Melissa TuckerPurica Ambassador Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here’s my nutritional adaptation of one of my favourite books “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” written by Steven Covey. These seven habits are not new techniques that you’ve never heard before, but they are simple, effective, and will build a lifestyle that will last, rather than a fad diet that you will “fall off the wagon” trying to maintain. If you are ready to go all in, adopt all seven principles today and commit to 21 days of planning out and journaling your meals and snacks and you will be celebrating that you made what seemed impossible, possible in less than a month! If moderation is your mode, add one new principle each day for the next week, and you will see one habit feeds success into the others and you will look and feel much better in four to six weeks from now. If you prefer a slow and steady pace to adopt the 7 habits, commit to one new principle each week and make it a 7-week plan to your lifestyle transformation. With any new habit, the more you do it the more automated and simple it becomes. Any nutrition plan worth starting is one you can maintain for the rest of your life, “Diets” die, learning how to feed your body with real food lasts a lifetime! The Seven Habits: Drink only non-calorie containing beverages between meals. Your best choices are water and herbal or green tea. Consume them 20 min before or after your meals for optimal digestion of your food. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meal/snacks per day. Eat complete, lean protein with each meal. Portion sizes should be proportionate to your body weight but divided into absorbable amounts of 20-30grams of protein per meal. Eat vegetables or fruit with each food meal. Farm fresh, organic have the highest nutrient density followed by peak season, flash frozen. Skip refined sugar and processed foods. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Post-workout drinks and meals can have slightly higher naturally occurring sugars and starch. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat, coconut oil), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil, avocado), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil). Eat mostly whole foods, with the exception of your workout and post-workout drinks. For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email Purica Ambassador Melissa Tucker at email@example.com. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness *A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At Purica, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.