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Does anyone know how much of what you should eat during a week?

I've been enjoying chicken salad this week, after roasting a chicken specifically on Tuesday. I'm trying to work out a meal plan, but I'd appreciate knowing what we're supposed to have (obviously 5 fruit and veg a day is one). Here's my plan:

Home-made flapjacks,1 per day. Cost; practically free. benefit; fibre, dried fruit
Roast chicken salad, 1 per day. cost; ~£2. benefit; protein, fibre, vitamins 1x five a day
smoothie, 250ml per day, cost 75p (from a litre bottle) fibre, 2 x 5 a day
natural yoghurt with compote and granola, cost £1? benefit 1x 5 a day, fibre, protein.

I think that would get me through the day, and then there's always an orange or something. And then on Friday I could mix it up a little. This doesn't include an evening meal, but is there such a thing as eating too much chicken? Are there enough complex carbs there? I could always have a nice wholemeal sandwich or something too. There are no beans in there either.

And fish and red meat would be weekends or evenings.

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    1. The only problem with too much chicken is that you're going to get awfully bored with it before too long. I'd experiment with several different preparations that you enjoy to forestall this eventuality. Also I'm only seeing one serving dairy per day, and especially if you are female that isn't enough. You want to have three servings of lo-or-no fat dairy. The beans would be a great incorporation as far as protein and iron, and you should really try to add more vegetables, cooked in their natural state; not incorporated into a smoothie, which generally (when store-purchased) contain loads of HFCS not to mention preservatives and artificial colors. You might consider using fruits either raw or cooked as part of your ration (applesauce, sauteed pears and cinnamon, sliced banana on peanut-butter toast, pureed peaches over plain yogurt.....) or using more veg in your meals by making a chicken (or tuna, or what have you) sandwich and adding lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded carrot, lowfat cheese to "up" the nutritive value.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mamachef

        Good ideas. I like my cheese, but I only have milk in tea. I'm a guy.

        The smoothies I'm referring to is a brand called innocent, which is 100% fruit, not from concentrate gently pasteurised.

        I like the fruit ideas. And though I like roast chicken in sandwiches, salads, etc, you're right about mixing it up - a ham would be a good thing to make.

        Like the sandwich ideas too

      2. You might want to clarify for a (largely) US audience what a flapjack is. In the US, they are pancakes. It looks like you are in the UK and I think they are something different there.

        Other than the dairy issue, generally it doesn't look like there are enough fruits and veg, but it's unclear whether your evening meal would be in addition to this.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rjka

          yeah, in the UK, it's butter, sugar, golden syrup, and then loads of oats and some dried fruit, heated, mixed and then baked. A bit like a cereal bar.

          Evening meal is usually something simple like pizza, pasta or a steak and veg or something. I'm pretty sure the fruit and veg covers almost all of the 5 a day though.

          Does yoghurt count towards the dairy?

          1. re: Soop

            Yes, yogurt counts for a serving of dairy, as do cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, etc.
            (Sorry - I didn't realize you were a gentleman....but you still need more dairy, fruits and veg. )
            : )

        2. There are a lot of great books out there about meal planning and dieting, but I imagine many of them that I'd know of are printed for US audiences with our archaic system of weights and measures so not sure how much making specific recommendations would help you. You might just go to the diet cookbooks section of your local bookstore and browse, they have tons of these books out there now that make it very easy for you and take the guessing game out of it.

          1. How come I need so much dairy? Is it the fat or something else? I use butter, goose fat or olive oil in cooking.

            It would be ace if I had a bigger fridge :(

            3 Replies
            1. re: Soop

              The dairy is a source of mainly vitamin D, and calcium - one serving of milk provides 30% of the calcium you need daily, and 25% of the vitamin D. It also contains small amounts of A & C. The D is important for allover health, especially liver function, and the calcium helps strengthen your skeletal structure.
              Oh, and if you want to have milk on hand and don't want to use fridge space, buy small containers of shelf-stable milk, to be used in one use or two, so as not to take up too much room for too long.

              1. re: mamachef

                there are also some studies just being released that suggest that milk helps your body recover faster from a strenuous workout than any of the sport drinks, too....even for the guys.

                1. re: mamachef

                  Vitamin D aids absorbtion of Ca which won't absorb without D. Another source of D is sunshine which we do not get enough in the winter and in some climates, never. This why kids used to be given cod liver oil which is a great source of D.

              2. A Japanese friend once told me that Japanese dieticians recommend that people eat 30 different foods per day. That's it. The philosophy being that daily food intake will be broad and diverse and not overloaded with any single type of food. Seems like a good plan to me.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chococat

                  I don't like Japanese food, but concur with their common sense approach.

                  To answer the question, "Does anyone know how much of what you should eat during a week?"

