Monthly Archives: May 2013
Whether you are in the best shape of your life or the worst, it’s in (big) part to your eating habits. What you put in your body has a direct effect on how the rest of the world sees you, but also a direct effect on brain chemistry, energy and digestion in such that it actually also affects the way YOU see the world.
But don’t fret. There’s a few different methods I’ve found that work extremely well in helping you get to where you want to be. The first , to be a “Creature of Habit”:
Eat the same few meals over and over again
The most successful dieters, regardless of whether their goal is muscle gain or fat loss; eat the same few meals over and over again. The average person has 11 meals they eat on a regular basis. Work hard to find these meals. Once you have an idea, try to eat 5 healthy meals in a row. If you fail at one, start again until you have managed 5 meals that follow the meal plan below. Mix and match your foods, constructing each meal with one from each of the three following groups:
Remove the habit of grabbing an unhealthy snack by cleaning out the (food) closet:
If I wanted to quit smoking cigarettes, one of the first things I would do would be to get rid of all cigarettes in my house. Most of the time our desire to eat foods that are not healthy are driven by impulse, not a legitimate need for that food. If you don’t have that food in the house, then you don’t have that food to eat. Take inventory and throw out foods that don’t fit the new plan. Unsure? At least take a look and discard the worst 4 foods that you have in your house. Chances are just removing those can help a bunch! If you live with someone else who refuses to join you then separate their food so it is out of sight, at least.
Eliminate the habit of quitting in silence – tell someone who cares.
Call a friend and ask them to be your ‘support buddy’. You are starting a new habit and when you feel weak you can call them. Also ask them to be asking you how you are doing. You don’t need them to criticize your choices, just to be someone who they know they will have to look in the eye should you not be following through. This can happen on facebook, via email or in person. Choose one or as many support crew as you would like.
An insider secret to keeping yourself on track:
Embrace the goal pants.
Whether you are more interested in weight or muscle, a pair of pants or a particular dress or shirt can tell you exactly how you are doing relative to where you want to be.
Put aside a pair of ultimate ‘goal pants’ but also a couple of outfits or shirts that are progressively tighter that work towards your goal. If you can, get yourself weighed and measured so you have numbers that you can compare as you move through your program. The goal pants are….well, your goal!
Your assessment should also include a real world task – maybe it’s hiking a hill, playing a sport or doing a task. Your ease and proficiency at this will help you know that your health is improving in more ways than just the numbers.
No matter what kind of habit you are trying to break, or what you find works best to keep you motivated to be on track, remember that every time you make a decision in the right direction, you’re solidifying that habit and lessening the willpower required to make that habit a part of your lifestyle choices.
With every step forward, you not only get a step closer, but you gain momentum! And with momentum, you can move worlds (or at least lose a few lbs!)
If you’ve found yourself wondering why you go off the plan, chances are because you believe you have the willpower to see it through. You’ve been mad at hell and you are convinced that this time you’ll make it happen. Because you want to… and that’s good enough. Right?
But time and time again, people fail when they rely on willpower alone. Here’s why:
Strategy is stronger than willpower.
Don’t let yourself get lost at a buffet after having eaten nothing all day. Plan accordingly. Know your meals and what you will be taking in and how you want to take it in.
Know your weaknesses.
It is better to eat other things that you do not have as strong an emotional connection to that you can push away without feeling guilt or anxiety. Eg your favourite apple pie at thanksgiving.
Think one step ahead
Don’t let 3-4 hours slip by without knowing what your next meal will be. We often make poor decisions when we are low on blood sugar.
Here’s just a few situations that you might have to think through in order to stick to the plan:
WEDDING – Eat on the way to the wedding or just before. Before serving ask the waiter what they have and ask for them to change it according to your preference. If you saw how much that caterer is getting paid, then you wouldn’t mind asking them to floss your teeth after the meal as well
PARTIES – Before: eat. When you get there: find the veggie plate. Guard it. Consume with hummus or guacamole if available. Avoid the creamy ranch-like dips.
AIRPORTS – You can usually find a healthy option where salads are made. If not salads then get a sandwich and remove the bread (or take the top off for just half the bread if you are worried you will die if your wonderbread level drops below a certain point).
SPORTING EVENTS – If you see salads with meat, get it. Otherwise if you can get through the game on a handful of walnuts, then you are doing well. Eat beforehand and have your plan for what you’ll eat afterwards. If you need alcohol then get the hardest liquor you can find and mix it with water and ice (or drink it straight, you lush!)
