“The overall goal is to allow your body to switch from relying on sugar to protein and healthy fats as your main source of energy, which is why at least during the Advanced Plan it is essential to eliminate sugars as much as possible…”
Minimized Cooking recipes are based on the Maximized Living Core and Advanced Plans presented in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plan book by Dr. B.J. Hardick, Kimberly Roberto and Dr. Ben Lerner. If you are interested in how and why to eliminate sugars, incorporate organic foods into your diet and the health benefits of doing so, I’d highly recommend starting with this book. You can purchase it HERE from their website and it includes some sample recipes and discusses issues like the problem with low-fat diets, healthy fats vs. damaged fats, which cooking oils to use and which to avoid, butter vs. margarine, why to avoid preservatives and more that may help you understand why we’ve chosen the ingredients and recipes to share.
Recipes featured on Minimized Cooking are designed to be as close to sugar-free as humanly possible. All Advanced Plan approved recipes should be virtually sugar-free, while some Core Plan recipes may include foods with small amounts of natural sugars and grains or ingredients like soy sauce that although they don’t include sugar directly, can break down into tiny amounts of sugar once digested. The overall goal is to allow your body to switch from relying on sugar for your main source of energy, to proteins and healthy fats which is why at least during the Advanced Plan it is essential to eliminate sugars as much as possible. After your body has adjusted to relying on proteins and healthy fats for your primary source of energy, you are able to incorporate small amounts of sugar back into your diet if desired, but still not recommended as sugar (including refined grains) have many unhealthy side effects.
The Nutrition Book goes into much greater detail on the reasons to avoid sugar, but luckily just because you don’t use sugar doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sweet foods. Fruit is one healthy way to quench that sweet tooth, but there are natural sweeteners out there like Stevia and Xylitol that make excellent sugar replacements and do not increase the blood-sugar level in your body. You can check out our Ingredient Substitutes page for information on how much to use when replacing sugar in your diet.
Raw & Organic Foods
One of the primary themes throughout the Maximized Living philosophy is to “Quit Counting Calories – Start Counting Chemicals”. When picking up a canned or boxed good from the local grocery store, most people tend to stare down the Total Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrates and more without thinking to glance at the ingredients list and see how many bad chemicals you’ll be putting into your body. By focusing on finding Raw and Organic foods for the majority of your cooking, you can eliminate a majority of the synthetic chemicals and pesticides that could otherwise do serious long-term damage to your body. Some items are more important to purchase organic than others due to data collected on chemical count and contamination across different foods, but you can view updated lists of the Dirty Dozen foods to buy organic and the Clean Fifteen foods that are lowest in pesticide contamination HERE. It is also important to purchase organic, antibiotic and grain-free meat as well. Things like grass fed beef, farm raised chicken and wild caught fish are important, and more is covered in the book as well. To quote the book, “The closer the food is to its natural source, the better. The more altered by man, the worse.”
Core Plan vs. Advanced Plan
All of the recipes featured on Minimized Cooking fit under the Core Plan described in the book from Maximized Living. The Core Plan is considered more of a maintenance plan generally suited for people not focused on weight-loss or are not in the process of coming off prescribed medication but are still interested in maintaining a healthy nutritional diet. With the Core plan you are able to incorporate some healthy grains and foods with natural sugar, limited starches and more healthy fats back into your diet.
The Advanced plan is typically used by people interested in short-term management of weight, disease or detoxification, but may also be used on a long-term basis for those who are genetically suited for it. The Advanced Plan is designed to completely eliminate cravings, which include most if not all sugars, refined grains and processed foods from your diet.
So just to plug it one more time, it’s hard to summarize an entire book and lifestyle in one post, but I highly recommend picking up the book Maximized Living Nutrition Plan by Dr. B.J. Hardick, Kimberly Roberto and Dr. Ben Lerner and reading it cover to cover. If you’re serious about eating and being healthy, this is a great place to start.
How We Differ
If you’ve read through the Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, you’ll notice there are some gray areas on if/when to eat certain foods and ingredients that we’ve taken the liberty, for the purposes of our recipes, to lean one way or another. Some of our recipes include starchy foods like Potatoes and Carrots, for which we would recommend not eating in large quantities and if possible only earlier in the day or atleast 4 hours before you sleep. Corn is another food that people aren’t sure whether or not is safe. In general, corn is a high risk plant when it comes to being genetically modified, and even when purely organic has some traits that don’t make it great to eat in large quantities, but it’s extremely hard to avoid corn altogether since it’s a staple in so many recipes, so we again recommend only in small quantities and earlier in the day.