What To Eat In A Day – By Dr. Alan Christianson
Hey there! Dr. Alan Christianson here. Let’s go real deep, tactical and specific about food. I love food, and it is really what got me going on this journey, good and bad. Let’s talk exactly about what you can eat for your main meals, for your afternoon snacks and how to get through the day. Here are my favorite ideas, starting with breakfast since this meal is so critical.
For breakfast, there are two tracks that work very well. There are shakes, and there is regular food. In your shakes, you want to have fiber and quality protein, and you want it to be powerful. So, you have a couple of options. We have made the Reset Shake and honestly, if you make this shake with water, you are good to go for a lot of reasons. There is something, called resistant fiber, which, if you get a high enough dose, gives you 6-9 hours of stable blood sugar. There is resistant fiber in some foods, but it is difficult to get a high enough amount without eating a lot. So, the Reset Shake is one easy way to do it. Another way to go is to engineer your own shake. To do that, you want a couple things. You want some protein. I love vegetable-based protein powders, such as pea protein powder. There is also this new thing called hydroBEEF™, which is beef-based protein. It is free of fat and cholesterol, and the better ones are very clean. It is very important to get the ones made from grass-fed, New Zealand, imported beef. A serving of that will be 25 grams for a woman or 30-35 grams for a man, and this is for average sizes. So, now you have the protein. You need some liquids with that. If you are trying to improve your weight, choose water, and you will do just fine. If you’re steady in your weight, and you want to maintain, you can use some unsweetened coconut milk. I also love unsweetened flaxseed milk. You want about one-half cup of that. Seeds work well. You get some fiber, some legumes and some essential fats. Chia seeds are awesome for this. Drop in two tablespoons. Apart from those things, add a little bit of fruit. Not a ton. Do one-half cup of berries – especially blackberries or raspberries – and throw in some greens. You will be amazed that you will not even know they are there, as there is no negative taste from the greens. Throw in a handful of spinach. You can even throw in frozen spinach, which will help with the blending. Hit “go,” and that’s breakfast.
The other choice for breakfast is regular food. Another one of my favorite things to have is seafood. I’ll eat wild salmon cooked from the night before or smoked salmon. Now, the trick about that is know the lox will be a bit lower in sodium. Use about a three ounce serving of salmon with some steamed vegetables and some cold potatoes. For the steamed vegetables, I love broccoli, cauliflower and bok choy. I also will typically have some fermented vegetables. You can get some really good artisan versions of fermented vegetables at your whole foods or farmers markets. For instance, you can get a good version of sauerkraut or kimchi. So, have a dab of that, a few ounces of salmon, steam some veggies up very quickly, and then you need some good carbs. You do not need a lot, but there are two ways to go. One is canned navy beans. Canned is actually fine for these. Get organic versions that only contain the beans and salt. Use a quarter cup, and give them a good rinse. The other option I love is having boiled potatoes in the refrigerator. Boil a small batch of baby potatoes. They have purple potatoes, if you have not seen those. They are basically like blueberries, as they have the same pigments. So, boil them and throw them in the refrigerator. Take out about a quarter cup per serving, and do not heat them. This will give you that resistant fiber, as well. So, for breakfast, do a shake or do some regular food. You can throw this meal together in just a couple minutes!
Do you do a mid-morning snack? If you are on the Reset program and are trying to achieve your best weight, do veggies. Get some cherry tomatoes, some sweet peas, some carrot sticks, some broccoli, cauliflower florets and celery sticks. Those are great things to snack on and no worries about them. If your weight is stable, and you’re wanting just to maintain your energy, do a handful of raw nuts or seeds or one-half of a piece of fruit. Those are easy options, too.
What do you do for lunch? Here is my favorite trick: Lunch comes from dinner. For dinner, you need some type of lean protein and some type of vegetables. This could be the salmon again. This could be some beans and legumes. This could be some lean poultry, maybe cooked on the grill. So, grab some dinner from the night before and some vegetables that you cooked, and throw that into a salad. You can get some washed, mixed, organic, baby, salad greens – they are so handy. Put in about two or three cups of greens. Put about three or four ounces of protein, and add some of the veggies, as well. One thing we want to do is get some slow-burning carbs. There are lots of good options. You can have some slow-roasted vegetables on hand. I love getting a big roasting tray and roasting beets, turnips, sweet potatoes and rutabagas. Having those cooked and already available helps. So, you want to have about one-half cup of the veggies. Other good standbys for salad are chickpeas or kidney beans. They also work wonderfully. Another cool one you can try is cooked kasha, which is toasted buckwheat. Drop one-half cup of it on top, and now, you have a salad. Add some lemon juice and a dab of extra virgin olive oil or macadamia oil. There is a seasoning I love, called Spike, which is made of all herbs and spices. A few shakes of that, and that is lunch. It’s perfect, and you can make it in no time.
