Planning ahead will bring the most success to your lifestyle change. If you fail to plan ahead you will reach for food that isn't part of your meal plan. Good nutrition is what puts you on the path getting rid of inflammatory issues, building your immune response, balancing your hormones and blood sugar, and keeping weight off for good! Read your guidebook for all allowed foods and check the support Facebook page or the Shape website for recipes.
Here are some tips to help you plan ahead.
Make a plan. Make a list before you grocery shop based on provided recipes and staples you will want on hand. You may need to make your own dressings and condiments to be sure they don't contain sugar. There are several options on the recipe page. This online service and app may help you plan.
Read Labels. This is a helpful article about ingredients on labels and why you need to avoid refined carbs. Check all food labels for fat content, what type of fat and how much (avoid saturated and trans fat) Carbs, serving size, and sugar Sugar can be called many things so be sure read all ingredients. A good rule is to only eat food with a few ingredients. Whole food is best! While on the Shape program you will be avoiding all grains as they are inflammatory. You will also be avoiding fat on the FasTrac Cleanse.
Add protein with each meal. In order to get in enough protein, be sure you have 4-6 oz. of protein with each meal for Basic Cleanse and 3-4 0z per meal for FasTrac Cleanse. Getting a food scale will help you measure this out. I recommend grass-fed, free range, wild caugt and organic meat to keep toxins out of your liver so your Shape Drops can do their job. A great resource for healthy meat is Butcher Box.
Plan a meal prep day. I like to shop and prepare some of my meals on Sunday's and then again mid week if I need to. I clean and cut up all veggies, cook meat and sides like cauliflower rice and put the servings in separate containers. I recommend glass containers so you can reheat in them too. Heating your food in plastic releases toxic BPA and phthalates into your food. Freeze half of the portions so your food stays fresh through the week. Keep cut up veggies and clean fruit ahead of time so you can grab them quickly as a snack. Try to get 4 cups of veggies per day.
Save time. I absolutely love my Instant Pot! It makes my meal prep so much easier and faster. You can even cook frozen meat when you forget to take it out to thaw. There are so many recipes for the Instant Pot besides what they provide when you purchase it. Just be sure all ingredients are approved for your meal plan. Make substitutions with healthier ingredients. Eat leftovers for breakfast or lunch. We don't have to have "breakfast food" in the morning.
Keep fat low. On the Shape program your fat intake is low to allow your body to burn excess fat. You may have up to 3 tablespoons per day on the Basic Cleanse. Avoid it as much as possible while on the FasTrac Cleanse. You naturally get some fat from meat and dairy so don't be concerned.
Freeze ahead smoothies. You can prepare a delicious smoothy ahead of time and freeze it in packs. Put a combination of spinach, kale, cucumber, berries, oranges or apples into a bag. Put it in the freezer. When your ready to use it, pop it in the blender, add water and blend!
This meal plan can be quite challenging for you at first, it was for me. Remember this is for your health, take one day at a time. You have so much support. Your tastes will change I promise. You will feel so much better it won't be worth returning to bad eating habits.
**Take your own food to parties or events that may not have healthy options. It could be a great conversation starter about the benefits of the Shape program!
***Eating on the go can be tough. I only eat at Chipotle or somewhere that may have salad. I use lemon juice for dressing. I hope this helps!
You've got this!