Your ultimate goal when restocking your kitchen is to make sure you’re getting nutrients in the highest amounts. Your body can handle eating small amounts of food beautifully when it’s still getting what it needs in terms of nutrients. The tipping point of getting those nutrients is all about food quality. The higher the quality of food choices means the more nutrition that food will have. When selecting fasting foods, make sure that all the foods you choose are from real food sources (food that isn’t made in a lab or processed in any way) with a focus on the best quality you can afford. That’s it. You don’t need any special pills or juices to get the best nutrition.
Focus your eating on quality meats, fish, seafood, and eggs; healthy fats and oils; vegetables and fruits; and nuts and seeds. They give your body the raw material it craves to be to be strong, lean, and healthy. All the processed, denatured foods, premade frozen foods, packaged foods, and sugary carbohydrates need to be kicked to the can! They only feed cravings and cause weight gain and disease.
You’ve likely spent a long time developing your eating habits, so breaking them and instituting new ones may take some time. The longer you’ve depended on sugary foods, the more difficult retraining your taste buds to recognize natural sweetness may be. Using healthful foods to fuel your body will go a long way in keeping you super lean and strong for the long run.
Not having the money to purchase your desired food choices can sometimes be frustrating. Just know: You’re still making monumental strides in getting lean and living long and strong when you take up the fasting principles. Just do the best you can and don’t stress out (which is even worse for you than eating a lower quality food!).
Protein builds you up. Growth and repair are protein’s major roles; your body uses the protein you take in from foods to build cells, synthesize new proteins, and keep your tissues healthy. Eating adequate protein supports your physique and keeps you full for a long time.
Food quality is particularly important when dealing with protein. Getting the best quality proteins can provide you with tons of nutrition. Focus on knowing what to buy and start incorporating higher quality foods into your budget whenever you can. If you can’t do the highest quality right now, just remember how much good you’re doing your body getting rid of all the processed foods and eating more non inflammatory foods.
Here’s what’s really awesome: Protein burns fat! When your body gets enough protein, you can increase the rate at which your metabolism burns calories. Your body requires more energy to break down protein because the protein isn’t readily available to use for energy as carbohydrates are. This extra work your body has to do to efficiently use fat for fuel promotes fat burning.
The following sections identify some ideal proteins to eat during your fast or your eating window and help you figure out food labels to ensure you’re consuming the best quality food.
Nailing down the quality of eggs is extra important because eggs are such a common protein. This list helps you decode labels when you’re shopping for eggs:
- Pasture raised: Chickens can roam fr Their diet consists of nutritious grasses and other plants and bugs.
- Cage free: These chickens aren’t roaming around freely in the great out In other words, they’re kept inside barns or warehouses with no access to the outdoors; they’re allowed to roam only inside the barn or warehouse. The living conditions can vary greatly.
- Certified organic: Chickens are given organic feed, and no antibiotics, unless they’re ill and require They must be uncaged and have some access to the outdoors. There is compliance through auditing.
- Natural: This label is somewhat sketchy because it means absolutely What it really means is the chicken is minimally processed.
- Free range: This label means the chicken has access to outdoors at least 51 percent of the There are no restrictions on what the birds are fed. Because this label isn’t certified, there really is no way of knowing how long these chickens are roaming around outside.
- Omega-3: Chickens were fed fish oil or flaxseed, but who knows how much because it’s not r
- United Egg Producers Certified: This labeling is extremely mislead- ing because it permits routine cruel and inhumane farm practices and It has no value whatsoever.
- Vegetarian: This label means that hens are fed a diet free of animal byproducts, which is a bit nonsensical because chickens aren’t vegetar- ians, so they aren’t being fed what is actually a natural diet to
- No antibiotics/No hormones: This is more of a marketing ploy because if you’re buying certified organic, Animal Welfare Approved, or Humane Certified eggs, neither antibiotics nor hormones are allowed anyway. Knowing the validity of the label is difficult because the term isn’t regulated
- Animal Welfare Approved: This label is a very high welfare standard, reserved mostly for family The hens have continual access to shelter and pasture with no antibiotic use. This term is regulated.
- Food Alliance Certified: Hens are uncaged and have access to the out This label is also regulated.
- American Humane Certified: This label allows for cage confinement and cage free The problem though is there is no way of knowing which one you’re getting cage confined or cage free. If the hens are caged confined, the space the hens have is the size of a legal sheet of paper.
So many choices! So to ensure that you’re getting the best eggs, we suggest you focus on buying eggs labeled organic, pasture raised. Certified humane or Food Alliance Approved are assurances that the chicken were humanely and healthily raised.
Many people have eliminated eggs or egg yolks from their diets because of the risk of elevating their cholesterol levels. This is simply based on untrue and misguided information. In fact, studies show that dietary cholesterol has very little affect on blood cholesterol. Actually, the egg yolk contains choline, which is a natural fat transporter, keeping cholesterol out of the blood.
Dietary cholesterol simply isn’t a good indicator of heart disease. Eggs also contain vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate that may help prevent heart disease.
