What to Eat?

 

I spent an entire post sharing my love for the Primal Blueprint, admitting that it is my preferred lifestyle diet and one I recommend again and again simply for its nutritional soundness and the fact that it’s easy to follow. But if you want to get into the nitty gritty of breaking down what’s on your plate into the proper macronutrient ratios (that’s carbs, protein, and fat) for optimal wellness, then this post is for you.

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One of the first and most important things I teach my nutritional therapy clients is how to look at their plates and balance their portions. It was one of the simplest and most significant changes I made to my own eating habits when I learned, and the way we all should be eating for optimal wellness.*

It seems simple enough: 40% of each and every meal and/or snack should consist of carbohydrates, with the remaining 60% consisting of protein and fat. Easy, right?

But that brings up another question. What are the best, healthiest sources of each macronutrient so that we can make sure what we’re eating really IS nutrient-dense? (A plate of fried chicken wings and french fries may fit the 40/30/30 profile, but you can bet your behind it’s not the best option, friend. Hate to disappoint.)

Here’s what you need to know.

40% Carbohydrates

  • The majority of carbohydrates should be low glycemic vegetables that are raw or lightly cooked
  • Include two or three fresh, whole fruits (not juice) each day
  • Occasionally, include starchy carbs (properly prepared whole grains, potatoes, rice, etc.), but try to keep the starchy carb intake to less than 15%
  • Select organic, local, and seasonal products whenever possible

30% Protein

  • Pastured, grass-fed beef
  • Wild meats
  • Organic, free-range poultry
  • Whole, raw, or cultured dairy products
  • Organic lamb
  • Organic, free-range eggs
  • Low-toxicity wild seafood

30% Fat

  • Raw, soaked nuts and seeds
  • Raw, cold-pressed oils from nuts and seeds (flax, sesame, etc.)
  • Cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
  • Saturated fats from healthy sources of animal fat and tropical oils

 

And, since I know this is going to be your next question…

What to Avoid 

  • Pasteurized, homogenized, skim, and low-fat milk
  • Soy
  • Farmed seafood
  • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats
  • Highly processed vegetable oils like corn and canola
  • Fried foods
  • Refined sugar and corn syrup products
  • White flour products
  • Canned foods
  • Artificial vitamins
  • Toxic additives and colorings
  • Refined, table salt

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. All you have to do is stop looking at the “Nutrition Facts” on the label of whatever you’re buying, and start paying more attention to the ingredients. If what’s in the package contains a bunch of stuff you can’t pronounce or anything on the “what to avoid” list above, put that bad boy back on the shelf and step away! Better yet (you’ve heard this a million times by now, but maybe it’s just starting to sink in), shop around the perimeter of the store, specifically for things that don’t have labels… produce, meat, fish, grass-fed butter… when’s the last time you saw a bag of organic apples with a list of ingredients? Nothing to worry about then, right? Eating right doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post with quick and easy meal options that follow the 40/30/30 guideline, and in the meantime, get started brainstorming some of your own!

xx

e

 

*There is a degree of bioindividuality to consider when figuring out macronutrient ratios, meaning – we’re all different. Keep in mind that these are broad guidelines and some people may require more or less of a certain macronutrient in their diets to feel their best.

 

P.S. Bonus reads to check out:

  • This article on saturated fats, by Dr. Mercola (and basically, that whole website)
  • Food Rules, by Michael Pollan
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Weekend FOODIE Recap… and What’s in Store This Week!

Gooood afternoon, fair people of the interweb! Can you even believe it’s already Monday again?! The weekend flew by, as usual.

This happened to be one of three weekends we’ve been able to enjoy alone as a couple since moving into our new house mid-March (hard to believe!). Between visitors and travel, we really needed a weekend of quality time to ourselves, and this weekend delivered.

Since Tim was out of town almost all of last week, we enjoyed a much needed date night (Whaaaat?! Remember those!?!!) at a new-to-us and sort-of-new-to-Sullivan’s-Island restaurant called The Obstinate Daughter. It. Was. Awesome. First of all, they had me at atmosphere – from the nautical rope light fixtures to raw wood, rustic-industrial accents with plush seating and perfectly out-of-place Steve Miller Band and other classic rock playing at a volume high enough to make patrons have to speak up to hear each other… it was pretty perfect.  Custom creative cocktails (in which I did not partake, but I did sip Tim’s) and a simple but SUPER TASTY menu loaded with local ingredients and foodie hot-items like ramps, sorghum, and farm fresh eggs (runny), made this local gem rocket to the top of my new favorite restaurants list. We had the Local Lettuce, Clammer Dave’s Baked Clams, and the Old Danger pizza (which rivals a favorite back home – the Sunnyside at Bar Cento in Cleveland – NOTHING will ever replace you, Sunnyside, but Old Danger was preeeetty good). Love, love, LOVED it. YUM.

photo courtesy of Yelp.com

photo courtesy of Yelp.com – click for link.

