Healthy nutrition does not require counting calories, even if you want to lose weight. By eating a diet high in fat and protein from healthy sources, the appetite is greatly reduced resulting in eating fewer calories naturally. Limited carbohydrates, and eating only those in natural foods, does not result in the unstable blood sugar common among those eating grains, sweets and drinking excessive alcohol. Here is a typical daily meal plan I follow:
My bowl no longer contains cereal, rather:
- A handful of tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashew nuts or Brazil nuts) Mix and match as you like for variety.
- A layer of berries, usually fresh blueberries but sometimes strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, or as back-up dried cranberries. About ¼ cup.
- Four heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures, preferably goat milk or coconut milk. Will settle for cow’s milk if that is all that is available. Alternative or in addition some Kefir, another fermented food.
- A layer of ground flaxseed, chia seeds or hemp seeds.
- Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk for added moisture. Will use whole cow’s milk if that is all that is available.
Two eggs, hard boiled or fried in butter.
After these high protein foods, I may have a banana and/or an orange. The sugar in these fruits is absorbed more slowly after eating protein. Water, coffee or tea are the best beverages during the day. This hearty breakfast will nourish me even with hard work for 5-6 hours.
A salad, preferably a spinach salad with other vegetables (especially avocado and tomatoes), nuts, berries and a protein such as shrimp, salmon or chicken breast. No croutons! Water, coffee or tea.
An entrée source of protein such as wild salmon, scallops or other fish. If meat, eat a modest portion of grass fed beef such as a petit filet, lamb, pork, chicken or turkey. I eat fish two times to one over meat.
Healthy vegetables such as garlic spinach, asparagus, broccoli, squash or yams, carrots, tomatoes. Sometimes natural whole or Rosemary potatoes. Whole potatoes are a starch but they have many nutrients and my exercise is able to compensate for carbohydrate load. Sometimes I eat vegetarian and my entre is eggplant.
Water and one glass of red wine (other alcohol may be used but avoid the grains such as wheat in beer). An ultra-light beer is acceptable, as is white wine. A modest amount of dark chocolate may be taken for dessert with the glass of wine. Look for at least 70% cocoa. This meal plan does not require any snacking, and snacking is to be avoided. If an afternoon snack is desired, I recommend an apple.
Put 8-12 hour fasting periods into your day and night eating schedule. Fasting is very healthy for your metabolism and is much easier when fat and protein are the mainstay of your diet.
Joseph E. Scherger, MD, MPH
Lean and Fit Enterprises, LLC