Day 12

It’s common at the beginning of these Challenges to be overwhelmed by the amount of food you have to consume.  Some people are so overwhelmed that it seems impossible to continue.  It doesn’t have to be like this.  It’s good to eat as many nutrient and fiber packed veggies as possible, however, if you get so sick of them that you never want to see another head of broccoli again, much less eat one, then it’s obviously not a sustainable plan for you.  You need to learn how to Zone and eat Paleo in a way that works for you while still making healthy choices.

Something that I do on my larger meals is make 1/2 or 2/3 of my carb blocks fruit.  Fruit has more sugar in it then vegetables and, therefore, you can not eat as much on the Zone diet.  If you stick to Zone proportions, however, it’s ok to eat fruit.  Or any other carbs, even bread, rice, or potatoes, if you want.  We do not recommend that you eat only high-density carbs and we have concerns for those of you allergic to wheat.  But, a few such carbs are fine, especially if it helps you stay sane and on the food plan you have chosen.  Keep in mind that this will only work if you are weighing and measuring your Zone proportions carefully.  If you are not, it would be better to stick to Paleo foods which do not include things like bread and rice and recommend very little fruit.  For me, I do well eating mostly veggies for my carbs on the smaller meals (1-2 block meals) with maybe 1/2 a block of fruit.

Here is what I had tonight for dinner:
Skirt steak – 3 blocks protein
Eggplant and green bean stir fry – 1 block carbs  and approximately 6 blocks fat (double fat)
1 Cup strawberries – 1 block carbs
1/2 Cup green grapes – 1 block carbs

Note on Fat
I don’t measure the oil I use in cooking as much as I should.  And, as a result, I probably consume too much.  If you are looking for fast results and to loose weight, we recommend that you measure out your cooking oil and count that towards your fats for the meal.

Skirt Steak

1.25 lbs grass fed skirt steak

1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 Cup honey
5 Minced garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Red pepper flakes to taste
Pepper to taste

Combined all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.  Add the steak and cover.  Refrigerate for 3-5 hours. Remove from the fridge and either grill or cook in a pan over medium heat.  I prefer to cook it to medium-rare which is about 4-6 minutes on each side.

Note on Zoneing This
There are ingredients in the marinade that I am not counting.  Some is absorbed into the meat and some of that will be cooked off.  It’s not enough to count and I used the healthiest options possible (honey instead of sugar, etc).  However, if you are being super strict, you will see better results if you stay away from using marinades like this because you don’t know exactly how many extra carb and fats blocks are in it.  It would be better to just season with salt and pepper and a spray of olive oil.

Eggplant & Green Bean Stir Fry

green beans and egggplant

2 Cups of green beans – cut into 1 inch peices
1 Large eggplant – cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Garlic salt to taste
Black pepper and salt to taste

Heat EVOO and red pepper flakes in a pan over medium heat.  Add eggplant and season with the garlic salt and black pepper.  Satay for about 3 minutes and stir frequently.  Add the green beans and turn down the heat and cover with a lid.  Allow the eggplant to absorb some of the moister of being covered, stir every few minutes.  Turn off before the green beans get soft.  Season with salt and serve.

Dinner 2

As you can see, this is a manageable 3 block meal.  In fact, I wished afterwords that I had eaten 2 blocks of veggies and 1 block of fruit, because I wasn’t as full as I like to be at the end of the day.