Side note: get a reservation – we lucked out somehow and snagged a table… they were supposedly booked up til 10pm when we arrived around 7:30. I secretly think the sweet sorority sister hostesses felt sorry for making the pregnant chick stand… umm, totally fine with using the bump to get seated faster.

Saturday we spent painting the nursery, transforming it from its old, dingy, yellow-orangey tan, to bright and breezy Sherwin Williams “Sprout”. I’m not totally done with the transformation, obviously (hellooo, I need a crib in that crib, a not-hideous light fixture [not pictured], and some stuff on the walls!), but here’s a sneak peek. In case you’re curious, find my inspiration for color scheme here.

Orangey-tan walls... gag.  Also, don't you love my cut-in? I forgot to take a "real" before pic.

Orangey-tan walls… gag. Also, don’t you love my cut-in? I forgot to take a “real” before pic.

 

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I love me a good side note: I’m transforming that chair into a rocker courtesy of a tutorial I found on Pinterest… and also, sorry for the sort of dark pic… that window was messing with me.

I had brined some pork chops for the grill that night (still haven’t perfected my pork chop technique, but they were pretty tasty), and served them up alongside an heirloom carrot and parsnip puree, and some lemony creamed chard (easily my new favorite side… I will share the recipe soon!). Tim was so impressed with my plating that he asked if I was going to take a picture, to which I replied, “I probably should” and then promptly dove in fork-first. Bad blogger.

Sunday, we tested out a new church which turned out to be a pleasant surprise aside from our initial reaction to the crowd requiring traffic direction, and followed up the service with brunch at our favorite dive-y spot on the beach, Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. They are super slow when it comes to putting out the food, but the fried green tomato eggs benedict (sans English muffin for me) is seriously worth the wait. I don’t know how, but their poached eggs are PER. FECT. Every. Time. I need to take lessons from the chef. And their fried green tomatoes are probably the best I’ve had since we’ve been in Charleston… and believe me, I’ve been trying them nearly everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com - click for link

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com – click for link

This week is going to be a good one. I’ve got some great posts in store for you, some inspired by re-visiting books on my bookshelf, some inspired by questions and suggestions of friends, and ALL of them inspired by my favorite thing ever: FOOD! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store:

  • Revisiting the Primal Blueprint – why I’m regrouping and and why you should consider giving it a shot, too.
  • What to Eat – how to look at your meals from a nutritional standpoint to make sure you’re getting what you need, along with some quick and easily customizable meal options.
  • The 21-Day Sugar Detox – we’ve been there before and you know I love it… let me share a few ways it might benefit you and how to set yourself up for success.

So pull up a laptop or a tablet, get comfy, and stay tuned for the good stuff!

xx

e

 

Let’s Talk Food.

Last night, in an attempt to get organized (mostly in an effort to be successful at blogging regularly – I told you people I would be better about this!), I sat down with my calendar and started jotting down ideas for posts based on the events and “dates” we have coming up. The ideas that came most readily were, of course, those centered around the Friday theme I promised: Date Night.

(Side note: Is this what normal bloggers do? Or am I just that OCD that I need an outline to follow? Don’t answer that.)

Anyway, of course Date Night is easy because A) it involves my favorite thing: food, and B) we really enjoy dining out and have several favorite foodie restaurants in the area (not to mention, this will give us an excuse to visit a few more we’ve been wanting to try…like this one).

With all the future Date Night posts running through my mind… glorious visions of pork belly and smoked gouda grits, carrot cake waffles with maple cream cheese frosting, the best fried calamari you’ll ever eat, crimini mushroom pizza with smoked bleu cheese and roasted garlic oil, fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and roasted beets, guacamole prepared to order (are you drooling yet?)… I felt like I needed to preface those upcoming indulgent posts with a disclaimer of “OKAY, WHOA NELLY WE DON’T EAT AND DRINK LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME NOR DO I RECOMMEND YOU DO!  EVERYONE DROP THE FORKS AND CALM DOWN!”

There’s no denying we’re total foodies with a mutual soft spot for culinary creativity, but here are the food rules we live by the other 6.75 days of the week, in order to feel okay with indulging once in a while:

  • Both Tim and I follow the Primal Blueprint diet 90% of the time.  I’ll let you read about the details elsewhere, but basically, we eat mostly animal protein (red meat, chicken, fish) and vegetables… no grains, no sugar (other than what occurs naturally in fruits and veggies), and no packaged foods.  Some hardcore Paleo-dieters don’t eat milk products, but I like a little half & half in my coffee, I cook with butter, and let’s be honest, I love me some cheese on occasion.  This is the inspiring article that first prompted me to try eating this way (and to start lifting weights), and it’s been the best – and easiest – diet decision I’ve ever made.

