If you took part in the week 1 challenge to gather some data about yourself, you’re probably thinking, “now what?”
This week, you can start thinking of making some adjustments!
Although we calculated calories in the first week, nutrition is not all about calories, and not all calories are created equal. But I do think that a calorie count isn’t a bad place to start so you know the volume you are getting.
If you used the My Fitness Pal app, take a look at your macro split under the nutrition tab (protein, carbs, fats).
In general most people eat way too many carbs for their level of activity. If you are super active, nutritious carbs can help fuel your activity, which is a good thing. If you are generally active and looking drop a few lbs, take a look at adjusting your carbs.
Now, this is where it gets individual. For me, I found that a great sweet spot for my activity level was about 100-125 g of carbs per day. I upped my fats (yum!) and protein and felt like a rock star in that realm. My husband, on the other hand, felt great eating about 50-100g of carbs, and had enough energy to fuel his sports. So it’s individual.
My advice to you would be to play around with your carbs, and up your fat intake and see how you feel. I find that fat satiates me quite a bit (you know how much I love my avocado!) and I don’t get any “hangry” spells that much anymore, even while pregnant!
If you didn’t track your meals last week, that’s ok! This week, take a look at reducing your carb intake for at least one meal. See how you feel!
Other adjustments you can make this week are:
- Add in one salad per day, or one veggie based soup, or one veggie based smoothie (to up your veggie intake)
- Increase your fat intake by eating some nuts, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil
- Use real butter or ghee in place of margarine or another “butter” product
- Increase your real food protein by eating some meat, or some eggs if they agree with you (I like having hard boiled eggs on hand that I can grab at anytime when I feel hungry)
- Track how you feel throughout the day. We often dismiss if we feel bloated, or tired, but this could be a sign of a nutritional adjustment that could be made.
- Remove white pasta, white bread and white rice from your diet. I’m not completely anti white rice by the way, I just want you to see how you feel. Find some nutritious alternatives! For pasta, try some higher protein noodles like, Maria’s Noodles, or Bean Noodles. For white bread, try Ezekiel sprouted bread, or experiment making some bread with almond flour. For white rice, try cauliflower rice! And for a good carb, eat some sweet potato or squash.
My goal for you (and for me) is to be able to let go of the numbers completely, and eat intuitively. This means that you know your body so well, that you can select the foods your body needs at that point in time, based on how you are feeling. To get there, some tracking is needed so you can get to know how you feel.
In addition, take stock of the supplements you are taking this week. Are you taking any? How do you know you need to take some? This is tough too, but after a few years of trial and error, here are supplements that I take that make me feel amazing (and I don’t get sick often my friends!) I think this is due to the mix of the crazy intake of veggies I get, coupled with some help from some supplements.
Here’s what i take:
- Platinum Naturals Easy Prenatal (I like it because I take it once per day, and it doesn’t make me feel queasy, which some multivitamins / prenatal vitamins can do).
- B complex in a tincture (I find that tincture absorbs into the body well. I was on the birth control pill for 15 years, and it killed my b12 levels. I felt depressed and I did not know why. I now believe it was due to low B vitamin levels. Taking this helped me rebuild that I believe. I am so proud when I get blood test results and see that number be normal!)
- Vitamin C (when you’re stressed, your body uses your vitamin C. This vitamin is so important for so many functions. People often roll their eyes at vitamin C, thinking that their health answer should be more flashy and expensive, but try taking some vitamin C! Right now, I take one Ener-C packet in water – but beware, these packets have 5 g of sugar each. I don’t use this all the time, I often switch up the type I’m using to see what works. And right now, for me, it’s that, because I get one extra liter of water per day using it)
- Fish oil to get in my Omega 3 fatty acids
To find out what you need, try out a few things, and enlist your doctor or naturopath to help you out! For me, I only knew what I was deficient in when I took some blood tests, and I took things from there.
A note on timelines: When you’re making nutritional adjustments, it takes some time to see the results. Don’t get discouraged if you do everything and 3 days in you see nothing. To put some context around it, I only saw the advantage when I went gluten free after 4-6 months. It was mentally tough, but when I woke up one day and realized how amazing I felt I was so happy I did it. My body had a big clean up job to do, because to be honest, I was abusing it way too much with processed foods and a lot of wine. It all depends on where you are at now, and where you want to go!
So this week, have fun with your adjustments, always think of ways to get more veggies in and track how you feel while you play with lowering your carbs (if your intake is high right now!).