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BTD Forums  /  SWAMI Xpress  /  swami portions/frequencies???
Posted by: Pixu, Friday, June 3, 2011, 2:46pm
Right, I've been eating lots of red meat since I started BTD in March, and also lots more fish than I was eating (meaning almost none).

I thought Hunters are supposed to eat lots of meat (I don't have the GTD book so I don't know really) - my swami however gives me 3-5 ounces of meat 3 times a week, poultry (in which I have no diamonds whatsoever) 4, and fish 5 times a week  ??)

Also, frequencies for live foods are 1 cup, 6 servings daily  :o I can't possibly eat that much veggies!!! And for fruit it's 1/2 cup 3 times a day - this I find more plausible, but loads more than what I was eating before.
I also get one serving of a quarter cup of carbs/grains a day, when I wasn't having any really, only occasionally.

I get 1-3 ounces of cheese a week - how much is that in grated cheese? A tablespoon? More? Less?

How do you deal with your portions? Do you weigh everything at the beginning? I could use your insight  :K)
Posted by: Azure Agony, Friday, June 3, 2011, 3:03pm; Reply: 1
I found with items like meat, I'll weigh it once after cooking just to get a guide about how much I can get from a pack when I buy it. So, 4 to 7oz x 6 times per week is my SWAMI recommendation for red meat.

Cheeses, 125g = 4oz, handy since most cheeses I pick up from the super market are 125g sizes, small - medium.

Live Foods, 6 servings may sound like a lot but I soon got used to it. I steam or throw in a little raw and I find it the norm now. I'm on 7 a day.  ;)  ;D

I always have weighed out foods though, way back when I was very young, body building and all that jazz.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, June 3, 2011, 3:22pm; Reply: 2
This is one of my two biggest challenges (exercise being the other one.) If I "go with my gut" on how much to eat, I usually end up overeating. Eating larger servings (and more of them) won't affect my overall health (as long as I'm getting at least the amounts recomended of all food groups) but it does slow down weight loss or lead to weight gain. And I still have 25-30 lbs to go.

One ounce of cheese is about 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons)- so, if you get 3oz a week, that comes to about one teaspoon a day. It's a condiment, not a protein source.

Combining fish, poultry, and red meat, you get 12 servings of animal protien per week. You could make the servings a bit smaller and have animal protein twice every day. I presume eggs and/or vegetable proteins make up the remaining meals.

The one litle serving of grains per day is optional- if you feel better without it, you don't have to have it daily. But you just might find that this small amount of grain is just what you need to feel satisfied and round out the meal, especially if you're sticking to the portion sizes for animal protein. I personally do best with grains at dinnertime, but experiment with what works best for you.

You'll be amazed at how filling it is when you eat all those veggies. 6 cups a day means 2 cups per meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, if you only eat twice a day, 3 cups per meal.  Since cooked greens shrink a LOT in cooking, I assume Dr D meant "uncooked veggie" in his serving size. So, if you started with one cup of raw spinach, it would cook down to 1/3 cup, but still have the nutrients of 1 cup of spinach. If I start with frozen spinach, I figure 1/3-1/2 cup  being equivilent to "1 cup of veggies."

If you find that 3 portions of fruit messes up your blood sugar control, you may want to cut back and eat more veggies instead. You also want to experiment and see if you do best having fruit 3 times a day, or a larger portion of fruit once or twice a day.
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, June 3, 2011, 3:38pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from Pixu
How do you deal with your portions? Do you weigh everything at the beginning? I could use your insight  :K)

I break up packages mentally...  Meaning, I will look at the portion sizes and divide that into the size package I purchased - for instance, if I buy 1 pound of meat and the portion size is 4 oz., I should get 4 servings from that package.  Once I cook it, I know what it looked like raw and cooked, so I have a mental picture of 1 portion...  Once I have a mental picture of the portion, it is relatively easy to stay pretty close to recommended portions...

