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Lesson #8

Lean and Green

Welcome to your 8th Simple Strategies for Nutrition Beginners lesson, "Lean and Green"

Simple Strategy:
Lean and Green

In the past few lessons, you’ve learned about the hand measurement system for proper carbohydrate, protein, and fat portion sizes.  Today you’re going to learn about a Simple Strategy called, “Lean and Green.”

Do you want a jump start for your weight loss? Creating meals that are “lean and green” might help.

Lean and green meals include a protein, a low carbohydrate vegetable, and a good fat. 

Often these meals are used for dinner.  Higher carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, and fruit, can still be eaten that day, however, they’re eaten earlier in the day like at breakfast and lunch.

Here’s a few key reasons on why eating lean and green works: 

1.  Many people have their largest meal for dinner, and can easily overeat at the end of their day.  Decreasing or leaving out your higher carbohydrate items like pasta, bread, and rice in the evenings can help limit the total number of calories being consumed for this meal.

2.  We’re not recommending eating lean and green all the time.  This simple strategy is mainly used for your
last meal in the day.  Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for your brain, and your body uses carbohydrates for energy.  But, excess carbohydrates can get stored as body fat. So, by eating your carbohydrates earlier in the day, like during breakfast, lunch, and a snack, this gives your body more time to utilize these energy sources, instead of storing them as body fat. 

3.  Finally, a lean and green meal decreases the amount of carbohydrates that need to be converted into glucose and managed with insulin.  Insulin is a fat storing hormone.  By limiting our carbohydrate intake at night, we are creating a smaller insulin response in your body before going to bed.

Examples of “lean and green” meals


          Salmon &


Chicken or steak salad 
with an oil based dressing

Grilled chicken breast,

broccoli, and 1/2 avocado

Food choices to create a “lean and green” meal

       Protein                             Vegetable                           Good Fat
       Chicken                             Broccoli                                Olive Oil
       Turkey                               Green Beans                       Coconut Oil
       Fish                                    Spinach                                Almonds
       Eggs                                   Lettuce                                 Avocado
       Pork                                   Cabbage
                                                  Brussel Sprouts


Simple Strategy: Plan ahead 1-2 lean and green 
meals for this weekend or next week.

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