Let's Get Started!
First … the Basics
Over the next 28-days, you’ll be eating a real, whole-foods based meal plan. If it comes out of a box, you’re probably not going to find it on the grocery list.
Great nutrition is the foundation of great results. Your main focus is going to be on eating high-quality protein, healthy fat, nutrient-dense greens, and real fruits and vegetables.
Processed foods laden with chemicals, artificial colouring and preservatives are NOT a part of this plan.
Other things you won’t find here: added sugars, refined grains products (like white bread and many baked goods), and there's not a lot of dairy..
Inflammation is the root of many diseases in the body.
That’s why the overall goal of this programme is to feed your body with nutrient-rich foods that will help reduce inflammation and support your body to heal and restore itself.
As your body begins to balance out, you’ll notice increased energy, better quality of sleep, improved digestion, and increased fat loss.
I am VERY excited about the next 28-days because what you will be learning can literally change the rest of your life.
“When life gives you lemons, ask for something higher in protein." – Anonymous
Simply put, we wouldn’t exist without protein. Protein plays a lead role in nearly every function in your body.
It exists in every cell in your body and is used to help build muscle, organs, and other tissues. It plays an important role in brain health and is essential for making enzymes, hormones, and other necessary chemicals in the body.
Not only that, eating the right amount of protein will help to boost your metabolism and keep your weight in check.
PLUS …. protein can help you avoid gaining unwanted weight in the first place. This is because when you’re eating enough protein, you’ll feel more satisfied for a longer period of time, and should have less of an urge to eat junk food.
In fact, studies have shown that when we eat around 30% of our diet from protein, we typically eat 441 fewer calories per day. That's a very significant difference!
For this challenge, you’ll be eating about 30% of your calories from protein – which is ideal for fat-loss and maintaining lean muscle mass.
You’ll be eating high-quality proteins like grass-fed meats, wild fish, and free-range poultry.
If you’re thinking that eating like this may start to get expensive…. it really doesn’t have to!
Often you can find items on sale - buy in bulk and freeze them! Be sure to check out local farms shops and farmers' markets.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to get a much better deal because you’re buying direct from the source. Not only that, but it’s always great to support our local community ☺
Be sure to read the “Personalising Your Plan” section (below) for details on how to adjust these numbers based on your individual needs.
The Not-So-Sweet Truth About Sugar...
Added sugars (those that don’t occur naturally in the foods you are eating) can be absolutely detrimental to your health.
We’ve already mentioned about how inflammation is the root of many diseases in the body. Diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, digestive disorders, arthritis ... ... the list goes on and on.
Consuming a high amount of refined sugars is a LEADING cause of inflammation in your body.
Did you know that fizzy drinks and other sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in the Western diet!?
Here are a few not-so-sweet facts about sugar:
Sugar promotes inflammation in the body – the root cause of disease.
Large amounts of sugar will suppress your immune system. (Imagine how your immune systems suffers if you’re eating processed sugars at every meal.)
Sugar suppresses the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in the body.
Sugars will raise your insulin levels - which over time can lead to a whole host of diseases.
Sugars have a massive negative effect on energy levels throughout the day.
Sugar negatively impacts your hormones and your ability to deal with stress.
Sugar in itself is not bad. In fact, it's a vital energy source and one that we need to survive and to be able to think straight. The problem really stems from the quick rise in our blood sugar levels when we consume large amounts of refined sugar on a regular basis.
When you eat healthy carbs - like a sweet potato or an apple, you’re also eating the dietary fibre that comes along with it. Digestion is slowed down, so even though you’re eating sugar, your blood sugar levels do not raise as fast. Your body can easily handle it.
If you drink a Coke, there’s no fibre to slow down the digestive process, and your blood sugar levels spike to unnatural highs.
So, during this programme, we’re going to keep it close to nature.
We’re going to stay away from ALL white and refined sugars.
Acceptable substitutes (in moderation, of course) are raw coconut palm sugar, raw local honey, dates, and Green Leaf Stevia.
The first three are slow to raise your blood sugar levels, so they’re fine in small amounts. Green Leaf Stevia is a much less processed form of Stevia and does not have an impact on your blood sugar levels. It has been around for centuries and is about 30-40 times sweeter than regular sugar - so make sure you only use the smallest amount!
Remember - this is a LIFESTYLE approach, not a fad diet.