STAFF MEETINGS – these usually include a ‘catered lunch’. Choose the sandwich with the ingredients between the slices that you are after. Use a fork to eat the ingredients and dump the bread like the rock it will form along your intestinal wall.
RESTAURANTS – Key phrase ‘ I would like it this way, and if it’s a little extra then that’s ok’. Say that and your waiter will have your meal ready however you want it.
BUFFETS – Load up on the foods you should eat. Experiment with flavourings and combos.
BIRTHDAY PARTIES – The event is the celebration, not that they brought in your favourite flavour. The reason you will eat this cake is because you missed lunch, want an excuse to eat cake or are being pressured because other people in the group don’t want you to get too skinny since that would mean they would need to do something about their own weight. Your choice. The birthday person won’t love you and less if you don’t eat the cake.
CRAVINGS – In the first few days/week, this can be a challenge to resist. Do your best to distract yourself, play games, read books. Remember that people quit smoking every day, which is a very hard thing to let go of. You can quit your cravings.
TRIGGER FOODS – Don’t eat a food that you know is going to lead to more. The serving size of a bag of Doritos seems to be 1 – no matter how much you try to convince yourself you’ll only have ‘just one’. Remember that it is what you do when nobody is watching that really counts.
LOVE FOODS – These get made for us. It’s a symbol of their love/appreciation of us. Figure out how you can tell the person how much you appreciate them, but that you can’t eat their delicious treat today (unless it’s your refeed day, in which case explain that this is a 1/week occurrence).
THEY’RE ALL GOING TO LAUGH AT YOU
I had a client refuse to not drink at social events. One day she came in for her 1-1 session and announced that she had been drinking soda water with a lime in a short glass with ice (looks alcoholic). The next month she claimed she drank only a bottle of water at a recent event. I asked why, and she said “I realized that nobody was watching me or judging me at all for not drinking like they were” She since has started losing weight, by realizing that people aren’t staring or judging. Your efforts will reap results – and nobody’s going to laugh at you – and if they do, then remember that and use it in your next workout as fuel to show them how much you can change/lose wt.
POSITIVE MINDSET – Ever noticed how TV commercials seem so much longer the second time you see them? Your brain is adjusting your perception based upon information it stored from last time you saw the commercial. Your mind can make healthy foods taste healthier, help you enjoy your meals and keep better control of cravings and other habits that need to be broken.
HUNGER – Don’t let it happen to you. It’s important for weight loss that you stay a smidge hungry, and don’t ever feel 100% full when you eat (know when to push the plate away), but don’t let yourself get HUNGRY. That’s when the ‘low blood sugar’ version of you comes out and tears the wrapper off the candy bar and shoves it in your mouth before you have a chance to protest.
FINDING TIME TO PREPARE – Prepare meals in bulk, learn what meals are quick and easy to make or buy that fit the food plan
AVOIDING HOTSPOTS (DONUT SHOPS) – don’t go in there. It’s a bad place.
That’s a laundry list you can start with. See which ones work, test them out and adjust accordingly.
So you want results, right? I mean, fast. Like, “if my clothes fall off by the time I finish reading this sentence then I’ll be a happy, devoted follower of this plan”, kind of fast, right?
Well, I can’t promise you those kind of results. But I can promise you that I’ll explain where most food plans have failed you, why some food plans work but only short term and how you can lose weight the fastest (and safest) way I’ve discovered how to. It’s all laid out in this plan and I want you to read it, study it, embrace it, choose portions to tattoo on your torso and live it like it’s your new mantra. Chanting gregorian monk voice optional. Of course, you can just go the quick route and go find that old gypsy lady from the Stephen King movie ‘Thinner’.
WHY THIS FOOD PLAN?
You mean, apart from ‘because I said so’? Well sure, it’s a fair question. How about because I’ve researched all the different food plans, put my hundreds of clients on it and found that when it’s followed, you can expect to lose about 10lbs in the first month. That’s not biggest loser kind of numbers, but unlike the biggest loser, I’m choosing not to lock you away in a small cabin in the woods and beating you with a skipping rope for six hours a day… but for the right price, I guess anything can be arranged 😉
It’s good to look at this food plan in comparison to others. Other plans might be more restrictive, but this plan allows you to eat as much as you feel like of certain foods. Food plans can sometimes require 100% compliance, but this plan works on three simple principles:
(1) Remove the foods that would give you bloating
(2) Increase the foods that keep your blood sugar level, reducing your bodies need to retain fat.
(3) Eat only foods that have you feeling full on a lower calorie intake of food (high satiety)
Traditionally, food plans would focus on a calorie intake basis. This system focuses on keeping your blood sugar level through taking in high-satiety, slow carb releasing foods and high quality protein sources that cannot be overeaten without excess feelings of fullness.
