So in my last post you learned HOW to eat in such a way as to TOTALLY and COMPLETELY NAIL your nutrition to the WALL!
HOWEVER…now you're thinking, sure but WHAT do I eat??
Very good question, and one that doesn't always have one simple answer, since everyone is different and has different dietary needs and goals, based on numerous factors…allergies, being vegetarian or vegan, being lactose intolerant, having food allergies, etc….thus, I can only tell you some basics that I go by and I have found work well for me. You should take these for what they're worth, filter them through your specific needs, and take it from there.
First of all, your primary concern is to take care of your protein for the week. Again, if you have certain preferences that's fine, but if not, then you'll be looking at a healthy combination of chicken, turkey, beef, egg whites and fish, with the occasional soy or bean product thrown in there as well. You'll want to grill, bake or saute everything…no frying or steaming on the meat, you'll get rid of nutrients or add bad things. As in the last blog entry, portion everything out for the week and then buy large enough amounts to cover the week. You'll be cooking each entire amount together and then portioning out for the week.
The healthiest carbs to look at are sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice, in that order. Stock up on sweet potatoes, they're the healthiest carb around, have natural sweetness, and are super easy to prep. Simply throw a ton in a huge baking pan, cover with cinnamon and ginger, and bake for about an hour. The cinnamon and ginger will caramelize on top, and they will come out tasting like holiday pie! Put them in daily containers and you'll have your sweet treat/carb for each meal! Quinoa is a healthy carb that is actually super high in protein, so it can double as your source of protein when in tight situations. Brown rice rounding out the lot is simply night and day healthier than its white twin. Ask for brown rice sushi when out with friends, and use it in every situation you can when you don't have sweet potatoes handy.
Veggies should simply be a variety, and steamed or grilled. The greater the daily variety, the more different types of nutrients are going into your body. Of course, Shakeology helps a GREAT deal with this, but on top of that, swap out which veggies you use on a daily basis. As the old saying goes, a rainbow on your plate means a healthy body! My favorites have always been brussel sprouts, mushrooms and broccoli, but lately through the Hip Hop Abs nutrition plan I am gaining a grudging respect for zucchini, asparagus and a few others.
You'll want to have a few healthy fats and some fruit in there as well, but on a limited basis. Healthy fats may include a spoonful of almond butter or some other healthy nut butter (avoid any nut butter that includes ingredients other than the nut), a small spoonful of healthy oil such as coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, avocados or whole almonds. Fruits such as apples and pears are alright in moderation, say a weekly treat, but since all fruit has some level of sugar in it, this should be moderated to treat status. Treat being different from snack. Snack is twice daily, treat is once to twice weekly.
I have found in my nutrition that avoiding things like dairy, wheat, gluten, most carbs, most fats and most sugars has greatly helped my results. This is NOT a judgement on any of these things, merely my personal perspective on my own journey. Thus, it is not the goal to argue the merits of these items, simply to be as complete as possible in what has worked for me and could possibly work for you.
I should highly stress that the addition of Shakeology helped me immensely. Even just one week away from all sugars and most carbs was torture until I was allowed to have my Shakeology, which then curbed all of these cravings and gave me a complete sense of fullness between meals. Without it I would have surely failed in my mission to get healthier. I ended up starting most days with it an hour and a half before my workout, ensuring total energy for that workout, taking no chances and making sure I got the most out of the time I have had with Shaun T. That alone makes it well worth the investment.
Overall, a balanced nutrition of proteins, veggies and occasional healthy fats balanced with daily exercise will definitely get your to your goal weight, and from there you can modify by adding healthy carbs to maintain. Sounds simple and it is, but it IS work. Only through constant focus and dedication will you achieve all your health and fitness goals!
About the author: John Hays is a super friendly web developer, photographer, and health & fitness coach using products like P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, and Shakeology to help people get in the best shape of their lives. His proven methods of personal accountability and constant support have helped people see major life changes. John's photography has been seen in numerous publications, and he has worked with such web clients as Jack Daniel's, Mission Tortillas, Joe's Crab Shack, Conoco/Phillips and many more.