Getting all of the Live Foods in has been a challenge for me as well, since my gut is still healing, I have to watch to keep the balance between getting enough without changing things too quickly.  I am getting really close enough daily, so things are definitely getting better.
Posted by: JJR, Friday, June 3, 2011, 4:14pm; Reply: 4
I get close to my recommended veggies, but I eat a salad every day.  And it bulks things up.  I'm not really sure how to measure them in cups.  I eat veggies at lunch and dinner.  And then some days I'll eat some canned pumpkin as an evening snack.  I think that's when I reach my suggested 6 cups.  Hehehhehe

I think there is some room for individuality.  Although I do find myself agreeing with the suggested portions to a degree.  

I love fish.   ;D

I just bought some canned tuna and salmon from a place called vital choice, and the tuna is probably the best tuna I've had.  The salmon is about like crown princes.  But it is supposedly low in heavy metals.
Posted by: 14428 (Guest), Friday, June 3, 2011, 4:31pm; Reply: 5
Good questions Pixu...:) I'm a Hunter too and imagine our diets are fairly similar :)

I wonder how important the portions are too? Are they essential to the diet. I have no weight issues and have never measured or weighed anything. Do I have to? I just try to take into account the amounts and kind of eye ball it.

Pixu, I'm the same way if I eat 6 cups of vegetables a day, I won't be able to eat anything else. Ruthie thanks for those explanations, like the spinach, that helps a lot.

I don't eat much fish either for all of the obvious I try to eat canned salmon, and sardines...but don't eat them very often, is that a problem?

Wish I could tolerate dairy, a bit of parmesan cheese would be nice...:)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, June 3, 2011, 4:39pm; Reply: 6
I think the portions sizes and frequency recomendations are there to give us an idea of the ratios of our foods. If we only had the food lists, I'd likely be eating way too much meat and not enough veggies. It also would never have occurred to me to have veggies with breakfast otherwise- how else can I fit in all those veggies per day, and how else would an egg be filling enough for a meal? And if i only get 3oz of cheese a week, it's clearly meant to be a condiment, not a protein source. A little cheese sprinkled into the salad is quite different nutritionally than cheese pizza with a few veggies sprinkled on top.

If you need to lose weight, it's important to stick closely to the portion sizes and not go over (I've been struggling with this since I got my SWAMI a year and a half ago.) If you need to gain weight, make sure you eat at least as much as SWAMI recomends. If your weight is already at a healthy level, then the portion sizes are more of a guide than anything else.

Linda- you may find that you can tolerate a few cheeses (as condiments) in a few months, after you've healed a bit.
Posted by: 14428 (Guest), Friday, June 3, 2011, 4:43pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from ruthiegirl

Linda- you may find that you can tolerate a few cheeses (as condiments) in a few months, after you've healed a bit.

Posted by: Pixu, Sunday, June 5, 2011, 10:49pm; Reply: 8
I think I got pretty close to my 6 cups today  ;D
I had a little cold roast beef with raw cabbage and green pepper for breakfast, with my green tea, and some pineapple juice. Not much at all, but then again I haven't really been eating bfast these days so compared to that it was plenty  ;)
I prepaired a salad to go (we spent the day out with the kids <3) with escarole, romaine, cabbage, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, onion, carrot and a few strips of roast beef. It got to 750ml, that is just over 2 cups. I mixed some salt, lemon juice and olive oil for dressing. Man it was yummy!!!! (and 5 diamonds altogether)  ;D  :P  ;D
I had an apple as a snack.
For dinner I was going to have an omelette with salad but ended up making a big salad again  ;D with the same greens as before except for pepper, added tuna and grated some parmesan cheese on top  :P I also made some fried sweet potato in olive oil, it was a medium sized one. That was the first time I actually enjoyed sweet potato, I'm definitely making that again!!  :D

It may seem not enough animal protain, but had loads yesterday, we had a bbq with some friends  ;D

Do I have to have the 6 eggs I get per week? This week haven't had any..  ::)
Posted by: Wholefoodie, Monday, June 6, 2011, 12:24am; Reply: 9
Quoted Text
Do I have to have the 6 eggs I get per week? This week haven't had any

You say you haven't been eating breakfast lately so this would be a good place to add some eggs! Some protein every morning is a good start and scrambled with veggies (I love onions and spinach or asparagus) will help you get your veggies in.