Maybe in the mid-afternoon you typically make a run to Starbucks. How can you do that differently? When writing my last book, I logged a lot of time in Starbucks. I’m the most caffeine-sensitive person you can ever imagine, and I really do not do sugar, but I learned you have some pretty easy options. There is Refresh™ tea, which is a mint type tea and very tasty. There is also Calm™ tea. Some of these brands and names will vary, but Starbucks has some really good, herbal teas. If you are not too sensitive, you could sure do a bit of green tea in the afternoon and still be okay with that. You would not want coffee in the afternoon because that will keep your cortisol raised up, and it will not shut down properly with your night’s sleep. So, do a hot beverage. There are actually some food snacks available. If you are really on the Reset, targeting your weight, then you want to eat produce for your snack again. Many Starbucks I have been in have fresh produce as little snacks, so you’re good to go. It’s an easy thing. The other option is that many have raw nuts and little packages of almonds. Most have bananas you can grab. I’ve also seen a bar there that’s made with one apple and 10 blueberries. It doesn’t have any strange things in it. So, even making an afternoon run to Starbucks, there is a way to do it totally clean.
What do you do for dinner? Have some cooked staples. Maybe you have those potatoes, rice or beans that you cooked before, and now we are going to add protein to that. Maybe you still have some of the wild salmon, poultry or some lean meat. Maybe you have some vegetable-based protein if your vegan or vegetarian. You have great options that way. So, sauté some vegetables. One of my favorites is bok choy. Baby bok choy is such an amazingly good food. Get some baby bok choy, and trim the very end of it. Chop up the big white part and the green parts, and separate those. Get a sauté pan, and make sure it is a cast iron or a ceramic-based, non-stick pan. You don’t want to use Teflon or aluminum pans. Now, take some toasted sesame oil. You can get sesame oil from a health food market. There are a lot of sesame oils that are poor in quality that are found in regular supermarkets. You need to find brands that are clean and good because those are ideal. You need just a little bit of toasted sesame oil – maybe a few drops that you work throughout the pan. Then, add a few drops of water. Start sautéing the white portions until they just start to get soft, then drop in the greens for just another minute or two. The whole process might only take 3-4 minutes. Now, add a few more drops of toasted sesame oil. I add a few drops of ume plum vinegar at the very end and mix that together. It is totally incredible!
We want to add some healthy carbs to our dinner. We are going to have more carbs at dinner than we did at the other meals. This could be the pre-cooked potatoes. This could be quinoa, or some beans or legumes. This could be those good veggie carbs too. Try kabocha squash. It is one of my favorites for veggie starches and is really tasty stuff. Just quarter it, and roast it in the oven for about half an hour, and it’s good to go. You want about a cup of those good starches for your evening meal. That’s basically it. Good carbs, lean proteins, some veggies, and that is how the day works out. After your evening meal, you are not going to really want to snack. If you are just a few days into the program and are just getting the hang of it, you could have a few bites of vegetables. If you have the need to munch, that will totally satisfy it, and those cravings will pass. Hydrate really well throughout the day, and that is how the day rolls! The things you really want to avoid throughout the day are all those manmade processed foods.
There is this idea that hitting the fast-food joint is faster, easier and cheaper, but it is really none of the above. If you precook those big staples every few days, and maybe even prep some veggies every couple days, you spend less time by a big margin. You also spend less money, and do not wreck your health. You actually feel good and function well from it. So, there are some practical hands-on tips on how to structure your daily meals. We challenge you to do one, full week. Plan the week. Get some staples. Precook them. See how your week plays out. Let us know how easy it was to implement and some things that changed because of it. Take it, and run with it, and give us some feedback.
Dr. Christianson signing out, and I look forward to seeing you soon.