Like I promised last week, here is my basic nutrition advice for all you Power Girls!
My mom was a dietitian for many years and she knows so much about foods: what to eat, how much to eat and that ‘You are what you Eat’.
She does not believe in nagging us (my brothers and sister), about eating. She figures that she’ll teach us what she knows and give us the information so that we can make better choices.
My dad’s favourite saying is “You win or lose by the way you choose.” My goal this week is to give you some information that my mom has shared with me and hope that you will make better choices on your own.
The foods you put into your body will either help you or prevent you from having a Power Girl body!
The reality is that many people are completely unaware of what they are putting into their bodies at any one time. Often people eat too much, not only of the wrong thing, but the right thing too.
I need to start by telling you about the 3 types of foods that our body needs. Our body needs proteins, carbohydrates and fats every day. Let’s learn a bit more about each of these foods.
Carbohydrates (carbs), are foods that give us energy. These foods get broken down into sugars, like bread, cereals, pastas, rice, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, fruit and of course anything that is sweet.
If the body can break them down easily, they are called ‘simple’ carbs and if the body has to work harder to break them down into sugar they are called ‘complex’ carbs.
As Power Girls we need carbs for energy because we get our bodies moving and we are active. Since carbs get broken down into sugar and our body uses sugar for energy we need to make sure we eat carbs so that we have enough energy.
Does this make sense so far?
Okay now the next really important thing to know is that too many carbs will make more sugar than our body needs. Do you know what happens if we have too much sugar in us? Our body has to store it. Too many carbs (sugar) will get stored as fat.
Let’s talk about proteins next. Protein are things like meat, chicken and eggs, and are needed to help build and repair a strong and healthy body. Power Girls want strong bodies and nice lean muscle so we need to make sure we eat enough protein.
My mom told me that the body breaks protein down into building blocks called amino acids that the body uses to make muscle. If our body doesn’t have enough building blocks, then it can’t build muscle.
Fats are the last group that I want to talk about. Fats are very important and many people avoid fats because they think that eating any fat will make you fat. This is NOT true!
Too much of any food can make you fat, but totally avoiding fats will cause a weak body. Fats are needed to make hormones, prevent disease, and burn fat.
Wow, am I glad that my mom told me that not all fats are bad and that I should eat them to be healthy and to burn fat. She convinced me that this was true when she showed me how so many people are on a ‘low fat’ diet or eat ‘low fat’ foods, and yet they don’t have Power Girl bodies.
My mom also taught me to read labels and that a lot of low fat foods are high in sugar. Too much sugar is the real problem! Sugar makes you fat!
Not all fats are good for you though. Eating fried foods, like french fries, chips, or donuts will not help you build a Power Girl body.
Good fats are raw nuts, seeds, avocado, coconuts, olives and the oils from all of these foods. I make sure that I do eat these foods but in small amounts.
The other day I saw a friend snacking on almonds. That’s a great choice as almonds contain healthy fats. The problem is that she just had too many of them. She had a whole container of them! Sometimes too much of a good thing is not good for the body. It is important to know how much is too much, or how much is enough.
Snacking on almonds is great, but 6-12 almonds, is the amount you should be aiming for. Fats get broken down into fatty acids and these are used to make the body healthy, but like sugar, the body will take the fatty acids and store them as fat if you eat too much.
So now that you know the 3 main food groups, I want to make sure that all of you know what healthy portions are.
Examine the plate below. This is what you are aiming for.
So let’s get specific. On your lunch or dinner plate, have a lean protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs) about the size of the palm of your hand (the size of 1-2 decks of cards). Your carbs (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes), should be about the size of your fist (3/4 – 1 cup).
My mom recommends going for whole grains or sweet potatoes instead of anything white.
The rest of your plate should be LOADED with veggies. Notice HALF of the plate is full of veggies 😉
Remember that you need good fats too, so a bit of olive oil on your veggies is a good idea. You can also have your veggies plain and just snack on a few nuts during the day.
My nutrition book, The Power Girl Nutrition Revolution -Cookbook and “Done For You” Meal Plan Guide will be coming soon and it will make it so easy to understand how to make better choices for what and how much to eat. Stay tuned for that!
So if you really want to get a healthy Power Girl body, you will! You just have to get your body moving and make healthy food choices. The meals and snacks you choose for yourself will help you to build a healthy body quickly or slowly. The choice is yours.
Choose well and remember it is not a race to the finish line. The important thing is that you treat your body well and make the best choices possible because your body deserves it!
Happy (healthy) eating!
Your Friend and Coach,
Here is a fun picture I forgot to give you from our Disney trip. See if you see anyone you know 😉