Three Pair Win Every Time.


fruits-vegetables-14205344 [This is #2 of 16 blogs that will be the basis of a book project – “16 Simple Truths to Lose Weight, Gain Strength and Be Happy.” The goal is to send the manuscript to a publisher by mid-October. Each of 16 chapters will cover one specific “truth.” Each blog, published every Monday, will be a synopsis of each chapter. You are now cordially invited to join the process. Please leave a comment and offer your thoughts, ideas and insight. Thank you.]

Eating right, is as easy as winning a five-card draw poker game with a sixth card. That is if you deal yourself fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and lean meat and whole grains. These three pairs, together are the quintessential winning hand. It’s all you need to know, when you’re shuffling through the fifty some odd things you have to do today, and still have to make decisions on what to eat. Play this hand right and you’ll discover simple, quick, palette pleasing meals that will have you cashing-in on nutrition. Plus most meals are easy-cleanup and relatively inexpensive.

Let’s start with the most important pair – the aces of fuel – fruits and vegetables. In-fact this pair not only trumps all processed and packaged goods, but its fellow macronutrients as well. Representing the ace of spades, vegetables do everything from destroying free radicals to fighting all types of cancer; and, from delivering all 45 nutrients our bodies require to neutralizing our otherwise acidic digestive system. You can deal yourself 5 – 10 fist size servings per day for vegetables and 2 – 4 cupped handfuls of fruits (ladies about half that). It’s that simple!

But the fun has just begun.



The party doesn’t even start until those jokers show up. That’s right – nuts and seeds – the wild cards of your diet. They not only add a splash of fun, but also real value to your plate, ushering in the proper amount of fats. You get six entire thumb-sized portions a day (ladies three), that should be roughly one-third each saturated (dairy, meats, cheese), monounsaturated (nuts, olives, avocado) and polyunsaturated (fish oil, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds).

And not that you have to, but you could stop mingling right there, just you, fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds. There are hundreds of potential scenarios that are simple, quick, palate pleasing meals or snacks – practice pairing, pairs. That is combining favorite vegetables with nuts and seeds. For lunch or dinner try a large summer salad with the addition of premium trail mix. Or for breakfast try Greek yogurt with fresh, whole berries and trail mix. Or even a kid’s favorite “ants on a log,” that is peanut butter gobbed on celery and lined with raisins. Still love it! Be sure and bookmark our site and our official blog for my favorite recipes – simple, quick, nutritious, palate pleasing, pocket-book approved, and super easy meals. But wait . . . there’s more.

lean meatLean meat and whole grains are the King and Queen of your diet. More and more, research is demonstrating that a more protein rich diet has many benefits. In fact, it may be the secret to your best health, body composition, and performance, which is difficult to achieve without lean meat. And why King and Queen? Well in a deck of cards we love to see those face cards, but we see them less frequently than the other cards, as they make-up only 25% of the deck. And that’s exactly the face time your protein serving should have on your plate. That equates to three, 2 palm-size servings per day for men and 1 palm-size serving, per meal, for ladies.

But, less I forget, the good news is carbs are not evil. In fact carbs are your friends. Let’s just make sure we check these friends out before they pull-up a chair at the table. These should be carbohydrate dense foods like whole grain or sprouted grain breads or cereals or even pastas or rice. Also sweet potatoes, corn, legumes, beans and lentils.

So, this is what your winning hand should look like.

    • 2 fist sized portions of vegetables
    • 1 cupped hand of fruit (think dessert)
    • 1-2 palm-sized portions of lean meat
    • 2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods (most meals) – whole or sprouted grain bread, whole grain pasta, oats, potatoes, legumes, beans, fruit
    • 2 thumb sized portions of fat dense foods – eggs, dairy, cheese, nuts, seeds
    • Drink water, coffee, tea or diluted fruit juice.

Diet_Men[1]And what kind of pot does the winning hand deliver. Well how about life itself. You are a living organism. A biological system if you will. That means if you would like to move, or have your organs do what they do, you have to ante up a bit of discipline. So get a quick draw on that silverware . . . cowboy, and ready your taste buds for a wide range of foods, that when eaten as laid out above, will allow you to optimally convert chemical energy to mechanical energy – or food to movement. Getting the right mix of macronutrients in the right serving size as it turns out is about as simple as it is critical.

So, before you belt out a “Hi Ho Silver,” and ride off in to the sunset with these new nuggets of insight, get this. Recent research has demonstrated that exercise programs of any kind show little results in terms of body composition changes, the bell weather of fitness, in the absence of nutritional intervention. In other words, your nutrition is a high stakes game. And know, I know, from time-to-time you may reach for that slice of cheese cake up your sleeve. And that’s OK. Just remember if you reach for it too often you just might pay for it with your life. So, like the advice of the gambler, to play the game right, “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”

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