Fall is here and we are all gearing up for the holidays. But with what is possibly the best time of year can also bring an unexpected present… the dreaded holiday muffin top . Too many parties, too much take out, dinner out in restaurant all add up. But it’s easy to bypass this weight gain trap with a little home cooking . I’m here to help you enjoy this incredible time of year without worrying about your scale. Instead let’s have you concentrate on enjoying this marvelous life you have created.
Eating, and especially dinner should be fun, not a dreaded chore. Finding the time to cook, play and spend time with friends and family is possible if you plan it ahead . I’m sure you have heard the magic words before, do it in advance. But here’s something more concrete. I’m going to tell you exactly how I do it. Here’s your secret look into a nutritionist’s kitchen routine.
My magic weapon is to make it fun and have an an all out party.
- It’s No Mystery, Dinners Have A Few Basic Ingredients
The rest is bells and whistles. No matter what style of cooking you love, whether it’s Paleo or classic French, all meals break down into simple components: proteins, cooked vegetable, salads and perhaps carbs. The best way to approach cooking for the week is to be prepared and keep the menu simple and delicious and know what works for you and your family.
- Work Out Your Menu For The Week Based On What Everyone Eats
You can easily work out dishes for your vegetarian daughter and your gluten free best friend. All you need is a well stocked pantry and make everyone happy with simple personal touches whether it’s adding sriracha to one person’s dish or a quick rice pilaf or pasta.
- Shopping The Day Before is Key
I do a big shop on Saturday and see what is seasonal, fresh and on sale. I also make sure to pick up a lovely bottle of wine and flowers for my Sunday night cook fest. Here’s an example of what I would buy:
- A whole chicken which will make 4-6 servings and a chicken breast for each additional 2-3 servings per person.
- Buy ground meat of choice, I adore ground lamb, but beef or pork works too!
- Grab some eggs and keep them for a mid week easy dinner frittata.
- Buy chickpeas or beans of choice for a vegetarian night.
- Chop veggies for the week. I highly recommend glass containers with a seal, it keeps vegetables fresh, or breathable Tupperware which allows you to adjust the venting for each vegetable for maximum freshness. Because I lightly steam all of the vegetables Sunday night, it’s easy to saute, roast or steam as needed!
4. Make It Fun and Make It Easy
If you’re not having fun cooking then we need to change this pronto! My secret is telling everyone that Sunday nights is the one night I don’t want anyone helping out! As soon as the sun sets I have my playlist on Spotify blaring, pour myself a hearty glass of wine and start the party. You can make the dinners for Sunday through Friday on Sunday night, Friday and Saturday you use the leftovers for have a great Mexican and Thai night.
Here’s a sample week for you:
On Sunday Night try this recipe for Chicken Parmesan, served with a side of pasta or gluten free “zoodles”
You can also roast a whole chicken and vegetables right in the skillet.
Make it a meatless Monday Night with a warm, hearty Chana Masala and use the leftovers for lunch.
Tuesday change the pace with Burgers & Avocado Fries with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce.
Wed night is a quick and easy gluten free night with a Leek and Mushroom Frittata.
Thursday-mix it up and make it spicy with a Sweet and Sour Chicken stir fry !
Friday, you made it through the week! Celebrate with Taco Night!
Saturday I bet you still have some vegetables left and chicken, perfect for making Chicken Pad Thai.
5. Helpful Hint
Sometimes you just don’t want to cook, and you shouldn’t have to! Be flexible
The quickest way to make cooking a chore is to make yourself feel like you have to channel your inner Martha Stewart and grow all of your own vegetables and raise livestock. Give yourself a break when you need to, pick up a rotisserie chicken or order in some plain steamed Chinese food and add some sauces you love. Remember this isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having fun and bonding with those you love. The payoff? Your best weight, health and sanity!
Your friend in health,
I have consistently seen that taking supplements, long term, can result in health issues as I have discussed in all of my books. You can add calcium supplements to the danger list. Taking calcium supplements has been linked to heightened risk of myocardial infarction which I have discussed. The research now definitely shows increased risk for heart disease with supplements, but not dietary intake. You can easily get 1500 mg of bioavailable calcium through The Plan diet and with a wide range of nutrients that support its absorption, so remember food is your medicine!
“A large new study published recently in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that taking supplemental calcium leads to an increased risk of heart disease, by increasing the calcification of your arteries.
People who simply consumed the most calcium through their diet had a slightly lower risk of calcification of the arteries – about 27% lower than the group with the lowest amount of dietary calcium. However, people who took calcium supplements had a 22% higher risk of calcification.” To read the article in full click here.
