I mentioned on Wednesday that I started Yoli – The Better Body System (BBS) this week as a way to start making some life changes. You can find that post HERE. Part of this lifestyle change is a complete overhaul of what I eat. I had gotten to a point where I was skipping breakfast everyday and hardly ever eating lunch. When I got home from work, I would grab something quick (which was usually junk). These habits had killed my energy; I had no motivation to do anything, and I was having a really hard time focusing. It had been months since I even posted anything on this blog – which really frustrated me.
Today is my 4th day on the system, and I cannot express enough how completely different I feel already. There is more to BBS than just changing your diet to fit a list of requirements; it is about understanding how your body uses food so that you can give it what it needs. So I want to take this Food Fridays post to talk about some of the changes I have made and why.
Like I said, I was not eating well AT ALL! And I was really worried that the abrupt transition to a seemingly overwhelming amount of protein and vegetables was going to be hard to swallow. Haha!! But with the support of my family (some of whom are also doing this), I was ready for the challenge. I have tried in the past to eat more vegetables, specifically salads, but had found it boring and was soon discouraged. So I knew that to make this work, I was going to have to have some variety. I spent a couple days doing research and reading through some examples of what other people had eaten during the course of a week to get some ideas.
BBS does have a recommended plan for each day: Shake for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, shake for dinner. They are not rules; they are more like guidelines. People have still had great success even with changing things to what works best for them. Again, it comes to this being a lifestyle not a diet. So, the week is made up of 4 protein days and 3 meal days.
Protein is a huge part of making the system work. Our bodies have become fat storing machines and when we eat carbs, our body just stores them away. BBS is meant to re-train your body to be a fat burning machine again. By eating protein, which your body can’t use for energy, your body is forced to burn the stored fat. This is why you end up losing the fat around your midsection and thighs. So on protein days, you stick to “free” vegetables and eat half your weight in protein (in grams). In your Transformation Kit (which I talked about in my Intro to Yoli post) you get two flavors of YES Protein Shake powder: chocolate and vanilla. I was impressed with the flavor of these, and you can add other stuff to it to make it more filling – I made a list below of some of the variations I have done. I was worried that having a shake twice a day was going to make me miss real food, or leave me light-headed. However, I get to eat enough snacks and lunch that I haven’t had a problem with it. For protein this week, along with the protein shake, I stuck to the following: tuna, halibut, chicken, almonds, cheese stick, eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and peanut butter.
Meal days are also important to give yourself variety, keep your body guessing, and give train your body that complex carbs can be satisfying. I don’t really understand everything about the differences in simple and complex carbs, but it is all about swapping out what we normally eat with something more healthy. For example: quinoa instead of rice, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, and spaghetti squash instead of pasta. On meal days, lunches are supposed to be 500-600 calories, which is much more than lunches on protein days. For lunch, you can add your complex carbs and fruit. My first meal day was really hard, because I had a really hard time eating that much food – was surprised how full I was! The base of my protein shakes on meal days didn’t change, I just added some strawberries and blueberries.
Some people may find this system frustrating because it isn’t all laid out there for you, and I have to admit I have had a few frustrating moments. There is some research and learning that you have to do. I think that is part of the whole “lifestyle” rather that a “diet”. If you are restricted to a very specific list of things for each day, then it begins to feel more like a diet, and if you stray you feel guilty. This is all about finding out what works for you so that you can make it a lifestyle.
Despite the fact that I have cut out coffee and all sugary delights, I have had absolutely no cravings and have really enjoyed eating salad and other vegetables. It is really a complete shock to me. I really look forward to finding more recipes and experimenting with what I find. The biggest thing that I have learned is that it is very important to have some easy to grab protein snacks, and have some variety in what you have to choose from. Below are some lists of ideas. Feel free to ask any questions. There are a lot of great videos out there talking about this system, and I would be glad to share them with you.
YES Protein Shake Ideas:
- Chocolate protein powder, 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk, 2 Tbsp of cottage cheese, a handful of spinach, and 1 Tbsp of natural peanut butter (PB for extra protein on protein days)
- Vanilla protein powder, 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk, 2 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt, spinach, a few strawberries, blueberries, and banana slices (fruit only added on meal days)
Examples of “Free” Vegetables (those low in carbs):
Recipes that I have tried this week:
Avocado Deviled Eggs by Ella Claire | I didn’t have sour cream, but they were still very good! Great source of protein, and avocados have good fats.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Parm by Foodie Felisha | I had this with a side of broccoli and quinoa for my carb day, and also shredded some up to wrap in lettuce.
Tuna Sala Lettuce Wraps by The Tip Toe Fairy | I liked the idea of this recipe, but changed it a little: I used one can of tuna, a little avocado to bind it, and some salt. I like the idea of the lettuce wrap, so I am excited to try it with egg salad (with avocado instead of mayo) and other stuff that can be wrapped.