The food plan is designed to eliminate digestive issues, reduce any joint pain and lose weight through improved digestion and slow-calorie foods that slowly process and therefore do not create a spike in blood sugar. Research has shown that the more stable we can keep our blood sugar and insulin, the more easily our body loses fat.
Rather than try to force the fat out, we are simply removing the blocks that normally stop the fat leaving. The end result is suprising, with some clients losing 12 lbs in 2 weeks (Bonza Bodies pm member Laura Fiori) and another losing 9lbs in a week (Bonza Bodies am class member Brittany Mino).
The food plan itself needs to be one that allows you to eat more foods but lose more weight. There is no point feeling hungry on a regular basis – not when you could eat all you want and not gain weight. The foods you will see as part of this program have been selected for their high satiety index (meaning you can’t really eat too much because your body stops being hungry).
While you shouldn’t make it your goal to overeat at every meal, for the first week to reduce cravings you should eat more of these calorically sparse foods that you might think at first.
If you don’t have the time to read through all this and need the ‘cliff notes’, here’s how you remove the foods that have a strong connection to bloating and digestive issues.
Make your diet void of grains, milk and sugar.
Ok, if after reading ‘void of grains, milk and sugar’ you whispered to yourself ‘and flavor’ then yes, that’s very funny. But not necessarily the attitude we’re looking for here. Take the time to look over the different foods you can choose from and you’ll find that there is a wealth of choices of foods to be had, and note especially that I did not deny you the use of spices. Treat your food as a canvas and your tabasco bottle as a brush, and release your inner jackson pollock. You might find the results surprisingly tasty.
Milk and Grains can be hard habits to break, but your sugar craving will be the biggest battle. You will find that the cravings start to subside after day 3, the chemical processes that have become dependent upon sugar for day to day operation will have to find different, more reliable sources to get their energy from. Taking in sugar only serves these inefficient pathways and raises acid levels in the body, which leads to an environment where bacteria and other nasties can thrive in your blood and intestinal system.
The food plan also serves to optimize other hormones such as leptin, ghrelin and insulin which results in us feeling no hunger, easily making good choices and feeling like we have more energy throughout the day. You will know which foods to favour which foods to avoid, and why. if you want more fancy words, then how about glucophobia (that’s ‘a fear of sugar’)
CHAPTER 2: WATER WEIGHT EXPLAINED:
Even if a 1/3 lb chocolate cake was pure fat, wouldn’t it make sense that only 1/3lb would go to our fat stores?
So why do we gain 1-2 lbs if we eat a 1/3 lb piece of cake?!!!!
But if we eat that cake, we would swear up and down that it put more than just the pounds on our waistline – impossible, right? Maybe not. The beauty (and frustration) of the human body can be found in the following statement:
The bodies solution to pollution is dilution.
If you get stung by a bee, what happens to the area of the body that has been stung? If you have had the unfortunate luck to experience this first hand, your first response might be that it hurts like all buggery. You might also notice that the stung area swelled up as a result of the bee-sting.
If someone is allergic to peanuts, their airway can swell and block itself, causing death (why do they still serve peanuts on planes nowadays then?! It’s a part of conspiracy plot by “the man” trying to keep us down! But I digress….)
If you are slightly allergic/reactive to dairy/wheat/sugar/anything and you eat it, a usual symptom that is experienced afterwards is what is loosely know as feeling ‘bloated’.
All are a result of the body attempting to dilute the pollution of the body by increasing the amount of fluid (which, as we know, is mostly water, right?)
The body quickly shifts fluid to the bee sting area to dilute the toxins in the sting
The inner lining of the throat tightens in response to the peanut toxin (“aflatoxin” if you want to get fancy technical) and swells the throat, sometimes to a point such that oxygen cannot get through (hey, i didn’t say it was a perfect system).
Imagine a picture of a jellowjacket wasp sting. The body will move ‘fluid’ (mostly water) to the back of the hand to dilute the poison of the sting.
If we eat something that our body is allergic to or reacts to or perceives as a ‘toxin’ (like a chemical or a preservative or an artificial coloring) we can sometimes get unusual behavioral reactions.
If you have kids, you might nod your head in agreement with that last statement about altered behavior if you have ever fed your kids the dreaded tornado creator, red food coloring.
Hyperactive children aside, the moral of the story is that the body can react to different foods in different ways. Often, the body will try to dilute the presence of the unfamiliar object and as such will increase the water/foreign substance ratio in the body.
