I am going to write about a few of the general “rules” I live by which help keep me feeling amazing and keep my body looking how it does, aside from my training regimen!
- More carbs on higher activity days, fewer carbs on lower activity days
- Fewer fats on higher activity days, more fats on lower activity days
- PROTEIN of some sort at all meals
- Plenty of plain, fresh water throughout the day
- Avoid sugar and refined carbs (gluten too)
- Plenty of veggies and limited fruit
Our bodies need some carbs for brain function and our bodies also prefer carbohydrates as fuel when training, however, most people do not need the amount of carbs they’re eating each day. It’s best to limit carbs on low activity days and instead focus on healthy fats, veggies, and quality protein. On high activity days I will eat more carbs around my training as they serve a purpose — to fuel me through my workout as well as help with muscle building.
In contrast to the carbs, we want more healthy fats on LOW activity days and slightly fewer fats on higher activity days. Basically, your protein # should stay the same each day and it’s the fats and carbs that fluctuate depending on the training for the day. My general rule that I have found works for me is to focus on fats and proteins on low activity days. I swap the fats for carbs on higher activity days.
Lean protein at all meals. Whether it’s eggs in the morning, lean chicken at lunch and Grassfed beef or salmon at dinner, try to get some sort of protein at each meal. Protein helps keep you full and helps repair muscles. It also isn’t as likely to be stored as fat – unless it’s taken to excess!
Plenty of PLAIN water daily! Period. Don’t add artificial flavors or sweeteners to the water, either. Try to drink plain fresh water (unless you are squeezing fresh lemon or lime to it),
Avoid sugar and refined carbs. General rule for me…I don’t crave sugar at all so I don’t eat it. I don’t miss it either. Sugar raises inflammation levels in the body, aids aging of the skin, and should be limited or avoided. I avoid gluten not because I have celiac disease but because most of us do not process gluten well and even if you don’t realize it, it can be causing gastrointestinal stress. Most gluten is very processed and increases inflammation in the body so in general it’s best to avoid it. It’s OK every once in a while such as on a splurge weekend or vacation, however, to eat it daily is simply not a good idea if you want to reach your healthiest, best self. I personally feel best not consuming it (makes me feel heavy, weighed down, bloated, etc).
Plenty of veggies. Regardless of where I am I make sure to get plenty of servings of veggies each day. Actual veggies include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, kale, kimchi. I feel so much better when I eat 4-6 servings per day and veggies are so important to eat! We get all our vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables so it’s important to really try to consume as much as you can. People may be surprised when I say to limit fruit, but, fruit is mostly sugar so I only consume small amounts. Maybe 1 serving at most 2 per day! Sugar is still sugar. A lot of clients tell me they are eating veggies each day and I ask them to tell me which veggies, specifically, and they will list off tomatoes and eggplant. To be honest, these are not the veggies I want to hear about! Also, technically tomatoes are a fruit and eggplant is a nightshade veggie (tomatoes are too). I want to hear about cruciferous veggies (kale, Brussels, cauliflower, broccoli). These are ANTI-CANCER veggies and are the most healthy veggies you can eat! Load up on these.
I hope this is helpful for you when figuring out what to focus on each day with your meals!