Diet Tips By Elizabeth Brown, RD, LD, CDE
(Go to Training Tips)

What Should You Eat? Choose the best sources of ENERGY in the right QUANTITY

  • Whole grain breads, pasta, rice, beans & starchy vegetables at each meal for energy
  • Fresh, Frozen, Canned, or dried fruits & vegetables at each meal or snack to add VOLUME
  • Lean protein sources at each meal to help you stay full
  • A little added fat to make food taste good and to make it last

Keep Fast Fuel on Hand. Choose nutrient dense foods that give you energy

  • Three different food groups at each meal
  • Starch, protein, & Fruit or vegetable
  • 2 slices whole grain bread, 3 slices turkey, ham, or low fat cheese + Lettuce & tomato
  • Have the other food groups for a snack: an apple + Yogurt for Protein & Calcium

Quick grab & go Breakfasts.

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, whole wheat English muffin, Juice box (100% juice)
  • Whole grain bread with peanut butter, a banana, glass of milk
  • Slice leftover pizza & OJ
  • 1/2 cup Egg beaters + 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, Mix in bowl, microwave 3-4 minutes, stuff in 1/2 whole wheat pita, grab an apple, orange, or banana…& GO!

Lunch on the RUN.

  • Tuna in foil packages, 1/2 whole wheat pita or 4 Wasa Crackers, baby carrots & an apple
  • 2-3 pieces light string cheese, 10 Triscuits, peppers or broccoli, low fat veggie dip
  • Soup for one & a piece of fruit
  • PB & J + low fat milk
  • High fiber cereal, low fat milk, & a banana
  • Soy protein shake: blend protein powder, low fat milk, & frozen strawberries or a banana

Dinner on the Fly

  • Refried beans, 1-2 tortillas, salsa, low fat cheese, toast in the toaster oven
  • Salad with single serving canned beans or tuna, low fat dressing & fruit
  • Eggs any way, chopped peppers, onions, lowfat cheese, whole grain bread, Cup non-fat milk
  • Lean Cuisine & extra fresh or frozen vegetables + Cup non-fat or Lowfat milk
  • Frozen pizza, one serving, add extra peppers, broccoli, & sauce plus a glass of nonfat milk
  • High fiber Cereal, fruit, & milk
  • Drive thru: grilled chicken sandwich or salad (no fries, nothing breaded, small burger with side salad if you must) Diet beverage or water

What Should You Avoid…EMPTY CALORIES:

  • Soda, Chips, Candy, Cookies, Fried Foods, Baked Goods…NOT Good Sources of Energy!

What Can I Grab While on Patrol… Remember FOOD = FUEL

  • Choose 2 Starch Servings: Beans & Whole Grains give the best energy
  • Fruit = fast fuel, and won’t slow you down
  • Vegetables = FREE, & they help to fill you up
  • Protein foods: helps the FUEL last longer
  • FAT: adds flavor & mouth feel, go easy or you won’t catch those crooks!

FAST Food To Go… If you can find the following, these are your best bets…


  • Check out the round refrigerated section. Choose vegetables and fruit, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, Yogurt, or low fat string cheese.
  • At the Deli Counter choose: Turkey, Ham, or Roast Beef on whole grain bread (wheat or rye), add lots of vegetables, mustard or vinegar. Go easy on Cheeses, Mayo, & Oil.
  • Avoid: Premixed tuna, chicken, or pasta salads (loaded with fat)
  • Beverages: water, flavored waters, diet iced teas (0 calories), diet soda if you must. Non-carbonated beverages are best. Decaf & regular coffee with low-fat milk.
  • Avoid: the Cappuccino Machine, Flavored or regular creamers, Sugar (use artificial sweeteners or just low-fat milk instead)

McDonald’s/ Burger King/ Wendy’s/ Arby’s (all are about the same). If you must, then choose wisely…

  • Grilled Chicken: no mayo, opt for Bar-B-Q sauce, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions.
  • Plain Hamburger: no mayo, no cheese, Load it with Vegetables, please!
  • Deli Sandwich on Wheat or Rye: Turkey, Ham, or Roast beef, no cheese, no mayo, lots of vegetables!!!
  • Salad: with grilled chicken if this is your meal. No Cheese, croutons, Chinese noodles, forgo the extras, they just add extra calories. Always ask for low-fat or fat free dressing. Regular dressing adds 200-500 or more calories, all from FAT!
  • Broth based (not creamy) Soups, or Small chili. These are very filling!
  • Baked potato topped with chili & side salad. Be creative: top a plain potato with grilled chicken, broccoli, & low fat dressing.
  • Beverages: water, water, water…diet soda if you must. Never, ever regular soda!
  • Be Choosey! You can ask to have it your way everyday!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the plainest version possible, then add your own fruits or vegetables, these are filling foods that give you vitamins and minerals along with VOLUME: they fill you up while limiting unwanted calories

Diners/ Buffets: The same principles apply.