Our body is such an amazing thing that it can do this and we can put quite an inordinate amount of toxins/trash into our body and it can keep operating… Perhaps not at peak performance, but certainly at a ‘get me to work and back again so I can watch Sex and the City re-runs’ kind of way.
The more trash we put in our body, the more it must dilute the presence of that trash and in turn conserve water as long as that trash is being put through our system on a regular basis.
If you missed it, the 1/3lb chocolate cake doesn’t necessarily weigh 1/3lb on your thighs. The 1-2lbs you gained are likely water weight that has happened as a result of a trash-diluting reaction. Do you care if it is 1-2lbs of fat or 1-2lbs of water? Probably not, in all honesty you just want it gone, right? This is how biggest loser contestants lose so much weight the first few weeks and then start to level out as the show continues. It’s all about the water weight. Oh that and the diet pills Bob harper and Jillian give them:
Lets take sugar as an example. When the body takes in the nice white, refined sugar (that are so often packed into the delicious sweets that are simply so delectable), there are multiple reactions that happen at the same time. Since refined sugar is relatively new to our system and is something our body usually reacts to quite strongly and quickly (ever try to eat a cup of sugar?) One of the associated reactions is water retention.
The result of sugar intake can be unnecessary weight gain (through water gain).
So quickly push yourself away from the computer, go and tell your friend that it IS true, that by eating a dessert you CAN gain more weight than the actual dessert – not in fat mind you, but in water weight. Which is what most people lose when they start eating healthy.
So why is it that my friend can eat a piece and not gain? That skinny bi**ch.
There can be many reasons why one person may gain weight and not another. One might be that if the system is already overwhelmed, it might find it harder to remove the gunk from the system than someone who is quickly moving the trash out. If you would, imagine a river with lots of debris floating in it? Once things jam up, they can REALLY jam up – a dead branch every now and then? Not so much of a problem.
Is your system a clean and smoothly flowing river that easily and effortlessly removes any debris/toxins/system blocking krispy kremes?
For the scientific amongst us, I am oversimplifying the issue here and there are things such as hormones, insulin and other immune system response going on here. But for the short version,
Sugar/trash in = water gained and retained
If you need to be convinced, Google the phrase ‘water retention and sugar” and let me know what you find.
CHAPTER 3: FOODS THAT HELP, FOODS THAT HINDER
Foods That Hinder (other than Wheat, Dairy and Sugar)
Avoid artificial sweeteners:
Splenda is one molecule away from being sugar. So is lawn fertilizer. Favor spicy and savory
flavours over sweetness or use cinnamon and vanilla extract as substitutes. Avoid agave
nectar, as it is high in fructose.
Splenda also interferes with your stomachs internal flora to hinder proper digestion. Want to know about the other artificial sweeteners? No, you don’t. Really, just avoid them and try your hand in the ‘world of savory and spicy’.
Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS):
HFCS is added to many foods like yogurt not only as a sweetener, but to maintain the flavor and firmness of the fruit. It also helps to diminish the amount of separation between the liquids and solids in the mixture. More people are turning to yogurt to aid
digestive disorders because of the probiotic content, but if the probiotics are competing with the sugars, most of the benefit is lost. Instead take probiotics in capsule form separate of meals.
Quick Fructose Facts:
- Per capita intake of refined sugar is almost 150 pounds a year.
- Consumption of fructose has risen from 15gm/day (30’s) to 72 gm/day in adolescents (today)
- Increases free fatty acids = goes to muscles, get insulin resistant (end result: muscles do not release fat)
- Downregulates insulin receptors (cannot sense sugar in blood)
- Brain cannot regulate leptin (so you always feel hungry)
- Connected to increases in cholesterol by shrinking blood vessels due to inhibition of NO2
5 MAJOR SOURCES OF HFCS:
1. Soft Drinks and Fruit Punch
High fructose corn syrup is the principal sweetener used in the manufacturing of soft drinks. This has been the case since the 1980s, when the switch was made from sugar because of the price. With the gradual increase of bottle sizes over the years, soft drinks have become one of the most common sources of high fructose corn syrup in the American diet. Unfortunately, when people decide to steer clear of soda, they often move over to fruit punches and juice drinks.
2. Breakfast Cereal
Many children and adults eat cereal every day. It is a quick and cost effective (though generally unhealthy) option for people on the go. All varieties of breakfast cereal (even the ones advertised as healthy) can be packed full of high fructose corn syrup. Fruit Loops and other sweetened cereals geared towards children are major culprits.