I definitely don't want you to feel deprived in any way. This is about finding healthier alternatives to what you’re already eating! ☺
The Skinny on Fat…
How many times have you heard it? Fat is BAD for you! Drink skimmed milk instead of whole. Get fat-free yogurt instead of full-fat. Have an egg white omelette. Trim the fat off your meat and remove the skin before you eat it!
But is this really the best advice? Here are the real facts about fat…
It’s important to understand that eating fat does not make us fat.
If you’re looking for the shady criminal to blame- look no further than the processed carbs and various sugars and sugar alternatives that find their way into almost everything we eat.
Plain and simple: eating SUGAR makes us fat.
Now it’s still definitely important to not overeat on your healthy fats. Too much of any food will have an impact on your waistline.
Please keep in mind that the keyword is healthyfats.
Healthy fats include things like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass-fed butter and ghee, animal fats (duck, beef, pork), Omega 3’s (found in fish), etc.
The “bad” kinds of fat you want to stay away from are trans fats.
Most trans fats that people eat have been cooked up in a laboratory kitchen where scientists “hydrogenate” certain oils so they have a longer shelf life.
Trans fats are found in a LOT of packaged foods- like baked goods, cakes, cookies, crackers, margarine, and a lot of fried foods.
Basically look at your labels - and if you see anything labelled “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” get rid of it fast.
In addition to trans fats, you should also avoid refined oils that tend to be high in Omega 6’s. These include peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and corn oil all of which can cause an imbalance in your ideal Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance and lead to inflammation in the body.
Now that you know what kinds of fat NOT to eat, let’s talk about why the right kinds of fat are GREAT for your body.
Healthy fats are actually incredible for your body. Amongst other purposes, they are important for:
Supporting your thyroid
Strengthening your bones
Strengthening your immune system
Reducing your risk for Cancer
If you’re thinking that eating more healthy fats will increase your cholesterol and put you at an increased risk for heart disease, get ready for these facts:
* There is NO significant evidence that dietary saturated fats are associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
* “No study to date has adequately shown any significant link between dietary and serum cholesterol levels or any significant causative link between cholesterol and actual heart disease” – Nora Gedgaudas, Primal Body Primal Mind (pg. 80)
* About half of the people admitted to hospitals with heart disease have normal cholesterol levels.
I encourage you NOT to take my word for it, but to do your own research and explore the links above.
You’ll be blown away by what you find and also by the myths that will be shattered when you read the science.
The great news is…. that grass-fed beef and real butter (all in moderation, of course) are back on the menu!
How much water should I drink?
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water” – Lauren Eisely
Staying hydrated is one of the BEST ways you can possibly take care of your body. Water is essential for every single cell in our body to function at its highest level.
Water helps increase your energy levels, promote weight loss, flush out toxins, improve the quality of your skin, improve digestion, can help relieve joint pain, and can even help relieve headaches!
Your body is about 60% of water… and just a small 2% decrease can significantly impair performance and the way you feel.
Your goal for this challenge is to drink at LEAST half of your body weight in ounces each day.
Example: If you weigh 180 pounds (81.3kg), you should be drinking a minimum of 90 ounces (2.6 litres) of water each day.
Personalising Your Plan:
Men and women metabolise food differently. Not only that, but our daily energy requirements vary quite substantially.
To help you get the BEST results, you’ll need to adjust your meal plan according to what your body needs.
Protein Serving Sizes for Men & Women
Women: 4oz – 6oz (110 - 170g)
Men: 6oz – 8oz (170 - 225g)
Starchy Carbohydrate Considerations:
Women: keep plan as is
Men: ADD ½ cup of starch when it calls for it in the meal plan at each serving (this includes items like sweet potato, quinoa, etc. (see Swap Guide for the complete list.)
Healthy Fat Considerations:
Women: keep plan as is
Men: ADD about 3 Tbsp. or ¼ cup PER DAY to the plan
If you need help with this, simply reach out. My goal is to make this plan as simple as possible to follow, so if you have any questions, just let me know!
The First 2 Days of Your Challenge:
Your first two days are scheduled “re-balance days.” These days are designed to assist your liver in cleansing your body of toxins that it can more easily process the foods that you eat.
No pills, drugs, or juices - just lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, water and minimal protein.
Depending on what you’ve been eating recently, you may experience headaches and some fatigue in the beginning.
Ensure that you drink plenty of water so you continue to flush out the toxins, and, within a few days, you should be feeling a renewed sense of energy!
NO CAFFEINE is allowed on the re-balance days. Please also limit over-the-counter drugs. where possible. All prescribed medications should still be taken.