Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

Do you remember playing this game when you were a kid?

If so, you are oooooold…like me! 🙂

Actually all three of those categories are vital in a balanced diet, but I want to talk about vegetables in particular.

Cutting VegetablesWe all have heard time and time again that’s it important to eat your fruits and vegetables, but how many of us actually do it on a daily basis?


The National Cancer Institutes “5 to 9 a Day” program encouraged us to eat at least 2 to 4 servings of fruit and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. (Since updated to a personalized program – check it out here: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/)

The goal is to eat:

  • Five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables
  • A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • High fiber fruits and vegetables
  • At least one vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable
  • At least one vitamin A rich fruit or vegetable

What’s a serving size? Not all that much, really…

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh or cooked vegetables

Fruits:

  • 1 medium apple, orange or banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh, canned or cooked fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

The reason I bring the number of daily servings up is because we get asked a lot – Fresh, frozen, canned, organic – which should I eat?

To which are answer is “All of the above!”

You see it doesn’t really matter which of those choices you make if you aren’t eating enough.

For instance we get asked a lot about buying organic – it’s a hot topic right now, and it seems everything is organic. Even Prograde Cravers are organic!

Organic is great, but what matters more is that you are getting enough fruits and veggies first, then worry about super high quality.

I also understand that fruits and vegetables can be expensive, and there is nothing wrong with choosing economical options. Personally my preference would be fresh (organic or not), frozen, and then canned. With canned fruits you need to be cautious about added sugar, and canned veggies can have a lot of sodium. A cold water rinse before you cook them can help get rid of some of that excess salt without affecting the quality.

Tomato Plants

You know what may be even more important than organic? Buying your produce locally. A vegetable picked from the farm down the road is going to be tastier and healthier than organic produce shipped halfway across the globe.

Pretty soon Farmers Markets are going to start popping up here in NH, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are also gaining in popularity. A CSA is where you buy a share of a local farm and get a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery of the farms crops, depending on the agreement.

I mentioned Milk and Honey Farm a couple weeks ago, which is the CSA Nancy and I purchases a share in. We went to visit the farm last Saturday, and are excited to report the first pickup is only about a month away!

Seriously, would you rather have vegetables shipped from who knows where, handled about 20 times by 20 different people, sitting on the shelves for an undetermined amount of time OR fresh picked produce with all the nutrients intact from a local farmer at an affordable price? Hmmmm…..

There is still time to buy a share, so if you are interested click the link above.

Milk and Honey isn’t the only CSA around. I went to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ and did a search for CSA’s in the Concord area, and it came up with 12 results, so you have options.

Look, I am not trying to tell you it is easy to integrate more vegetables and fruits into your eating plan, if it was easy we would all do it all the time! What I am saying is it is worth the effort.  The health and disease prevention benefits are well documented and reliable.

So do what mom said – “Eat Your Vegetables” – she knew what she was talking about!

Make It Happen!

Dean



Food Plan April 20, 2009

4:30am:

  • Water, Ultra 40 Protein, Mass Aminos

7:30am:

  • Omelette: 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz cheese, red peppers, red onions, green peppers
  • 1 Piece PF Whole Grain Toast (5g fiber, 4g sugar)
  • 1 Banana

10:00am

  • 2 scoops UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) in water
  • Super Pak Multivitamin

12:30pm

  • Lean sirloin, leftover chicken strips
  • Mixed vegetable stir fry

2:30pm

  • 2 scoops UMP

4:30pm (Training)

  • Workout Shake

5:30pm

  • Super Shake

7:30pm

  • 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1/4 cup lowfat plan yogurt

Food Plan Saturday April 18, 2009

Failing to plan is planning to fail, especially on the weekends!

7:30am:

  • Workout nutrition shake

9:00am:

  • Omelette – 4 egg white, 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz cheese
  • Sweet Potato Hash Browns

12:00pm

  • Thai Ground Beef
  • Garden salad w/ oil & vinegar
  • Super Pak Multivitamin

2:30pm

  • 2 scoops UMP

5:30pm

7:30pm

  • 1 scoop UMP w/ 1 tablespoon peanut butter

The Rest of the Work Week….


12:30 PM chicken, spinach salad, craisins, italtian dressing, chopped nuts

3:00 peanut butter crunch bar

5 PM Kung Pao Chicken

8 PM 1 scoop UMP chocolate with 1 Tablespoon peanut butter


Thursday April 17

 5AM 1 scoop vanilla UMP with water at training

8 AM eggs, 1 waffle, spinach

10:30 apple with nut butter

12:30 Kung pao chicken

3:30 PM peanut butter crunch bar

5 PM Steak fajitas ( onion, green and red pepper, cheese, guacamole, salsa, tomatoe slices) on a whole wheat tortilla

6 :15 ½ a UMP shake

7:30 hot fudge brownie sundae


Friday

5 AM 1 scoop vanilla UMP with water at training

8 AM eggs, spinach, steel cut oats, strawberries

10:30 peanut butter crunch bar

12:30 chicken, salad, craisins, chopped nuts, Italian dressing

4 PM carrot sticks

5PM Thai Ground beef



Food Plan April 17, 2009

4:30am:

  • Water, Ultra 40 Protein, Mass Aminos

7:30am:

  • Omelette: 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz cheese, red peppers, red onions, green peppers
  • 1 cup steel cut oats

10:00am

  • 2 scoops UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) in water
  • Super Pak Multivitamin

12:30pm

  • Lean sirloin, green pepper, red peppers, onion, salsa, tomato, guacamole (no wraps)
  • Garden salad w/ oil&vinegar

2:30pm

  • 2 scoops UMP

4:30pm (Training)

  • Workout Shake

5:30pm

  • Super Shake

7:30pm

  • 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1/4 cup lowfat plan yogurt (Incredible – just discovered it!)