Many Americans are leaving white bread behind in search of more fiber and less carbohydrates. Making the switch to wheat bread, however, doesn’t always do the trick when it comes to avoiding HFCS. White bread and many wheat breads contain high fructose
corn syrup. There are many other side effects of wheat consumption, adding HFCS to the mix is just adding insult to injury.
In an effort to be healthier, people are eating more salads and adding more fruit to their diets. Ketchup and other sauces are usually high in HFCS.
Iit’s dairy. Dairy bad…. You learned this already, right?
Still don’t believe me?… here’s some fancy words an’ book learnin’ from Meira Field, ph.D. a research chemist at United States Department of Agriculture,
“The More You Have To Lose, the More You Should Avoid Fructose and HFCS”, says Dr. Field.
“The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar,” “but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose.
However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic.” While a few other tissues (e.g., sperm cell and some intestinal cells) do use fructose directly, fructose is almost entirely metabolized in the liver.
Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine (yes, that’s a real thing people. More things come out of Miami than just college sport-related scandals and bad tan lines).
“When fructose reaches the liver,” says”the liver goes bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the fructose.” Eating fructose instead of glucose results in lower circulating insulin and leptin levels, and higher ghrelin levels after the meal. Since leptin and insulin
decrease appetite and ghrelin increases appetite of unhealthy foods, some researchers suspect that eating large amounts of fructose increases the likelihood of weight gain.
Foods That Help
COMBO CENTRAL – MIX AND MATCH
Any good plan involves moderation and a variety to choose from. The following is a list of three major categories of food: Proteins, Legumes and Fruit. For optimal weight loss, choose most from Protein, Some from Legumes, and least from Fruit.
• Egg whites/Eggs
• Chicken breast or thigh
• Grass-fed organic beef
• Wild meats (elk, moose)
• Naturally raised locally grown Lamb
• Tuna in water or olive oil
• Small amounts of low fat hard cheese grated on food/salads (if no lactose reaction)
• Small amounts of nuts (small as in 3 or 4 – that’s actual nuts, not handfuls).
• Black beans
• Pinto beans
• White/Great Northern Beans.
• Any kind of bean you can name, the larger the variety the better.
Steel Cut Oats – no more than 1/week, only use maple syrup as sweetener, include berries if
possible. Always eat with a protein source (such as a boiled egg)
• Spinach (highly recommended to eat spinach in either cooked or raw form every
• Mixed vegetables (generally speaking, it’s hard to go wrong with vegetables, but try to avoid the ‘nightshade’ vegetables as a rule)
Fruits (if you must, then always eat with protein and always eat before protein):
• Avocados (encouraged, but avoid having more than ½ an avocado a day)
Eat as much as you like of the above food items. Just remember: keep it simple. Pick three or four meals and repeat them. Almost all restaurants can give you a salad or vegetables in place of french fries or potatoes.
COLORADO SECRET: Mexican food, swapping out rice for vegetables, to be one of the cuisines most conducive to the “slow carb” lifestyle.
A VOTE IN FAVOR OF GRASS FED BEEF
When raised in a grass fed environment, cattle (as well as wild animals) are higher in CLA, a chemical that is not found in commercially raised feedlot cattle. Research is showing that CLA affects our ‘brown fat’, a type of fat in the body that mobilizes other types of ‘white fat’in the body – the CLA in animal fat in this case effectively helps use burn more fat.
INCREASE INTAKE OF FISH OILS
Fish oils are proven to have many positive effects on the body relative to weight loss and health. Leptin levels are just one of these benefits. I personally take Carlsons brand fish oil, available where all good fish oils are sold.
HYDRATION – HOW AND WHY
In order to keep bowel movements regular (which is important for health on multiple levels), keep fat oxidation at optimal pace and improve the healing ability of the body post-workout, you must consume at least 1 ounce per 2 pounds of bodyweight.
1 gallon = 128 ounces = 250 lb person.
A 125lb person should consume around a half gallon of water. To improve the absorption of water add a small (very small, only to taste) amount of Gatorade or lemon juice.
If you are exercising regularly then you need even more water. To not take in adequate water has been scientifically show to affect joints, back, internal organs and general energy levels and mental power. Don’t skip it. Find ways to get water into your body and work
hard to keep those systems in place. Plan ahead if you know you won’t be in the same environment where water is easily accessible.
This above point is very important, as the body uses water in the process of removing excess waste products released as a result of fat being broken down into energy that can easily be used.
On refeed days be sure to drink additional amounts of water – without adequate water on a refeed day you may experience constipation and/or headaches.
Salad dressing strategy:
Salt & pepper
Red Wine Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Udo’s Oils (vitamin cottage, whole foods)
Other flavourings for food:
Salsa (it’s your best friend – use it on everything!)
