Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Diet and Exercise Plan

I've been paying attention to a lot of diet advice from books, magazines and afternoon talk shows lately, so I have a pretty good idea of the nutritional principles that will work for me. I plan to:

1. Eat six times per day and in smaller portions to avoid crashes that lead to cravings

2. Prepare meals ahead of time to make sure I have healthy food ready when I get hungry

3. Incorporate "power foods" like almonds, yogurt, berries, oatmeal and whole grains that will help me maximize my calorie intake for energy and stamina

4. Eat more fiber-rich foods to make me full faster

5. Eat foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients, especially antioxidants

6. Reduce my salt and sugar intake, and eat more fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth while avoiding empty calories

I also plan on adding exercise to the equation by incorporating it into my daily routine rather than tacking it onto a to-do list, which has always failed me in the past. I commute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe on the new Rail Runner Express. My home is three and a quarter miles from the downtown Albuquerque train station, and my workplace is a little over half a mile from where the train stops in Santa Fe. As a result, I'll be riding my bike about eight miles every day - four miles at 6 a.m. and another four miles at 6:30 p.m.

Because of the hours I'll be traveling, I also have to plan my diet to fit my routine. Here's a sample of my planned diet for workdays:

5:15 a.m.
¾ cup oatmeal cooked in water
2 tbsp skim milk
2 tsp brown sugar
1 banana

6:30 a.m. - to eat on the train
protein bar

10:30 a.m.
10 almonds
1 banana
1 cup flavored yogurt

12:30 p.m.
1 can of tuna
2 slices whole wheat white bread (to make a sandwich)
1 tsp olive oil
1 hard boiled egg
½ avocado, sliced
1 leaf green or red lettuce
1 apple

3 p.m.
10 almonds
1 cup flavored yogurt

5:30 p.m. - prepacked to eat on the train
6 oz chicken cutlet
1 cup broccoli, cooked
2 leaves green or red lettuce
½ cucumber
½ tomato
¼ cup beans (navy, kidney, lima)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

7:30 p.m.
Smoothie with:
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
½ cup skim milk
¼ cup frozen blackberries
1 tbsp peanut butter or whey protein
1 packet Splenda

I'll also be taking supplements to help me be sure I'm getting all the daily nutritional requirements. For now I'm trying the Mega Men Performance and Vitality Vitapak from GNC. I'm no nutritionist, and I haven't counted the calories of this diet, but compared to the fast, fatty foods that have been the staple of my diet I think this plan will serve me well.

If you have any advice or tips for me, please leave your comments here. I'm going to need all the support and encouragement I can get!

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