Here are the top 10 Plan friendly foods that you should include in your diet:
Calcium Rich Foods
- Kale (cooked) – 2 cups -500 mg – high fiber, aids in digestion and elimination, Vit K, several vits and minerals
- Scallops – 4 oz – 130 mg – Excellent source of B12, selenium, choline, zinc, magnesium, potassium
- Broccoli (cooked) – 1 cup – 91 mg – good source fiber, B6, vit 3, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, iron, niacin, selenium
- Chia seeds – 1 ounce – 179 mg – excellent source omega -3, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron
- Goat gouda – 1 oz – 225 mg – Vit A, B, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium
- Sunflower seeds – 1 oz – 50 mg – rich in Vit E, copper, B vitamins, essential fatty acids
- Raw Almond butter – 2 tbsp – 90 mg – rich in Vit E, magnesium, potassium, protein
- Scallions – per cup – 72 mg
- Egg –3 medium –75 mg – good source B2, selenium, Vit D, B6, B12, zinc, iron, copper.
- Collards or bok choy- while these are both goitrogens (attacks thyroid function) you can have them once a week if you pass them by testing them using The Plan protocol. Two cups of cooked collards can yield over 500 mg of calcium- the same amount of bok choy will net you over 350 mg.
Your friend in health,
Rotate or React. Shelly asked how often should we be retesting and how often should to rotate foods. Remember that rotating foods that work for your chemistry is the best way to keep losing weight, be at your healthiest and not build up food sensitivities which cause inflammation. Great questions, so here you go!
Wheat is best every other day and frankly so is every food once you get enough in your arsenal. So if you have kale, broccoli, sunflower seeds, chicken and pizza on Monday, don’t have them again until Wednesday.
Here’s the optimal rotation of proteins if you pass them:
chicken 3x a week- every other day
lamb – 3x a week- every other day
eggs- 3 x a week every other day
beans- 3x a week- do not have more than once daily
duck breast- 2-3x a week every other day
fish and seafood – 2 x a week 3 days apart
pork- 1-2 x a week
turkey-1-2x a week
steak- 1x a week
buffalo- high reactive
veal- VERY high reactive
Make sure to test once a year and for every 50 pounds lost. You don’t have to restart from The Cleanse, you can start at day 3 and have it as a regular day, so coffee and wine is fine!
What happens if you failed a food? Does that means you should never eat it again? Retesting depends on how much weight you gained. If you gained less than .5 lbs, then I would suggest retesting in 6-12 months. If you gain a pound or more, definitely wait a year to retest. And don’t give up! Remember, I lost eggs, they were my mortal enemy, and now they are back! Brayden couldn’t eat any wheat and he took a year break. Now he has wheat every other day!
One of the things that can mysteriously and frustratingly prevent us from losing weight is a systemic yeast problem. Most people think of yeast as being vaginal, but everyone has yeast. Yes, men too. You could have never had an apparent yeast infection in your life and still have yeast overgrowth.
We have a very delicate balance in our gut between friendly flora and yeast. Yeast colonies can rapidly multiply and overtake our friendly flora in response to diet, hormones, or environmental factors. People who eat a lot of sugar may be more prone to yeast overgrowth . But really ANYONE who eats reactive foods, foods that cause an inflammatory response, will kick up yeast. You may also note that in times of stress you are more prone to having a flare-up.
Taking antibiotics disturbs your intestinal flora; this is the reason people recommend eating yogurt when you take antibiotics (which really doesn’t help that much for systemic yeast – especially if you are reactive to yogurt!). Other factors that might contribute to yeast overgrowth are hormonal changes, birth control pills, steroids, and exposure to radiation such as radiation therapy.
Regardless of what causes it, a yeast overgrowth can create digestive disturbances like bloating, gas, and constipation, headache, sinus problems, brain fog, depression, and fatigue. Even worse yeast, left unchecked, can cause disorders like leaky gut and disrupt your immune system. Candida can also set off volatile emotional issues . You know all those symptoms usually associated with PMS, like feeling irrational, severe mood swings, and anger? Those can often be a result of systemic yeast, which can flare during times of hormonal shifts.
When yeast organisms take over your intestinal flora, they produce acidic toxins, which slow down weight loss and affect your immune system. If you are having a yeast flare-up while testing, it will affect your data. To make matters worse? The more yeast you have, the more foods you may be reactive to!
If you are doing The Plan to identify your inflammatory foods, I want you to have as accurate data as possible. It would be frustrating to put in all this effort on your 20 days and not have the payoff, so we want to determine if there’s an issue before we get started.
