Nutritional Principles

  1. Carbohydrates are foods primarily composed of sugars. They include vegetables, fruits, grains, starches, and sweets. They all digest to glucose. Fruit contains fructose, which must be converted by the liver to glucose. This process takes time so the blood glucose rises slower than with starches. Complex carbs such as bread or pasta digest to glucose rapidly. White rice raises the blood sugar as quickly as a Snickers bar! Carbohydrates differ in the quantity of glucose as well as the rapidity of digestion.

  2. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how fast a given carb raises the blood glucose. Vegetables are low (20-50). Fruits are higher (50-70). Starches and grains are the highest (50-100). (Glucose = 100.) High GI foods stimulate the body to secrete more insulin, which quickly lowers the blood sugar producing hunger. High insulin also stimulates hunger in the brain and it turns off the fat cells from releasing fats. Therefore vegetables are the ideal carb on program. They also contain the most antioxidants and vitamins. Most vegetables have larger serving sizes and produce more feeling of fullness. Fruit may be eaten in limited quantities. I recommend limiting starches due to their generally high GI and their high amount of calories.

  3. Food preparation changes the glycemic index. Raw veggies have the lowest GI, followed by crunchy veggies. Overcooked vegetables have a much higher GI. Cooking hastens digestion. Processing the fruits and vegetables, such as juicing increases the GI markedly. The particle size of the food is much less and more quickly digested. The more processed the grain, the higher the GI. Crunchy steel cut oats has a low GI. Instant oatmeal has a very high GI. Crunchy beans have a very low GI and bean soup has a high GI.

  4. Protein foods are important for muscles and our immune system. We do not store protein anywhere, so protein with every meal helps muscle strength. Protein also stimulates the hormone glucagon, which lowers insulin release in a meal. Balancing protein and carbs in a meal leads to ideal insulin release. Protein also stimulates satiety. Protein foods differ in the fat contained. Ideal protein foods are those for our lean and green meals: low-fat soy, low-fat cottage cheese, Egg-beaters, lean chicken/ turkey, fish, and wild game or range-fed lean beef.

  5. Fat- Fats add flavor to food, slow down stomach emptying, and carry fat-soluble vitamins. Freshly packed olive oil has the most antioxidants of any know food. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts/ nut butters, and avocados are ideal. They do not lead to inflammation as do vegetable oil, and fat from milk, eggs and red meat. Continue to have fat with dinner. Modest amounts of fat may be added to the other meals, but are not mandatory.

  6. Calories- The weight loss program with the meal replacements and lean and green contains 800-1000 calories. On the maintenance program, most women will need 1000-1400 calories and men 1400-1800 calories. Athletes and very active people will need more. Monitoring waist size and weight is essential. Everyone is different. Each person will have to adjust their intake up or down based on their weight gain/loss.

  7. Post-program Maintenance basics-
    1. Always eat within 1 hr. of awakening.
    2. Continue to drink 64-100 oz of water daily.
    3. Continue to eat every 2-3 hrs.
    4. For carbs, eat mainly crunchy or raw veggies and limited fruit. For starches, have a whole grain breakfast cereal if desired and use low carb tortillas and Shirataki pasta to reduce starch intake. Whole grain bread is ok for some people, but will lead to weight gain in many.
    5. Experiment with new recipes and sauces to add interest and spice to your cuisine.
    6. Continue to limit caffeine to 3 cups of coffee or equivalent a day.
    7. Avoid fast food restaurants.
    8. Keep crunch bars or shakes and water handy in your car and at the office for “fast food.”

  8. Reading nutritional labels- Prepared foods now come with nutritional info. The protein in grams will be listed. For the carb content, check for the net carbs, which is the total carbs minus the fiber. For fat, check for saturated and trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) which are not favorable.

  9. Building on program meals. First pick 1-2 portions of protein and 1-2 portions of carbs for a small meal/ snack. Larger meals usually consist of 3-4 portions of protein and carbs with fat added to dinner.

Suggested Serving Sizes

For light meals/ snacks select 1-2 portions of protein and carbs (fat is optional)
For larger meals select 3-4 portions of protein and carbs. (Add fat to dinner and optional for other meals.)

1 oz. range fed beef, poultry, low fat cheese (Jarlsberg Light, Light Havarti, Cabot Cheddar-75% fat-reduced, Precious low-fat mozzarella)
1 1/2 oz. of fish, or low fat deli meat
2 egg whites or 1/4 c Eggbeaters
¼ c. low fat cottage cheese
1/8th cup of Fearn Soya Granules (health food store)
½ Boca Burger or 1 Morningstar Farms Breakfast Patty
1/3 -1/2 carton of Mori-nu low fat tofu

4 c. lettuce, raw -spinach, cabbage, or bamboo shoots
2 c. cooked zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnip greens,
1 cup Brussels sprouts, eggplant, asparagus, green beans, sauerkraut, spinach, yellow squash, tomatoes
½ cup chopped onions, salsa, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
2 small low carb tortillas
1 piece of light whole grain bread or ½ slice regular whole grain bread.
¼ c bran cereal (e.g. Raisin Bran)
1/8th cup of steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, whole grain wheat hot cereal,

6 peanuts/ 3 almonds, olives
1 macadamia nut/ 1 tbsp avocado, guacamole