I’m excited to share this with you today!
I’m often asked for health guidelines or a meal plan — but if you’ve been following my work for some time now, you know that I believe every individual should have their own PERSONALIZED plan and nutrition is not one sized fits all. When your health protocol is specifically tailored to you, you’re much more likely to follow through, feel proud and feel results.
But that said! After my five years in this field, and working with over 100 one-on-one clients, here are 9-10 common guidelines that I truly believe apply to everyone.
Quick note :: these guidelines are for “optimal health” and believe me when I say, I don’t hit these numbers on a daily basis! So please, don’t stress. These numbers are goals to aim for over time. If you get to 4 vegetables a day, that’s great! And same goes for new moms and dads; catching any sleep when you can is a huge win.
Homework :: pick one thing to AIM FOR, not all 10!
35 Grams of Fiber
This is a lot of fiber. Start looking at labels, or googling the fiber of certain foods you eat often. For example, when you type in to the search bar, “avocado + fiber",” this comes up. Some of my top fiber foods include, mixed greens, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, raspberries, nuts and seeds, squash, sweet potato, chia seeds and flax.
Less than 25-35 grams of Added Sugar
Thankfully food labels are now mandated to separate added sugar from natural sugar, but I encourage you to still be the label detective. Women should be eating no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and men, no more than 35 grams. This adds up quickly. When you’re on line at the store, pickup and read the labels of a few candy bars, iced teas or sodas. You’ll be shocked. PS: Natural foods like fruits don’t count towards this daily limit.
8-9 Servings of Vegetables
I’ll repeat, THIS IS A LOT of vegetables. So remember, this is for absolutely optimized health, and like I said, I certainly don’t hit this number every day! But I certainly aim for it, and probably land at an average of 6+ servings of veggies per day. Veggies give you a multitude of nutrients, minerals, fiber and anti-inflammatory benefits. I’d be so proud of you if this inspired you to add more greens to your plate, or try a side salad at your next meal.
20+ grams of Protein / Meal
A good serving of protein at each meal of the day will keep you satisfied, fueled and full until the next time you eat. So many clients come to me sharing about food cravings in the afternoon or snacking at night. The first thing we do is make sure they’re getting 20 grams of animal or vegan protein in their breakfast to stabilize their blood sugar and give them energy to fuel their busy day. And guess what! Getting enough protein does significantly reduce those afternoon sugar cravings and energy slumps. Try it!
AT least half your Bodyweight in Ounces of Water / Day
I talk about this one a lot in my corporate talks and in my book, because it’s just that important. If you weigh 200 lbs, you need to drink 100 ounces of water a day, at minimum. Add in 20 ounces if you’re doing a workout. I know water can be really boring to talk about, so I try to make it fun. For example, having a crush on your water bottle can help.
7-9 Hours of Sleep
As some one who used to sleep 5.5-6 hours a night and rely on four cups of coffee a day to keep up to speed, this one was a hard one for me to incorporate in to my lifestyle. But let me tell you, now that I’ve trained my body to clock 8-9 hours of sleep a night, I’m recovering faster, my mood is better, and I’ve healed my adrenal and hormonal imbalances. And yes, this means turning off your screens and smart phones and tucking yourself in to bed at bedtime.
100-150 Grams of carbs, Depending on Activity Level
This one was the trickiest one for me to suggest in today’s post. I have some clients actively doing a keto-type plan, eating around 75 grams of carbs / day and some clients who are competitive athletes and easily consuming 200 grams of carbs / a day. But what I’ve found with most clients, especially those of you who may workout daily, but then sit at a desk job for a majority of the day, that this seems to be the sweet spot for fueling your life, recovering from your workouts and keeping your hormones happy.
10k Steps, or 30-60 minutes of Exercise
Get in those steps, or get in that workout. You’ll never regret it.
10-15 Minutes of Direct Sunshine
Vitamin D is a powerful healer and mood-booster. In the winter I aim to supplement with these Vitamin D drops, and in the summer months, I try to get in 10-15 minutes of sunshine directly on my skin and only after that point, apply sunscreen. Next time you get your annual blood work from your doctor, ask about your Vitamin D levels. I recommend levels of 50-70 for optimal health. I write more about Vitamin D in my post from last summer.
Email me because I’d love to hear from you. Print this graphic out and refer to it this year. Experiment in real life. Don’t stress. I want you to feel good. Remember, being healthy is a vehicle for a long and happy existence, not the end destination. So eat a piece of kale, and then go rock your life.