Meat obviously is a great source of protein. Here are some quality guidelines when selecting different types of meat:
- Beef: Selecting local, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef is your best. If you aren’t purchasing organic, grass-fed, then be sure to choose lean cuts, and trim all visible fat off beef as well as drain all excess fat. Selecting mainstream, traditional, lean cuts with the visible fat trimmed is an okay choice.
- Poultry: The best cuts are organic, pasture-raised chicken or turkey that’s also free of antibiotics and All cuts, including the tasty chicken livers, are good choices. If your chicken or turkey isn’t organic and pastured, remove the skin prior to eating.
- Pork products: Focus on buying local, pasture raised pork because you can avoid the hazards of the omega-6 fatty acids (inflammation producing fats) found in factory farmed pork. If you can’t purchase at least organic, free range pork, we suggest you avoid commercial pork and select another protein.
- Lamb: Pasture-raised, grass-fed cuts are healthy and laden with nutrients. The nutrient dense organ meats are a great source of B12 and zinc as well, good for healing during your eating window.
- Wild game: All game including bison, goat, elk, venison, duck, wild boar, ostrich, and
- Fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and so on), seafood, and shell- fish: To find the healthiest, highest quality seafood, shellfish, and fish, look for wild fish (caught in the wild), wild caught fish (may have spent some time in a fish farm), or fish that was humanely harvested.
- Deli meats, or chicken or turkey sausage: These meats should be antibiotic and gluten free with no nitrates or nitrites.
Nutrient dense produce
Carbohydrates in the form of produce (fruits and vegetables) give you the fuel your body needs for bursts of energy. Whether you eat cookies or kale, your body transforms the carbohydrates into glucose. Your brain and your cells use this glucose for fuel for your daily activities, which means the quality of your health and how lean you become depends a great deal on what carbohydrates you choose to use as fuel.
You can compare it to fueling your car: The better the gas you use, the better your car will run, and the more you’ll get out of it. Consuming healthier carbohydrates is particularly important when you’re fasting, striving to get your body in a fat burning mode, and training your body be an efficient fat burner long term.
If you want to stay lean and healthy, you have to be savvy when it comes to carbohydrates. Where there is excess insulin, there is fat. As a result, knowing what carbs to eat is key in burning fat and feeling your best.
When choosing produce, think variety, color, and in-season whenever possible. Creating a meal with two vegetables is a great way to bring nutrients to your plate. Consider these options:
- Leafy greens: High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leafy greens are some of the best veggies to put on your Try beet tops, bok choy, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, Napa cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.
- Hearty vegetables: Roasted, sautéed, or steamed, these veggies serve up plenty of flavor and Dig into artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, fennel, onion, parsnips, spaghetti squash, summer squash, turnips, and zucchini.
- Salad vegetables: Fresh, crisp, and filling, a salad can be a meal in itself or a tantalizing Toss in alfalfa sprouts, arugula, bell peppers, celery, cucumber, jicama, lettuce (such as romaine, Boston, Bib, iceberg, escarole, or red leaf), mushrooms, radicchio, radishes, red cabbage, sun flower sprouts, tomatoes, and watercress.
- Carb dense vegetables: These starchy and carbohydrate dense vegetables play an important role in helping you recover from exercise and Roast a batch of acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti, squash, sweet potatoes, or yams. Toss some jicama, kohlrabi, or beets in a salad. You can even sauté some plantains for a yummy treat!
- Approved legumes: Although these vegetables are technically legumes, (legumes aren’t one of the approved fasting window foods because they cause digestive distress for those people not accustomed to eating them), they include more pod than bean and they’re green! Snap into green beans, string beans, snap peas, snow peas, and wax
- Legumes are beans, peas, and lentils. With the exception of the approved legumes that we just mentioned, we suggest you pass on legumes to lose weight, perform better, and heal conditions. If you’re a vegetarian and don’t eat fish or eggs, you have to get some source of protein in your diet, so you can eat legumes. But for most people, legumes are a very starchy food, with not much protein, so you’re getting a lot of starch, with small amounts of protein, which isn’t good for your health. Also, most people find them very hard to digest and experience gut disturbances, such as bloating, after eating them. If you’re looking to get fiber, fill your plate with some vegetables, and you’ll be good to go.
- Fresh herbs: Leafy herbs like basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme add a big dose of flavor to any
- Fruits: Eaten whole or in salads, raw or cooked, colorful fruits are a good source of vitamins and taste oh so Savor every bite, from apples to kiwi. Dark colored fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and cranberries, are filled with antioxidants and low in natural sugars, which is why they’re our favorites.
- Satisfiingly sweet friuts you can eat include apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, grapefruits, grapes, honeydews, kiwis, kumquats, lemons, limes, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelons.
- Eat dried fruits, which are high in sugar, in moderation. You can add them to stews, sautés, and vegetables to add texture and a hint of sweetness. Always check labels for preservatives and sulfites, preservatives that aren’t healthy. They’re commonly found in dried fruits. Also think of dried fruit as a natural sweetener and not as a food to aimlessly munch on.
