When we think about healthy eating and nutrition, we think in terms of all-or-nothing. We think ‘I’ll do good today, this week, and this month,’ but if we don’t follow through (counting macros, calories, etc.) we tend to abandon those efforts. And this results in feeling like a failure.
I came up with the Strategic Day to help guide our Body Buddies to make wiser decisions to fuel their bodies AND stop abandoning healthy efforts for the sake of it being ‘too hard’ and ‘overwhelming.’
I asked myself, ‘What can I do to help people without making them feel they’re restricting themselves or feeling like they’re on a diet?’
The Strategic Day is 15 Principles is exactly what your body needs for health. You may find if you hit these principles every day, you are full and you DON’T need that non-strategic food. You don’t need it because you’re fueled.
Learn the foods associated with each category so you can quickly scan your mind and make a strategic food choice in a quick amount of time.
1-2 servings Leafy Greens
Spinach, Kale, Chard, Arugula, Romaine, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens
If your base is a salad or stir-fry, this is super easy to do. Put spinach in a ziplock baggie and eat with your mid-afternoon snack. If you’re an on-the-go person, a little pre-packing will go a long way for helping you make this happen. This gives you the Magnesium your body needs.
1 serving of Cruciferous Veggie
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. Eating these vegetables raw can be difficult on your digestive tract, so I recommend steaming these. Use a wire basket with 1-3” of water to steam with a lid on top for 15-20 minutes or so, or until the veggies are soft to the touch. (Listen to the podcast episode to learn how I made a DELICIOUS Brussels sprouts dish that everyone at Christmas Eve Dinner 2017 loved!).
1 serving of Water-Based Veggies
If you bite it and it goes ‘CRUNCH’ and water sprays everywhere, it’s a water-based veggie! Bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, celery, jicama, sugar snap peas, etc. These are usually the fastest, easy category from which to eat. Try not to buy cucumbers for the whole week as they will go bad after 2-3 days. Most of the other veggies, though, will be okay to buy once a week depending on your location and weather.
1 serving of Miscellaneous Veggie
Squash, zucchini, radish, asparagus, artichoke, etc. Raw zucchini is a fabulous vegetable on the go for a busy lifestyle! You can snack on these while you are going about your busy day!
1-3 servings of Animal Protein (3-4 oz.)
Animal protein should be the portion of your palm (Females will tend to be around 3-4 oz.). Typically, Type A and AB Blood types have lower stomach acidity so don’t take a liking to as much meat. What if you have a tight budget one week and can’t afford to buy animal protein? It IS possible to get enough protein without eating meat, but it takes focus and planning. Many vegetarians I have consulted have NOT been getting enough protein, and suffered in their energy, skin clarity, and brain function. You need to get amino acids, and it’s hard to get enough if you’re eating a standard diet (meaning less than 50% of their intake is NOT from plants—it’s highly refined, processed foods).
1 Serving of Egg (1-2 Free-Range)
You can scramble eggs, hard boil them, or even cook them over easy. There are many ways to enjoy an egg each day. Do not stress over the yolks—your body needs cholesterol from natural sources. Cholesterol is needed to make many hormones in the body. I recommend that women eat only 2-3 yolks (max) per day while men would be okay with 3-5 (max) yolks per day. Throw your egg on a salad, eat them plain, mix with veggies, etc.
1 Serving Complex Carbohydrates (20-30 grams if Carbs)
Red Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Oats, Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans, Rices, Whole Grain Breads and Pastas. I would rather see us eat a different carb than the breads and pastas (I call those more treat-like strategic carbs). People who are the strongest, healthiest, and live the longest tend to eat the complex carbs listed first in this list each day as a staple! If you will focus on these primarily, then the other carbs might not even have room to enter your diet.
1 serving of Fruit (1/2 c.)
Fruit is like a treat! When your tastebuds are calibrated to the natural taste of food, fruit tastes like a dessert! Now, we do not want to overdo this as your liver cannot take the fructose (sugar in fruit) through fructolysis (the process by which fructose is made to resemble a more usable glucose molecule in the body) in high amounts. There are some strategies of eating (ketosis, extreme fat loss cases) that I would tell someone for a certain period of time not to eat fruit, but in a more lifestyle that is balanced toward fat loss, yes, fruit would be in the diet in these amounts.
NOTE FROM KRISTY JO IN THE PODCAST:
IF YOU ARE EVER ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT NUTRITION OR FITNESS AND DON’T GET THE ANSWER, IT DEPENDS, OR ‘WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?’ I WOULD QUESTION THAT. THERE ARE 7 BILLION PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD AND GROWING. WE ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY. WE HAVE DIFFERENT BRAIN STRUCTURES, MICROBIOMES, AND GENETICS. THE PERSONAL SITUATION MUST BE UNDERSTOOD BEFORE AN ANSWER IS GIVEN THAT WILL BEST SUIT THE PERSON.
1 serving of Avocado (or Guacamole) (2-4 oz)
This is 1/4-1/2 of a large avocado. I recommend Wholly Guacamole for the single serve tubs that make eating on the go very simple! Avocado is critical for brain, reproductive, and hormonal health.
1 serving Olives (1/2 c.) OR 1 palmful Healthy Nuts or Seeds
Olives contain monounsaturated fats that. Some people absolutely despise olives so in that case it’s a palmful of raw nuts: Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Macadamia Nuts, or even seeds. This includes raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts. Check out the bulk bins at your local healthy grocery store for getting a variety of these healthy fats.
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