  • We eat clean!  That means fresh fruits and veggies, organic whenever possible, and organic, humanely-raised meats and wild seafood, fresh and local whenever possible.  It wasn’t always that way, but more and more, if I can’t buy it organic, I won’t buy it at all.  I’m not being a snob, I just really want to be careful about what we’re putting into our bodies! I want to give my body the cleanest possible fuel so that it can run efficiently, heal itself, and maintain its strength.  Luckily, we are fortunate enough to live in an area where organic options are readily available at every turn.  We have access to a buying club that provides us with a weekly mystery box of fresh organic produce, and surprise of all surprises, COSTCO now offers a generous selection of organic meats and dairy products, and even nuts and oils.  If you think it’s not possible for you to eat clean or that it must be a boring way to eat, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Clean Eating magazine (or get a digital subscription for your iPad – I love mine!).  Tosca Reno’s book, The Eat Clean Diet, will give you even more insight as to what eating clean can do for your health (P.S. Listen, if Tosca can go from a frumpy, worn-out, 40-something wearing mom-jeans to a pro figure model and nutritional therapist… I mean, if that isn’t inspiration for you, I don’t know what is!! If anything, just Google her to read her story.).
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I love that Clean Eating magazine offers a “real life” approach to eating clean… complete with no-brainer meal plans and shopping lists in every issue, and articles focused on making eating clean as simple and enjoyable as possible (cue the red wine and make-ahead meals!).

  • I try to eat five small meals a day on a schedule (yep, I set my alarm).  I plan ahead religiously (I keep a notebook) just to be prepared, but that’s as crazy as it gets.  I do not count calories – once upon a time I did, but honestly, I loathe plans that require counting calories because I become obsessive and consequently starve myself and then binge… it just doesn’t work for me.  I eat protein, veggies, and fats in every meal, end of story.
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3:30… time to eat… what’s on the menu? Check the little green book.

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In case you’re curious, here’s what my food looks like. Follow me on instagram (erinfrazee) to see more of my plate.

  • I make exceptions (within reason).  I make a protein shake after my workout every single day with whey protein and unsweetened almond milk.  Neither of those things are primal-friendly or technically “clean”.  I’m not worried about it, which brings me to my next point…

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  • I don’t stress about food.  I allow myself one cheat meal a week, which usually ends up being on Date Night when we’re eating out at a restaurant and don’t have as much control over the food, or just want to indulge a little.  Cheating doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be filling up on the bread basket, but if grits come with our shrimp, you’d better believe we’ll be partaking.  (And if key lime pie is on the menu, um, it’s happening.)

Prosecco and macarons at Bottega Louie? You betcha.

  • I don’t let plans with friends throw me off either, and it bums me out that this is such a struggle for some people!!  Life is meant to be lived, friends, just do your best!  When doing something fun with friends that involves food, I either eat according to my preferences as best I can, or I use that meal as my cheat meal.  For example, if I’m going to a wine tasting with friends mid-week (such as is the case this week!) which will entail eating and drinking off the plan, it’s no big deal… I know that when Date Night rolls around later in the week, I’ll be doing the cooking.  It all evens out, and there’s no reason to stress!

I love me some dinners out with friends!! (Obviously.)

  • I drink red wine on the reg!  One glass with dinner or sometimes more if it’s with a cheat meal.  Occasionally, white wine happens, but not often.  I don’t really drink beer, so I don’t have a problem not drinking it.  Though the occasional craft beer at a local brewery or Bud Light Lime on the beach won’t throw off my weekend, it’s rare that I even have the urge for a pint.  If cocktails are in order, vodka or tequila and soda with lime is about the craziest I’ll get.
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Oh yeah, we keep this baby stocked.

  • I have learned to quell the urge for something sweet after dinner with a square of Lindt 85% cocoa dark chocolate.  It’s not even sweet, but cutting sugar out of the rest of my diet has made my taste buds super sensitive when it comes to dessert.

So good.

So there you have it, folks.  Part of living a full and vibrant life means making health your top priority so that you can enjoy your life… taking control of the food you eat is the easiest way to do that.  Tim and I are always saying to each other, “I love the way we eat!” because not only is it easy, it’s healthy, we’re always satisfied but never stuffed, and we feel strong and we enjoy our food when we eat it.  For two foodies, I think that says a lot!!

Stay tuned for more good stuff comin’ up soon… need a preview?  I’ve got a calendar packed to the brim with a wine tasting, date night, dinner with friends, and a little sunrise yoga on the beach with Lululemon that is sure to be incredible!  Ciao for now!