HOW TO STRUCTURE A GPF MEAL
(+ Grocery List Must-Haves!)
Step 1: GREENS. Select a base of leafy greens and veggies.
More volume = more fiber, which means that the more veggies you load onto your plate, the fuller you will feel. As a rule of thumb, about 75% of my plate is usually comprised of veggies. (Pro tip: an easy way to bulk up any meal is to add a bunch of romaine lettuce and/or spinach to the bottom).
Add any of the following in a variety and abundance:
• Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens)
• Bell peppers
• Hot peppers
• Brussels sprouts
*P.S. As you’ve noticed, ‘greens’ is just an easy way to remember veggies. Leafy vegetables and those deep in colour are your best options.
Step 2: PROTEIN.
Add 4-5 oz. of one of the following proteins for women, and 6-8 oz. for men.
Selecting a protein from the following list will help you feel fuller longer, and help you build lean, solid muscle. Try to buy organic as much as possible, focusing on grass fed, wild caught and free range products.
• Lean cuts of meat (ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, etc.)
• Fattier cuts of meat (steak, beef, etc.)
• Chicken breast
• Salmon (rich in Omega 3 fats - one of my favorites!)
• Egg whites
• Lean tofu (in moderation, because of soy)
Step 3: FAT.
Add one serving of healthy fats to your meal. For example, use a portion size of 15-30 g of fat = 1-2 tbsp nut butter, ½-1 whole avocado, handful of nuts – roughly 1 oz.)
• Nuts and seeds – almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
• Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, etc.)
• Coconut oil
• Coconut milk
• Coconut fat
• Extra virgin olive oil
Step 4: (OPTIONAL, think of this as a 'plus one' on your existing plate of greens, protein and fats.)
If you’re creating a meal after your workout, this is the best time to add a serving of starchy carbohydrates.
Since these are higher on the glycemic index, they’re best used before and after a workout. Pre- and post-workout are when your body uses the sugar (insulin) created by carbs most efficiently. If you're not really active and work at a desk the majority of the day, it's best to stick to the lower-glycemic veggies (found in the 'greens' section above) because they won't spike your insulin as much, and your body doesn't need these carbohydrates listed below to 'refuel'.
Keep the portions to about a closed-fist size:
• Sweet potatoes
• Red or white potatoes
• Any and all fruit
• Brown or white rice
• Black beans
• Air-popped popcorn
• Gluten-free oatmeal
Step 5: (OPTIONAL) Variety is the spice of life, right? Feel free to add any of these extras to flavor your meals or as substitute for your current faves!
• Spices (spices are your best friend! Add them liberally to every meal, but be sure to look for the natural spices, not the ones that have added MSG or a bunch of salt.)
• Cinnamon (great fat burning properties and reduces insulin spike)
• Turmeric (also amazing for hormones and inflammation)
• Pink Himalayan sea salt (great for thyroid production)
• Organic ketchup (low sugar, or find one made with dates if you're trying to get real fancy)
• Unsweetened cocoa powder
• Stevia or Truvia (use this as your sweetener versus sugar or Splenda. They have flavored Stevia now -- toffee, hazelnut, etc. BOMB.)
• Bragg’s liquid aminos (a healthier alternative to soy sauce)
• Srircha or hot sauce (look for low sodium, anything less than 200g)
• Almond milk (unsweetened)
• Kombucha (great for digestion and gut health. Look for the ones with less than 5g sugar / serving.)
• Any kind of tea (especially green tea – drink a cup with lemon upon waking)
• Chia seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Hemp seeds (healthy fats + fiber)
• Greens supplement (powdered is great to add to smoothies)
• Cacao/cacao nibs
^ All these things are great to add to smoothies!
• Fish oil
• Greens supplement (powdered – as stated above, I add this to my smoothies!)
What a Sample Day of GPF-Style Eating Could Look Like
This is just an example of a typical day in my life. It takes practice to find the foods you love and how much it will take to satisfy you, but it's worth the effort to find a way of eating that makes you feel so energetic, alive and happy -- plus it's fun to try new things!
- Wake up and drink a large cup of warm lemon water + coffee with a splash of unsweetened almond milk.
- 30 minutes of movement (minimum): a walk, a workout, anything that gets my blood flowing
- Breakfast: my low-sugar smoothie formula
- Lunch: huge bed of spinach and romaine + whatever chopped veggies I prepped over the weekend, 6 oz organic canned salmon, 1/2 avocado, balsamic vinegar + a dash of olive oil
- Snack (optional, depending on what time dinner is): 2 hardboiled eggs
- Dinner: 6 oz. rotisserie chicken, roasted butternut squash, roasted broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil
And sometimes if I'm craving something sweet after dinner, I'll make my healthy hot cocoa, which is just: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk boiled, 1 packet of stevia, a dash of cinnamon + unsweetened cocoa powder (1-2 tbsp., depending on how dark the cocoa is. The darker, the richer, the better ;).) Just warm up the almond milk on the stove and blend all the ingredients in the blender!
Some GPF Meal Ideas from Myself & My Clients