share your trackers or a few typical days. this will get you the most targeted help for where you are now. using "breakfast :1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 cup milk " is more helpful than "breakfast- oatmeal" as well. that way people can offer suggestions [instead of lunchmeat, make a whole chicken and slice up some to use in place of lunchmeat. you'll save on sodium] that you aren't already doing.
i will also say that the best first step is making sure you're really tracking everything that you eat, and doing so as accurately as possible. so you need to be tracking condiments, the oils you cook in, the candy you grab from the dish on your neighbor's desk, all of those little things that is easy to forget to measure and jot down. then you have to make sure you are tracking as accurately as possible. like you, my big issues were not enough protein and sodium through the roof. but, when push came to shove and i had to honestly take a look at what i was tracking in the tracker, i was using what was there instead of what i was actually eating. in other words, using the austin's peanut butter crackers that were in the tracker instead of the target brand i was buying. that austin brand did have the same calories after all. but upon reading the full nutrition info they had about 10 less sodium and one more protein. which still doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that all those other close enoughs i was using added up over the day. the beans that i was cooking from dried [under 30 sodium] i was tracking as canned in the tracker [300+ sodium]. and things like that added up over the day. so instead of my tracker showing me i was getting about 30 g of protein a day, it was over 50. instead of 4000+ sodium, it was under 3000. so while i had some improving to do, it wasn't nearly as much as i had thought.
and once you're sure you're working with accurate data, the easiest thing to look at is your three biggest sources of sodium in a day. then do one of the following: 1. eat less of the food. if you're eating a cup of it, have 3/4 or 7/8 instead. if you're having a Tablespoon, try two teaspoons. if you're eating 100 grams of something, have 80, 85, 90, 95 instead. less of the food means less sodium. 2. find a different brand. the next time you head to the store to buy that food, say salsa, spend five minutes in the aisle reading labels. some brands of salsa can have 500 sodium per serving. others can have 100 sodium. switching brands can be an easy way to eat something you like and get a little less sodium. 3. find something entirely different to eat. if you were having lunchmeat, have beans cooked from dried instead. if you were having salsa, have a salad instead.
if you keep plugging at this with your three biggest numbers, you'll find your total sodium going down without you having to overhaul everything at once or spending eight hours a week doing it.
as far as protein goes, do the opposite. look for your three biggest sources of protein, and eat slightly larger portions of them. check brands for a little higher protein option. keep plugging away and you'll get where you need to be.
3/11/13 8:29 A
I totally agree with the pp who mentioned planning your day's meals, in advance. I do it first thing in the morning, but the night before might work out better for you depending on when you've got the time.
By planning in advance, I can see where I'm a little low on some things, and maybe too high on others. Then I can swap things in and out, coming up with a plan that works both to satisfy protein, fiber, sodium etc. and also not include broccoli every.single.day. (I like broccoli, but not *that* much.)
3/11/13 7:53 A
I've also been struggling with getting enough protein and fiber, while trying to keep my carbs down. These are all good suggestions. A bit more research and menu plannning, and hopefully I can start doing a little better.
Brown rice, which offers increased amounts of dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins in small amounts. Believe it or not, popcorn can be a healthy snack that has a lot of fiber. 3 cups of air popped popcorn is under 100 calories...I use Parm or Romano to flavor it...and sometimes cinnamon. Berries in your oatmeal will increase your fiber intake by about 1 to 2 grams.
Leaving the skins on fruits &vegetables such as pears, apples, peaches, and even potatoes, as opposed to peeling them off..... Most of the fiber is in the skin How about a tasty pear with a slice of low fat cheese? Maybe a sprinkle of low fat cheese on a tortilla, heat in the microwave. Then roll it up and dip in salsa for a little fiber.
Pumpkin seeds are especially high in protein, low in calories and fat or Pepitas which are already shelled. Sunflower seeds have protein & almonds are particularly high in protein.
Barley has soluble and insoluble fiber and has more fiber than oatmeal. It can help lower cholesterol, provides protein and b vitamins.
I believe a healthy diet should include 2 to 3 servings of lean protein each day. Chicken or turkey...baked or grilled without the skin, beef with the fat trimmed off and fish. Beans and nuts are also good choices of plant based proteins...maybe experiment with grains such as quinoa and kasha which are extremely high in protein and maybe try reduced fat yogurts..like Fage plain Greek Yogurt and add the berries for fiber. I use Flaxseeds and chia seeds which also contain fiber, as well as Broccoli, cabbage, celery, sweet potatoes, califlower, raw green peppers and lots of Romaine as it helps fights cholesterol just like string beans do.
This is what works for me.
Fitness Minutes: (38,152)
23,492 3/11/13 3:56 A
I have to eat a very high fibre diet - generally 42-50 grams daily. I find that utilizing lentils regularly helps to achieve this. I decrease the meat and replace with the lentils and plenty of veges - (I mainly eat casseroled/stewed meats for the meat component) - and soups. Lentils are a good source of protein, and also excellent on the fibre front. I also use red kidney beans for the same purpose, altho' the lentils top the beans a bit. Peas are also a really good source of protein and fibre. Broccoli is excellent fibre.
Cottage cheese is a good way of getting protein in with low calories. I use it on really high fibre/good protein toast, without butter or margarine, and add some tomato on top. I also have healthy high fibre snack bars for when I need a wee bit extra boost. My Dietitian put me on to Benefiber for when I can't get the fibre high enough without going way over in calories. It is very low calorie and doesn't interfere with any medications. Nearly all the meat I use if lean, and any chicken has the skin removed. Fish is also an excellent source of protein - whether it is canned or fresh/frozen.
I sometimes make smoothies for a snack using the higher fibre fruits, Oat Bran, low fat yoghurt, (sometimes) milk powder and generally low fat soy milk or low fat ordinary milk.
You are obviously using your nutrition tracker, so by keeping an eye on the various things you eat, you will see where you can tweak your intake to make it more YOU friendly :-)
Good luck, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,200 3/11/13 3:25 A
Fresh, unprocessed vegetables and lean cuts of meat. God does great work at providing exactly what we need. :)
How long have you been at it? These things can take a while to work out what works for you, getting the balance right. :)
Try pre-planning. Never go to bed without the next day's meals already planned out and entered. That way you can see in advance if some nutrient isn't meeting your goals and adjust your plan, so that on the day you know you will end up right, if you just follow the plan.
Fitness Minutes: (402)
3/10/13 9:56 P
I seem to have difficulty eating enough protein and/or fiber during the day, while still remaining withing the calorie range, or cholesterol range or sodium. Anyone have suggestions?
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.