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Thread: Question regarding the 21 day program : Meals page

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    danmerk23's Avatar
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    Question Question regarding the 21 day program : Meals

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    My wife and I are kicking back into a primal mode. Kind of fell off the wagon a year ago. We picked up the 3 book pack and I began reading this again. I assumed there would be a bit more detail about meal requirements, then I realized that being primal does not bind you to anything other than not being a gluttonous pig. Keep with serving sizes if weight loss is your goal (mine is). Therefore I have a question:

    Assuming there are 3 meals + 1 snack per day as an allowance. Each meal is "1" serving. However, are there any concerns with picking meals that are protein dominant for a bit to stay low in the carb curve (50-100g per day)?

    I am asking because I never really understood how much plant matter is enough and what are some good benchmarks for how much plants per day I really need to consume to keep a good amount of fiber. Currently I struggle with not enough plants and I realize there are digestive issues when low on plants. In my experiences. Any offered advice would appreciated. Thanks.

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    I'm not sure I understand your question. Are there any concerns with protein-dominant meals? Not if your protein sources are of good quality (Primal). How much plant matter is enough? That's going to vary by individual and from day to day.

    Try not to get locked in to 3 meals and 1 snack. Sometimes I'll do lunch and dinner, no breakfast, no snack. Or breakfast and dinner. Intermittent fasts are fine, and the idea is to eat when hungry.

    Don't worry about getting enough fiber. If you want to incorporate more plants into your diet, eat seasonally and just keep trying out new recipes.

    I've done LC/VLC sporadically, but not strictly. Some folks have success with it and others not. When I first went Primal, I went VLC during the week, and let loose on carbs on weekends. Worked for me.

    When you're eating quality foods and lose the taste for sugar, grains, fast food, and processed food, you will naturally fall into a healthful eating pattern that's right for you and what your body tolerates. Don't force a rigid, structured "must eat 10 servings of vegetables per day" kind of thing on yourself.

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    danmerk23's Avatar
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    Great response. Thanks.

    My history with being paleo/primal goes like this. Ditch grains, legumes, dairy. Check. Eat well for 10-15 days. Begin to crave sugars, load up on fruits. Get stuck eating too much fruit. Then comes more bacon, then I begin eating less veggies. The next thing I know its like day 20 and I am pretty much eating bacon, eggs, steak, soups with meat stocks.

    So I was looking for at least some structure since I notice some recipes seem to be weighted on protein rich meals. Seems pretty ok, but like I said, I seem to forget veggies and that leads to nutrient deficiencies.

    Again, topic of discussion. Thanks.

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    Damiana's Avatar
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    My goodness, both of you get yourself to a grocery store ASAP. Load your cart up with fresh produce, some fruits, meats, fish, and eggs, herbs and spices. It does not take a chef to make a flavorful, well-balanced meal. There ar those who will argue that vegetables aren't required and you can get your nutrients elsewhere, they're right, but personally I'd find it so ridiculously boring to eat just meat and eggs all the time. Learn to cook just a little, nothing complicated. A little herbs and spices can really change a meal. Incorporate vegetables with your protein, make done sautéed spinach or use vegetables in an omelette, it's not that difficult.
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    Good post Damiana! I have just recently gotten the sweet mini bell peppers and chop them up with some zucchini and onions and saute. That makes a great side dish. Soups are right around the corner and it's easy to incorporate veggies into soup - think broccoli and cheese soup or roasted tomato soup with carrots and celery. You can even have the soups as a side to a steak if you are so inclined. Lots of options - good luck.
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    Take a page out of Tim Ferriss' book and eat similar meals every day. Make a big pot of chili and load it with vegetables (peppers, onions, tomatoes.) Portion it and freeze it for lunches. My standard breakfast is two egg whites, two whole eggs, salsa and 100 calories of guacamole. Dinner is some sort of meat from the freezer usually paired with greens (spinach, collards, etc) and I do a protein shake after my workout.

    Variety is overrated and can be easily accomplished with some spices.
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    Let me back up with my original question was "Is there a threshold for quantity (and quality) of vegetables to classify a true primal meal?"

    Yeah I eat kale salads for breakfast, and load up on steamed veggies with butter always. However the 21 day program is loose (and for good reasons I bet) but for many of us who are going to a primal lifestyle came from a place of lack of discipline which got us in the shape we are currently in.

    Just seeking some wisdom and guidance and not so much a typical regimen strict calorie/portion plan that some of the fitness nuts make you think you need to follow. Re: 1 chicken breast with steamed broccoli every day for ever.

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    Scott F's Avatar
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    For getting enough veggies I like to have a big bowl mixed greens salads in the evening. I'll add some quality trail mix (no peanuts) and/or blue cheese...maybe some meat on top. Since I mostly eat out the othe meals I'll simply sub any potatoes for whatever veg they have and not concern myself if it too much or too little.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    There's an image floating around of a plate, split in half. One side says "Plants" and the other side says "Animals". It's a pretty good guide- at least as much plant matter as meat per meal, by volume. Not that I follow it very well, but it's a good goal. Sometimes I'll eat a whole head of cauliflower roasted in coconut oil and curry paste for dinner, sometimes it'll be a slab of beef and nothing else. It's easier to make more complete meals when there's more than one person eating them, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danmerk23 View Post
    "Is there a threshold for quantity (and quality) of vegetables to classify a true primal meal?"
    No.


    Edit: Actually, you do want to make sure they are as good a quality as possible. That can be limited by what is available in your area, or your budget. But Quantity - the answer is no.
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    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
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