30 Day Challenge: Meal Plan – Day 9

Posted on May 10, 2011

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Day 9 went down as a BIG day in Paleo lifestyle shift for me! Like I’ve mentioned, I use Livestrong to track my food when I need to do tracking….I don’t always track, it can get a little neurotic that way, but it’s helped me to have that log to review what I ate, and how it made me feel later on.

So based on Livestrong’s tracking tool, yesterday was the 1st day that I ate less than 100 grams of carbs AND the day I consumed the highest amount of protein too! Even with a little (3 oz or less…all you wine drinkers with glasses that look more like jugs…I’m looking at you here!) glass of white wine, I came in at 96 grams of carbs for the day! I was just saying in a recent post how I was trying to get lower in total carbs while still feeling fueled & full, and I did it! 

With Paleo eating, it’s not about eating “low-carb” as most of you remember from the Atkins-everything hey-dey (although the true foundation of the Atkins diet does have some merit)…I ate plenty of carbs  – from vegetables & fruit – remember, no grains (that includes corn, rice & quinoa) on the 30 Day Challenge or in the Paleo lifestyle. Paleo eating incorporates lots of vegetables but also leads your body toward relying more in protein & fat as fuel rather than refined, non-nutrient dense grains.

Some of you have mentioned to me how hard it is to get enough protein in. I hear you! If you are not readily looking for a protein source at each meal, you’re missing HUGE windows of opportunity to meet your quota for the day. I used to eat eggs & a slice of GF toast for brekkie….sure that’s 12-14 g of protein….but yesterday, I got 26g in that meal – 10 extra grams of protein to fuel my body, feed my muscles & allow my body to run clean fuel rather than the stuff that gunks you up (ahem, pancakes/granola bars/drive-thru breakfast sandwiches).

Before starting the challenge, I’d have a LARABAR for a snack. I love LARABARS!! But they are not high in protein – only about 6g in the highest ones. Now, for snack, I have nuts (in moderation!), a few slices of deli turkey (Applegate Farms), a protein shake (if you’re trying to lean out, best to avoid these), leftover bits of meat from dinner last night, leftover bacon from breakfast yesterday…Doing this Challenge has showed me just how often I set up my snacks to be tasty 1st & nutritious 2nd. Could I have had doughnuts for snack? Sure, that would have been less nutritious than a LARABAR. But is a LARABAR as nutritionally-rich for me as some turkey slices? Nope. Taste is important, but if you’re always going for a sweet/salty/rich snack, you’re setting up your taste buds to make you think that ‘only a sweet/salty/rich snack will do.’

You want to live well, eat well, feel well (some of you hotshots want to look, well, hot) so make 90% of what you do a means to that end. The other 10% won’t be a big deal if 90% of what you do is going toward the end result of a healthy, fit life. 

PS – Many of you are wondering how many calories I’m eating. I’m not eating to meet a certain amount of calories. That’s usually a way to fail at nutrition achievement. You can make anything fit into X amount of calories, I care more about the quality of the food. I want to feel like I’m fueled, like I’m functioning well & for those trying to lose weight, that it’s a weight loss that is manageable for the rest of your life! Counting calories is a sure-fire way to fail at all of those. So – my total intake varies by the day, but it’s somewhere between 1800 on low days and about 2500 on high days.

Breakfast: 2 chicken-apple sausages + small bowl sliced strawberries topped with 1 Tbsp sliced almonds (yummy breakfast, easy to do ‘on-the-go’)

Lunch: Chipotle bowl had double veggies, chicken, medium salsa & some guac + 5 pieces yucca (you can be fully satisfied at Chipotle without the rice/beans/tortilla/chips/s.cream/cheese, you just need to get more meat & veg! The yucca was cut into 1/2 inch slices then cooked in olive oil in a saute pan)

Post-Workout: 8 shrimp dipped in home-made cocktail sauce + 1/2 cup roasted broccoli + 1 cup almond milk (very filling post-workout mini-meal! I kept some pre-cooked frozen shrimp in the freezer & pulled some out into a container in the fridge so they were ready whenever…in this case, after I sweated my butt off in the 1st humid day of Chicago’s spring!)

Snack: MRM protein shake + KIND almond/coconut bar  (I’m sorry, I have led some of you astray with the KIND bars. I looked at the ingredients, but obviously not closely enough, as most of the KIND bars have puffed rice in them – thus making them NOT Paleo and thus, not appropriate for this meal plan. I liked them because they were easy and basically just nuts stuck together into an easy-to-carry bar form. No matter, instead this week, I bought a pre-done nuts mix at Whole Foods. It has almonds, cashews & dried cranberries. I’ll just pack a Ziploc baggie in my work bag so if I get stuck in a fit of hunger, I’ll have it ready to go!)

Dinner: chicken breast with some bbq salsa + jicama slaw + small glass white wine (I do NOT like chicken, it will NEVER be a staple in my house, but it’s a healthy lean meat WHEN you buy the best kind you can i.e. organic/farmed & grill or bake it, so I buy it every so often then cover it in bbq-salsa. I pulled the chicken apart into pieces with 2 forks then mixed it with my jicama slaw  it was delish!

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