by Carisa Rasmussen, cleanandleanfitness.com
I've listed my personal tips for creating your own food guide and what has worked for me. Below my information you'll find links to free meal plans and guides to creating your own meal plan. I am a certified nutrition advisor, however, I am not a certified dietitian and I do not subscribe the same line of thinking that a dietitian subscribes to. I do not prescribe or treat illness. These tips are to help you create a plan that works for you. If you have a serious condition that needs attention, I do advise that you seek medical attention from an MD or ND.
Clean & Lean tips
1. Listen to your body when you're selecting a food plan that will work for you. Ex. 6 meals a day vs. 3 meals a day, Paleo vs. clean eating, gluten free. Don't force yourself to do something that A. makes you miserable, B. You don't like eating the food C. Is out of your price range.
2. NEVER go with a food plan that doesn't allow for room to make mistakes, unless you have a specific diagnosis that requires perfection. Asking yourself to be perfect is asking for failure.
3. Here's how I make my food plan. These are listed in order of importance.
A. The bulk of my meals should be vegetables - I eat six meals a day and I want at least four of them to contain veggies. Green is best. A portion of veggies is about a cup, but really, you can have as many green leafy veggies as you can handle.
B. I want to have a lean protein in at least four meals. A portion of protein is 3 to 6 oz depending on what your bodies needs are.
C. Fresh fruit. Don't go with a food plan that doesn't have have fresh fruit. Make sure you have at least 2 or 3 portions of fresh fruit in your meals. A portion of fresh fruit is a 1/4 cup. Don't eat
D. Healthy fat. It's so important to have at least 3 or 4 servings of a healthy fat in your diet. A serving is a table spoon.
E. Starch - choose your starches wisely. Select starches that will provide the most amount of nutrients to your body. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes, and sprouted grains are typically my start choices. I typically have about a cup of starch per day in addition to the fresh fruit I'm eating.
4. To create a food plan, start by taking the recipes that are staples in your diet currently and see how you can modify them, or find alternative, healthier recipes for the same meals online that you'll like. By doing this, you'll be eating foods that you know you'll like and eat.
5. Create a plan that allows you to eat the same foods for a couple of weeks, then create a new plan for the next two weeks so that you're aren't wasting food.
6. Create a food plan that allows you to make food in bulk and food that freezes well to avoid wasting food.
7. Find at lease three salad recipes that you actually look forward to eating. Salads are such an easy way to get your veggies and protein in. It's a good idea to start enjoying a salad every day. They are nutrient dense and inexpensive if you make them at home.