Below you’ll find my top pick power foods and beverages to include in your diet to:
|* Eliminate cravings||* Prevent or reverse disease|
|* Perform better||* Live longer and look better|
|* Increase cognitive function||* Boost energy levels|
|* Lose weight and lower body fat||* Stabilize blood sugar|
PROTEIN Numerous studies have shown that a diet with a low carbohydrate to protein ratio with at least 100 grams of protein per day increases fat loss and helps maintain muscle during dieting.
Fuel your brain and body with protein, fat and fiber to prevent blood sugar fluctuations, increase your energy, fuel your brain, elevate your mood, and eliminate cravings. The first 40 grams of protein you eat every day goes to rebuild your immune system. If you are not rebuilding your immune system, you’ll have a hard time rebuilding your brain chemistry to be happy and think straight.
Protein initiates thermogenesis (fat burning), and is rich in amino acids which help balance brain chemistry by boosting the levels of mood regulating neurotransmitters.
Some excellent sources of protein include grass-fed bison and beef, grass-fed whey protein, free-range poultry and whole eggs, wild salmon and other fresh seafood. One egg has 6 grams of protein. Three ounces of protein (approximately the size of a deck of cards) contains ~20-25 grams of protein. http://www.localharvest.org/
Grass-fed Bison (Buffalo) and Beef (organic, grass-fed) In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women on a higher protein diet that included lean red meat lost more weight than those eating equal calories of carbohydrates. The protein in red meat helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss and is loaded with CLA. The best sources of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a healthy fat, is found in grass-fed beef, bison and raw dairy products. CLA increases metabolism helping you lose weight, boosts immune function, maintains cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and is helpful in fighting diabetes and cancer.
Eggs Many people eat the egg white only disposing the yolk due to their fear of fat and cholesterol. When you do this, you are throwing out the most nutritious part of the egg! The egg yolk contains 43% of the total egg protein. It has the highest concentration of nutrients and amino acids required for optimal brain function. The yolk contains 100% of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, & K. These fat soluble vitamins support your thyroid, reduce the damaging effects of diabetes, boost your metabolism and immune system, reduce your risk of cancer, encourage healthy bones, teeth and skin, and help you feel fuller longer.
Whey Protein Whey protein is a very digestible protein full of amino acids. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that older women who supplemented their diets with whey protein lost weight without losing muscle mass.
Whey protein stimulates thermogenesis (fat burning) and satiety better than casein and soy. One animal study found that whey protein reduced appetite, as well as visceral and subcutaneous fat. Whey protein reduces blood levels of insulin and increases insulin sensitivity which has a great impact on body composition.
EAT FAT TO FUEL YOUR BRAIN AND LOSE FAT Coconut oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pastured Butter, Avocados, Nuts and Seeds, Ghee
Coconut Oil, a healthy saturated fat, is rich in lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (MCT). The MCTs in coconut oil provide numerous health benefits including: Stabilizing blood sugar, hormone balance, nourishing for the thyroid, increased metabolism; contains anti-viral properties; helps reduce risk for hypertension and heart disease; and boost immunity and brain function. Metabolizing MCTs creates ketones, and ketones are known to stall or even reverse Alzheimer's. Coconut also contains caprylic acid, an effective and potent antifungal and antimicrobial (great for Candida). One cause of obesity is overconsumption of long-chain omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils). Two tablespoons of coconut oil can reverse obesity, resulting in steady weight loss for obese individuals, and weight maintenance for healthy people.
Almonds and Walnuts – Just one handful of almonds or walnuts will provide a feeling of satiety. They’re packed with fiber and contain unsaturated fat, both of which are beneficial to cholesterol levels and helpful in increasing insulin sensitivity. Walnuts have 2x the antioxidants compared to other nuts, and have 2-15x more potency than vitamin E in terms of antioxidant capacity. An easy-to-pack and carry snack that help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings. Remember, portion control when it comes to nuts and seeds if your goal is fat loss.
VEGETABLES and LEAFY GREENS Eating plenty of non-starchy veggies and leafy greens such as collards, spinach, romaine lettuce, watercress, kale, dandelion and fresh sprouts are associated with a lower risk of weight gain. They’re loaded with fiber and nutrients galore that help boost immunity, beautify skin, accelerate fat loss, increase energy, prevent heart disease, and fight cancer. Plus, vegetables and leafy greens are jam-packed with phytonutrients, chlorophyll, antioxidants, minerals, enzymes and fiber which contribute to post-meal feelings of satisfaction and fullness.
