1.

i don't like/am allergic to/don't eat (insert food here). can i swap it out?

The meal plan guide was created to allow for individuality and flexibility. Need to switch something out? Go for it. I can’t make a plan to suit all of you perfectly, but I can promote you to take the challenge to make it your own with the VPFC .pdf downloadable on the materials tab. 

As long as it’s in the same category for around the same caloric value, you’re safe.

I.E. spinach for kale.
mushrooms for peppers.
chicken for turkey.
shrimp for salmon.
tofu for egg whites.
olives for avocado.
cashew for pecans.
cheese for sliced almonds.
berries for bananas.
lentils for quinoa. 

2.

can i eat dessert?

Yes, do it in a safe, social environment without shame. S/O to birthday celebrations where you enjoy your cake! See the ‘social sweets’ video under LYNC30 101.

3.

i am a vegan/ vegetarian/ pescatarian. what are some good protein options?

Not eating much animal? Use organic non-gmo Tofu, Sunwarrior or Vega Sport protein, hemp, nutritional yeast, and some Beyond meat.

4.

what should i look for when avoiding added sugars?

Identify the ingredients. Is there honey, maple, dextrose, agave, cane sugar? BOO! Those are all the same to your body as sugar. Ignore the “2g” of sugar on the label if it’s NOT listed in the ingredients. I.E. most natural tomato sauces.

This also includes honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, juice, coconut water, agave. Read your labels! Naturally occurring sugar will be listed in the nutrition facts but the ingredients will show if it’s added. 

Ex- an apple is OK, but a Clif bar with agave & brown rice syrup is not. Dates are fine… in moderation. Looking at you RXBAR.

Common offenders:

— Check your tomato sauce, it shouldn’t have any sugar in the ingredients.

— Your yogurt should be under 8g of sugar and have none added. Fage plain, Trader Joe’s 0% Organic, or Icelandic. Non-Dairy: Forager or Kite Hill greek (plain)

— Your kombucha should have under 6g with sugar listed only in parenthesis (as it was used in the fermentation process). I prefer GT’s synergy, original or gingerade. 

— Your trail mix should just be nuts and seeds. 

— Granola is also, unfortunately, a sugar bomb with honey and sugar and dried fruit.

— Your Nekter smoothie from next door should follow the VPFC with one serving of fruit – omit juice & agave. My go to? HEALTH NUT with almond butter, nix the agave nectar & add spinach!

5.

how do i tell if its a carb/protein/fat?

Label reading; the largest GRAM number (protein/fat/carb) determines what category that food falls into. Clif Bars are carbs; ONE bars are protein. If the fiber % if >20% you can subtract fiber grams from carb grams.

6.

can i eat out at restaurants? or do i have to cook everything at home?

Absolutely! Let’s talk menu. On any menu, head to the entree section to identify a good size protein first, then tackle a green side addition. Doesn’t have to be a salad; what about spaghetti squash or zoodles, brussel and mushrooms? Now; is your carb your dessert, your wine or your pasta?

Check out the ‘What Would Whitney Order’ .pdf download for other options at some well-known restaurants. Also, if you’re tired of cooking, check out Whtiney’s handout for meal prep boxes (there’s some pretty sweet discounts too).

7.

how do you feel about scales?

Stay off the scale – take a photo during week 1 or complete a DEXA scan. Otherwise, trust the process. The goal isn’t weight loss. There are SO many things to benefit from in this process. Decreased inflammation, improved mood, increased muscle, better sleep, better recovery, metabolic improvements; all of these things are pivotal in your health.

8.

i love fruit! can i eat it?

I recommend no more than two servings of fruit per day, eaten with your meals (NOT LONELY). If eating fruit awakens your “Sugar Dragon” (that insatiable desire to eat ALL THE THINGS) then I encourage you to take a good, hard look at when and how often, you are incorporating fruit.

9.

what about (insert protein/snack bar here)?

RxBars, Larabars, MacroBars & no-sugar-added “energy bars”. These are concentrated foods to be used on-the-go, long hikes, business travel, or unexpected late nights at the office. DO NOT use these excessively as snacks, to satisfy your sweet tooth, or in place of real food.

Bars are a calorically dense option that won’t fill up your stomach, fire up your sugar cravings, not signal to your brain that you’re full, and lead to an easy excess intake of nutrients without noticing.

Why buy/keep something around that’s tempting, right? If Clif/RXBAR’s work for you: choose the kid’s size (Same goes for LARA). These are great for emergency food situations of dire needs (plane delay, traffic jam, late at work) NOT for a result of poor planning. 

But try to keep other options on hand first👌🏻, like the following:

-Jerky bars (love DNX and epic,
-Meat sticks: Chomps, The New Primal, Nick’s Sticks.
-Veggies with single almond butter or guac cups.
-Servings of nuts, olives.

RDN tip: protein and fat-rich options are king in keeping you satisfied (& stable energy/blood sugar) the longest. Meaning, on a label, the protein or fat grams should be bigger than the carb. RXBAR has twice as much carb as protein. Clif, almost 4x. “But what about Perfect Bars?” 

