On the weekend, I like to try and get some things prepared for the week ahead, so when you get home from work the prep work is done. Plan out your menu for the week, make your grocery list and when you get home from the market, wash the vegetables, and if you have time, cut them up and put in ziplock bags ready to go. I also like to make a big batch of rice, quinoa, or any other grain, divide the portions up and place in ziplock bags. Remember, you can have the whole grain with dinner at night, use some left-overs in place of oatmeal for breakfast mixed with cinnamon, fruit, etc. the next morning, and use again for maybe a wrap with beans, veggies, etc. another night. The possibilities are endless... When most of the ingredients are prepped and ready to go, dinner is a snap.
Since we are on the topic of whole grains, the tip for today comes from Bob Harpers (the trainer from The Biggest Loser) book, The Skinny Rules:
SLASH YOUR INTAKE OF REFINED FLOURS AND GRAINS. Unfortunately, grains, mainly in the form of refined flours, dominate the American diet. Bagles are an everyday occurence for many people. Grains in all shapes an sizes are cheap and tasty. Now, the problem is, they might be marked as "low fat", "all natural". "whole" and even "heart healthy". But if they are at all refined--I'm talking from rice to bread--they will make you FAT.
Refined grains means that the bran and the germ has been stripped away from the grain. Without the bran, starchy carbs get stuck in our gut for much longer than they should and begin to interrupt our normal bodily functions. Healthy bacteria get starved. Starchy carbs without the nutritional value depress important hormones that cause us to feel full and stimulate hormones that make us hungry. Without the germ, we get nothing in terms of minerals, vitamins and proteins. By the time these carbs get processed by the liver, we have an explosive amount of sugar that sends our blood sugar and insulin levels up.
However, whole grains have huge benefits: they speed up digestion, increase good hormones and decrease bad hormones, steady blood sugar and insulin levels, and keeps us feeling fuller. In order to be successful in losing weight, this is one tip that is essential--we have to read the labels. If the nutritional information on a loaf of bread does not lead with the words "WHOLE-GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR" or "SPROUTED WHOLE WHEAT", pass it by. It doesn't matter if the labels says "multigrain", "nutty", "whole wheat", "natural", "stone ground" or whatever....If it doesn't say WHOLE-GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR, do not buy it. Also, if ANY sweetener appears in the first five ingredients, do not buy it. There is one bread out there that I recommend--Ezekiel bread--it is make with NO FLOUR, (it's made from grains and sprouts), and comes in different varieties such as cinnamon raisin, sesame and wheat--it is usually found in the freezer section of the market. It is more "chewy" than the bread we are used to, but it is GOOD for you.
Ok, on to the meal plan for today, Day 5:
Breakfast: Smoothie day: Green Glamour Smoothie
Lunch: Left-overs from last night or Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms
Snack: Mango Salsa with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips or raw veggies
Dinner: Kickstart Dining Out--Mexican
Remember, go to the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart website to get all the recipes and lots more information. The smoothie recipe looks really good, but if you don't have the specific fruit on hand, use what you do have. I make a green smoothie everyday with romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, (any greens), with an apple, pear, and banana and flaxseed. If I have other fruit available, I throw that in too. There are so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3, (from the flaxseed) that this is the best thing you can put in your body to start the day!! You will flood your body with all that nutrition in one glass full. Your body will reward you....
So, water, water, water; 30 minutes of some kind of exercise today, (you will feel so good after you do this), and try a new recipe. If you are able, prepare your menu for the week, stock up, wash and chop the vegetables, and make some kind of whole grain....try a new one each week!!
Let me know how you are doing.....I would love to hear from you!!