With produce, your budget has a little more leeway. What’s most important is that you just eat your vegetables. However, quality can make a difference with the nutrients and even reduce the toxins or pesticides that may be found in your produce. Ideally, you want to purchase local and organic vegetables and fruit. If your budget is tight, you can purchase mainstream. Just make sure you rinse the vegetables to remove any possible pesticides.
Understanding healthy fats and the value they have during your eating window is one of the most important principles you can discover in nutrition. Eating healthy fats actually helps you lose stored body fat for overall weightloss, protects you against heart disease, melts away inflammation, and aides in conditions like skin disorders, arthritis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, and depression. Healthy fats also make you feel fuller and satisfied. For instance, if you’re fasting, having healthy fats the day before makes having a reduced caloric intake the day after much easier because you aren’t hungry.
Healthy fats make all the structures and functions of your body flourish. You need them for hormone production and for the growth and development of the brain, immune system, nervous system, heart, and blood vessels. Healthy fats also make you look younger by nourishing the skin and giving it a beautiful sheen, making your hair shiny, diminishing wrinkles, and giving you a beautiful, healthy appearance.
We need to set the record straight on a couple of familiar assertions about fats:
- The key to a leaner body has nothing to do with a low fat In fact, to access stored fat in your body for energy, you need to consume fats in your meals so you can then burn stored fat for energy.
- Saturated fats aren’t the cause of heart Studies are revealing more and more that inflammation caused from all the processed oils (see the nearby sidebar for more information) and refined foods are the culprits of heart disease not the healthy, good old, back to nature fats we explain in this section.
So what are healthy fats? Essential fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) are healthy fats. (Refer to the nearby sidebar for more information about these two fatty acids.) Your body doesn’t produce these fats on its own, so you must consume them in order to get the benefits. (Lucky for you, healthy fats make foods taste better and help you feel satisfied.) Including essential fats in your diet will definitely give you an edge in looking and feeling your best.
Here are the healthy fats we love and highly recommend. Choose the organic versions of them:
- Coconut fats: Coconuts are an excellent source of saturated fat and produce many delicious varieties of You can use coconut oil in different forms, such as :Coconut aminos: This product is from the sap of a coconut tree and has a salty Coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce.
- Coconut oil: Choose unrefined coconut oil, and use it for sautéing, roasting, and baking in place of vegetable oils and shortening.
- Unsweetened coconut: Enjoy flakes as a snack, and use shredded coconut to add fat and sweetness to curries, salads, and and desserts
- Coconut milk: You can substitute coconut milk for yogurt and cream in recipes or splash it into coffee instead of half and half.
Make sure that you choose a coconut milk that uses guar gum as a stabilizer. Don’t use any others. Avoid the coconut milk in the carton, and use the variety in cans.
- Olives and avocados: Both olives and avocados are favored sources of monounsaturated Use olive oil and avocado oil for drizzling on salads, and nibble on both olives and avocados in salads or as snacks for healthy fat intake.
Look for packaged olives that contain only water, olives, and salt; avoid chemical additives and stabilizers. Toss them into salads and cooked foods to add healthy fat.
Use only extra virgin olive oil on salads or drizzle over cooked vegetables and meats. This particular oil has what is known as a low smoke point, which means when you add heat, it goes rancid (spoils) very quickly. When you eat rancid oil, you run the risk of taking what was once a healthy oil, and making it unhealthy. Unhealthy, rancid oils create inflammation in the body.
- Animal fats: Animal fats are an excellent choice for cooking, but only if the fats come from organic, grass-fed, pastured If you can find a good source, then fats like lard, tallow, and ghee (clarified butter) are healthful, delicious options.
- Nuts, nut oils, and nut butters: In moderation, nuts and nut butters are tasty options to add fat to meals, snacks, and Raw or dry roasted are your best bet. Eat them in moderation; add to cooked foods for crunch, or enjoy a few as a snack.
Nut oils are a nice way to add unexpected flavors to salads, but don’t use them for cooking, because they become unstable and rancid with heat. For nut butters, examine the label for added sugar. Enjoy nut but- ters in moderation; they’re great for snacks, sauces, and desserts.
Nuts are calorically dense, and you can easily eat a lot of them without realizing just how much you ate. Typically, a single serving of nuts is a quarter cup or about a small handful.
- Seeds: Seeds are good Paleo friendly Some seed choices are pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and pine nuts
Don’t skimp when budgeting your money on oils, because the right fats and oils can make your cells incredibly healthy, and the opposite is also true.
Unhealthy or rancid oils can make you incredibly unhealthy because they create inflammation, whereas healthy oils help inflammation leave the body. Because inflammation is the catalyst for so many problems, adding some healthy fats to your diet can really make a big difference.
On the other hand, some oils are just bad for you. The following oils may get billed as healthy oils, but these industrial and seed oils are very processed and prone to turning rancid, creating inflammation in the body, so stay clear of them as much as possible. They include the following:
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Partially hydrogenated oil
- Peanut oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Trans fats
- Vegetable shortening