  • Choose whole grain breads, beans, and lean protein sources
  • Load up on as many fruits & vegetables as possible
  • Soups & salads are good choices. Limit fat by choosing broth based, not creamy soups, oil & vinegar based dressings, not creamy styles, go easy on extras like bread & croutons.

You all know what to do…NOW GET OUT THERE & DO IT!!!!

Snacking Solutions: 2 food groups

  • String cheese & sliced pear or apple
  • Yogurt & high fiber cereal
  • Canned peaches & single serve cottage cheese
  • Reduced Fat Triscuits & peanut butter
  • Died fruit and small handful of nuts
  • Energy bar with at least 3g fiber & 7g protein

Food is FUEL

  • Identify good fuel sources for your body
  • Think about & remember how you feel when you eat certain foods
  • Some foods taste good going down, but leave you “sluggish” in an hour
  • Find energy producing foods that imitate the flavor & consistency of your favorite empty calorie foods –Chocolate Silk Soy Milk in place of regular chocolate

Smart Substitutions

  • Baked French Fries: buy frozen steak fries, microwave to thaw, then bake in toaster oven
         Baking instead of frying cuts the calories in half
  • Whole wheat English muffin, w/ Jelly
         In place of a Donut. Not exactly the same, but you’ll feel much better after
  • Baked apples or peaches: baking intensifies sweetness
         Baking intensifies sweetness
  • Soy based chicken nuggets & buffalo wings
         Taste like meat, but contains fiber, & lowers cholesterol
  • Skinny Cow brand fudge bars
         It’s a controlled portion
  • Baked or reduced fat chips (Follow the Serving Size!!!)
         Follow the serving size. If you cannot, then buy small bags as needed
  • Baked or toasted whole wheat tortillas w/ salsa

Be Active Everyday

  • Walk 10,000 steps or 5 miles each day (wear a pedometer to track your progress)
  • 45 minute – 1 hour of aerobic exercise 5-7 days per week
  • Park farther away, take the stairs, walk to the store, walk the dog
  • Do strengthening & stretching 2-3 days per week
  • Walk around for 5 minutes every hour
  • Don’t sit at the computer for more than one hour at a time

For Energy or Weight Control

  • Recognize food is FUEL Eat 5-6 small meals each day, every 3-4 hours
  • Eat slowly - takes 20 minutes to recognize you’re full
  • Don’t deny - allow yourself favorite foods at least once a week (decreases binges)
  • Keep temptation out of sight!
  • Think “lean & fit” everyday
  • Increase AEROBIC activity by 200-300 calories per day (2-3 mile walk or run)

The Basic Food Groups: What IS a serving & how many should I actually eat?

Each serving size is indicated below. It is ideal to measure servings in order to learn what is meant by ONE SERVING of a single food. However, once you’ve learned what a serving looks like, it may be easier to use your hand and fingers to help you determine your serving size.
Example: The size of the palm of your hand is the equivalent of one (3oz.) serving of Meat/Protein food. The size of your fist is the equivalent of one cup or TWO servings of most STARCH foods or ONE serving of FRUIT. Most people can eat two starch servings or more, at a meal. When you portion your dry cereal, two handfuls is probably the right amount. When you grab a handful of nuts or dried fruit, the amount you can comfortably hold in your hand, is your serving.

Carbohydrate foods provide energy & essential nutrients. Each carbohydrate food group: Starches, Fruits, & Milks, provide ~15 grams of Carbohydrate per serving. Therefore, you may trade one food group for another provided the serving sizes are relative; and you try to balance your food groups on most days. In other words, don’t choose all starch servings everyday. Have something from the starch, fruit, and milk groups at most meals and on most days.

