I do a lot of number crunching to ensure the Happy Guide diet advice is perfect. But because we are all different, have different health concerns and like different foods, I highly recommend designing your own diet on cronometer.com. And you can use the Happy Guide diet structure as a template.
Smoothie — salad with rice — stew with potato or sweet potato and steamed veg is a simple structure that is very tasty and works for me.
Designing your own diet has got to be one of the most worthwhile investments of time there is because of the enormous long-term benefits of getting optimum nutrition from good quality food every day.
You can enter your favorite recipes and then add them to your diary every time you use them.
What I do is crunch a whole week into a day for design purposes. So say I have 3 poached eggs for dinner planned for one night, I enter that as 3 / 7 or 0.43 eggs. Then if I have 4 oz chicken another night, I enter that as 4 / 7 oz or 0.57 oz. So I can see my whole week at a glance as see the whole nutrition content of my diet. This is extremely useful for checking the omega-6 and -3 ratio for example. You can also set a target for your carbohydrate intake and tweak the foods to hit it, so that you keep your insulin low, your small-dense LDL low and ward off heart disease. I aim for around 175 g net carbs a day (good if you do an average amount of exercise, go with 150 g if you don’t exercise).
I’ve used a few different free online diet trackers, and this one is by far my favorite and is up-to-date with the latest USDA database.
Design your diet, it’s a REAL education that will make a massive difference to you long-term. You’ll be able to see what nutrients you’re falling short on and build them in.
A good aim is to start with a weekly menu and get used to prepping and shopping for that, then expand as you go if you like. I find that without a menu plan, it’s a recipe for a take-out :-)
When you see you’re only getting 40% of your B12, 30% of your choline, and 20% of your vitamin E, you’ll be glad you did it!
If you’re following the Happy Guide diet in the book, then it’s already worked out for you and you’ll be getting close to optimal.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
Or get the paperback…
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