Let’s have a brief chat about nutrition.
Food, stripped down to its skivvies, is fuel for your body.
We have all heard it a thousand times before: you wouldn’t put cheap gas in your car, so why fill your body with junk? Food is more than the calories you take in. Food should be celebrated and should leave you feeling absolutely vibrant. When you fill your body with the right nutrition for your specific needs, your body glows from the inside-out.
A lot of people ask me what I eat on a daily basis that enables me to train hard and feel as vibrant as I do. To be totally real with you, because honesty is the name of my game, it has taken me a few years to figure out what works for my body. I can promise that it will take time to dial into your nutrition game, and it is vital to do so. A nutrition game plan is designed for LIFE. It becomes your lifestyle. You need to be willing to put in the work, dedication and TIME in order to reap the benefits. I promise that it is worth it and you will feel amazing.
#1: Log your nutrition for one week.
MyFitnessPal is a great app that is super user friendly and allows you to track your food. You can enter the ingredients manually, or by scanning barcodes, or by inputting recipes. Track everything you eat and drink. The most important part to this log is documenting how the food you eat makes you feel. Are you getting headaches, or a foggy brain? Are you bloated or feeling irritable? Is your skin breaking out? Are you muscles tired? Are you tired? For example, when I eat dairy, I can take a digestive enzyme that eliminates my tummy trouble; however, my back and back-of-legs break out. This is definitely not cute. I can try and fake it, but my body is telling me that it doesn’t appreciate it.
You don’t have to go crazy on getting your food tracked down to the gram…go as accurate as you can, but don’t stress. You don’t need more stress in your life.
#2. Find your needs.
You need to find how many calories your body needs on a day-to-day basis. Basically, you need to know the amount of energy your body requires to meet your life head on. Breathing, blinking, scratching your back, walking, sleeping, standing…it all requires energy and burns calories.
Go to www.tdeecalculator.netand plug in your statistics. This calculator will tell you a number of things including your maintenance calories, what you need to consume to cut/bulk, and a few macro split options.
MACROS= Macronutrients…Protein, Carbs and Fats. These are your body’s predominant sources of energy. YOU NEED THEM ALL.
Please, oh please oh please, do not eliminate a macronutrient. They are all vital to your body. I will do a dedicated post onmacrosso stay tuned, but just remember this one thing…Protein, Carbs and Fats are all GOOD things that your body NEEDS. Forget the fad diets that tell you to cut one food group. That is ridiculous and harmful information.
#3. Follow your TDEE data.
I now want you to follow the guidance of the TDEE calculator has generated for you based on the information YOU put in. This is where I am trusting you to have entered your information correctly. Please don’t underestimate your energy output just so you can have a lower number and eat fewer calories. The higher your calorie ceiling, the better. What do I mean by this? The higher your “maintenance calorie” number is, the more efficient your body functions. Your body burns calories by digesting food.
Win-win: eat more + burn more.
CATCH 22: You need to be eating the right types of foods my friend 😉
The majority of you that have asked me for this post have been undereating. This is scary. So use this tool, get great information, and track your new “diet” guidelines for a week. If you have been undereating, you will notice that your energy is better, your lightheadedness is gone, you are less irritable (your significant other is thanking me right now) and your overall mood is higher. Try eating a balanced diet, making sure that every meal has a serving of protein, a serving a fats, a serving of carbs, and then filled out by vegetables.
A rough guideline of servings:
- The size of your palm= a serving of protein
- The size of your thumb= a serving of fats
- The size of your closed fist= a serving of carbs
#4. Trust the process.
Give your body time to adapt to your nutrition game. Give yourself space to adjust to your new routine. Choose whole foods where possible. Think about the food you choose to eat and how it will make you feel. Is it going to make you feel vibrant and full of energy? Is it fueling your muscles and your brain so you can be the best version of you? Sometimes, ice cream does make your brain happy! But for the most part, it is the whole foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nutrient dense protein, and healthy fats that will make you feel fantastic.
Here is a snap shot of what I eat in a day:
Calorie goal: 2500-2800
Macro Split: 30-25-45 (protein-fat-carb)
My version of “bulletproof” coffee! I train first thing in the morning (anytime between 6-7am) and I do not like to train on a full stomach BUT I need some energy. I love the ritual of coffee: it is quiet in the morning, I grind the beans, brew, blend, sip and ease into my day.
1 big mug of coffee
1/4 C almond milk, heated up
2 Tbs coconut cream
1/2 tsp MCT oil
1 Tbs collagen
1/4 tsp maca powder
Blend and enjoy!
After training is when I eat my first big meal. Usually I have a smoothie + two of my pixie power muffins, a GF English muffin with PB or some GF Overnight oats.
My Favorite Smoothie:
5 ice cubes
1 scoop of Vega Sport Protein or Vega Protein + Greens
1 tsp greens powder or spirulina
Pinch of cinnamon and pink salt
1 C – 1 1/2 C water
BLEND and SIP and ENJOY
I am such a lucky duck: lunch is provided at my workplace. Our chef is amazing and he cooks me a safe meal that is free of all of my allergies. It always consists of a few different salads and a solid protein.
I absolutely adore cooking and making dinner is one way I relax! My meals vary each day. I always have a big salad with spinach, avocado, orange or cucumber slices, toasted seeds and nuts for crunch, green onion, cilantro or parsley, balsamic reduction or lemon tahini dressing…basically a kitchen sink salad (KSS)! This is how I begin every dinner. I just love it.
KSS is followed by whatever I am having for my main: a veggie stir-fry with tempeh; roasted sweet potatoes with salmon and asparagus, pesto green pea pasta…I change it up!
I do love sweet potatoes though- they are one of my favorite foods. And they come in so many colours!
AND, keeping it real with you guys, I love having a glass of wine as I cook my dinner. Yes, wine is empty calories. No, I don’t care. Yes, I keep it to ONE. No, I don’t feel side effects. Yes, I drink 2 glasses of water (at least) with dinner. Yes, I budget this into my nutrition game plan. The way I see it, I don’t drink pop or sugary beverages; I don’t eat gluten, dairy, refined sugar, or nightshades; I don’t eat candy or processed food; so a small glass of wine a day is totally fine in my books.
My favorite snacks include Simply Protein Bars, Terra Chips, beet chips, frozen peas, bananas, apples, oranges, and rice cakes with PB.
I always have a snack before bed. I need the extra calories through the night because muscles repair when you sleep. If you don’t have any energy in your tank, your muscles will not recover as fast.
My favorite pre-bed snack goes something like this:
1/2 sliced banana
1 C coconut milk yogurt + 1/2 scoop Vega protein powder mixed in
A drizzle of peanut butter (I used powdered PB) or almond butter
A drizzle of honey
Some GF granola or a handful of toasted coconut smiles for crunch.
So there we go: Protein + Carbs + Fats…my body has the nutrition it needs to thrive!
Eat WHOLE foods
Eat ENOUGH food
DO choose foods that make you feel fantastic. We all need to sparkle.
DON’T skip food groups just because a fad diet told you to.
LOVE food. Food was given to us to enjoy.
LOVE yourself. Nourish your amazing body…it is the only one you will ever get.
ASK questions if you need help!
FOLLOW along, as I will do more posts like this!
Listen to YOUR body. I am not you. You are not me.
Trust the PROCESS. Life is a journey. Your nutrition game plan will be too.