Food Plan April 16, 2009

4:30am:

  • Water, Ultra 40 Protein, Mass Aminos

7:30am:

  • Breakfast Fajitas: 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz cheese, red peppers, red onions, green peppers, 2 small whole wheat wraps

10:00am

  • 2 scoops UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) in water
  • Super Pak Multivitamin

12:30pm

  • Gourmet Nutrition Kung Pao Chicken
  • Garden salad w/ oil&vinegar

2:30pm

  • 2 scoops UMP

5:00pm

  • Lean sirloin, green pepper, red peppers, onion, salsa, tomato, guacamole (no wraps for me at night)

7:30pm

  • 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1/4 cup lowfat plan yogurt (Incredible – just discovered it!)

6 Pack 6 Week 11 – A New Perfect Score

Lisa continues her hold on the top, and earns the $25 rollover check from last week – well done!

I want to give special recognition to Gretchen this week, who worked her butt off to achieve a perfect score. She set out to achieve her goal, and she did it!

I also want to give Gretchen kudos for her excellent notes and being completely honest with herself. You see, you can score a perfect 72 points in the contest, yet still sabotage your efforts by making poor choices and “adding” to the plan. Gretchen realizes that while she scored perfect this week, there are other areas that need work, and she has embraced taking responsibility for her current progress. She has not fooled herself into thinking that making a mark on the sheet is going to mean anything without working the whole program.

Eating 5 or 6 protein/vegetable meals is excellent, but adding a “brownie meal” and a couple drinks after work is going to be counterproductive for fat loss. Your food log (kept completely honestly) will let you know when you are prone to these challenges and allow you to plan better around those times. I am not saying you can never have any particular food or drink, but if you really want to achieve your goals (a whole ‘nother subject) you are going to have to embrace a little delayed gratification.

Keep up the great work, Gretchen!

Alright, on to this weeks results…

Make It Happen!

6 Pack 6 Results

Week 11 Top Ten

Lisa A.
72 Points
Gretchen W.
72 Points
Chrissy S.
71 Points
Robin S.
71 Points
Judy S.
69 Points
Greg S.
65 Points

Donna K.

65 Points
Julie D.
63 Points
Angela D.
63 Points
Evelyn P.
52 Points


Overall Top Ten


Lisa A.
786 Points
Chrissy S.
784 Points
Judy S.
738 Points
Robin S.
714 Points
Julie D.
681 Points
Greg S.
679 Points
Evelyn P.
678 Points
Karyn M.
631 Points
Donna K
617 Points
Angela D.
611 Points


To end the day with pudding……


 8PM protein pudding– really! Mix ¼ cup of plain yogurt with 1 scoop of UMP Vanilla protein powder. Very yummy.



Tuesday

5AM 1 scoop chocolate UMP with ½ cup coffee and the rest water

8 AM 2 eggs, 2 egg white, peppers, onion, mushroom, cheese, steel cut oats

10:30 8 pita crisp with salsa

12:30 grill chicken, salad, craisins, walnuts, Italian dressing

3PM hard boiled egg, gr. Pepper sticks

5PM 5 oz steak, brussel sprouts, salad, 6 pita chips and salsa

7:30 PM  ¾ scoop UMP chocolate mixed with 1 Tablespoon peanut butter


Wednesday

8 AM 1 ½ bran muffin, 3 eggs, 2 cups of hot chocolate

10:30 cottage cheese, red peppers



Does An Orange Have To Make A Health Claim?

I just finished reading a great article by Michael Pollan (Thanks Crystal), author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

In the article, Pollan makes a simple but profound statement regarding not only labels, but the state of our food in total:

“…if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.” – Michael Pollan

Think about it, how many times do you pick up a box or bag of something, and it has to trumpet how great it is for you, how some nutrient contained therin is so healthy for you.

What’s up with that?

I then took a look at our list of “Power Foods” to see how it stacked up to the “no health claim” test.

Pretty well I would say…

Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Whole Grains…   Check, Check, Check, and Check

The protein category holds up well too, although I would qualify it this way – Grass fed beef, hormone free animal proteins, and free range eggs are far superior to your average feed lot product. Not even close in fact, and definetely something to consider as you modify nutrition habits.

I would encourage you to read the entire article, as it gives very good insight to how the government chooses which foods to propagandize, er…I mean recommend.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=michael%20pollan%20unhappy%20meals&st=cse

Your feedback is always valuable, so let’s hear what you have to say!

Food Plan April 14, 2009

4:30am:

  • Water, Ultra 40 Protein, Mass Aminos

7:30am:

  • Omelette: 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg, 1/2 oz cheese, red peppers, red onions. – Red peppers are sweet!
  • 1 cup overnight steel cut oats

10:00am

  • 2 scoops UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) in water
  • Super Pak Multivitamin

12:30pm

  • 2 cups All Day Pork Loin Chili
  • Garden salad w/ oil&vinegar

2:30pm

  • 2 scoops UMP

5:00pm

  • 6 oz. grilled sirloin
  • Garden salad w/ oil&vinegar
  • Roasted brussells sprouts

7:30pm

  • 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1/4 cup lowfat plan yogurt (Incredible – just discovered it!)