Srichacha sauce (used in thai cooking and on tables at “Noodles and Company”)
Fat-loss friendly oils:
Use coconut oil, macadamia or olive oil
These are just some sample meals. The combination of meat, legumes and veggies gives you unlimited combinations of foods – tweak these to find what works best for you!
- Scrambled Eggology pourable egg whites with one whole egg, black beans, and microwaved mixed vegetables
- Grass-fed organic beef, pinto beans, mixed vegetables, and extra guacamole (Mexican restaurant)
- Sliced Chicken breast, lentil soup, side salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
- Canned tuna in water mixed with lentils and chopped onions fried in pan with small amount of olive oil.
- Fake mashed potatoes, lamb & beans: (fake mashed potatoes = white beans or cauliflower mashed in a pan with oil, salt and pepper) with a serving of naturally raised lamb, pan-seared string beans.
- Halibut, roasted asparagus, salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Chilli – meat, tomatoes, kidney beans, (no sugar and no corn).
- Healthy Stir-fry: handful of carrots, broccoli, yellow squash, and .75lbs of grass-fed ground beef in a skillet with coconut oil. Should take about 10 minutes to fry up. Add spices and chilli flakes as desired.
- Chilli flakes & Shrimp on bed of cooked spinach with diced onions and olive oil.
- Crockpot stew: beans, chunks of meat (beef or pork loin), sliced zucchini, cauliflower florets, white beans, tomato sauce and basil leaves.
- Turkey Veggie Meatballs (ground turkey, chopped baby carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, fresh parsley, scallions, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper). Serve with a side salad.
- Omelette with veggies thrown into the mix. Use salsa and other spices for extra flavouring and cook in macadamia oil, coconut oil or ghee for an extra flavour kick. Add slices of tomato on the side.
- Brekkie salad: bed of spinach, turkey bacon, chopped boiled egg, sliced panfried leeks, basil , salsa and pine nuts for topping.
- Sliced ham, slices of cantaloupe, bowl of black beans with chopped onion and chopped tomato.
- Grill Shish kabobs – choice of meat/fish, peppers, paprika, cherry tomatoes. Grill the meat and peppers then place it all on a kabob stick. Wrap it in foil for easy travelling. Add olives if you want to get all Mediterranean-ey.
- Mexican special – any combo of meat, any beans and fajita veggies. Add avocado and spicy salsa for an extra flavour kick!
NOTES FOR VEGANS/VEGETARIANS
In the years I’ve had this program active, I’ve often received the question “Seriously Jamie, why are you so good-looking?” I’ve also received the question “what about us vegetarians, Mr Meatlover-McMeaterson?” Well, for all you animal lovers out there, here’s your vegetarian friendly section!
Generally speaking, there are three main types of vegetarianism. These are:
• Lacto-ovo vegetarians – people who avoid meat and seafood, but include dairy foods (such
as milk and eggs) and plant foods.
• Lacto-vegetarians – people who avoid meat, seafood and eggs but include dairy foods and
• Vegans – people who consume only plant foods, ignoring that whole “if god hadn’t wanted us to eat cows he wouldn’t have made them so delicious” rule…heathens.
Whatever the reason someone may choose to be vegetarians, it is important to examine the decision to become vegetarian and think about how, when and where you can break the rules. If a vegetarian food has been cooked in the same pan as other meat, is that acceptable? If you think about the fact that most plants eat dead meat to build themselves, does that till make you vegetarian? What are your rules and how can they be bent to get yourself high quality protein into your diet?
#1 Priority on this plan: Get Your Protein In
Of course, if you need extra protein then I highly recommend Brown Rice Protein by Sun Warrior or the Chocolate Jarrow Brown Rice Formula. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and should be consumed at least 5/week if you have no pre-existing cholesterol
conditions. Cholesterol is a controversial issue in the medical world right now. Some of the latest drug research has shown the numbers to drop when on ‘drug A’, but the incidence of heart related diseases and cholesterol related death are not changed. The numbers may be down, but the fatality rate is still the same!
Don’t be that vegetarian
When choosing to be vegetarian, some people take that as an excuse to eat unhealthy while thinking they are eating healthily. Simply because your portabello sandwich does not contain meat does not make the bread, cheese and sweet potato fries any more healthy for
you than their regular counterparts. It is also easy to become a ‘pasta-tarian’ and eat pasta often. While it may be easy and vegetarian, that doesn’t make it the best option for your vegetarian healthy lifestyle.
