UIU 40 Day Challenge Meal Guidelines

UIU 40 Day Challenge Meal Plan

It would be counterproductive for me to list a strict regimented meal plan for everyone to follow.  We are all different sizes and engage in different levels of activity. Most importantly we all have different tastes!  Instead I want to give you guidelines and mini challenges along the way that you can stay within as you embark on this little journey.  See below…

First the Calories

While I discourage calorie counting, below is a formula to give you a good estimate of what you should be shooting for in a 24 hour period:

If little/no exercise multiply bodyweight (BW)* in pounds by 13-15
If light/moderate exercise (45-60 min/day, medium intensity 3-4x/week) use BW x 16-20
If very active (60-120 min/day, medium intensity 5-6x/week) use BW x 21-25
If extremely active (i.e. high volume training for Ironman or ultra) use BW x 25-30

Men use mid-to-high range, women use low-to-mid range.

*The fat content of a 180-pound body makes a difference: the caloric needs of a body that is 10% fat, with a lot of lean muscle, are greater than the same body that carries 25% fat.

Now the Food

Try to eat 4-5 times a day in smaller portions.  Try not to eat with less than 3 hours leading up to bed time.   Drink plenty of water throughout the day (about half your body weight in ounces on training days).  And I know this is going to sound crazy, but start the difficult work of transforming your mind to see food not as something to enjoy, but as quality fuel for your body.  As long as you expect all of your food to taste great, it will lead you back to sugar and bad fats.  But if you see your food as quality fuel for that awesome machine that is your body, you start to see it for what it really is and what it can really do for you.

The single most important thing you can do for your diet to trim fat and let that gleaming six pack you’ve been working on reveal itself is to cut refined carbohydrates.  What is a refined carb?  I’m glad you asked.  Sugar (including from fruit juices), white bread, white rice, pasta, energy bars all fall into this category.  We have more on that here.

The second most important thing you can do is load up on fiber rich foods.  Unsalted nuts are a great way to get fiber and fat for fuel in the same snack.  Brown rice, dark leafy greens, steel cut oats and popcorn are more examples of fiber rich foods.  The fiber in these foods will help your body absorb less fat, make you feel fuller more quickly, and ensure complete and healthy passage of the food out of your body.  So eat up!

Finally, you will want to make sure you’re getting plenty of protein.  Personally I don’t shy away from grass fed beef, chicken and salmon.  Yes meat does have fat in it, but not all fat is bad, and your body needs a source of energy regardless.  I prefer to get my energy from fat and avoid carbs, I talk about why here.

Knowing what to eat and what not to eat can be daunting, especially if you haven’t paid attention before.  So if you absorb nothing else from this article, absorb this: try to eat foods that are naturally occurring, whole foods, and try to eat them as close to their natural form as is reasonable.  Pasta does not grow as is, brown rice does.  Chicken is fine baked and lightly seasoned, but not deep fried.  Eat whole fruit, do not drink the fruit juice.  Try to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store. If it comes in a box in an aisle, you should be wary of it.

Sample Meal Plan

I’m 6’ 3” 225 lbs and this is what I eat in a typical disciplined weekday.  Granted I often throw in some extras, my baseline looks like this.  Feel free to use as a baseline for your own meal plan, adjusting for your own size and goals.

Breakfast:

¼ cup steel cut oats

Half cup of blueberries

1 Banana

1-2 Eggs (On the weekends if I’m feelin myself)

Green tea no sugar or honey

Snack:

Half a cup of almonds

Lunch:

1 Decent size meal of chicken broccoli over brown rice

Snack:

Half a cup of almonds

1 Apple

Workout

Dinner:

Baked Salmon or Baked boneless skinless chicken breast or 12 oz ribeye

Dark leafy green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocadoes added

2-3 tablespoons honey mustard dressing

Dessert (sometimes):

1 Cup plain greek yogurt (Fage not Yoplait)

Half cup of blueberries/raspberries

1/6 cup of granola

Or

Two cups of Skinny Pop popcorn

Recipes

A few healthy recipes for you to try out.  More to come throughout the challenge:

Sweet Potato and Turkey Breakfast

Patties

Ingredients:

½ cup sweet potato, steamed and mashed

100g turkey mince

1 egg

1 tsp paprika

1 tbs flaxseed

1 tsp coconut oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

1. In a bowl mix together turkey mince, egg,

mashed sweet potato, flaxseed and paprika

until well combined.

2. Make one large or two small patties from the

mixture

3. Heat coconut oil in a small non-stick fry pan

over medium heat

4. Add turkey pattie/s and cook for 10 minutes,

turning once so both sides are cooked.

5. Remove pattie/s from pan and set aside

6. While pan is still hot, add garlic clove and

tomatoes and sautee for 2 mins.

7. Remove tomatoes from pan and serve with

turkey patties

 

Vegetarian Lasagne

Ingredients:

1 zucchini, sliced into ribbons

1 red capsicum, top & bottom removed and cut

into 4 slices

1 tin of crushed tomatoes

1 tbs tomato paste

6 pitted olives, sliced

¼ small sweet potato, thinly sliced

¼ eggplant, thinly slice

100g cottage cheese

olive oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C

2. Mix together tinned tomatoes, olives and

tomato paste in a small bowl

2. Lightly grease the bottom of a small

baking dish.