                  No, no one knows. Nutrition is an ongoing science. And, more importantly, it depends on individual needs and limits. A good diet for a desk worker is going to be very different from a teenager, a weekend warrior, a rancher, and so on. Eat a variety of foods that fits your needs and do make sure that you eat stuff you enjoy (at least partially).

                  1. re: ediblover

                    I read the post about 30 different foods each day...sheesh!!! Seems very difficult...okay...here's an example of a GREAT day for me:
                    breakfast: organic blueberries, 1/2 banana,Greek yogurt, ground flaxseed,
                    a.m. snack: 1/4 cup walnuts and an orange
                    lunch: A 3.5 ounce can of sardines, salad of kale, tomato and carrots
                    p.m. snack: sheet of roasted nori seaweed, apple
                    dinner: sweet potato, black beans, broccoli, glass of 1% milk
                    Beverages during the day...4-6 glasses water and 2 or 3 cups green tea with lemon.
                    I count 16 different foods, not even counting water and green tea...how in the world would one achieve this 30 foods in one day. Maybe taking a bite or 2 of 30 different things?

                    1. re: Val

                      Green tea counts. After all, it has benefits like antioxidants. As for 30, going over what I ate yesterday...

                      Soymilk, banana, oatmeal, blueberries, tomatoes, spinach, olive oil, canola oil, egg, shrimp, zucchini, artichoke, red pepper, beans (cannellini), sesame oil, cheese (roquefort), carrot, skim milk, flaxseed, various nuts and oat bran. So, about 22 (the oats can be counted as 1 and the various nuts can be counted as 3-4). Not bad. If I had more full meals (instead of 2 with a lot of snacks) I'm sure I could hit 30. Planned out, 40 isn't too hard. Fairly sure spices and herbs count if used in sufficient amounts.

                      You could always be cheap about it and have some Mexican mole, which should cover about 20.

                2. I can't believe you would ask a forum this sort of information. Get thyself a good book on nutrition, or better yet - use Google!


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FitMom4Life

                    he's in the UK, so the weights and measures aren't going to make a lot of sense.

                    Try this one: http://www.nutrition.org.uk/

                    Then there's no translation of units OR food terms.

                  2. For the record, I am a not very heavy, petite female and I think I would be hungry on your diet. But perhaps you are thinking of having bigger portions than I am and/or you are not planning on being very physically active.

                    I'm sure you know this, but you need to figure out your daily caloric needs, based on your weight, age, height and activity level. I know there are various ways of determining this online. Tell us what your daily nees are and then we can try to calculate whether your menu meets your caloric needs.

                    If you're worried about price, other healthy inexpensive foods of course include beans, chickpeas, potatoes, beets, turnips, squash, rice, brown rice, oatmeal. Try making brown rice salads with nuts or seeds and fruit mixed in, hummus (very inexpensive to make at home), quinoa casseroles, tabouleh, polenta. Chili made with ground meat, beans and canned tomatoes is a good, inexpensive dish to make at home. You can serve it over baked potato, pasta, with tortillas, tortilla chips or rice. Buying your own frozen fruit will also save you money on smoothies. Those can be quite costly, at least in the U.S.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: michelleats

                      TBH, I've already eaten 2 flapjacks and a chicken caesar salad, and it's 12:11. I will be hungry later...

                      I feel what you're saying with the individual calorific needs etc, I guess I'm just after what I've been given so far, like "you need more veggies/fruit" etc.

                      1. re: Soop

                        soop, the nutrition site I referenced above leads you through all of it -- what a serving size is, how many of them you need, how to make healthy choices, vegan and vegetarian options, primers of what nutrients are, recommended exercise.

                        The first step to managing your own health is realising that YOU are in total control, and that information is the key to all of it...and that means YOU have to educate yourself. Do some reading (don't like that website above? Have a google round...visit the NHS website...Jamie Oliver's website...the Livestrong Foundation...visit your local library)

                        You win all sorts of points for asking the question...but we can only point you toward more sources of information. Acquiring and understanding it falls to you.

                    2. A balanced diet usually consists of lots of different foods/meals, not the same thing every day forever... the problem with always eating the same food is that a)you get bored with it sooner or later and can't stand to look at it again, and b)no one food or combination of food has ALL the vitamins/minerals/micronutrients we need to be healthy. If you're a little short on something today, what you eat tomorrow will probably make up for it. But if tomorrow's menu is an exact repeat, the little shortage will gradually grow until it eventually becomes a real problem.

                      If what you're really looking for is 'how to lose weight' or 'how to maintain weight' or even 'how to gain weight' diet information, you need to go and ask this question in a dieting forum like Calorie Count where they'll be able to help you with the answers.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Kajikit

                        No, nothing to do with weight, I'm actually about 11stone for 6 foot tall.

                        Just had a kind of idea for lunches is all.

                        1. re: Soop

                          there's a whole thread here about healthy and tasty things to pack for lunch: