And, most diets and meal plans are typically not sustainable long term.

Most people are Yo-Yoing through life - so they are either on a diet or "need to get on the diet."

Cupcakes and kale can co-exhist!

Life is too short to not eat ice cream. But life is also too short to eat CRAP all the time.

What if you NEVER went on another "diet" again?

What if you chose to eat mindfully and moderately ALL the time?

Sure, there may be times where you indulge a little more and times when you get a little stricter, but being mindful and eating in moderation is a way of life, not a quick fix.

Learn to navigate the middle ground between depriving yourself and overindulging.

The more you over indulge, the more you deprive yourself, and vice versa.

There is no getting on or off the badwagan, no more "starting again on Monday" - You are in IT for the long haul.

Nutrients vs. Normal People Food

Ok, let's be real... We are people who eat food. We are not professional athletes getting paid to train at the highest level eating nutrients.

Our diets should NOT look like theirs...

Professional athlete or body builder:

1/4 c. Oatmeal

3oz Chicken breast

1 c. Steamed broccoli

5 almonds

1 omega-3 supplement

We do NOT need that level of precision. We don't need to measure everything, count our almonds, and eat in "ounces." That is over-kill. It is obsessive when there is no need. And it is kinda weird.

Most people eat foods like this:

Tacos

Salads

Pasta and noodles

Sandwiches and pittas

Cereal

Chips and dips

Pizza

Here is the KEY: Think about what you already eat and how you can make it a little better!

Make small changes to what you normally eat and enjoy - ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME!

The goal is to eat in moderation and still be satisfied by your meal.

So if you are not satisfied by your meals, find the middle ground that makes your meal still some-what healthy and enjoyable. You do NOT have to eat foods you hate - you should enjoy your meals.

Updated: Apr 22



Let's talk Protein.

If you’ve been around me for awhile or in any realm that includes fitness and health, you’ve probably heard about it.


You probably know that the number one thought of source of protein is meat.


But do you know what it actually is and what it does?


Protein contains amino acids, which work as building blocks for our cells. In our blood stream, we basically have a floating pool of these amino acids ready to replenish cells that need it. Think of that floating cooler on the river when you’re stuck alone in your tube.


Now, the downside to this floating cooler of amino acids is that some of the amino acids contained in it are essential or conditionally essential amino acids that are bodies either cannot produce or cannot produce in our current health state. That’s where we need protein. Protein is the guy on the raft who comes along and fills up that cooler with amino acids.


When we get adequate protein, we keep that amino acid pool full and ready to repair, replace and replenish cells that do a variety of things - produce enzymes, hormones, antibodies, etc. When we don’t get enough protein, our body has to make a choice as to what’s important and what isn’t.


So how much protein do we actually need?

Well, it depends.

Multiple agencies have calculated the minimum needed to prevent deficiency, which is ~.36g/pound for an “inactive, healthy adult” (I don’t know what an “inactive healthy adult” looks like...feels weird to type but ok). But if you have goals to lose weight or gain muscle, you’ll want to bump that up somewhere toward 1g/pound maximum.


The other fun perk about consuming enough protein? Your body will release the hormone called glucagon - which helps convert body fat into energy (yay!)

And if you’ve been warned that eating too much protein will destroy your kidneys and renal system - this is actually a myth. Even a large amount of protein 1.2g/lb consumed by someone with healthy kidneys poses no health risk. However, if you're taking away from other macros to eat high protein, you're losing out on other benefits. More on that later!


Need help fitting your daily protein in? The easiest way to do this is by taking your total protein (if you need help calculating, comment below and we’ll figure it out together!) and divide it by the number of meals you want to eat a day.

Example:

I eat 165g of protein a day. I work out twice a day and often lift really heavy.

My protein needs may be higher than yours.

I like to eat 4 meals OR double up on protein for one meal (usually dinner.)

165 / 4 =41.25g of protein per meal.




Do you get tired of peeling eggs or they end up all mangled because you can't seem to find am method that works? I think I've tried them all - vinegar or baking soda to the water, poke a hole in the bottom, adjust the times, use a rack, use an instapot...but this has become my favorite method.


It's super simple, I've yet to mess it up and the kids can even peel the eggs without looking like they took a cheese grater to them!


Perfectly Peel-able Hard Boiled Eggs

1. Bring eggs to room temperature. I like to pull them out of the fridge first thing in the morning. Cold eggs will crack in the boiling water.


2. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.


3. Gently add eggs in one layer, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 13 minutes. 4. Immediately put eggs in ice bath for 5 minutes. You can peel them immediately and store in an airtight container for a couple days or peel them later. If your eggs are cracking or exploding, they’re either too cold or overcrowded in your pot. Let me know if you try it!