3. Place an eggplant slice on the bottom,

top with 1 tbs tomato mixture, then a

couple of slices of sweet potato

4. next spoon on some cottage cheese,

then a slice of capsicum, then a ribbon

of zucchini then top with another tbs

of tomato mixture.

5. Repeat this process until all vegetables

are used up, then top with some more

crushed tomatoes and a dollop of cottage

cheese

(you might need to place a few pieces of the

zucchini and sweet potato on each layer, as they

are thinner and smaller than a slice of eggplant)

6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until cooked

through, veggies are soft and cottage

cheese on top is golden (test with

a fork to check that the veggies

are cooked)

4. Enjoy

 

Grilled Salmon with Pesto Greens

Ingredients:

100g Atlantic salmon

handful of green beans

1 small zucchini

1 cup broccoli

small handful baby spinach

1 tbs basil pesto

1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

1. Heat coconut oil in non-stick fry pan over

medium heat

2. Add salmon, skin side down and cook until

skin is crispy, outside flesh turns pale and

inside flesh is still translucent pink in the

middle (about 5 mins)

3. Meanwhile, steam all veggies and once

cooked toss in tbsp basil pesto

4. Serve salmon and veggies warm with

squeeze of fresh lemon if desired

 

Big Healthy Breakfast

Ingredients:

1 egg

2 roma tomatoes, halved

1 field mushroom, sliced

¼ avocado (or 1 tbs)

½ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Few fresh basil leaves

½ cup chopped tinned tomatoes

2 silverbeet leaves

1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

1. Heat coconut oil in a medium fry pan over

medium heat. Cook, egg and roma tomatoes

and mushrooms in pan

2. Meanwhile, steam silverbeet

3. Mix cannellini beans and tomatoes together

with oregano in a microwave safe dish and

microwave for 1-2 minutes

4. Serve all components together while hot with

avocado and season with sea salt and pepper

Lamb and Baby Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

100g lamb backstrap or fillet

2 cups baby spinach

1 tbsp pinenuts

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 green beans, top and tailed

½ cucumber, sliced

1 tbsp chopped mint

1 tbsp greek yoghurt

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp coconut oil

½ fresh lemon

Directions:

1. Coat lamb in paprika and grill until cooked,

but still pink in centre

2. Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and

dress with fresh squeeze of lemon juice and

sea salt and black pepper if desired

3. Slice grilled lamb and serve with salad and yogurt mixed with fresh mint

Tuna and Veggie Stack

Ingredients

1 zucchini, sliced into ribbons

1 red capsicum, top & bottom removed and cut

into 4 slices

1 tin of crushed tomatoes

¼ small sweet potato, thinly sliced

¼ eggplant, thinly sliced

1 tin tuna in springwater

sea salt and black pepper

1 tbsp cottage cheese

olive oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C

2. In a small baking dish, place an eggplant

slice on the bottom, top with 1 tbs

chopped tinned tomatoes

3. Add a couple of slices of sweet potato,

season with salt and pepper if desired

4. Spoon on some tuna, then a slice of capsicum

and finally a ribbon of zucchini.

5. Top with some more chopped tomato mixture.

6. Repeat until all vegetables are used up then

top with some more crushed tomatoes and

a dollop of cottage cheese

(you might need to place a few pieces of the

zucchini and sweet potato on each layer, as they

are thinner and smaller than a slice of eggplant)

7. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until cooked

through, veggies are soft and cottage cheese

on top is golden (test with a fork to check that the veggies are cooked)

 

Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potato

Omelette

Ingredients:

5 eggs (4 whites, 1 whole egg)

½ cup grated sweet potato

50g smoked salmon, chopped

1 tsp coconut oil

Handful of baby spinach

Directions:

1. Lightly grease a frying pan with coconut oil

2. Mix sweet potato and smoked salmon with eggs in a bowl and pour into pan

3. Cook until eggs whiten, sprinkle with baby spinach leaves, then fold in half and cook for a further minute

4. Serve hot

 

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

100g smoked salmon, diced

¼ avocado, diced

½ handful chopped chives

50g baby corn - diced

½ cucumber, deseeded and diced

¼ bunch coriander, chopped

¼ red onion, finely diced

Handful baby spinach

1 tsp olive oil

Juice of ½ fresh lemon

1 heaped tbsp Greek Yoghurt

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with Greek Yoghurt on top

2. Enjoy

 

Mexican Stuffed Capsicums

Ingredients:

100g chicken Breast

1 tbs paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 cup cooked black beans

2 heaped tbsp. organic low sugar salsa

2 tbs mashed avocado

1 handful of spinach leaves

1 tbsp. cottage cheese

2 small capsicums

½ juice of fresh lemon

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C

2. Coat chicken in paprika and grill until white

and cooked through

3. Meanwhile, cut tops of capsicums and

remove the core and seeds from inside

4. Once chicken is cooked, chop into small

dices

5. In a bowl, combine chopped chicken, beans,

salsa and chilli powder

6. Divide the chicken and bean mixture into

the two hollowed out capsicums. Top with

avocado and cottage cheese

7. Place stuffed capsicums on a tray lined with

baking papers and bake in oven until cheese

on top is golden

8. Serve with baby spinach leaves drizzled with

fresh lemon juice and little olive oil if desired

9. Enjoy