A: I LOVE that taste, but I think the best balance comes from either a bulletproof bar (220kcal, 1:1:1 ratio of protein fat and carbs) or a meat stick paired with a fruit or veg. Plus, they have to be refrigerated so their “convenience” is Texas is limited. 

I do eat them on the rare occasion, but REALLY consider “is there any way I could eat 300 calories or real food right now?” because it’s NOT going to fill up my stomach 🙂

 

10.

Do you have any suggestions for what to put in coffee as a substitute to dairy?

frother changes everything. 

Try French Vanilla Nutpods, frothed with cinnmaon 

Califia unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

Milkadamia milk in hot drinks 

Add Vital Proteins Mocha creamer with hazelnut nutpods for one fabulous nutty mocha flavor. 

I take my own Nutpods to Starbucks…the french vanilla + cold brew is addicting (Or Central market’s; because it’s cheaper! And, they have almond milk at their coffee bar.)

11.

how do you feel about pressed juice?

A good option would be one that is ALL veggie- kale, spinach, celery etc. if any fruit, just apple or lemon.

And really- smoothies so you get the balance.

12.

i'm really struggling to drink enough water. any advice?

-Start early

-I don’t go anywhere without a cute swell bottle either…. it’s a weird perk of hydration for me! Also, I try not to confuse my hunger/thirst etc cues (am I hungry, bored, tired, or thirsty?).Take a couple sips of water whenever you feel that. Adding limes and cucumbers helps too!

-I never board a plane without a bottle of water.

-I always think, “if food, first water”. A water park can’t throw kids down a slide without the pipes running ♥️ 

-Add in tea (iced or hot, nothing added) or try pique tea crystals.

13.

i'm starving. what am i doing wrong?

You shouldn’t be hungry. I never mentioned restriction, calories or limiting intake. Eat when you’re hungry; feed the machine. That’s you.

Based on the guidelines of the bowls and overall layout you should have, per meal, about:

4-6oz of protein
2-3 cups of vegetables
2-3TB of fat
1/2 cup of carb.

That equates to no LESS than 1500 calories per day, assuming you eat towards the lower end and only consume 3 meals. This is likely not enough for most of you. Seriously. 1200 calories is an arbitrary baseline number from the 1960’s; we’re beyond that. Again, feed the machine! If you’re following macros, a good rule of thumb is 30-40 percent protein. Less than 30 percent carb.

***If you’re doing consistent doubles, teaching all the time, or are training for a marathon, it’s necessary for you to eat more often. We really want to ensure you’re not breaking down muscle (the body loves to eat away at muscle when it doesn’t have enough calories). Add in an extra bowl or an extra snack. You should ALSO reach out and ask for my help (by email), I can only solve the problems I know about.

14.

do you have a favorite starbucks drink?

I get cold brew & bring my own Nutpods 👀

Or an americano with steamed almond milk: you still get the creaminess with foam but save calories and sugar. Plus it’s stronger. |
In order, milk has the most sugar, then soy, oat, coconut and almond is the lowest. 

Try an almond milk americano misto to replace your latte.

15.

thoughts on coconut water?

Coconut water isn’t added sugar. But it’s a concentrated one. It’s ALL liquid sugar. Quickest way to add pounds. 

It’s a natural Gatorade. 

Consider Lyteline; sea water with minerals. I save rehydration drinks with sugar for my 90+ minutes of exercise in hot weather. Nuun tablets work as well.

16.

can i eat red meat?

I am 100% okay with you eating red meat, if it’s grass fed and organic. A quality version, considering that conventional meat has carcinogenic materials found in its fat stores. 

But, quality applies to chicken and fish, too. 

I order from Butcherbox monthly for quality meat so that I use quality versions. Other great options in town include Burgundy’s on Ross Ave an the Meat Shop on Inwood. Other ideas? Drop them below!

17.

is intermittent fasting ok for this meal plan?

IF can be really dangerous to the body, increasing internal stress and cortisol. If it works for you and you’re able to maintain it longer than 6 weeks as a “lifestyle”… then perhaps, but you would need to do the bowls only and omit the snacks.

Dr Will Cole has a lot on this… I prefer the shorter window, where it’s not actual starvation… like 12-13 hours.

18.

should i not eat after 6pm?

I want you to fuel your body and eat when you’re hungry. That is unique for everyone.

Do you need chips @10PM while on your bum? Nope. 

But, do you need post workout nutrition to ensure your body restores its carb and protein losses to build muscle, prevent soreness & prevent later hanger? YES.

Eat. Even if it’s a Greek yogurt. Otherwise your body will eat away at the muscle you’re trying to build. That lead to the skinny fat.

19.

what kind of protein powder do you like?

Vega Sport (easy to shake up), Tone It Up, or Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Fuel (also melts in coffee)

20.

Do you have tips if i am traveling?

If it’s a long trip, consider PrimeNow or Instacart for delivery of some basics to your hotel: 

Rotisserie chicken
Tuna packets
baby carrots
celery
hard boiled eggs
LaCroix/Topo Chico