Nearly all of us can benefit from more soluble fiber in our diets. Aim for 30-50gm/day fiber. If you’re someone who lacks daily vegetable intake, try juicing or blending your vegetables in a Vitamix. It’s a simple way to boost your fiber and veggie intake.
FRUITS A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that women who consumed more berries and leafy greens and vegetables had a 24 percent lower risk of becoming obese.
Grapefruit Eating half a grapefruit before each meal helped people drop more than three pounds over 12 weeks. The phytochemicals found in grapefruit helps reduce insulin levels and increases the flow of digestive juices in the stomach.
Lemons and Limes Add as little as 4 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice on your salad or add the juice from a fresh lemon or lime in a cup of warm water before meals. Doing so is nourishing for your liver, cleanses your body of unhealthy toxins, aids in digestion and can lower blood sugar levels by as much as 30 percent!
Berries are a super food high in fiber and loaded with nutrients. They help you lose that hard to get rid of abdominal fat. The polyphenols in blueberries inhibit the formation of new fats cells and help in the process to break down stored fat.
Avocados are one of my favorite nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory power foods. They’re rich in antioxidants, loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat, minerals, enzymes and fiber. And, the vitamin E and folate in avocado may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
BEVERAGES Water is calorie-free, suppresses the appetite naturally, aids in detoxification and fat metabolism. In a study, those who drank two cups of water before each meal lost an average of 5 pounds more weight over a 12-week calorie controlled diet than those who followed the same diet but did not drink the water. Without enough water, your kidneys can't function properly, which forces them to send some of their workload to your liver. Since one of the liver's main functions is to metabolize stored fat, the added work from the kidneys means that the liver burns less fat, so that more fat remains in the body. Aim for a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water daily, more if you’re athletic or live in a hot climate.
Coffee Do you love your morning cup of Joe? Well, drink up! Coffee can increase your metabolic rate. A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that those who drank four cups of coffee daily lost 1.5 lbs. of body fat in four weeks. Just make sure it’s organic because coffee is one of the highest pesticide-sprayed crops.
Green Tea helps boost your metabolism. Six cups of fresh brewed, non-fluoridated green tea daily (or take standardized green tea extract supplements) will help you lose weight and increase your fat loss efforts.
The catechins found in green tea have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and fat oxidation benefits. A study of overweight adults consumed green tea catechins (625 mg) and 39 mg caffeine for a period of 12 weeks. The effects of moderate intensity exercise (at least 180 mins/wk) on weight loss, abdominal fat loss, and reduced triglycerides were much higher as compared to those on a control beverage containing the same amount of caffeine (39 mg), without green tea catechins. Extra bonus: the EGCG in green tea helps reverse breast cancer. J Nutr, 2009; 139(2): 264-70.
ON THE SIDE Chili Peppers, Ginger and Hot, Spicy Mustard increase your calorie burning capacity by 5–10% for up to 2 hours after eating them because they contain capsaicin responsible for amping up your metabolism.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains an ingredient, acetic acid, that slows the passage of food from the stomach into the small intestine and is associated with increased HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, reduced liver fats and less fat accumulation. A small amount of apple cider vinegar in water before meals is helpful for digestion, improves satiety and prevents overeating by suppressing appetite. Apple cider vinegar lowers the glycemic load of a meal, improves insulin sensitivity and prevents fluctuations in blood sugar which can influence weight loss, especially for diabetics and those who are insulin resistant. Opt for organic, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar with the “Mother.”
Cocoa Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% reduces oxidative stress, reduces inflammation, has a positive influence on cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin resistance. Cocoa is high in fiber, a powerful anti-aging compound, encourages serotonin production, and helps eliminate cravings.
Cinnamon helps control post-meal insulin spikes. Cinnamon can be used to reduce the glycemic index of a meal up to 29%. One USDA study showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon/day lowered the blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Contact me to determine the specific plan that works for you. My Ultimate Personal Plan is a personalized menu and lifestyle plan custom designed for you with healthy and delicious recipes plus menu options for breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks, a custom nutrition protocol, exercise recommendations, lifestyle suggestions, and optional ongoing support. Guaranteed Results!
- Coconut Oil is more efficacious for Alzheimer's than all Big Pharma has to offer . "CLA Reduced Body at in Overweight Children," Health Studies Journal, November 12, 2010
- Binnert C, Pachiaudi C, Beylot M, Hans D, Vandermander J, Chantre P, Riou JP, Laville M. Influence of human obesity on the metabolic fate of dietary long- and medium-chain triacylglycerols.
- Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Apr;67(4):595-601.
- Fife, Bruce N.D., Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2005
Copyright © Paula Owens