I use a very easy test for yeast overgrowth. Since yeast feeds on sugar and fermented foods, we do a test day prior to beginning your Plan on the foods that are the most likely contributors to its growth. Set aside one day and include in your daily menu wine or beer or better yet champagne (full of yeasty goodness), balsamic vinegar, and chocolate. Yes, all in one day; did I mention the test was fun? If you don’t drink wine, you can just use the dessert and a heavy dose of balsamic vinegar. If chocolate isn’t your thing, you can choose any sweets that you love. Throw some carbs in there for extra fun! Keep everything else that day the same as you usually do. The next morning, upon awakening, check your tongue in the mirror. If it’s coated white, it’s a sign that yeast is an issue for you. Even if your tongue is not coated white, note how you feel. Are you craving sugar and carbs? Are you irritable or do you have extra energy, or feel super low energy?
If you have any of the above, don’t panic. This is easily treatable. I know there are many hardcore practitioners out there that want to cut from your diet every bit of sugar and everything fermented to moderate yeast, but I haven’t found this strict regimen to be necessary – and frankly, it is pretty depressing. In addition, if the yeast is rampant, this austere approach will cause rapid yeast die-off symptoms, which feel horrible (think extreme detox with foggy thinking and extreme moodiness). I believe it’s better to let the yeast die off slower and enjoy a regular life in the process.
The best way to counteract a yeast overgrowth is through a course of high-quality probiotics and removing any foods that cause a reactive response (inflammation). Probiotics are living organisms that are similar to the beneficial bacteria in your stomach that help restore the correct balance in your system. You can use the brands recommended on The Plan website – www.LynGenet.com. I find most people respond to probiotic treatment within a few days. If you are are female and beleive that yeast is systemic in your system, you may also want to try a vaginal suppository. I have found that many women do wonderfully with Yeast Gard which you can find in many drugstores or online. A 7 day protocol in conjunction with an oral probiotic is wonderful!
Please do avoid probiotics with the following:
- I find that probiotics which contain FOS ( Fructooligosaccharides) , is reactive to approximately 80% of the population I work with. FOS is used as an sweetener and it has a sugar level of somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of sugar syrups. Conventional research is quite mixed on FOS as it can increase the growth of unwanted bacteria in the GI tract. It could also serve as food for less desirable strains of bacteria. In addition, FOS feeds E. coli and many Clostridium species, which will disrupt your population of gut-friendly bacteria. There is also a concern that some kinds of yeast are able to use inulin/FOS for fuel, thereby leading to overactive yeast production in the body.
- Xylitol can cause nausea, gas, bloating and diarrhea and or constipation. Remember whenever you impair digestion you not only cause weight gain, but create an inflammatory response which can affect your immune system and serotonin production.
- Dairy, Soy and Gluten- If you have sensitivities/allergies, please make sure that your probiotics do not contain these ingredients.
Also what is confusing to some people is that it’s not the number of cells in your probiotic that are important, but the strains and how many they are. You can research which strains work best for what ails you. I find that it’s best to rotate your probiotics so you can restore gut function with as many beneficial strains as possible.
Your friend in health,
I received a wonderful email 3 years ago from Tony Lonero, since then we have become good friends. I am so proud, that at the age of 57, he is still qualifying, and EXCELLING, in bike races like the Paris-Brest-Paris, with his Multiple Sclerosis in full remission thanks to The Plan.
I wanted to know I saw you speak on Foxnews. I have had MS since 2001 as you know it is a battle.
What you said hit me and I bought your book. Since MS is a disease of our immune system, what you said about the right way to eat made sense to me. So I thought if I can find the foods that will not cause my immune system to act up, it may work. Well, I got your book in May and I started right away. I lost 12 kilos which is about 25lbs (I am an American but I live in Italy).
I feel great! So far my symptoms have been in remission. I usually have increased symptoms in the winter from November to March, why nobody knows, but this year I feel amazing. I found out that coffee, vinegar and gluten are killers for me. I am an Ex-Olympic athlete, I was in the Los Angles Olympics in 1984.
An Italian film company produced a documentary about my life called Ride to Finish. This is my site http://www.ridetofinish.com/ ”
“It has been a year now since I have read your book , the biggest element that I found that bothers me and still does is some gluten. I now make my own bread and pasta now which is a lot cheaper and better I must say!
I pretty much eat that was reactive for me before, except vinegar, that’s still a killer. My MS has been good, I haven’t had any episodes in over a year. I always had problems in the winter . Last year I had nothing which is good. Changing my eating habits changed my life.
