Welcome to our daily food plan!
Steve and I are following a healthy lifestyle per the advice of our medical team. The short-term goal was to lower Steve’s A1C level so that it was no longer in the prediabetes range. Mission accomplished!
The longer term goal is to embrace this healthy lifestyle change, making it an everyday reality, resulting in an improved quality of life and permanent weight reduction.
What Do We Mean By a Healthy Lifestyle?
Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and making better choices in all areas of your life, especially physical, mental, and spiritual. It’s a long-term commitment that begins with baby steps that pave the way for a better tomorrow.
Three key dietary and physical components to a healthy lifestyle:
No. 1 Eating balanced meals and being aware of proper portion sizes:
This begins with knowing the maximum number of calories you need to eat and drink so that you can create a negative energy balance and lose weight. This also means eating an assortment of nutritious foods from all food groups.
Our eating pattern emphasizes a variety of colorful lean vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, brown rice, olive oil, potatoes, lean red meat, and lean pork. We avoid as much as possible processed sugar, highly processed foods, saturated fats, sugary beverages, and high-calorie fruit juices.
No 2. Moving more:
Steve is working out at the gym at least four days a week, getting 45 minutes or more of exercise per workout. Also, our dog Chance is enjoying more walks.
No. 3 Sticking to a schedule:
We are eating three smaller meals a day along with two to three snacks daily. Rather than eating only three times a day and perhaps feeling starved in between meals, we are not letting too much time pass between eating. The key is we only snack if we are hungry.
Eating this way helps to manage hunger, prevents you from skipping meals then over eating the next meal, and keeps you from feeling fatigued or jittery by controlling blood sugar levels.
How we plan our daily meals
We eat three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at about the same time. Morning always begins with a cup or two of coffee before eating.
Breakfast consists of three components
These three components are starch, protein, and fiber.
- The starch is usually a whole grain (more fiber and nutrients). Examples are bowl of oatmeal, a slice of whole grain bread, whole wheat or whole grain mini English muffin, or a bowl of high fiber, high protein cereal.
- The protein is low-fat protein. Examples are an egg or egg whites, cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, or 1% milk.
- The fiber is a small piece of fruit like an apple, orange, or banana.
For beverages, we drink plenty of water, coffee, flavored water, or tea. We do not drink fruit juices. Drinking a glass of orange juice is like injecting 3-4 oranges into your bloodstream in one shot, thus spiking your blood sugar and flooding your liver with a pile of sugar with most of it getting converted to fat.
Lunch and Dinner consist of three components
These three components are starch, protein, and lean vegetables. Think of your plate divided into three sections. One-fourth is starch, one-fourth is protein, and one-half is lean vegetables.
- The starch comes from starchy vegetables like brown rice, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, corn, peas, beans (kidney, pinto, black, cannellini, butter, northern, navy, etc.), and lentils. The starch could also be a slice of whole grain bread.
- The protein is low-fat protein like skinless chicken, fish, lean beef, lean pork, or turkey. Protein is mostly prepared by baking, broiling, cooking in a crock-pot, or stir frying in small amount of olive oil or broth. Frying in oil is the least preferred method of cooking the protein.
- The lean vegetables that fill half of the plate are vegetables with lots of variety and color. Examples are broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, beets, squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, greens, and many more. Variety and tasty preparation is the key to keeping the palate engaged.
For beverages, we drink plenty of water, tea, flavored water, green smoothies, or fruit smoothies.
How we plan our daily snacks
Healthy snacking is an important part of our daily routine. Curbing hungry with healthy snack foods applies to mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and after dinner munching. Healthy snacking provides nutrients, curbs cravings, boosts energy, and helps keep blood sugar level.
Snacks are healthy and low-calorie
Snacks are healthy, nutritious, low in calories ranging between 100 to 200 calories. Examples are:
- Nuts plus small fruit
- Small fruit plus low-fat cheese
- 100 calorie bag of popcorn plus small fruit or low-fat cheese stick
- Rice cakes with tablespoon of natural peanut butter
- One half cup cottage cheese plus fruit especially berries
- One half cup black beans with salsa plus baked tortilla chips
- Mini whole grain English muffin with low-fat cheese, nitrate free deli meat or natural peanut butter
- Fruit green smoothie
- Low fat or fat-free yogurt plus berries
- Apple with natural peanut butter
- Rye crisp cracker plus low-fat cheese
- Small fruit salad
- Granola bar preferably homemade
- Hummus dip and carrot sticks
That’s our Daily Food Plan
In a nutshell, that’s our daily food plan here at Your Daily Food Choices. Each day we are making smart, healthy choices for living well and eating healthy. For more information on what to eat when choosing a healthy lifestyle, check out Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations from the American Heart Association.
We Appreciate You!
Thanks for stopping by and letting us share a little about our daily food plan.
We are here for you as a guide and as a friend. Let us know how we can help you embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s to lower calorie, great tasting recipes, and living well! And remember, what you eat really matters!
Linda and Steve
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