Day 2 – Eating Food Plan:
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be your medicine,” yet I am amazed at what we put in our bodies day after day. I am writing this 10 day plan not just to model healthy eating, but to also prove to people just how effective the practice of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can be. I did not just get lucky in surviving HF for the past 13 years… I actually worked very hard at it. I am not sure if people realize how much work and attention it takes to fight any chronic illness, but, in order to be a survivor, it takes responsibility on our part.
I am not just telling everyone what to eat, but I am considering how to pack in vital nutrients of every color while also balancing the sodium and fat, and ensuring adequate protein intake to avoid the loss of lean muscle mass. That, coupled with exercise and mind-body awareness, can heal you from the inside out.
Think hard about what you eat, and keep a food journal. Sometimes, the mere act of writing things down holds us accountable to just how much we eat. This food plan is NOT about being skinny… it is about being HEALTHY and using food to feel your best!
Yogurt Parfait: Layer 2 cups of mixed berries, 6 oz. nonfat plain yogurt, and 1/4 cup granola or grape nuts in a large parfait glass or goblet. Sometimes, I also sprinkle a little wheat germ, ground flaxseed, or a tsp. of flaxseed oil also. Eat this with hot green tea and a tall glass of ice water with lemon.
Tuna Avocado Salad: On a bed of mixed greens with spinach and romaine, chop 1/2 avocado, Eggs, carrots, radishes, red onion, bell peppers, or other veggies of your choice. Drizzle with red wine vinegar/ olive oil dressing (mixed 1:2 ratio) and seasoned with 1 Tbsp. basil and 1 tsp. dill or mint. Top with 3 oz. of drained chunk light tuna in water. Top with a sprinkle of cheese if desired. Serve with lemon water or unsweetened tea.
Snack Ideas: Apple slices dipped in peanut butter, Grape with almonds, Pear with string cheese, 6 oz. nonfat yogurt, 2 Fig Newtons and a glass of soy milk, vegetable soup like Health Valley no salt added, lots of possibilities…
Grilled steak (flank or filet mignon) rubbed with black pepper, 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, and/or Mrs. Dash and garlic, cooked to your preference, topped with mushrooms sauteed in garlic and olive oil (can also saute with spinach and kale and additional spices for added nutritive value). Serve with small baked potato or herbed new potatoes and steamed veggies. Have a 4 oz. glass of red wine with dinner and water with lemon.
OR : substitute Mustard-crusted salmon for the steak: Combine 1 Tbsp. light sour cream with 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, spread over 1 5-6 oz. salmon fillet and grilled to desired doneness. (Has the additional benefit of heart-healthy Omega 3s)
OR: Applebee’s Weight Watchers’ Steak and Portabella selection with 1 small glass of red wine.
(Restaurant options are given for convenience, but still may have more sodium than you need)
Hopefully you tried 30 minutes of something on day one. Your goal is to increase your time over the next ten days shooting for an increasingly higher calorie burn. Something fun to do if you have access to a gym is try to increase the calories burned on the cardiovascular equipment each day for 10 days. Maybe day one you only burn 100 kcals, day 2 200, day 3 300, and so on. Once you reach day 7, rest. Then try to aim for an average exercise calorie burn of 500 kilocalories per day which equates to 1 lb. of weight loss per week. Your main goal for day 2 is to build on what you started yesterday.
So, shoot for 10 minutes on each of 3 or 4 different cardio machines. Do some walking, running, or cycling outside for 45 minutes. And start a strength training routine every other day. Make time for strengthening and stretching all major muscle groups. This goes a long way toward changing your body quickly and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass as you lose body fat.
Spiritual practice: Meditate to music, focusing on breathing. There are many different types of meditative music, but preferably songs that mimic the resting heart rate at 60-70 bpms. I like Enya, Yanni, classical, and instrumental selections for this. Sometimes, going through a Hatha yoga flow and then meditation is extremely effective in clearing your mind.
Bad Habit to Break: Donuts (opt for a whole wheat English muffin with egg, flaxseed bread, or bran muffin instead)
Final thoughts for Day 2: What I want people to understand is the best way to true wellness is staying in touch with your body and knowing what type of movement and exercise you need each day. Some days you may need the strength and stretch of yoga. Others, you may need the heavy sweat of a spinning class. Mixing it up can also effectively work different muscle groups and keep you from getting bored so that you can burn more calories! A book I would still recommend is called The Fitness Instinct. Check it out! Live well!