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Analyzing Your Food Journal

You have recorded your daily meals and beverages for two weeks now and probably are thinking to yourself, "What do I do with it now?"  After years of analyzing food journals, I have learned that it is important to look at specific areas to modify or change-- and that will make all the difference in the world when it comes to losing weight successfully. Look at every meal throughout your day and make sure all food and beverages are recorded for that time slot. 

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Wake-up Time

The time that lapses between getting out of bed and your first meal of the day is critical.  Some people get out of bed, exercise, get dressed and go to work without eating anything and this will set you up to store body fat.  Breakfast means exactly that - break your fast after 8 hours of sleep, and it is important to have breakfast within 2 hours from the time you wake up to jump start your metabolism. 

Breakfast

If you begin your day with too much wheat, dairy or sugary foods like pastries or processed cereals, it will set you up to crave more of the same throughout the day.  Wheat, dairy and sugar are highly reactive foods and can create an allergic reaction in the body by altering your metabolic rate so much so that it makes it impossible to lose weight.  Make sure you begin your day with a good quality protein source like a protein smoothie in a blender made with berries, good quality protein powder, ½ of a banana (not a whole one - too much sugar) some Greek yogurt, ground flax seed which gives you fiber and Omega 3's.  Use vanilla soy milk or almond milk for a liquid base instead of sugary juices.  Other options include oatmeal with walnuts or an egg white omelet with one yolk topped with salsa or tomatoes for a quick meal in the morning.

Complete Meals

It is important to fuel your metabolism by enjoying mini-meals every 3-4 hours during the day.  A complete meal includes 60% carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables which will give you fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants from whole foods.  Fill half your plate with vegetables and leafy greens and then add a protein source like beans, legumes, chicken, fish, tuna, egg whites and salmon to name a few.  Add nuts, seeds or avocado for some good fats and use olive oil with your favorite vinegars for a delicious meal.  

Here is my favorite salad dressing:

Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

Use a jar of peanut butter that is almost empty and add:
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Peanut butter - at least one tablespoon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Teaspoon of honey
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together well and store in peanut butter jar or air-tight container.  It keeps well at room temperature and is enough to coat 2-3 salads with great flavor.   

Sherry L. Granader is a Sports Nutritionist, National Speaker and Spokesperson, Author of 2 healthy cookbooks, Writer, Ghost Writer, Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, Suze Orman and the late Governor Ann Richards and served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK. She has cooked for her favorite bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and his family, shared her nutrition expertise with Chuck Norris on the set of his movie "Sidekicks" and appeared on 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney's Championship Workouts on ESPN. Sherry hosted her own "Healthy Living" show on PBS for several years. For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgfit.com or write to Sherry at sgfit12@aol.com.


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