Howdy, Partisans! Today’s post will wrap up the American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Guide with a few final, but important details to help maximize the effects of your lifestyle change efforts using the Guide. Hopefully, interested AP readers have already been ramping up their lifestyle change efforts effectively from the previous Guide posts, so this is just the icing on the cake.
NEP V: Miscellaneous Important Items and General Review
Listed below are some odds n’ ends plus a general review of the previous information that should make for a smoother experience as you change your diet towards the American Partisan NEP ideal.
Basic Hardware Needed for Your Meal Plan
The overarching theme here is: ORGANIZATION and PREPAREDNESS. Good quality containers are a must for both, if you’re serious.
- Full set of measuring spoons – to measure your oils and powders as needed
- Set of funnels: at least one medium-sized funnel is a must – for depositing drink mix powders into your containers without a mess, and whatever other applications in food preparation
- A small coffee grinder (around $10 – $12): to grind whole flaxseed, chia seeds, or for whatever need
- A comprehensive set of plastic, sealable containers (i.e., Tupperware, etc.) in various sizes
- Smaller sizes for liquids, oils, and sauces; medium and large for powders
- Varied sizes to hold your meals and stocks of raw ingredients, as needed
- Don’t skimp on quality! Buy durable containers that seal well, or you’ll regret it.
- Plastic, sealable shaker bottles (minimum of 4): essential gear for any healthy eating program!
- Capacity should be at least 24 oz.
- Wide-mouth 32 oz. or 1 liter is best
- Again, don’t be cheap! The last thing you need is your drink shaker spraying your particle-filled fitness slop all over the place when you shake it vigorously
- Pill box: to store supplement pills and capsules for organization and possible transport
Best Practices for Maximizing Satiety with Your Meals
There are three researched and proven factors that influence satiety, and it would do anyone well to take note, especially those seeking to lose body fat. Leveraging these satiety factors can give you an huge edge in losing weight and getting good nutrition… but without feeling hungry – a win-win!
Mechanical Stomach Stretch: The faster the stomach organ mechanically stretches out during your meal, the sooner you will feel full and, hence, satisfied. The physical expansion of the stomach sends satisfaction signals to the brain, which can then be leveraged by the savvy Partisan. This is where eating fibrous vegetables and drinking water carry the day, meaning that you want to load your meal up with lots of vegetables and water. The combination of these nutritious high-volume inputs stretches the stomach organ out quite well… but without the caloric load.
Food-Generated Satiety Hormone Release: Consuming high-quality proteins and fats promote the release of hormones that then activate satiety centers in the brain; these hormones promote a sense of satisfaction quickly and effectively, but at the biochemical level (vs. the mechanical/physical fullness level).
Order of Consumption: Starting off your meal with a generous portion of vegetables and water (= mechanical stomach stretch), then moving on to a good portion of protein (biochemical satiety), and finally finishing off with high-quality natural fats (biochemical satiety) will to make you feel full and satiated without overeating. (Note: Proteins and fats can be eaten at the same time to achieve the same effect!)
Exploiting the factors of satiety as stated above will empower you to lose fat while feeling satisfied!
General Best Practices and Review on Eating and Preparing Your Foods
- Take Essential Fatty Acids (“EFA’s”; oils and/or gel caps) and proteins together – proteins should be mixed with fats for best digestive absorption effects
- Multivitamins should be taken with fatty foods for best absorption effects
- Chew your food well; turn your mouthful of food into a fine paste before you swallow. Long periods of chewing also allow the satiety response to be realized faster, since most people eat well beyond their satiety point, partly due to eating so quickly and under-chewing.
- Recommended Modes of Cooking:
- No frying of any type is recommended, period.
- Light (“light” being the key word!) sautéing with one of the recommended oils is acceptable
- Steaming or light roasting of vegetables is always encouraged, where possible – lightly heating vegetables will help release some of the nutrients in the veggies and make them more available to the body
- Eating your vegetables in proper amounts (1/2 lb. to 1 lb. of vegetables per 50 lbs. of body weight per day) as recommended should handily provide enough fiber in your diet
- For additional fiber and nutrition, use ground flaxseed or chia seed to taste (as described above); you can have as much of these as you’d like
- Mix the freshly ground flax/chia seed into your water or protein smoothie, or onto a salad, vegetables, or whatever you’d like – it’s extremely tasty and nutritious, and always adds nutritional value to whatever you’re consuming
- Liquid nutrition is always a good idea, especially for those who suffer from any kind of digestive issue, such as recurring heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhea, cramping, indigestion, or constipation
- Pre-digested food (i.e., juicing; grinding; chopping/mincing) and liquefying nutrition should go a long way towards dealing with any existing digestive issues
- Using pre-digested food reduces the stomach’s digestive workload and allows for rapid nutrient absorption; pre-digested foods go right to work!
- Freshly-juiced vegetables (not mass-produced V8!) are an excellent way to consume nutrients and bypass digestive complications; keep and eat the fiber portion of the juiced veggies, as well!
- Have a maximum of ONE “cheat” meal per week as a sort of release valve for addressing cravings; remember: a “cheat” meal should not amount to having three meals in one (which is scary easy to do)! This is merely a tactical way of addressing cravings, and is not to be abused or watch how quickly your progress gets erased…
- Important: There are no fixed meal times. Eat only when you are truly hungry:
- Take the important step of analyzing your hunger: do you truly need to eat?
- A growling stomach means your stomach is empty, but doesn’t mean you need to eat!
- You should eat only when you are feeling weak, sluggish, irritable, or “brain fogged” or any combination of these distracting sensations
- For fat and sugar cravings: whenever you feel a craving for sugar or fat, don’t reach for the Snickers bar! Instead, keep any of the following items listed below within reach (with your plastic containers, of course) to kill the cravings dead in their tracks:
- Sugar Cravings: use protein! Have a protein smoothie, which can consist of as little as one scoop of protein or can be a full-bore protein shake
- Fat Cravings: use essential or healthy fats! A handful of nuts, a tbsp. of healthy oil, or even just a few EFA gel caps can go far in busting a craving for fatty foods without the need to pig out on gut-busting, health-reducing slop
- For salt cravings: whenever you feel a craving for salty foods, don’t reach for the potato chips or pretzels! Instead, keep the following around to kill the salt cravings dead in their tracks
- Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt – mix a few tsp. of these salts with water for a delicious beverage to sip on that will leave you not even wanting to look at salty snack food
So there it is: the concise list of tips and tricks to make your lifestyle change efforts definitively work for you. Take command, Partisans!
NEP VI: How to Create Your Nutritious Meals
How to Construct a Nutritious Meal
Every proper meal you eat should generally contain one “portion” of each of the macronutrient types described in detail throughout the AP Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide. Remember, a “portion” size is variable in accordance with your needs and satiety point.
The AP NEP formula for success to construct your health-boosting meal goes as follows:
1 Portion of Protein
+ 1 Portion of Nutritious Fats (essential and/or non-essential fats)
+ 1 Portion of Slow-Burning Carbohydrates (i.e., vegetables and/or legumes)
+ 1 Portion of Fiber (like chia or flax seeds; this is optional if your healthy meal already includes veggies, but always highly recommended)
+ 1 Dose of Essential Fatty Acids (if EFA’s are not present in your portion of nutritious fats)
+ Recommended Supplements (vitamins, minerals, liquid nutrition)
= A well-balanced, nutritious, health-promoting, fat-busting meal!
Please Note: The meal construction system detailed above only applies to actual meals. The formula above does not apply to snacks (which is my name for eating between meals and which, as I’ve said repeatedly, should generally be avoided) or post-workout protein smoothies. I am not a fan of snacking, and I always advise against it, but if you’re going to “snack”, it should only be in a tactical, craving-busting form, as mentioned a few times above. Once you get to the weight range you desire, I’d recommend ditching the snacks altogether – remember, snacks send signals to the brain that fat doesn’t need to be burned.
Common Scenarios for Meal Crafting
There are three envisioned scenarios in which you’ll be having your meal (abbreviations provided here to be used in the Meal Recommendations section right after):
- In-Transit (“IT”; away from home and place of work)
- No access to kitchen-type amenities like a refrigerator, stove, microwave, etc.
- Restaurant service is not a possibility or not practical (ex., a road trip or a commute)
- The In-Transit situation calls for maximum portability and lightweight meal options
- A post-workout protein shake (see the Power Smoothie, in the section just below) is truly the perfect example of a meal well-suited for the In-Transit scenario
- Light preparation at home/in the workplace will be required
- Prepare any desired drink mixes ahead of time by putting the measured amount of powder (whey; ground flaxseed/chia; other) into one of your shakers
- Take the preloaded drink shaker with you in a bag to work or wherever you go, mix with some water, and there you are!
- Stationary (“S”; i.e., at the office or workplace)
- Possible access to some kitchen amenities: a refrigerator; stove; microwave; sink
- The Stationary scenario potentially permits eating solid food in a more comfortable, less on-the-go fashion
- Restaurant service is a possibility, although generally not desirable (restaurant food is pretty much never desirable if you’re trying to clean up your eating lifestyle, or really, ever…)
- An In-Transit meal works just fine here too if you want to dispense with taking a bunch of food-filled plastic storage containers to work with you
- At Home (“AH”)
- Potential access to a full array of foods and preparation facilities right at home
- This situation will allow you to eat much more to taste, but probably only at night or if you work from home
Versatile Sample List of My Recommended Snacks and Meals
Listed below are some sample meals for the different situations you might encounter in real life. Partisan readers should be able to distill the concepts embodied in these samples/recommendations and use them to then make their own lifestyle change-supporting healthy meals with the foods they prefer. Any questions or concerns? Email me or ask in the comments below!
Remember, there are no fixed meal times unless your preference or necessity dictate them. In general, however, the easy rule of thumb to follow is: if you feel truly hungry (as described above), then eat!
