Welcome to the next post in the Weight Reduction programme for 2017. I do understand that these posts are quite long but we have a great deal to cover in the next three weeks. I hope you can bookmark to read when you have the time.
I mentioned in the first post in the series that whilst we might love to lose weight rapidly by munching on a couple of diet bars a day and a bowl of cabbage soup… our bodies would find that revolting… and will show their disdain for this industrial diet by becoming increasingly weaker and sicker.
The trick to losing weight consistently is not to give your body a fright. Most of us women have been dieting since our teens with a regular famine every few months whilst we try to retain our previous weight. Unfortunately the body gets into the swing of things too. It recognises that it is about to enter another six week famine and decides to hang onto the stores that it already has. This is why we begin to set ourselves up for failure each time we embark on a crash diet. Not only that but once you do start eating normally, the weight piles back on with a bit extra because the body wants to replenish its stores.
This is why your shopping list is crucial so that whilst you might reduce your calorie intake to create a deficit in what your body might need on a dailty basis… it will be getting a rich infusion of nutrients which will reassure it… and encouraging it to give up its precious store of fat.
Do bear in mind that if you only need to lose a few pounds your body will also be concerned that its fat cells will drop too low. Fat of the right kind plays a very important role in the health of all the major organs in the body including the brain. Cholesterol is in our bodies for a reason… it is an essential element in the production of hormones and if our fat intake and body fat reduce too low, hormone production stops. Which is why young women with an eating disorder cease to menstruate.
The Shopping List for your weight reduction programme.
This is my shopping list and each week I try to find as much variety as I can amongst the seasonal foods. There are two lists.. .one with the nutrients you need to be healthy and the foods that provide them.. The second list is those foods into their categories.. Please feel free to print off and use as a guideline.
Ancient man had to trek miles in search of game and plant foods and they were opportunistic eaters, picking leaves, fruit and digging for roots when they found a patch that looked edible. However, we as modern humans tend to have a very narrow range of foods and this is partly down to supermarkets that stock up based on their bottom line. I expect like me that you have a shopping list for when you go to the supermarket and it seldom changes week to week unless you are entertaining. Some of you might have the approach that if it is Tuesday it is cottage pie and Friday it is cod and chips. As long as there is some fruit and lots of vegetables this will give you the basics.
N.B. You may be wondering when I am going to give you a list of approved breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options. Well, I am not going to do that. If you have the following foods in your larder and fridge or freezer then you don’t need me to tell you what to eat.
I do however, suggest that you throw a few rules out regarding what is suitable food for various times of day. You can eat curry for breakfast if you wish.. or roast chicken… an omelette or porridge. The same applies for any of the meals.
Before the invention of the billion dollar industry that provides us with ‘Breakfast Cereal’ we would have eaten meats, cheese, bacon and eggs, soft boiled eggs, etc. depending on our circumstances. Personally I am not adverse to finishing off leftovers from supper given a quick blast in the microwave….
However, I would like you to look at your shopping list in a slightly different way.
We usually compile our shopping list based on our preferences, tastes and sometimes pocket. But I have a slightly different method that you might find useful. The chemical interactions within our body that are essential for life – including the healthy functioning of our immune system – are only made possible by the raw ingredients in our diet. Even if you are having the occasional food fest, if your basic diet contains the right raw ingredients it won’t matter to your body. It is the everyday ingestion of sugars, Trans fats and white starches that cripple the system – I follow the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time your body is getting what it needs, 20% of the time you can have what your heart and taste buds would like too.
Here are the two different lists – the nutrients we need and then the foods that are some of the best sources for those nutrients. You can ring the changes within the categories and it is best to eat when fruit is in season. We now have access to a great many varieties of exotic fruits that give added benefit to our diets including the powerhouse that is the Avocado.
On a personal level I have half an avocado and a whole cooked onion every day and some fruits and vegetables are so nutrient dense that you can have these as staples and add others to bring in variety and other nutrients.
First the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs.
Vitamins and anti-oxidants – A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12, C, D, E, K,
Minerals – Calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.
Amino Acids – Essential Fatty Acids – Bioflavonoids – very strong anti-oxidants.
Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available.
For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – I have included in the first group only. (Popeye knew what he was doing)
Vitamin A – carrots, red peppers, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts.
Vitamin B1 – Pineapple, watermelon, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, brown rice, lentils, beans, eggs, lean ham and pork.
B2 – All green leafy vegetables, fish, milk, wheat germ, liver and kidney
B3 – Asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Turkey, Salmon, tuna, and cheese.
B5 – Corn, Cauliflower, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck, soybeans, lobster and strawberries.
B6 – Walnuts, bananas, lamb
B9 (folate) – nuts, beans and dark green vegetables.
B12– offal, dairy, marmite,
Vitamin C – virtually all fruit and vegetables already mentioned but also blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, grapefruits, oranges and watercress.
Vitamin D – Eggs, tinned salmon – fresh and tinned herrings.
Vitamin E – almonds, maize, apples, onions, shell fish, sunflower oil.
Vitamin K– dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, eggs.
Calcium – dairy, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables.
Chromium – Whole grains, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – liver, seafood, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and pork
Copper – olives, nuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, dried fruits, meat, fish and poultry.
Iodine – cod, mackerel, haddock, eggs, live yoghurt, milk and strawberries.
Iron– shellfish, prunes, spinach, meats, cocoa.
Magnesium –dairy, seafood, apples, apricots, avocado, brown rice, spinach.
Manganese – beans, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, fresh fruit.
Phosphorus – poultry, whole grains.
Potassium – most fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular bananas, apricots, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, nectarines, potatoes.
Selenium – halibut, cod, salmon and tuna, mushrooms and Brazil Nuts.
Sodium – usually enough in our food but no more than 1 level teaspoon a day.
Zinc– seafood, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks and tofu.
Essential fatty acids –
Omega 3– flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, dark green vegetables, poultry and salmon.
Omega 6 –olive oil and some of the above.
Omega 9– avocado, olives, almonds.
Amino Acids – dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, soybeans, nuts and seeds.
The foods that supply these nutrients.
To ensure that you have everything in your basic diet to provide the nutrients you need your shopping list would look something like the following. Aim for at least 8 portions of fruit and vegetables per day not five. I know that people say that they could not possibly manage that but view them separately.. An apple, tomato, carrot, rocket leaves, portion of cucumber, medium potato, handful of cabbage, large spoonful of broccoli over two meals. That would be a salad at lunchtime and some cooked vegetables at night with a piece of fruit as a snack.
If you eat these foods each week you will be providing your body with the basic nutrients it needs to be healthy – you can obviously add other foods when you are eating out or for variety. Do try and avoid processed packets of vegetables or salads. Pre-cut vegetables (lose a very high percentage of their nutrients) and make sauces from these fresh ingredients for pasta and rice dishes. Make your own whole grain pizza base with fresh toppings. You will notice the difference in flavour.
Vegetables – carrots, red peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, corn on the cob- any dark cabbage or Brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, watercress, dark lettuce leaves, cucumbers, celery, avocados and potatoes. (Frozen vegetables are fine and in fact I use often )
Fruit – Bananas, apples, pears, oranges, kiwi and any dark berries that are reasonably priced – try frozen. When in season – pineapples, apricots, cantaloupe melon, watermelon.
Wholegrains – brown rice- wholegrain bread – whole wheat pasta – Weetabix – shredded wheat – porridge oats. If you make your own bread then use wholegrain flour. Please do not buy sugar or chocolate covered cereals – more sugar than goodness.
Fish– Salmon fresh and tinned- cod – haddock (again frozen can be a good option) any white fish on offer – shellfish once a week such as mussels. Tinned sardines, Tuna and herrings – great for lighter meals.
Meat and poultry and Tofu– chicken or turkey – lamb, beef and pork. Lean ham for sandwiches, Venison if you enjoy it. Liver provides a wonderful array of nutrients served with onions and vegetables is delicious. Tofu for vegetarians has become more accessible and can be used by non-vegetarians once a week to provide the other benefits of soya it offers. Bacon once a week is fine but do bear in mind that most processed meats contain a lot of salt.
Nuts and seeds – to put on your cereal in the mornings or as snacks – check prices out in your health food shop as well as supermarket. Almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts.
Dairy and Eggs- milk (full fat), butter and cheese (better to have the real stuff than whipped margarine) – yoghurt. Free Range Eggs – have at least three or four a week.
Oils – Extra virgin Olive Oil (least processed) – great drizzled on vegetables with some seasoning and also eaten the Spanish way with balsamic vinegar on salads and also drizzled over toasted fresh bread. If you do not like the taste of Olive Oil then use Sunflower oil – do not use the light version of any oil as it has been processed heavily – use the good stuff.
Tea, coffee, honey and extras
Fluids are very important and we all need to take in at least one to two litres per day depending on your personal circumstances.. this means water, not fizzy drinks or glasses or fruit juice or six cups of tea. Whilst tea and coffee will add to your fluid intake and do contain anti-oxidants that are good for health, you cannot beat plain water as far as your body is concerned. We have 25 percent humidity this week and I will be drinking more than usual otherwise headaches, skin dryness and brain fog take over.
Rather than spoonful’s of sugar on your cereal etc, try honey. Try and find a local honey to you but do remember it is still high in sugars. Dark chocolate – over 70% a one or two squares per day particularly with a lovely cup of Americano coffee is a delicious way to get your antioxidants. Cocoa is great with some hot milk before bed – antioxidants and melatonin in a cup.
I hope you find these shopping lists helpful and certainly if you do eat a diet that regularly includes these particular ingredients, you will go a long way to preventing dementia.
You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.