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Monday, October 17, 2016

ALL-STAR FOODS


I am continuously bombarded by requests to prescribe the perfect meal plan. A stand-alone diet that can not only meet nutritional needs and satisfy caloric requirements, but also increase athletic performance while leaning a person out and, perhaps most importantly, making her feel fulfilled so that cravings disappear. Is this too much to ask? From the preponderance of diet books on the market, each offering a different and sometimes mutually exclusive version of "the truth," one would think that such a diet doesn't exist. While it is true that people are unique, we all have similar digestive apparatuses. So there should be at least some common ground.

What I've noticed after years of following a high carbohydrate vegan diet is that a higher fat intake can help improve dietary compliance. In short, fat makes you feel full and satisfies you for longer periods of time. It also tastes hella good, and please permit the coarse figure of speech.

And so, to keep matters simple, I suggest consuming 10 foods every day and only these foods for as long as you can or until your desired body is achieved. Such a meal plan, being somewhat regimented, allows you to fulfill the very human desire of having discipline in one's life. But because some of the foods are classes rather than individual items - for example green vegetables, and also berries - this dietary regimen provides enough variety to keep boredom at bay. 

Each of the ten foods occupies an essential place in the diet. In other words they are included for a purpose and not just to satisfy your palate.

Bananas fill a person up while providing essential nutrients like vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. 

Strawberries and other berries are higher in anti-oxidants than virtually any other food.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. 

Soybeans and other legumes provide protein, phosphorous, folate and fiber, and tempeh is a great fermented food made from soybeans that enhances digestibility of nutrients. 

Green vegetables are not only the most nutritious foods on the planet but are also extremely delicious when delicately prepared. They also provide variety as there are so many options available, from broccoli and Brussels sprouts to asparagus and collard greens. 

Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein and also of certain hard-to-obtain nutrients including selenium, an anti-oxidant, as well as B12, vitamin D and choline.

An alternative to eggs for those who include animal protein in the diet, low-mercury fish such as wild salmon and sardines provide protein, flavor and many essential minerals. 

Coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids, which are an excellent energy source. A couple tbsps a day really enhances the flavor of cooked vegetables. 

Vegetable fruits are also an essential food. Cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers are not only refreshing, delicious and high in water, but they are also very nutritious. Bell peppers for instance have more vitamin C than oranges, and are higher in vitamin A than carrots. They make great snacks.

Speaking of snacks, nuts provide flavor, fat and add variety to the diet. There are many to choose from, including Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews and pecans. But be sure to emphasize raw and unsalted varieties. 

So once again our star foods are bananas, berries, chia seeds, green vegetables, vegetable fruits. eggs, fish, coconut oil, nuts and beans. What does a diet including these and only these foods look like?

Breakfast smoothie with 1 cup water, 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup strawberries and 1/4 cup chia seeds.

Lunch of 2 cups steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp coconut oil, 3 whole eggs and 3.75 ounces of tempeh. 1 bell pepper

Dinner of 2 cups steamed green beans with 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 big tomato or cucumber, 6 oz of fish or 1.5 cups of beans.

Dessert of 2 tbsp nuts and 1 or 2 bananas.

Snack on berries and bananas during the day if desired.

As far as nutrition, this diet plan provides around 2000 calories and 100% or more of most vitamins and minerals. Of note, you get 80 grams of fiber, which is double the recommended intake for men. Happy regularity! Oh, and if you require or desire more calories, simply eat more of these foods. A second smoothie is a great way to refresh the day. The sky is the limit. Better yet, the size of your stomach.






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