There is a great song by Lady Antebellum called Perfect Day. True to its name, it describes the perfect day. Mine would include a plane, a beach, a book by Jane Austen, lunch at Nobu and a bottle of Rose. It probably wouldn’t include fiber and flaxseed, but since I have been blah, blah, blogging about healthy eating all week, I tried to come up with a day of meals that is manageable and include all of the USDA recommendations. If you try it, don’t forget the eight glasses of water.
Here are my goals – it is good to have goals:
Nine servings of fruits and vegetables. 25-30g of Fiber. 1000mg of calcium. Less than 2000 calories. Less than 20% fat. Less than 32g of added sugar. Plus, some flaxseed thrown in for good measure.
Smoothie – the more I read, the more I realize that it is almost impossible to get everything you need without a smoothie. I have started making them in the morning and it is surprisingly easy as well as a delicious crowd pleaser.
1 c of carrot juice
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup no-fat yogurt
1/2 cup no fat milk
Mix it all together in the blender (you don’t need ice b/c of the frozen berries). Add some flaxseed or a tblsp. of flax seed oil – you won’t taste it.
OR: A bowl of fiber cereal. Some give you 35% of your days fiber in one serving. The serving on the box is probably a cup. Measure it and I guarantee that you are pouring almost two cups which is then almost 70% of your day’s fiber. Put a handful of berries on top and use only skim milk.
OR: Oatmeal (make sure it isn’t loaded with sugar) with some berries on top. (The problem here is that at some other point in the day, you have to have some milk or yogurt for your calcium).
Mid-morning snack – a piece of fruit or a container of low-fat fruit yogurt.
Turkey (without nitrates) with mustard, tomato and avocado or tuna (see a great recipe under Healthy Eating) on whole grain bread.
One whole grain wrap has 12g of fiber. I just had tomato, avocado, spicy mustard and refried beans on a wrap and believe it or not, it was good and I am stuffed.
You could and probably should have a big salad for lunch but the problem is that you can’t drown it in delicious dressing and then I’d rather skip it altogether.
Mid-day snack – a piece of fruit and a handful of unsweetened walnuts or raw almonds. Or, a fiber bar if you didn’t get a lot at breakfast. (Fiber One peanut butter flavor is great.)
Stir-fry – Organic chicken, garlic, onion sauteed in olive oil. Throw in some frozen or fresh broccoli, carrots, colorful peppers and mushrooms. You can also throw in some flax seed. Serve over rice.
Or: A piece of white fish baked with some olive oil, dried spices and some bread crumbs sprinkled on top or bake in a miso marinade (it tastes amazing with cod or sea bass and is so easy). Two servings of vegetables and brown rice or baked potato.
Something sweet after dinner: Try to have some more fruit. Also treat yourself to a cup of dark hot chocolate or a glass of red wine.
I have done the math and in a 24 hour day, it is very hard to get all your servings of fruit and vegetables unless you have the smoothie. Invest in a blender and keep frozen berries in the house. Even if you don’t have it for breakfast, it can be your lunch or a great snack. Throw some rum in and invite the neighbors.
I have a theory that I am going to try out. Next week, I am going to focus just on getting enough fiber, fruits, vegetables, calcium and water each day. I am not going to deprive myself of anything I am craving nor am I going to count calories. I think that will leave just enough time in the day and room on my plate for the perfect and moderate amount of meat, carbs and sugar. It is so much more attractive to add something good than to take something bad away. This weekend, I will probably test out the reverse of this theory, but that is why God invented Saturday and Sunday.