I eat a sweet potato daily, so there is one serving. A big salad everyday for lunch turns out to be 3-4, then another1 or 2 with dinner. Add some veggies with breakfast and I'm there! Other days, some raw veggies fill the gaps, like carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc.

Posted by: Green Root, Sunday, June 12, 2011, 6:00pm; Reply: 10
But what if you don't get poultry of good quality? What should be the best substitute, more red meat, more fish, more eggs, more veg. protein?

Small amounts of live foods could be good but I don't yet eat enough - maybe 2,5 portions of them a day...

And I eat more oils, nuts/seeds/almonds and sometimes also butter/cheeses than recommended. Especially the veggie protein list is hard to me to not exceed. Adding live foods and some meat would be the best change...?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Sunday, June 12, 2011, 7:03pm; Reply: 11
You should try to increase your vegetable intake. If you get GI problems (gas, bloating) from adding in too many veggies too soon, then you may need to increase them slowly, over time. In the meantime, you'll probably need to keep eating larger portions of other foods to fill you up. You may not be able to drop to SWAMI recomended protein portions until you've worked your way up to SWAMI recomended vegetable servings.

Many of us find that we can tolerate (or NEED) much larger portions of oil than SWAMI recomends. I'd leave your oil intake alone for now, keeping in mind that you may want to tweak that in the distant future. I wouldn't make it a priority for now. Ditto on the butter.

If you aren't eating as much poultry as recomended, I'd suggest making up for it with other animal protein (cheese, eggs, fish, or red meat.) Or you could add in more veggie proteins, but IMO animal protein should sub for animal protein, and veggie foods should swap for veggie foods (say, beans in place of grains) if you feel the need to substitute at all.
Posted by: Green Root, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 9:25am; Reply: 12
Hi again Ruthiegirl, thank you so much!!! :) :) :) I really need that kind of encouragement as I in theory know many things but still am a bit too lazy to do the salads and steam the veggies.

I maybe should make larger portions and eat some of the food after 1-2 days, not the whole portion at once.

So not as much butter but diamond vegetable oils are in larger amounts ok in my situation FOR NOW?

Your logic is very understandable. Animal protein – animal protein. :) I feel it in my body, too, but why it is so hard to believe?? Maybe it's some former vegetarian attitude...
Posted by: Wholefoodie, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 11:24am; Reply: 13
Quoted Text
I maybe should make larger portions and eat some of the food after 1-2 days, not the whole portion at once.

Green Root, planning ahead is a great way to stay on track. I do this often with a meal, cooking 1 lb of protein and eating it for two dinners. Wash lots of lettuce and store it in the spinner and put a few sweet potatoes in the oven at a time as they reheat very well. Cook a large batch of leafy greens and you can use them for a few servings.

Posted by: Green Root, Friday, June 17, 2011, 9:15am; Reply: 14
:) thank you Wholefoodie :)
the main problem here is that many times I have "too short time" to prepare double or triple portions. But just take the time once, so you don't need more time too soon :D
Posted by: Molossus, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 1:38pm; Reply: 15
A question: How much is a half cup of cereals/grains in grams?

About baked goods, 2 sliced bread should be about 50 gr, can you confirm? Should I add the 50 gr of sliced bread to the daily cereals servings?
For example, every day I have 5 servings of carbohydrates, so I must eat:

cereals/grains: half cup = 90 gr (?) x 5 = 450 gr
baked goods: 2 sliced breads = 50 gr x 5 = 250 gr
Total: 700 gr of Carbohydrates

Is it ok?

Thanks  :)
Posted by: koahiatamadl, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 6:49pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from Molossus

cereals/grains: half cup = 90 gr (?) x 5 = 450 gr
baked goods: 2 sliced breads = 50 gr x 5 = 250 gr
Total: 700 gr of Carbohydrates

Not sure I follow your maths - If I understand you correctly your SWAMI gives you 5 portions of grains per day and a portion size of half a cup?  So your daily total would be 5 half cups.  To stay with your example of bread - half a cup ~ 2 slices of bread.  So if all your carb servings were bread you'd get 10 slices in total that day.  But that assumes you eat no other grain carbs.  

