Questions and Answers

Q: Just to make sure I understand, does this mean that we can have a fruit, vegetable and carb in the same meal or should the extra fruits and vegetables be eaten  in between meals?

A: Well, not really. You can have a fruit and a veggie in the same meal, especially if the veggie is watery. But you cannot have a fruit and a starchy carb (bread, pasta, rice) in the same meal unless you divide the portions. In other words, the total of the carb (in any combination) needs to be the size of your fist. This may limit your whole grains more and you need to get some in every day but try to get them in when you aren’t eating a fruit or even a starchy vegetable. Just in case you are curious, we need a minimum of 3 oz of whole grain a day – recommended 6 oz. With weight LOSS, however, this is the best thing to let go a little of and 3 oz should be adequate. 3 oz is equivalent to 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice
Q: At the bottom of the score sheet it says to give full points for the 5th meal if you only ate four any given day.  Am I reading right – Eat four meals and get 30 points whether or not you eat the 5th meal?
A: Yes, you get full points for eating four meals. If you don’t need the fifth, you don’t need to eat it, but get 6 points for that meal anyway.
Q: Do you have any ideas on what to use for pizza and spaghetti sauce?
A: I have found some “no sugar varieties” of pizza and spaghetti sauce in the store. Read labels and do your best. I also make my own pizza sauce – one can tomato sauce, 1 to 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic salt. If you like thicker sauce you can use tomato paste. The health food store has great options for spaghetti sauce!
Q: With “creamed chicken” what does the 98% fat free cream of chicken soup count as?  Is it considered a snack???
A: I don’t recommend cream soups, but the soup is a carb. You can use your 100 calories on ANYTHING you want. So if you have a little too many carbs in a meal, you may choose to use the extra toward your 100 calorie snack.
Q: Can we use home canned/store bought fruit for a fruit or does it have to be fresh?
A: Canned fruit is fine if it is canned with no or VERY little sugar.
Q: When we make soup can we have as much broth as we want or is it limited?
A: There shouldn’t be any reason to limit broth (except the sodium levels are high).
Q: You say to “Eat a fist-sized portion from the carbs OR fruits list with every meal”.  Can we not have a fruit and carb in the same meal – Do we have to choose one or the other?
A: Yes, you only get one (fruit and carb) as fruit IS a carb. Fruits, veggies, and grains are carbohydrates. The exception to this is if you are eating from the “free” veggie list. Then you may have a fruit as well as the veggies.
Q: Why isn’t milk listed under protein?
A: Milk is considered more of a carb with protein in it. The protein level is not high. Foods are generally labeled by what they contain the most of when dividing among the protein/carb/fat categories. Although, some foods can be used as more than one thing.
Q: What is the best kind of yogurt?
A: The best choice is a PLAIN (lower in sugar or no sugar is preferable), variety. You just need to compare the labels when you are shopping. You may be amazed what you find. Many have a lot of sugar. Greek yogurts are great for protein but BEWARE. They can have TONS of calories and sugar if you don’t get the right kind. Fage is safe. Look at the ingredients list and see what the source of the sugar is. Even if it has less than the plain (which is actually high in sugar – 17g for a one cup serving), there is no sugar listed in the ingredients, so it’s coming from a natural source. This is always better than added sugar or fructose or corn syrup. Granted, the plain yogurts aren’t as tasty by themselves but you can add your own sweetener. (I always use Stevia), and your own fruit or vanilla or whatever.
Q: Okay, I may be slow but I just want to make sure what each meal is to consist of.  To my understanding we are to have a protein, a healthy fat and either a carb, vegetable or fruit (because they are all carbs) with each of the four meals. Correct me if I am wrong.
A: Yes, just remember fruits and grains (if eaten in the same meal) need to be size of fist when combined. The veggies (all but starchy ones) are free in the amounts you have.
Q: Also, other than egg yolk, avocado, olives, and nuts and seeds, what are some other healthy fats?
A: Natural nut or seed butters. (no sugar added)  Make sure it’s in moderation. Olive oil. Oil and vinegar dressing. Fish has good fat in it. If you are tolerant to dairy, string cheese can be a protein AND a fat. Also the meats you eat generally have enough fat. You don’t need to add more.  If you eat low-fat cottage cheese instead of fat-free, you don’t need added fat. Once I had turkey on a salad and figured the turkey probably had enough fat. I was hungry within 15 minutes of eating – or maybe not hungry but just not satisfied so I thought about the meal and realized the fat probably wasn’t enough. I had a spoonful of peanut butter and VOILA! I was satisfied!
Q: Friday at school it was a very sweet little girls special day.  She talked about it all week. She brought mini hostess donuts for her snack.  She asked me twice to have one, I nicely turned her down.  Both times a sad face.  It broke my heart 🙁  The third time I could not say no.  She was so happy.  Some times it is worth the penalty sorry team just couldn’t say no, couldn’t do it sorry.  But Question is, if I count it as my free meal is it okay?
A: Yes.   You get 1  1/2 hours for a free meal so even if you had a regular meal then the treat, you can count it.  We have to live and enjoy and we can’t become obsessed. Balance, moderation is best. Sometimes I take treats that are offered or refreshments and bring them home to my kids. 🙂
Q: So I am wondering if we only keep score for six days due to the fact that we get one free day per week.  Or… if we don’t use our free day, can we count points on all seven days.  I would feel better about using a free day if I knew that everyone else was only counting six days… I am way too competitive!!!
A: Everyone gives themselves perfect scores on their free day so you can use this strategically. If you mess up on a habit during the week, you can use that as your free habit. Remember you don’t HAVE to take all of your free spaces in one day. You can use your free food one day, your free exercise another day, your free water another day OR you can take it all in one day. In other words, there will be seven days of scores no matter what. If you choose to “eat freely” or not, you still get perfect scores. The advantage comes on the scale.
Q: Today was probably the hardest for me since we started.  I would have eaten my desk if I thought it had sugar in it!!! I resisted as long as I could then broke down and had a Diet Pepsi.  At least I had all my water in already.
A: Sometimes if I’m having a moment like that, I have a sweet smoothie or even a snack with a little more fat to help satiate.
Q: Okay, so I was reading about snacks… Is the 100 cal snack and the fruit you divide into 8 pieces and munch on throughout the day two different snacks that can be eaten the same day or do we choose one or the other?
A: They are two different things. YAY!!!
Q: Why do I have no desire to eat? I had to force myself to eat 4 meals yesterday and don’t want to eat again today. Is this normal Connie?
A: No, it’s not normal! Are you feeling okay? Actually, I should just tell you to enjoy it while you can because it’s not going to last forever. You don’t have to eat as MUCH as the portion sizes allow you to eat. You can eat less. Does that help? I suppose all kinds of things can affect appetite from exhaustion to sadness to crazy busy… you know 🙂
Q: I mixed some oil and vinegar with some salsa and put it on spinach salad rather than the sugary version.  Would this new dressing count as a fat?  It was yummy.  My husband even had seconds!
A: Yes, it has oil. Good job! Did you use fresh salsa or cooked? Give us the amounts you used. It sounds good!
Q: I used cooked.  I made 4 oz. and just shook it up in a plastic container.  2 oz. salsa, 2 oz. fat free O&V dressing. 
A: Oh! if it’s fat free dressing it probably can’t be used for the fat!  Get the real stuff or make your own with olive oil. Fat free dressings usually have sugar too 🙁
Q: What is Ezekiel Bread?
A: Ezekiel bread originated from the scripture Ezekiel 4:9 and was a source of protein for people in that period. Plant proteins tend to be limited in one or more essential amino acids so they are not complete proteins, but they can be combined together making up a complete protein with sufficient levels of all the essential amino acids. Examples include a combination of grains and legumes or a combination of legumes and seeds and nuts. This is how vegetarians get their protein. I just found a recipe online for the bread I tried. I’ve only made it twice. It turned out to be more cake-like. Almost the consistency of banana bread. I really liked it. I ground several different kinds of beans in my wheat grinder. This can be hard to do. I learned that running them through my blender first was smart. I clogged my grinder once. The bread I bought from the health food store is made from sprouted grains and legumes. It is more normal bread consistency. I also make a 12-grain bread (recipe is in the blog. It’s made from a 9 grain cereal mix plus others I add along with some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds.
Q: What is jicama?
A: It’s a vegetable and I have to tell you that I think it’s great!  My family thinks it tastes like garden peas. I think I agree! The texture is different, but we really like the flavor. This led me to do a search on nutrition facts. I found that in one cup of sliced jicama, there are 46 calories, 0 g fat, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, and 1 g protein. Pretty great I think! It is now added to my staples of vegetables.
Q: I don’t want to start now – I have a vacation in a week!
A: I want you to know that since this is a beginning of a “lifestyle”, let’s work around things like that. Yes, the competition makes it a little “stressful” at times to not want to be part of it while going away, but don’t let that part of it keep you from starting on a great way of life immediately.

