Week 2 Challenge

(much of this material borrowed from American Institute for Cancer Research NAP Challenge, with permission to use with our staff and students) will be to Choose Your Foods for a “Peace-ful Plate.” Think, GOOD THINGS FIRST! I have a book for everyone that shows serving sizes and amount of carbohydrate in foods. I am sending some via campus mail to all buildings today. I’ll send them to the drop 10 leader in each building. I’m not a fan of most no or low carb diets. I’m a fan of SMART carb diets. The smartest carbs – colorful veggies and fruits. I will drop the book off in the office of EVERY building today. If you’re not already eating this way, start small. Choose one meal each day to make this way. If you’re not a breakfast eater now, start here.

Think of your plate as a “peace sign.” Fill 2/3rds with a combination of the following:

  • non-starchy vegetables – including salads, raw and cooked carrots, broccoli, greens (see the list in your book)

  • starchy vegetables  - potato, sweet potato, corn, peas (limit these to ONE serving – see your book for what a 15g carb serving from starchy veggies looks like – it’s smaller than you’d think.)

  • fruit - whole fruit, frozen, unsweetened fruit

  • whole grains - whole-grain bread, oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa – check your book for a serving size – 15 g of carb is a serving. That’s only 1/3 cup of pasta or rice.

  • beans – such as black, garbanzo, pinto, kidney

  • nuts and seeds – such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, sesame and pumpkin seeds

  • Use plates 10 inches or smaller (large salad plates) to help control portions and prevent overeating.

  • Fill up on non-starchy vegetables first. Toss salads lightly with olive oil or canola oil dressing; prepare vegetables with small amount of oil or healthful fat spread. 

  • Limit portions of starchy vegetables and grains to 15 g carb per meal or whole-grain bread to 1 slice (15 g carb) per meal or a combination of these. These portions will keep total calories in line for managing your weight. Prepare starchy vegetables, grains and breads with small amount of oil or healthful fat spread.

  • Start slow. Apply the 2/3 - 1/3 plate principle at one meal the first few days. Then strive for at least two meals daily by the end of the week.

Fill 2/3rds or more of your plate with plant foods at each meal.

  • Breakfast: Try a smoothie or Greek yogurt parfait with brightly colored berries. Try a veggie omelet (or if you’re in a hurry in the mornings, make the EGG BAKE recipe below ahead of time).

  • Lunch: leftover chicken breast with a spinach, cherry tomato, and cucumber salad with oil and vinegar dressing (this is super-easy to throw together in a minute or less in the morning)

  • Dinner: generous portions of non-starchy vegetables such as vegetable soup, salad and/or cooked carrots and broccoli; 1 serving starchy vegetables or grains such as corn, baked potato, brown rice and 1 apple or seasonal fruit for dessert.

Fill 1/3rd or less of your plate with lean animal protein-rich foods (see your book for a list) such as baked chicken, sautéed fish or shellfish, grilled lean sirloin steak, roasted pork loin, egg or reduced-fat dairy products. Use 3-4-ounce portions of fish, poultry and meat, about the size of your palm (no, your fingers don’t count).

Take pictures! Take photos of your plates and share on Twitter #Fit58

Plant Foods!

Eating more plant foods is the most important and life-changing behavior you’ll do as part of the New American Plate Challenge to reduce your cancer risk and lose weight!

By tackling the 2/3-1/3 plate principle first, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy eating a greater proportion of plant foods during the next 12 weeks. Your goal is to ultimately triumph at the end of the challenge by eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

Plant foods are rich in natural substances, called phytochemicals or phytonutrients, which keep you in good health and protect against many types of cancer. For example, plant foods contain fiber that can lower risk for colorectal cancer - the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Naturally low in calories and high in water, plant foods are filling.  As time goes on, you’ll be craving and preferring more delicious vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Your meals will be nutritionally packed and far more satisfying.