- Power Smoothie – the cornerstone of nutrition for anyone seeking to lose weight; this should be the most frequently consumed meal every day throughout the week for Partisans trying to lose fat [IT; S; AH]
- High-Quality Protein Powder: One portion (1 – 3 scoops, depending on need and/or body weight)
- Nutritious Fats (depending on circumstances) – choose from the recommendations below and mix n’ match to taste/need; always make sure to include a dose of EFA’s in supplement form if you are not using flax oil or ground flaxseed in your smoothie:
- Flax oil – start with 1 tbsp. and increase to taste IF you have no problems digesting it and if you get hungry too quickly afterwards; mix the oil with the whey powder and water only when you’re ready to drink it or you’ll regret it (otherwise, you’ll end up with something of a whey-flax oil jelly blob that won’t mix properly and is disgusting to consume)
- EFA capsules – 3 – 6 caps; easier and no mess, but quantity of fat is probably not enough to provide duration of satiety, so use additional source of fat like liquid oils, if possible
- Coconut oil (optional) – start with 1 tbsp. and increase if tolerated or if you get hungry too quickly after drinking your Power Smoothie
- Optional: 1 or more tbsp. of ground flax or chia seeds (highly recommended – adds fiber and satiety as well as beefs up EFA content of your Power Smoothie)
- Salad and/or Veggies with Animal Protein – an ideal meal arrangement for anyone who eats out frequently due to necessity; you can find some type of salad and animal protein options in almost any restaurant, even a pizzeria or deli. As a meal, salad and cooked animal protein is also easy to fix and quite portable [S; AH]
- One “portion” of grilled/roasted/baked/steamed meat or fish – throw your prepared meat together with your precut salad as soon as you’re ready to eat (putting them together too long before consuming may make the salad mushy)
- Unlimited “portion” of precut (or restaurant-prepared) salad elements and/or fibrous vegetables – store in plastic container until ready to prepare/eat, if bringing your own
- Nutritious oil in desired quantity – store in plastic container until you’re ready to use it
- Condiments (vinegar; hot sauce; spices; etc.) – as listed in the previous post; use to taste
- Bone Soup (recipe here) and Salad/Veggies – A winning Power Meal for those trying to lose weight and/or heal a broken-down digestive system [S; AH]
- Warm it up on the stove; have as much as you’d like!
- Throw in 3 – 4 EFA caps to provide essential fats for the meal
- Restaurant Meal #1 (Diner-type Restaurant, for when you have no other option) [S; AH]
- 3- 6 poached/soft-boiled eggs
- 1 large healthy salad with balsamic vinaigrette
- 4x EFA capsules to provide essential fats for the meal
- Restaurant Meal #2: Chinese Takeout – this type of food is found everywhere in the USA and is a workable, quick option in a pinch (but not to be overdone!) [S; AH]
- Order of STEAMED chicken, beef, OR shrimp w/ broccoli (NO RICE!! Order 2 portions, if needed)
- Nutritious oil (apply as desired to your food to add calories, nutrition, and meal satiety)
- 4x EFA capsules to provide essential fats for the meal
- Tasty Dinner Creation – for when you have the time and opportunity to put some effort into your meal crafting; a good time to experiment with flavors and recipes [AH]
- 1 portion of animal protein of choice (using above-listed acceptable modes of preparation)
- 1 portion of nutritious oil (can be together with vinegar; spices; etc.)
- Unlimited amount of vegetables
- Large salad of fibrous vegetables and lettuce
- Big bowl of roasted, salted vegetables covered in nutritious oil and healthy salt
- Large salad of fibrous vegetables and lettuce
- 3 – 4x EFA capsules (if nutritious oil does not contain EFA’s)
- Energy-Boosting Snack #1 – to be used as a craving-buster or go-to option when you’re feeling run down; snacking should be done sparingly! [IT; S; AH]
Please Note: This is a snack, not a meal, hence the absence of protein. A snack is best used as an energy bump before a workout or as a quick pick-me-up when you just can’t have a proper meal. It’s good to have snack elements handy both at home and at work, just in case! Eat all items listed below together, or separately by itself – in small amounts!
- 2 – 3 tbsp. of cashew/almond butter
- 1 tbsp. of coconut oil
- Serving of almonds – between 10 – 15 should knock out your hunger nicely, even just as a standalone snack without items a) and b) above
- Energy-Boosting Snack #2 (See above about the role of snacking in the context of the NEP) [IT; S; AH]
- Piece(s) of celery
- 2 – 3 tbsp. cashew/almond butter
- 1 tbsp. of a nutritious oil of your choice
And there it is – the American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Program Guide, completed ready for your use. Whew, that’s a lot of information! I hope this gives Partisans a good look at how to proceed with any serious effort at eating lifestyle change. For those not seeking total overhauls of lifestyle, I believe you’ll find information of value in here too. Now, get out there and start changing your eating lifestyle, health, and appearance for the better! No more excuses, Partisans! I look forward to your questions and comments, as well as any reports of progress down the line. Thanks for reading.
The American Partisan Nutritional Empowerment Guide Series