Soy contains phyto-estrogens, a substance that can mimic estrogen in the body. What effect can this have on your body? If you are a woman, it can interfere with water weight and hormone levels. If you’re a guy, it can make you want to watch ‘America’s next top
model’ for the fashions. Just kidding. It’s not good for your future spermies though (eating soy, that is – not watching Americas next top model).
Raw vs Cooked foods
Some foods produce more vital minerals and fiber when raw, others (like spinach) can give a different vitamin profile once cooked. While no foods that have been boiled to a mush are ever worth eating, having a small amount of each allows you a balance and a best of both worlds of raw and cooked foods.
Favor Almond Butter over Peanut Butter
Think about what goes into the ‘butter’ part. Is it the best looking peanut? Is it the really pretty ones? Peanuts are stored for extended periods of time in large silos/vats before being processed into peanut butter. How long – sometimes years. It all depends on the
farmer’s crop and how much he needs to store in case next year is a bad year. Almond butter contains more goodies and is less mass-produced. If you haven’t tried it yet, get a taste of it soon. Consuming a tablespoon of almond butter every morning upon waking will help with good food decisions the whole day through, vegetarian or not.
The #1 food for vegan/vegetarians on this plan: Beans
Beans are an incomplete protein. Other foods do not need to be added at the same time to make up for what is missing (normally bread, but don’t necessarily want ppl eating bread – take a B12 supplement). Beans however are a ‘slow-carb’ meaning they are slowly absorbed by the body. When cooking with beans, it is recommended to rinse them before consumption (or ideally soak
them to reduce other chemicals that can be harmful in digestion).
CHAPTER 4: FAQ
I usually make scrambled eggs with milk, how do you make them without?
Try scrambling them in a bowl and cooking them in a pan with olive oil and add a dash of salt. If you simply cannot take them without milk, try fluffing them without it or use straight heavy whipping cream once you’re past the first few weeks of the food plan. Can i recommend boiled or fried?
Can I use the Bonza Food Plan with Weight Watchers?
Weight Watchers is a great program, however, we at Bonza do not believe that a calorie is just a calorie. Weight Watchers has great principles, but if you want to do them both, you will likely either eat too much sugar and not enough good fat.
I’ve been doing the Bonza Food Plan for a few weeks, but I’m feeling bloated, could I be retaining water?
Water weight gain in the first week can be related to a few things:
Excess stress – when you add too much stress it can cause water retention. Stress from exercising too much too soon can actually cause water weight but its an initial thing that goes away within 2-4 weeks
Your cycle – if you’re at the ‘puffy’ part of your period, this can have a huge effect on your weight. Weight can vary by up to 4 lbs,
Something new that your system doesn’t agree with.
Overall, it’s an initial thing and nothing to be worried about unless it doesn’t change in the next week or so.
I love tuna salad, fish is a lean meat, but can I have mayo-or fat free mayo?
Fish is certainly approved – I prefer less fatty fish (ie not too much salmon), mayo is not on the food plan and who knows what “fat free mayo” is. Try tuna with olive oil with some cayenne pepper or sliced sundried tomatoes.
Can I have sweet potatoes? What about sweet potato fries?
Yes-in moderation. NOTHING WITH THE WORD FRIED IN IT
Can I eat seeds?
Avoid seeds in general. Powder them and you’re doing okay. eat them raw and in whole form and you’re asking for digestive issues.
If I follow the Bonza Food Plan, can I still drink coffee?
For the first week, cut out the coffee or reduce it to just one per day, only in the morning. Green Tea is a great alternative that has significantly less side-effects. Cream is okay for coffee AFTER A FEW WEEKS OF BEING DAIRY FREE, but aim for unsweetened green tea or straight black coffee.
Can I have quinoa?
Quinoa is a ‘fake grain’ – ie not a grain but acts like one in digestion – has the same effect on the digestive system as regular grain and thus should be avoided if we are to be gluten free and digestive system-happy.
Can I have goat cheese?
Goat cheese not okay for the period of this challenge. When you are ready for maintenance then you can start to introduce cheeses again, but for now, no cheese or dairy product of any kind.
Can I have almonds?
Nuts wise, a baby’s handful of almonds per day is what I would allow. But no more!
Can I have soy/rice/almond milk?
All the milks in general will send your blood sugar high. Avoid them.
What supplements will help?
A multi, fish oil, vitamin D, ALA (alpha lipoic acid), and unsweetened green tea before lunchtime are highly recommended. TAKE THESE FOR THREE WEEKS THEN CYCLE OFF THEM FOR THE LAST WEEK OF THE MONTH TO KEEP YOUR BODY FROM ADAPTING TO THEIR METABOLISM-BOOSTING BENEFITS.