Bread / Starch
4-8 servings each day
Serving Size:
2-5 servings each day
Serving Size:
Milk / Yogurt
2-3 servings each day
Serving Size:

4-5 small crackers

1 slice bread

1/2 roll, bagel, English muffin, pita

3/4 cup dry cereal

1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, corn or peas

3 cups popcorn

1 cup broth soup

1/2 cup cream soup

Choose whole grain breads & cereals, 3g or more fiber per serving, 3g or less fat for every 100 calories


1 piece fresh fruit

1 cup Fresh or frozen

1/2 cup canned

1/2 cup juice

1/4 cup dried

All fruits are nutritious.

Fresh & frozen are best.

Whole fruit is better than juice because of its fiber content.

1 cup Milk or Yogurt

Choose low fat or non fat dairy products (1% or skim)

Cheese is a dairy food but is
counted in the meat/protein
Group because it does not
contain a significant amount
of carbohydrates.

3-5 Servings/day

Meats / Proteins
2-3 Servings each day
Palm size portion at
each meal
FATS = 5g of fat per serving
2-4 Servings each day
Tip of your thumb is a teaspoon (45 calories each)

1 Cup Raw

1/2 Cup Cooked

1/2 Cup Vegetable Juice

Canned, Fresh, or Frozen all count

Eat as much & as often as you can

Choose: Round, Rump, or loin cuts

90% or higher Ground meat

Poultry, no skin

Fish/Seafood (any), not fried

Eggs: 4 yolks per week

Egg whites as desired

1 slice cheese = 1 oz. (size of whole Thumb)

1/2 cup beans (7g protein per oz)

1 Tbsp Peanut butter = 1/2 oz protein or 1 fat; 1 Tbsp nuts (inner cupped hand)

1 tsp. olive or canola oil

1 tsp. butter or marg.

1 Tbsp. Light Margarine

2 Tbsp. Light Cream
Cheese or Sour Cream

2 Tbsp Light Mayo or
Light Dressing

Information prepared by
Elizabeth Brown, RD, LD, CDE

Training Tips
(Go to Diet Tips)

The Leopard Challenge will challenge all of your Law Enforcement performance skills and physical abilities. To help prepare you for success in your career and the Leopard Challenge tour, I have enclosed some training tips to help increase your job and challenge performance.

"For decades, fitness in law enforcement specialists have been struggling with the most defensible protocol to 'norm' a test. Use of incumbents (active officers) has been the traditional approach, with stratified random samples drawn from the ranks. Arguments then ensue over the 'representativeness' of the sample in a headlong pursuit of diversity. Rarely does the discussion center around fulfillment of the mission, but rather adverse impact on protected groups. Unfortunately, this inward-looking perspective misses the entire point. We are not arresting each other; we are supposed to arrest the bad guys. 'What do they look like?' is the more apt question and most importantly how fit are the suspects we will encounter." — Dr. Paul O. Davis Ph.D.

1. Begin some form of a strength-training program. You should conduct such a training program at least three days a week but no more than four. You should work on all of your major muscle groups to include: Legs, Back, Shoulders, Chest, Arms and Abdominals. I suggest a train until failure program combined with a strength program for power. Be sure to get rest, do not over train.

2. Since much of the competition entails sprinting. I suggest that you have at least one sprint workout day a week. To include wind sprints forward/reverse. You should train on incline and decline surfaces. I suggest a minimum of (15) 60-yard wind sprints or more per workout. Switch to 100 yard sprints every other sprint workout. For those that really wish to increase speed and power utilize some form of resistance training with your sprint workouts. This may entail including a sprinters parachute or the dragging of some type of object, such as a small tire while you sprint. You should also work on sprinting in lateral direction, as the course will test your ability to be agile and your explosiveness.

3. The most important factor of the Leopard is your ability to combat shoot and reload. I suggest training with a firearms instructor who is proficient in the instruction of combat/stress shooting drills. I suggest that you not only time your shooting evolutions but train with a heightened stress level. Learn to control your breathing; anxiety and trigger pull while racing against the clock. Winning or loosing this event can boil down to just one missed shot. I would also work on getting your handcuffs and flashlights out and back in their respective holders during and after your shooting drills.

I hope these tips are helpful. Like any form of training. You get out of it what you put into it. "Train hard or don't train at all." Push yourself to the max all the time. These tips should become a part of your career advancement path. Take a look at the diet tips section for proper eating tips.