Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dietary Improvements

Before I began using My Fitness Pal, the very friendly app that tracks my calories eaten and expended, I would have told you that I eat a healthy diet. And I still believe that to be mostly true. But using this app has shown me where there might be a few holes in my nutrition.

Here are some examples:

I assumed I was getting plenty of protein, but my overall protein percentage is low, especially compared with the amount of fat I eat. I am working to switch this up. (Raise the protein while lowering the fat slightly.)

I get loads of sodium in my diet, but my potassium is very low in comparison.

I get plenty of Vitamin A but my Vitamin C is not as high as it should be! (This was a surprise to me, but I don't eat much fruit.)

My Fitness Pal does not track every vitamin and mineral, only a select few. So there may be other shortfalls I am unaware of. But at this time, I'm working to make a few dietary shifts to improve both my nutrient intake AND my weight loss.

1) Breakfast switch-up: I'm taking a break from the chicken sausages. I decided I'm eating too much chicken, overall, and too much PROCESSED chicken from Costco. Yes, these products are easy! You can't find an easier breakfast. But I'm switching to organic cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. This is the season for all the fantastic local produce-- strawberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries-- and this way I will get more protein, less fat, more fiber, more vitamins, and more potassium. (Trader Joe's carries both organic cottage cheese AND organic Greek yogurt.)

2) Lunch switch-up: I'm trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. So I've started having sardines for lunch. I mix them into a bowl of fresh power greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach) with avocado, pickles, salsa, kim chi, whatever we have on hand. High in protein AND omega-3 oils. I also like the Trident Salmon Burgers from Costco as another option, although these need to be cooked. I prefer a quick and easy lunch!

3) According to Ayurveda, the main meal of the day should be eaten at lunchtime--between 11:30 and 1:30pm-- when the digestive fires are the hottest. So dinner should be a smaller meal. I've been having a green shake for dinner on the nights I teach. I make it with cucumber, fresh power greens, whole milk yogurt, half a banana, and powdered greens (from Trader Joe's.) It fills me up, but is also light enough that I can dance full out in class.

4) I don't have a switch-up for my evening snack. I am still addicted to my pistachios and roasted plantain chips with green tea. I know it would be better for me to find a snack with more protein, but that hasn't happened yet. If you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

So there you have it! My latest diet switcheroos. After I stick with this new program for a week or two, I'll let you know the results. In the meantime, enjoy the warm weather out there!

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