It would be cruel to take popcorn from your diet. Popcorn fits into the E category as it is a
starch and contains more carbs than S allows. Corn is used to fatten up animals and we don’t
promote it enthusiastically in this book. In too high amounts it won’t do you any favors. But,
we don’t want to lose you by being popcorn Nazis. It is a natural, all American snack, full of
fiber and gives a great crunch fix. There are two main glitches with it—overconsumption (easy
to do) and fats and carbs collision. We’ll tackle one problem at a time and offer solutions.
Popcorn is one of those foods we all love to sit and eat mindlessly. It doesn’t fill the belly
well so you can too easily eat oodles of it and generate high surges of insulin.
Usually, most of us eat it without protein and with a lot of butter. Lack of protein makes for higher glucose surges
without the mediating effect of glucagon and lots of butter equals fats plus carbs weight gain.
But, let’s be honest, popcorn is fantastic with lots of butter and that’s okay for a real indulgent
Crossover meal or snack now and then. “Now and then” means rarely—had to say it!
For your odd snack of popcorn, we’re not going to harp on to you about protein. If you
follow our plan correctly you will receive ample amounts of protein with virtually every S and
E meal and snack you eat. We’re going to bend our own rules just for popcorn’s sake and say,
“Okay, don’t worry about eating protein with popcorn.” There, that was hard for us, but we
managed to type it in! If the amount of popcorn we suggest leaves you still feeling hungry, it
might be a good idea to pair it with one of our whey protein smoothies. This will give you a
greater fullness level and even more fiber to help combat any possible glucose spikes from the
more starchy popcorn.
Sorry, but we must set up a few boundaries for popcorn if you want to eat it regularly with
O O Popcorn should not make a full meal, on plan it is always a snack.
O O Keep a three hour distance between popcorn and an S meal. That will make sure a fats
and carbs collision does not occur. (If you don’t have weight to lose, you can bend that
O O Don’t eat it as a snack every single day as you will miss out on more protein filled
O O Limit portion size to four (or at the most five) cups of popped kernels, eating slowly.
Over that amount and you’ll jump right out of weight loss mode into opposite territory.
You can go the purist route and pop the seeds yourself in an air popper, or put two table-
spoons of seeds in a brown paper bag, double fold and pop it for one and a half to two minutes
in your microwave (Serene prefers you air pop). Popping in a saucepan with butter will not
work for an E snack of popcorn because the butter required will need to be over our recom-
mended one teaspoon allowance.
If you care not a whit about food purism, you can buy microwavable, 100
calorie mini popcorn bags and eat one of those as an E snack. They’re handy for por-
tion control since they conveniently come in four to five cup servings. Be sure to stick
to one bag. There is some concern that the lining of popcorn bags releases PFC’s (per-
flourinated compounds) that are harmful to immune health but I’ll admit we still use
them in our house. Serene hates that I’m even mentioning these mini bags, but some of
our Drive Thru Sue mamas might think the ease of these bags are worth the small risk.
Some brands are now coming out with PFC free bags, so keep an eye out for those.
If you’re popping your own seeds, they will taste dry and unappetizing without sprinklings
and seasonings, so what do you do if you can’t pour on heaps of butter? A good solution is to
spray with a healthy cooking spray like olive oil. Non-purist types could use a butter flavored
spray. This spray is only to allow your seasonings to stick. Don’t spray 50 times, that will
defeat the purpose. Once you have coated the kernels with a small amount of oil, season with
sea salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, spices of your choice, or even a little hot
sauce. You can also look at health food and online stores for a brand of popcorn called, Half
Naked Popcorn. It is in bags already popped if you want to skip that step. It does not contain
harmful ingredients and has appropriate fat amounts. Just be careful to remember our portion
Popcorn is a great and very inexpensive snack for children if you home-pop the seeds. All
of our children love to pop their own bowls and get very creative with flavorings. We don’t
worry about how much fat get poured on with the children in our homes that are still growing.
They melt heaps of butter or coconut oil to pour over, but they are all lean and shooting up like
weeds, so the fat and carbs collision doesn’t hurt them a bit. If your children have weight issues,
it may be a good idea to show them how to make E approved popcorn.
There is growing concern about GMO’s, the genetically modified form of modern corn.
We don’t get too caught up with this fear as we try to feed such nutritious fare overall to our
families and we cannot afford organic everything. But, if your budget allows more wiggle room
and you have concerns about GMO’s, purchase organic popcorn seeds and you will have noth-
ing to worry about.
Here is a list for all appropriate foods for E (Energizing) meals:
all vegetables, except potatoes (save potatoes for Crossovers or complete cheat meals)
sweet potatoes, keep to one medium sweet potato per E meal
carrots, both raw and cooked are acceptable
all fruits in small quantities e.g.,1 apple, 1 orange, 1 slice of cantaloupe (very high gly-
cemic fruits like bananas and watermelon should be kept to minimum)
all berries in liberal quantities
all fruit jelly, we approve Polaner All-Fruit Jam with Fiber (for use with Greek yogurt
and skim ricotta)
Eat freely from the following forms of low-fat or non-fat dairy.
low or non-fat plain regular yogurt
low or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
low or non-fat plain kefir
low or non-fat cottage cheese
part skim ricotta cheese
skim mozzarella cheese (very small amounts only)
reduced fat (2%) hard cheeses (very small amounts only)
Light Laughing Cow or Weight Watchers cheese wedges
low-fat sour cream (it is healthier to use low-fat yogurt, but is okay)
Eat freely from all lean meats, avoid all fatty meats
tuna packed in water
salmon (both fillets and canned forms are fine)
all other fish (not fried)
leaner cuts of bison, venison and grass fed beef
lean ground turkey or chicken (96%-99% lean)
lean deli meats (natural brands that don’t use hormones or antibiotics are best)
egg whites only—no yolks (carton egg whites and Egg Beaters are also acceptable)
brown rice—3⁄4 cup cooked serving
quinoa—3⁄4 cup cooked serving
oatmeal—up to 11⁄4 cooked cup serving
Trim Health Pancakes and Trim Healthy Pan Bread—up to 1⁄3 full recipe batch serving
whole grain bread, sprouted, sour dough, dark rye—2 piece servings
Popcorn—4-5 cups of popped kernels
all beans and legumes including lentils and split peas—up to 11⁄2 cooked cup cooked
nut butters (1 tsp. servings)
nuts (very small handful servings, basically a sprinkle size)
defatted peanut flour (we recommend Protein Plus Peanut Flour and Byrd Mill Peanut
Flour Dark 12%—1 Tbs. serving for use in desserts, sauces, and to stuff celery)
reduced fat mayonnaise
reduced fat dressings (keep fat grams to 4 or less and sugar low)
soy sauce/Bragg Liquid Aminos/Tamari
chicken or beef broth or stock (free range is best)
spices and seasonings (without fillers and sugars)
unsweetened cocoa powder
cold pressed oils (one teaspoon servings—maximum 2 teaspoons)
Fat Free Reddi Whip (for use with desserts)
stevia—NuStevia Pure White Stevia Extract Powder, Truvia, or KAL and Swanson
xylitol and erythritol
plan approved whey protein powder, e.g., Jay Robb and Swanson Premium Brand
unsweetened almond or flax milk
Joseph’s pita bread or lavish bread