Today is the day those numbers will change your life! They will now work to drive your decisions regarding healthy choices within a balanced menu. An Exchange is a serving. So all of those numbers you memorized are telling you how much food you get in each food category each day.
A serving is a measured amount of food or drink. It’s different from a portion – which is the amount of food you choose to eat. This is important to remember. The secret to succeeding when using an Exchange Plan is to align your portion with a serving. Your portion of the potatoes (the amount you choose to eat) is often different from a serving. How much is a serving? Good Question! We’ll go down the list provided on yesterday's Caloric Goal table.
· Sliced Bread 1 slice
· English Muffin ½ muffin
· Bagel ¼ bagel (if you eat a Bagel Thin, you get ½)
· Rice, Couscous ⅓ Cup
· Beans & Lentils ⅓ Cup (count as 1 starch AND 1 protein)
· Pasta, Bulgar ½ Cup
· Corn, Potatoes (white or sweet), peas ½ Cup
· Popcorn – unbuttered 3 cups
· Pretzels ⅓ Cup
· Medium Fat (beef, pork chops, etc.) 1 oz – i.e., ½ size of a cell phone
· Extra Lean (breast meat, fish filet, shell fish, canned tuna in water) 1 oz - i.e., ½ size of a cell phone
· Lean (dark meat, fish, lamb, ham, lean beef) 1 oz -i.e., ½ size of a cell phone
· Egg (1 egg, 2 egg whites, ¼ c Egg Substitute)
· Beans & Lentils (count as 1 starch AND 1 protein)
· Cheese 1 oz (equivalent to a pair of dice)
· Soft Cheese (ricotta, cottage, etc.) ¼ Cup
· Tofu ½ Cup
· Meat stock 1 Cup
· Cooked ½ Cup
· Raw (including salads) 1 Cup
· Vegetable Juice 1 Cup
· Fresh 1 unit (oranges, apples, bananas, etc. are so smart!)
· Berries or Melon 1 Cup
· Jam or Jelly 1 Tablespoon
· Unsweetened Juice ½ Cup
· Sweetened Juice is just sugar – avoid it!
· 2% (or lower) 1 Cup
· Yogurt ¾ Cup
· Butter, margarine, oil, mayonnaise 1 teaspoon
· Cream Cheese, Salad Dressing, Reduced fat mayo or margarine 1 Tablespoon
· Bacon 1 slice
· Olives, any kind 8-10
· Choices should be made from the food groups above. Do your very best to avoid candy and soda.
· Alcohol 1 shot = 2 fats Mixed Drinks 1 Cup = 3 fats AND 1 starch
· Ice cream ½ cup = 2 fats AND 1 starch
· Brownies 3” square = 2 fats and 2 starches
These exchanges can get you started on evaluating what you already eat. When you do this, it becomes fairly clear that you got fat because you were doing it wrong! (haha At least it did that for me.)
Which brings up an additional point. You really need to keep track of what you’re eating. If you want, you can use a food tracker or you can write it in your day planner or just on a piece of paper. Start that food diary and evaluate what you’re eating.
Tomorrow – putting some of this together. We’ll look at exchanges for “mixed” foods and we'll even share a list of foods you can eat all day without having to claim an exchange!