Thursday, June 7, 2012

my current meal plan

Here is what I typically eat these days.   I'm not counting calories every day anymore but was curious what the breakdown usually is.  If you are trying to lose weight and your current plan isn't working, I think it's worth estimating calories for a typical day.   why?  because if you are like me, you want to enjoy food.  you will likely notice some higher calorie foods that you don't enjoy so much and can lower in quantity while increasing or at least not dropping some lower calorie foods you do enjoy.  Or if there is a particular high calorie food you really enjoy, determine a quantity that will still allow you to lose weight or maintain.

seed mixture, 1 Tbsp:   50 calories
beans, 1/2 cup:  110 calories
starchy veg (e.g., sweet potato, corn):  200 calories
fruit:  2 lbs:   350 calories
soy yogurt, 5 oz:   50 calories
carrots 1 lb:  185
sugar snap peas, 1/2 lb:  100
1 head lettuce, 2/3-1 lb:  80
kale, cabbage, 1/4-1/2 lb:  50
vinegar, 1-2 Tbsp:  25
cooked veggies (whatever is in season and on special!), + onions, mushrooms, 2 lb:  200

approximate calories: 1400
" protein:  73 g  (15%)
" carbs:  278 g (73%)
" fat: 18 g (11%)

some comments:
  • this is a summer plan.  in the summer, I'm not into grains and seeds and nuts as much.  I'm into fresh fruit and veggies.
  • 2 lbs of fruit is more than enough.  but it is delicious this time of year and I enjoy it.   in other seasons I might eat closer to 1/2-1 lb.
  • the carrots aren't even in season, at least not in wisconsin, but I love them and they are cheap and always in abundance (from California).  and they still taste good usually.
  • Interestingly, my protein content goes up when I eat fewer seeds, because I eat so many green vegetables.  They are high in protein without being high in calories.  Jeff Novick has commented on this in his writings and DVDs.  He says that nuts and seeds aren't as nutrient dense--that is, the amount of nutrients per calorie is not as high--as most vegetables.  Of course, they are good for you for other reasons, but not necessarily for the protein.  
  • I eat an embarrassing amount of veggies.  do you think it's too much????   should I eat more grains and starchy veggies instead?  I used to eat more beans but I prefer 1/2 cup at lunch and none at dinner.  If I eat it at dinner, I get bloaty and gassy and it interferes with my sleep.   I'm not feeling like eating a lot of nuts and seeds right now, and I think 1 Tbsp is sufficient for my health needs.  Especially with all those veggies, I get enough omega-3 fats.  in fact, cronometer tells me that this menu gives me an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2.3 which is ideal.  It is suggested that the ratio be under 4.  when sweet corn season starts, my starchy veg portion will go up and the other veggies down accordingly.  so maybe that will be more balanced?  though eating a few ears of corn per day may not be so balanced, but too bad, as that is a sacred annual 2 month event for me.


Holly said...

Well, I don't know that it's too much of anything, especially vegetables but I just want to say it is amazing how much food can be eaten for 1400 calories when one eats ultra high nutrient foods. Just amazing!

I hear you on the sweet corn ritual though I usually only have it 4 days a week, not all 7. Maybe I'll go for a streak this year. :) Question - do you buy only organic fresh corn?

kneecap said...

I'm afraid not. We have this corn stand a few blocks from our house that has fresh picked corn every day. we stop there at 11 am and cook it up for lunch. it is so convenient and sweet--and probably really bad for the environment with all the pesticides. what worries me more is that Monsato has come out with a GMO sweet corn! I will make sure that this farm doesn't use this, but if they do, I will have to draw the line. it would be a real shame though.

Kristi said...

Looks good. I only wonder that you're not getting 1 T. of ground flax seed. I'm not sure of all the benefits of flax, but I think it is more than just the omega 3 oils. I'm remembering lignans but there may be something else. As someone who came to ETL with a fatty acid deficiency, I'm always looking at the nuts and seeds (and DHA) that people consume. It truly made all the difference in the world to me and I would hate to see someone get deficient. I guess I'm a bit of a fanatic on this.
Are you also taking the multi, calcium, vit D and DHA supplements?

kneecap said...

Hi Kristi, my seed mixture is about 1/2 flaxseed plus chia and hemp and a little sesame and sunflower. So it's probably about 1/2 T of flax seed. Yes, I think you are right that flaxseeds have lots of lignans.

Can you tell me how the fatty acid deficiency manifests itself? Does a blood test diagnose it? Were you eating lots of leafy green veggies before you were diagnosed?

I do take Fuhrman's supplements. Fortunately they are much more compact now with his women's formula.

I appreciate your comments! thanks,

Kristi said...

I had increasingly dry and itchy skin which progressed to dry eyes then dry mouth. The dry mouth led to gum recession. Symptoms got progressively worse over 5 years before I figured out the problem (no thanks to any doctor I went to). I started ETL during those 5 years but didn't start the intensive DHA until 2 years into it (I think). I took 2 mL of DHA every day for 18 months to reverse the problem. Now I take 1 mL per day for maintenance. Plus I never miss my flax seeds or nuts/seeds.

kneecap said...

oh yes, thanks for reminding me. I recall you telling me this. Did you notice a positive effect with DHA? I've been reading and listening to Dr. Campbell, who's really down on omega-3 supplements, so I've been getting confused! he says the more important factor may be your omega-6 to 3 ratio. it's way too high if you eat a lot of oils and don't eat a whole-foods plant-based diet with lots of leafy greens. So I'm wondering, if I did the latter, would that be sufficient? I was thinking I could experiment and get my blood tested and stop the DHA for 6 months and then get my blood tested again. what do you think? :) well, I can imagine you probably think I'm crazy. :)


Kristi said...

It does sound crazy to me.... hah.
You could get a fatty acid blood profile done. I only heard about the test after I started on the higher dose DHA (2 mL) so it wouldn't have shown anything other than that I was supplementing.
The DHA was what reversed my problem. I at ETL (albeit with NO DHA) for 2 years and the problem kept getting worse.
Once I started the DHA, I noticed improvement every single day for about 18 months. After that I didn't notice a change so Dr. F recommended that move to 1 mL a day.
I may be one of those people who convert the precursors inefficiently so your experience may be different.
I've never been officially diagnosed, but the cure was quite convincing.

kneecap said...

Interesting. that's good to know. I will get my levels checked. Well, I've been taking DHA for 3 years so I would hope they are okay.