Ahhhhh food my favorite, what kind you ask, everything. Everything that is fresh, and cooked with love, flavor, and spice. Oh and then there is the cookies, and pizza, cake, and wings, those oh so good foods, that are are not so good for your insides. That is just the food, not to mention drinks ones with sugar that are tasty, to ones with alcohol that can be mood changing. So I ask where, and how do we draw the line? There is a lot of information on the web and everywhere else on what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat. This letter is just going to be a brief overview of how I try and make things work, and some things that I have tried good and bad. Enjoy!
Where do I start, let’s see, I guess I would have to go back to my childhood, where I was raised on mostly junk food. I don’t blame my parent for this, they either didn’t really know much better, or were just subject to the mid 80’s early 90’s in either case days went like this. Breakfast: Cereal(the sugary kind Fruity Pebbles my favorite)
Lunch: Provided by the school system(need I say more)
After school snack(fruit roll-ups I don’t believe these have any fruit in them)
Dinner sometimes mom cooked, but more often than not it was a T.V. dinner or fast food
Things didn’t change much as I went to college other than some of the meals were better freshman year as the dorm food was really good, only problem was the all you can eat deal. I tell you this so you can see I didn’t just start out eating healthy, it was a journey and one that I am still on today.
About the time I joined the Navy, at the ripe age of 22, I realized I needed to make some sort of change, I just wasn’t sure what kind. I had a friend who was going through BUDS(Navy Seal training) and he said some of the Team guys were using the Zone Diet. This was 2007 just before I found CrossFit. A few months later I found CrossFit, drank the Kool-Aid, and changed my entire lifestyle, with a few road bumps over the Years.
So what did I learn along the way that might help you. First off you must commit to your diet as a lifestyle change not as a diet. This isn’t a fad, or something to just loose some weight, or put some muscle on. Nothing upsets me more then the weight loss gimmicks or the Fad Diet that loses some weight in the beginning, but is impossible to sustain over time. I try to keep things simple and enjoyable as I have found this to be the best way to stay on track.
I start the week by preparing on Sunday, as I’m sure a lot of you do also, this is meal prep day. Yes I know I am spoiled as my wife owns Primal Pre-Made Nutrition and we have extra meals each week, but I still prep breakfast and usually make a chilli or stew for the week. My meal prep starts in the store or farmer’s market now, but I used find recipes and cook or shop from those, and I still do that for dinner or meals we are trying for primal. From there I try to plan the week out with my wife on what we will eat. Breakfast: This is usually an egg scramble I make on Sunday and portion out, with lots of veggies and some sausage, and I top it with an avocado. I keep some snacks at the gym usually apples and some granola(granola isn’t the best I could do better). Lunch: for the most part is a Primal meal or the chilli I prepared earlier, sometimes both depending on the day. Dinner: Either Dianne or I cook, or we go out, now a days with the addition of Wyatt we spend more time cooking dinner at home.
As for the meals we try to keep it simple in terms of protein, good carbs, and good fats at all meals. I like to look at the plate and see color, Some greens to go with the potatoes and chicken. I don’t weigh or measure my food, although I have, and I didn’t much like it, as it felt more like a science project and less like cooking. I am not saying you shouldn’t try to weigh and measure, just that it wasn’t for me. Yes there are plenty of days when the meals don’t go exactly as planned or when I eat a cookie, or drink a few beers or even have a that awful Coca-Cola(I love coke it is one of my serious vices, but I have stopped drinking them since wyatt was born, but that is another blog in itself). When this happens I try not to go to excess, as moderation is a good thing, and then the next day I am back on the wagon eating the foods that make my body feel good again.
I encourage everyone to get out and find new foods, stroll through the local farmers market, or take a look at the produce in the grocery store, and find some foods you haven’t tried before. Go out and buy a new cookbook, this is a great place to start as the recipes are laid out for you. I have two challenges for each and everyone of you. One take a look at your plate every meal for the next week, and see if it is fresh and balanced. Two PLAN PLAN PLAN, Meal Prep will make everything easier. Good luck and Happy EATING!