Can I have salmon?
Salmon is ALLOWED ONCE A WEEK. It is too fatty to eat more than that. White fish is a much better option.
CHAPTER 5: YOUR CHEAT SHEET
So you’ve ready this far – who am I to deny you some kind of immediate gratification for your efforts? Here’s the ‘need to know’ information to help you get on your way right away.
It’s a summary of what would normally be a 52 page document that goes into the details of why, the science behind it, the different people that have followed these results and the benefits and changes they saw. So if you’re the kind of person that likes to skip to the last page of the book before you read it, here’s your cheat sheet.
Supplement Free Things To Do Every Day:
- Eat a tablespoon of almond butter upon waking (stabilize blood sugar)
- Eat your breakfast within 30 minutes to an hour of rising.
- Glass of water before every meal or snack
- Eat at least a fistful of protein with every meal.
- Drink a small glass of red wine after your dinner
- Chew your food. A lot. The chewing process breaks down food, increases speed of digestion and improves absorption of nutrients.
- Make every meal a mixture of vegetables, beans and high quality lean protein and make sure you have a small amount of fat in every meal (oil from cooking or add some avocado).
- Use spicy and savory flavors on your food rather than sweet.
- Don’t be afraid of fat, just get it from hormone free animal fat, olive oil, macadamia or coconut oil. You can have up to ½ an avocado a day.
- If you need a snack then either try to find a high protein snack or try to eat more protein in the preceding meal the next day (eg if you feel hungry after lunch, try eating more protein for lunch the next day).
- When you make food ahead of time, you give yourself the benefit of having something ready to go when you need it immediately (which is usually when we make poor decisions).
Once a week cheat meal guidelines:
- Once a week have a high protein healthy breakfast, get an intense but short workout in (20-30 minutes of MAXIMAL effort workout), then have a refeed meal of whatever food you have been craving – eat to satiate your craving, not to test the limits of your stomach capacity!
- Before you start (or during) the refeed meal have a glass of juice and a coffee or peppermint tea.
- Drink extra water on your refeed day
- Don’t look at a scale the next couple of days – your weight will jump up, but then jump down even more rapidly (all part of the refeed hormone response)
Find a pair of goal pants and hide them in a drawer somewhere. Try them on twice a month, preferably closer to the middle of the week.
Strategy 1: Try to eat 5 healthy meals in a row following these principles. If you miss one, start again until you can get the 5.
Strategy 2: Try to win the series for the week. Eat healthy for 4 days out of 7. If you get 5, then you get to ‘throw’ a game and eat what you want for day 6 or 7. Start to integrate in the Stage 1 supplements.
Strategy 3: Plan it out. Mentally (or physically) plan 11 different meals you can eat that follow the plan and integrate the plan into your lifestyle. As habitual creatures, we rarely have more than 11 meals we rotate through. Find your healthy 11 and stick with them.
CHAPTER 6: THE BEST PLAN IS THE ONE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Be realistic with your habit change:
Compliance is more important than ambition. If you do not have time to shop, buy groceries or make elaborate meals, favour canned goods, frozen goods and pre-cooked meats. Make use of your microwave and chopping/preparing food in ‘batches’ to save time
later. Don’t expect yourself to stick with it perfectly the first day out. Life will find ways of trying to derail you. It might come from your schedule, your social life, your fear of being judged or that you just aren’t ready to put in the effort to get what you want.
Know yourself, but also know that you have already completed and been successful at challenges greater than this and that you will face challenges even greater in the future.
If you don’t start trying now, then when?
Put Your Expectations in the Right Place
Let me get something off my chest right away. I hate fitness infomercials. No wait, that’s not strong enough. I detest fitness infomercials with a passion only reserved for New Zealand on the days that New Zealand plays Australia in international competition (in any sport). You know the commercials I am talking about. The ones that promise health results are also conveniently designed to be easily stored away after use – and never see the light of day again.
If I released a drug to the market that was ineffective for 90% of the population but worked great for just 10%… would that be acceptable by anyone’s standards? If I then took the 10% and blasted their results all over TV how long would it take for the
hammer to come down on my operation? Apparently I would have no problems at all… as long as I gave the magical words ‘results not typical’.
It doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. It does mean that you shouldn’t believe the hype, and it also means that you should know that this is going to be hard work. If it was easy to stop eating these foods, then plus size stores would not exist and pizza hut would not be reporting record profits. It involves commitment like you have never given before. It’s going to require change. Get ready for that.
Here’s your ‘take home mantra’: There cannot be change without change.