Google the words 'cup' and 'converter' and you'll have any number of hits to help convert measures like cup into metric measures.  :)
Posted by: Molossus, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 8:50pm; Reply: 17
My math was wrong.
5 servings a day are total 450 gr, not 750 gr. I was considering the baked goods as a plus to add to cereals and grains.

Yes, I've googled but the cup or half cup is considered different for differents cereals. I would like to have a general indication of how many grams x day I should eat.
For example I've found that a cup of rice is 195 gr, while a cup of oatmeal is 85 gr and so on...
So if I consider grams and not cups my total amount of cereals is very variable based on which kind of cereal I choose.

Posted by: koahiatamadl, Friday, June 24, 2011, 8:22pm; Reply: 18
Hmmm, you're better off thinking about it in terms of servings and not in terms of total amount of substance.    

The frequency and portion sizes are really there to highlight the different proportion of food categories in your diet, they are not the be all and end all.  And they do not work equally well for all people.  Some people find they feel better with less grain for example.  So think of the half cups as servings and an indication of servig size, not as an amount to aspire to, and look at them in the context of all your other frequency and portion values for the other food groups :)  
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, June 24, 2011, 8:49pm; Reply: 19
A cup of uncooked oatmeal makes two servings of oatmeal. A cup of uncooked rice yields 4 servings of cooked rice. Half of  85 grams is about 42.5 grams, and 1/4 of 195 grams is 48.75 grams. So it looks like "a serving" is around 45 grams.

It's weird for me, as an American, to think of grams of carbs in this fashion. I'm  used to using grams only for scientific measurements. I would never measure out  45 grams of rice. When I think "grams of carbs" I'm thinking about how many grams of carbohydrate in the serving, not the total weight in grams of the carbohydrate-rich food. Those 48.75 grams of rice only contain 33 grams of carbs.
Posted by: maukik, Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:31pm; Reply: 20
If I don't eat my 6 servings of vegetables a day, I am very tempted to eat things I shouldn't be eating.  Also, I maintain my weight easier if I eat all of those servings.  Some days it is a challange to make sure I have them on hand. I believe the serving sizes are important and should be adhered to  as much as possible for optimal health. I didn't always understand it that way and concentrated solely on avoiding the avoids. I almost always eat more fat than recommended, though.  
Posted by: Mother, Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:58pm; Reply: 21

Did you notice a big difference when you satrted adhering to P & F ? What did you notice? I too just avoided the avoids, ate beneficials and all my veggie portions but went over on protein and fat as I had blood sugar issues. Since cutting down on protein, my blood sugar is good but it's hard to find enough food if I can't eat carbs!
Posted by: maukik, Friday, June 24, 2011, 10:39pm; Reply: 22
I noticed that I was very satisfied.  I had plenty of energy, no aches and pains.  One interesting thing I noticed is that my body knows just which protein to eat at each meal.  I will crave poultry one day, lamb the next, fish the next.  

You can't have carbs?  Is that per SWAMI?
Posted by: Mother, Friday, June 24, 2011, 11:22pm; Reply: 23
not per swami, per blood sugar issues as well as my system doesn't tolerate them. I eat a little fruit, and I mean like 3 cherries, lol and my vegetables but it rejects sugar before it hits my stomach so no grains, juices, etc. A few beand on salad occasionally but that's about it
Posted by: maukik, Saturday, June 25, 2011, 12:01am; Reply: 24
Mother, do you measure all of the Swami recommended portions?  Have you tried spacing out your Swami allowed foods and their portions throughout the day?  It seems like you would do nothing but eat all day, but it may be a way to get the recommended portions.
Posted by: Mother, Saturday, June 25, 2011, 12:34am; Reply: 25
i have been measuring lately. I eat about  2 oz of some sort of protein 4 or 5 times a day, and yes, it feels like I eat all day long but I guess that's what I have to do. I does stabilize my blood sugar too. I guess i've always been a snacker even when I ate regular meals. Now my meals are snack size. It's just really hard with  a family to cook big meals and eat a few bites and sit and watch my boys take foever to eat thei super-sized meals. LOL. I don't care for meal time much anymore but it's all good
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