Q: Why is enriched flour bad?

A: When the bran and the germ (the parts of the wheat that contain vitamins and minerals) are removed, your body absorbs wheat differently. Instead of being a slow, steady process through which you get steady bursts of energy, your body breaks down enriched flour too quickly, flooding the blood stream with too much sugar at once. Your body then has to work hard to absorb the excess and stores it as fat. This causes quick highs and lows in your blood-sugar level which can lead to type-two diabetes and obesity. All this and you’re not even getting close to the amount of nutrients that whole grains contain. Whole grains are richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein (and in particular the amino acid lysine), dietary minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), and vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E). By eating whole grains you reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, digestive system diseases, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Don’t be fooled There are many products that seem healthy on the front but in reality they are not. If the bread you are buying says “soft wheat” or “multi-grain” make sure you still read the ingredients. Most of these breads are primarily made with enriched flour. Even if the word “enriched” is not there, if it does not say “whole” then it’s the same junk. Don’t get fooled by color either. Even if it’s brown, unbleached wheat flour is still missing the bran and the germ that contain essential nutrients as well as the fiber that aids digestion. Look for products that say 100% whole wheat.
Q: What  is Nutritional Yeast?
A: It is a deactivated yeast. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment. It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or cream, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of Parmesan cheese. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. It can also be used in mashed and fried potatoes, as well as putting it into scrambled eggs.
Q: What about spaghetti sauce with noodles?  What is the carb in that meal?
You’re right that tomato is a carb, but it’s a free carb. You can eat it any time and in any quantity. I call it a “watery” vegetable – even though it’s really a fruit. 🙂 Spaghetti with sauce is great. The only thing to watch out for there is sugar if you’re not making your own sauce. I LOVE to put a bunch of extra veggies in spaghetti sauce. The carb in that meal would be the noodles.