Part 1: Better Nutrition Everyday
Everyone should be focusing on quality nutrition, and not just losing weight:
From the surf to the playground, from the gym to the operating room, good nutrition will enrich all aspects of your life. There is a connection between the food we eat and our performance not only in the gym but outside of it as well. Showing up to the workout everyday and giving 100% isn’t enough. You can’t out work a bad diet. Real whole foods will help you to maintain a solid foundation of good nutrition and will allow you to reap the full benefit of the effort you put in at the gym.
We all want to look in the mirror and like what we see:
Changing your eating habits will not only make you look good on the outside but it will also make you feel good on the inside. You will have more energy, reduce inflammation and give your body the nutrients you need to stay healthy and rock your workouts.
We should be eating lots of vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and NO SUGAR:
This is a guide to help you get started. Adjustments can be made once you are a pro at filling up your plate with real food.
Eat the rainbow and mix it up! Vegetables come in a variety of colors, when picking produce go for the most vibrant and choose organic when possible.
• Men: 2 fist fulls = 1 portion of vegetables at each meal.
• Women: 1 fist full = 1 portion of vegetables at each meal.
• Save the starchy carbs like white potatoes and plantains for post workout meals.
Raised how nature intended, outside on the pasture eating what their bodies were made to eat.
• Men: 2 palm sized portions of protein at each meal. (3-4 eggs or a 6 oz cut of meat)
• Women: 1 palm sized portion of protein at each meal. (2-3 eggs or a 3 oz cut of meat)
• Eat the whole egg, not just the whites!
Reach for the low sugar fruit first.
• Small portions
• Reach for the higher carb/sugar fruits like bananas on days you workout.
• Choose organic when possible.
This includes raw nuts and seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, avocado, shredded coconut and olives just to name a few.
• Men: 2 thumb-sized portions of oil and 1-2 heaping handfuls of good fat per meal.
• Women: 1 thumb-sized portions of oil 1-2 heaping handfuls of good fat per meal.
• It’s easy to get carried away with nuts and seeds so be aware when consuming them.
• Separate each portion from the larger container so that you don’t reach for more.
Remember to drink lots of water! Water is the best source of hydration for our bodies. Skip the fruit juice, sugar laden sports drinks and carbonated beverages.
Below is a list of water alternatives.
• coconut water
• La Croix sparkling water
• tea (brewed from a tea bag)
• coffee (brewed, not prepackaged)
Eat when you are hungry:
Your body requires nutrient dense real food. Just like a car engine, your body will not perform at it’s best when you are running on empty. Food is your fuel. Under eating can cause your body to hold onto it’s fat stores. It’s important to eat when you are hungry, not only will it ensure you have the energy to get through your busy day but it will also allow you to recover from the hardcore workouts you rock out in the gym.
Depending on when you workout, you might find your performance in the gym improves after introducing a pre-workout meal. Some prefer to eat before a workout and others don’t. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you. If you would like to eat before a workout, eat a bit of protein and a small amount of fat beforehand. It’s best to eat about 45 minutes to an hour before working out.
Eating before a workout is personal preference but everyone should be eating after a workout. When you exercise you are literally breaking down your muscle fibers. Your body needs food to help it recover and rebuild the muscle you broke down during your workout. You should be eating a serving of protein and carbs within an hour post workout. Starchy carbs like sweet potatoes are a great addition to a recovery meal because they are nutrient dense and high in antioxidants.
Pre workout meal proportions:
• 1/2 a palm size portion of chicken or fish
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup or small handful of nuts
• 1/4 cup or small handful of olives
• 1/2 an avocado
Post workout meal proportions:
• Palm sized portion of meat
• 1/2 to 1 cup of starchy carbs
Prepare meals and snacks in advance for those times when cooking isn’t an option. No need to make every meal fancy. Salads can be made in advance, leftovers from dinner make the easiest lunches and crockpot meals will be your new best friend. Just make sure you are eating meat and vegetables at every meal.
Focus on your food during meals. Be aware of every bite you take. Doing this will keep you connected to what you are eating. Eating without intention can cause overeating and unnecessary snacking.
Eat to feel satiated:
That “full” or “stuffed” feeling means that you have gone past your stomach’s capacity. Remember that food is fuel. Think about filling up your car’s gas tank. Your car can only hold so much fuel, that’s why gas pumps have an automatic stop. You have to be your stomach’s automatic stop. Don’t try and top off your tank. No one likes gas on their shoes. Only eat when you're hungry and only eat enough to satisfy that hunger.
Now that you have the who, why, what, when and how of good nutrition it’s time to get started and actually put it into practice.
Below are a few ways to take action:
STEP 1: PANTRY CLEANOUT
• Get rid of all the tempting food in your pantry
• Throw out or donate everything that is off plan (cookies, chips, pretzels, granola bars)
STEP 2: SHOPPING
• Make a meal plan for the week.
• Write out a shopping list based on meal plan.
• Stick to the outer perimeter of the store where the real food is
• Read every. single. label.
• Be sure to buy a few emergency snack items such as beef jerky, nuts and seeds and fruit.
STEP 3: MEAL PREP
Meal prep can be done two different ways. You can choose to take one day and cook all your meals for the week, or you can prepare for the meals by doing most of the prep work ahead of time. If you are really busy during the week this is a great way to save time and ensure you don’t reach for those off plan foods that we are used to.
Pre-cook your meals
• Prepare at least 3 meals from your meal plan
• Cook those meals
• Store them in portion sized containers in the fridge. This makes for easy grab and go lunches and dinners.
Prepare your meals
• Chop up all the vegetables you will be using for the week.
• Store them in separate containers in the fridge.
• Marinate or season meat and then freeze or refrigerate
Now, you are all set!