This past year I rode 16,000km on my bike that is my tops and I have to say I feel 20 years younger if that is possible. I qualified for the Paris-Brest-Paris next year in 2015 for the fourth time , the ride is held every 4 years.
Lyn, a ride we do here every year racing across Italy and back 630km non stop, it took me 5 hours less than 3 years ago. Took me 28 hours instead of 32 hours! I know your book helped me with my MS and as an athlete.”
And finally just this week he sent me this-
“Lyn, get the message out “non mollare” don’t give up. Until 4 years ago it was my bike and “non mollare” that kept me walking. Thanks to The Plan, I feel 20 years younger and have found that by identifying my reactive foods, I know I can confront this disease and anything it throws at me.
And here is Tony’s gift to you- this video- Non Mollare- it shows him qualifying for the Los Angeles Olympics, how he found out he had MS, and how the spirit of “don’t give up” became his mantra.
Remember, your body ALWAYS wants to heal, reducing inflammation is key. Find the foods that work for YOUR chemistry and you will achieve your best weight and your best health!
Yours in health,
I recently read some interesting comment about blood tests for food allergies from a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. ” We don’t really understand all of the reasons why one person with IgE to a food will have serious reactions to the food, while another can eat it without problems. This is an area that needs more research,” says Corinne A. Keet, associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. To top it all off, it turns out that some studies show that an IgG response to a food actually indicates tolerance.
To make matters more confusing with blood tests? There has been research into the efficacy of blood tests. A few researchers had the same patient take a blood test in the morning and again in the afternoon, and getting two very different results for their food sensitivities/allergies!
Too often people come to me saying their blood test says they can’t eat a food and when they test it on The Plan they are fine. The most effective way to determine what food works for your chemistry is The Plan. You will find that your food sensitivities will change as you age, and that foods that you had to avoid you can now eat. The good news is that as your chemistry changes, the basic protocol of The Plan does not. You will always be able to determine what does, and doesn’t work for you, using a very accurate and inexpensive methodology!
From a Planner: “I’ve paid tons of money for the ALCAT for my 18 year old daughter who has Ankylosing Spondylitis. (3 different times!) and she never got results by avoiding the foods it said she reacted too.
I told my daughter about your book and explained the commitment it would take from both of us to do it. I offered to do it along with her and we were buying vegetables I’d never heard of and using spices I’d never used before! It was an adjustment, but when you see the scale going down and your energy levels going up there’s no stopping you. On day 5 I asked her if her pain was any better and she smiled at me and said, “I’m about a 4 now”. That’s amazing because on a scale of 1 -10 she was an 8 most of the time. This includes nighttime. She couldn’t find relief sitting, standing, or lying down. I almost cried I was so happy for her.
One day we were in a rush to get to my son’s wrestling tournament, so we literally ran from the parking area. Suddenly my daughter shouted, “Mom, look at me, I’m running and it doesn’t hurt!” We both laughed so hard. It was AWESOME and a memory I will never forget. Thank you so much for giving that to me and my daughter.
To sum it up, the ALCAT was way off. The Plan was dead on. I’m so grateful we are able to cancel her appointment with an RA doctor. She feels so blessed to have learned the proper way to eat at such a young age. Lyn-Genet, you have our eternal thanks!”
Here are just a few of the immediate responses you may have to a reactive food. Of course if you keep eating these foods not knowing they are inflammatory you may find they you are at risk for the dangers of chronic low grade inflammation: obesity/weight gain, premature aging, weakened or overactive immune system, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Why are blood tests, SO inaccurate? Because there are so many variable that can affect your testing! Here are just a few:
1. Seasonal allergies- when you have a heightened histamine state you will test allergic to many more foods than you would if you weren’t having allergies.
2. Times of hormonal fluctuations greatly influence what you test as being sensitive to or not. This is why we caution women especially to wait to test foods during ovulation and before their cycle starts, because foods may test as reactive and there can be many other factors involved such as yeast, stress, PMS etc.
3. Heightened levels of cortisol, your stress hormone, will make you test sensitive to more foods that you are. So if you have a fight with your spouse, or have a deadline at work, your blood work may be very inaccurate.
4. The “Rotate or React” principle, if you ate spinach 5 days in a row before your test, guess who is going to test as allergic to spinach (this is one I see quite often).
5. Various medications can have a significant affect on your blood work as can a recent illness.
The bottom line is, it is important to find the foods that work for you. You deserve to do it, and The Plan is a highly effective method of lowering inflammation, improving health and having a healthy weight. You can order The Plan on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com. If you have any questions you can email Info@LynGenet.com
Yours in Health,