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High Energy Nutrition

By Dr. Jasmin Jerez-Marte

The Concept
Eat high protein, low carbohydrate foods to increase your body’s ability to burn fat and absorb nutrients.

Components
Make monounsaturated fats, lean proteins, and simple carbohydrates the cornerstone of your daily meals. Avoid saturated fats and complex carbohydrates including refined sugars and processed foods.

Timeline
In the first four weeks your net carbohydrate intake should be 25g/day. After the first four weeks this number should be 50g/day.  If you are physically active and exercising more than one hour per day, you may be able to increase your net carbohydrates as long as the weight loss continues.

**How to calculate total net carbohydrates:

Kellogg’s Special K Cereal:
Total Carbohydrates 19 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Net carbohydrates 16 grams
(Subtract the dietary fiber from the total carbohydrates:  16 grams is the net carbohydrate load per serving.)

Tricks

  • Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time.
  • Keep it simple. The fewer options you have, the easier it is to manage your caloric intake.
  • Eat fresh foods rather than processed foods. Processed foods typically contain high chemical content and refined sugar. For example, choose fresh or frozen broccoli stalks and a slice of hard cheese rather than a can of broccoli-cheddar soup.
  • Drink plenty of water. You will notice a natural diuresis (getting rid of water through the urine) that happens when you stop eating salty processed foods and when fat begins to melt.

Sample Foods
Fruits: All berries, pears, plums.
Grains: Quinoa (find this in the organic aisle or health food store) as rice substitute, oatmeal.
Legumes: All of them including beans, peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas, lentils.
Meats: All meats, but try to limit red meat consumption to no more than twice a week since red meats have the highest fat content.
Seafood:  All types of seafood.
Veggies: For first four weeks eat only green salads, tomatoes, and cucumber. Later, slowly add more starchy ones such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, green beans, etc.
Snacks: Try raw almonds, celery with peanut or almond butter, hummus (chickpea paste, find next to cheeses in grocery store).  
Milk: Skim milk, almost mild, or soy milk can be started after the first four weeks.
Eggs: A good choice, especially egg whites.

Sample Menu

Breakfast

  • 2 eggs—leave one yolk out and fix remaining egg and egg white with veggies and/or two strips of turkey bacon.
  • 1 cup of oatmeal fixed with water, nuts, cinnamon, and substitute sugar or one teaspoon of brown sugar or agave syrup.
  • 1 cup of Special K Protein cereal with skim milk.

Lunch

  • Lettuce/spinach salad with tuna or chicken—add almonds if desired. Balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Homemade chili. Try turkey meat! Go ahead and have a second cup!
  • Collard greens with sunflower seeds.

Dinner

  • Bean salad.
  • Chicken in tomato sauce over Quinoa.
  • Quinoa with beans, fresh celery, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a portion of beef.
  • Pork loin kebab, grilled.
  • Grilled broccoli, lean burger, top with cheese.
  • Low carbohydrate tortilla (not more than 10g carbohydrates/unit); fill with meat and veggies of choice.
  • Lentils topped with ground meat (turkey or beef) and side of Pico de Gallop (tomatoes, cilantro, onions, lime, sea salt, and pepper), avocado slice.
  • Grilled salmon with green beans on the side.
  • Shrimp with tomato sauce over zucchini.
  • Fish taco substituting regular corn or flour tortilla for low carbohydrate tortilla.

Foods to Avoid

  • Any sweets, candies, bread (even whole wheat), pasta, breakfast cereals, etc.
  • Potatoes, alcohol, sodas

Alcohol

  • Avoid entirely if possible
  • White wine is lowest in carbohydrates, 4oz
  • Red wine is higher in carbohydrates  but better for heart health, 4oz

What to Expect

  • Increased energy level. This should help you start an exercise routine.
  • Weight loss that should continue as long as you do not exceed the amount of carbohydrates your body can handle (may be more or less than 50 carbohydrates per day)
  • Healthier looking skin.
  • Better digestion.
  • Desire to live a healthier life.

**Where can you find references to help calculate the carbohydrate content in your food?  

  • Use Google.
  • Carbohydrate counter applications for smart phones – many are available and free.              
  • The Belly Fat Cure Sugar and Carb Counter.  

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