Nutrition

Hi this is Ionia, owner of Ventura Danzar.

People have been asking me how I’ve lost the weight in 9 months. I say Zumba® Fitness and Resistance Training but also eating correctly is key. The combination of exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. All the info is below.

It’s the same things we’ve all heard. Eat less fat. Eat less sugars. Eat less BAD carbs. Eat more veggies and fruit. All of this is true.

The only thing people don’t tell you there is a WAY to eat the food. You have to completely change the WAY you consume food and WHEN you eat.

This is the book that has helped me: Body for Life! I am in no way getting paid by these people to endorse their product. I just read the book and followed their directions.

Eat more often, feel full all day.
Research indicates that eating smaller meals more frequently (about every three hours) supports metabolism and helps maintain energy. Think of your body as a machine and you need fuel all day to help your body functions, even when you sleep. You will feel full all day and not have cravings.

LET YOUR HANDS GUIDE THE WAY
Each portions during your meals should be the size of your  fingers, palm or fist. SEE CHART

When trying to lose or maintain your weight,  so long as you practice portion control and exercise regularly, you’ll see, portion control is the key to weight loss.

4 ounces of cooked meat = palm of the hand

The palm of your hand can be used as a visual aid to determine an adequate portion of meat. The thickness of your palm must also be considered. As mentioned, correct portion sizes vary from person to person depending on such factors as level of activity, height, age, and muscle mass. However, since a human’s hands are generally proportional to his size, the average person can use his palm as a point of reference.

Example: Piece of chicken the size of your palm of your hand. A sweet potato should be the size of your fist, no bigger.

It is important to enjoy a variety of GOOD NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS.

Enjoy the BAD EMPTY CALORIE FOODS on occasion and sparingly.
When you eliminate certain types of food completely, they become more tempting, which may push you to binge on them given the opportunity.

Plan a cheat meal or a treat once a week that is an indulgence, make it really, really good.
Make it special. Have a high quality food rather than junk food.

I’ll have chocolate ice cream with raspberries, enjoy a really good Bison burger with artisan blue cheese crumbles or a glass of red wine.

Carbs and fruits early in the day and veggies after lunch
I try to eat my bulk of carbs early in the day. Like toast in the morning with a bowl of fruit and yogurt (protein) or an egg burrito with a side of fruit. Fruit is the sugar and if you eat it early it will burn off during your day and give you the energy you need. Towards the evening I stick to more veggies and proteins it helps my body to sustain itself before I go to sleep.

Cut out the WHITE FOODS and YELLOW CHEESE as much as possible. Yes this means, flour tortillas. My fave. Refined SUGARS (replace with Stevia, evaporated cane sugar or agave nectar) and SALTS (this is huge, replace with rice vinegar, lemon or lime juice), flours, white breads, flour tortillas, white noodles, white spaghettis, white cream dressings … I say yellow cheese because some white cheeses are actually ok but consume sparingly.

PLAN AHEAD, READ THE LABELS and SHOP the perimeter of the store.
I plan my shopping trip, make my list and have everything stocked so I don’t binge shop. At first I read all the labels, I look at a few things total calories, calories from fat, how many grams of sugar and grams of salt.  I want all these to be low or close to ZERO. All the stuff in the middle of the store is where the fat stuff is so I avoid most isles, exception of frozen veggies and some choice items. Eating fresh and natural, you can’t go wrong. It’s the packaged and canned items that have to many preservatives, sugars and salts.

DON’T STARVE! DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST!
DO NOT GO SEVERAL HOURS WITHOUT EATING!
This is also a biggie, once the body thinks it is starving, it starts converting everything you put in your mouth in to FAT. Try not to go more than 3-5 hours without food.

Make breakfast your priority. Get a protein and a good carbohydrate in your body right away.

I hear people tell me all the time I only had a bagel and coffee for breakfast and it’s been 8 hours because I’ve been working all day.  Have portion controlled, nutrient dense foods for you main meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner.

TAKE YOUR WORK/SCHOOL/WHATEVER BREAKS and EAT! Make eating a priority.

DON’T GIVE UP!
There will be days you will want to say forget it but nothing comes easy. Everything requires hard work and it will be worth it when you see the results.

Below is a Sample Meal Plan for the week, this is just an example. Find foods that you enjoy.

Protein drinks, bars or snack can be any protein you buy at the vitamin store. I like Muscle Milk Naturals myself, it uses stevia  instead of the other sugar replacements like Sucralose or Sweet and Low.

Monday : This has sample times. Adjust for your schedule.
Breakfast:  1/2 hour – hour after waking for this sample let’s say I woke up at 6:30 am, I would then eat around 7-7:30 am
Breakfast Egg Taco – 1 egg, 2 eggwhites, spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese and 1 corn tortilla
Glass of water
Coffee 

Snack:  between 9-10am
Muscle Milk Naturals shake
Glass of water

Lunch: Noonish depending on schedule
Turkey sandwich (whole-wheat bread)- 1 slice cut in half, my portion of Turkey (see hand chart), mustard, green leafy lettuce
Glass of water

Snack: 2 pm
Muscle Milk Naturals shake
Glass of water

Dinner:  Between 5-6 pm
Grilled Steak
1 portion steamed mixed vegetables
1 small sweet potato
Glass of water

Snack: 8 pm or right before bed
Muscle Milk Naturals shake
Glass of water

Tuesday
Breakfast:
Protein pancakes
Coffee
Glass of water 

Snack:
Muscle Milk Naturals shake

Lunch:
Grilled Chicken Burrito
Glass of water

Snack:
Muscle Milk Naturals shake
Glass of water

Dinner:
Turkey Burger
1 portion steamed broccoli
Glass of water

Snack:
Protein Pudding

Wednesday
Breakfast:
Egg whites and Oatmeal
Glass of water 

Snack:
Protein shake

Lunch:
Tuna Salad
Apple
Glass of water

Snack:
Protein nutrition bar
Glass of water

Dinner:
1 portion New York choice lean sirloin steak, grilled
1 portion steamed asparagus
1 small yam or sweet potato
Glass of water

Snack:
1 small apple sliced top of one portion low-fat cottage cheese and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

Thursday
Breakfast:
Egg white omelette with 1 slice whole-wheat toast
Glass of water
Coffee 

Snack:
Protein nutrition bar

Lunch:
Salad with chicken
1 portion raspberries
Glass of water

Snack:
Protein shake

Dinner:
Grilled Salmon
1 serving of spinach or broccoli
1 small sweet potato
Glass of water

Snack:
Low-fat cottage cheese
Glass of water

Friday
Breakfast:
Egg white and Avocado Sandwich (use 1 slice whole-wheat bread)
Glass of water  

Snack:
Protein shake

Lunch:
Chicken Pita Pizza
Glass of water

Snack:
Protein shake
Glass of water

Dinner:
Lean n’ Mean Chili
Brown 1 pound turkey in a large pot, add ½ cup onion and cook until onion slices are clear, add 1 large can whole tomatoes, 2 cans kidney beans; simmer for an hour and add chili powder and cumin to taste. Salad topped with fresh vegetables and low-fat balsamic vinaigrette
Glass of water

Snack:
1 portion low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium apple
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Glass of water

Saturday
Breakfast:
French Toast
Glass of water  

Snack:
Protein shake

Lunch:
Tuna Melt (use 1 tbsp low-fat cheese and whole-wheat bread)
1 portion almonds
Glass of water

Snack:
Black Bean Avocado Salsa
Glass of water

Dinner:
Chicken Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera
Glass of water

Snack:
Muscle Milk Naturals shake
Glass of water