Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope everyone is having a great week so far. We sure are over here! If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been mentioning that Maxwell finally seems healthy and thus HAPPY! He had pretty consistent illnesses starting with fevers, then vomiting and diarrhea, then a cold with a pretty bad cough. When Max is sick, he is a crabby little guy…and that can be tough on all of us. We’re praying he doesn’t pick up another bug from daycare and that we can all stay healthy for a stretch! 🙂 Today we dropped Max off at daycare and Drew and I are spending the day together just the two of us. We love our day dates.
I was talking to one of my girlfriends recently about the blog. I was telling her a lot of the feedback I get from the readers is that they want to read about what I’m eating and what I do to workout.
Well, I’m happy to try to steer you in the right direction when it comes to both. Today, I’m going to share information about what to eat. I revamped a prior blog post to bring you this one! I recently purchased the cookbook Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck via the recommendation from Alison of Wholesome LLC. As Alison said in her interview, depending on what your goal is…you may need to adjust your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats). She would love to help you out if you head over to her site! One thing I really want to focus on is eating more plant based (as she recommends) and less animal protein, which is one reason I bought the book!
Without a sound nutritional routine all of your hard work in the gym will eventually stall, or worse never begin. Most fitness professionals would tell you, nutrition is more important than what you do in the gym and a unhealthy diet cannot be overcome with workouts. I want everyone to practice both good nutrition + workouts 🙂
Nutrition is something that I’m always striving to improve on and learn more about, so we’re in this together! I’m not a nutritional expert, but this is going to be a very basic outline of how you can improve your eating with a few tips!
First, let me just say it: I LOVE FOOD! On our first date Drew’s first compliment to me ever was “I really like that you like to eat. Usually girls always order salads”. We look back and laugh about that statement together, and he’s lucky I didn’t take that the wrong way and instead we dug into our shared lasagna together :). Plus, it is a true statement. I think it’s very important for everyone to develop a healthy relationship with food. It is what fuels our bodies. If we think about it more as fuel and less like stress relief, a reward, something to do when bored, a prize, a gift, what you live for, etc etc…I think people would look at it a bit different.
Let me say it again: food is our fuel.
I think we need to stop right here and self-reflect on how we each eat on a daily basis. Think about about your goals and then think about: do I know what to eat to reach those goals? Do I know in what portions to eat it? Do I know how to prepare food? If I’m time crunched what is my go to? (please Jesus, don’t let them answer McDonald’s). How is my weekend eating?
As basically as I can state it, your meals should be in this equation: Protein (size of your first) + vegetable (load up) + starch (about a half cup)= Meal.
Examples of proteins: Eggs, salmon, pork, chicken breast, lean red meat, almonds, turkey breast…
Examples of vegetables: Spinach, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, asparagus, edamame, carrots…
Examples of starches: Sweet potato, brown rice, steel cut oatmeal, whole grain bread, quinoa…
Examples of fats: Avocados (my favorite!!!!!!!!), eggs, meat sources, cooking with olive oil…
I also add fruits in with my breakfast or for snacks. My favorite is to have greek yogurt with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, + strawberries.
Many people I know often treat themselves on a very regular basis. I’ve seen at each job that I had, someone brings in a treat and people mindlessly pop it into their mouths. I don’t eat perfect, that’s for sure. BUT, I do prefer to plan my treats because I find it to be more satisfying that way. I don’t want to just mindlessly pop a doughnut in my mouth when they show up in the break room, but I do want to indulge a little on a date with my husband.
I try to abide by a 90/10 rule, eat well 90% of the time and 10% of the time I can loosen up a little (my favorites: sweet potato fries, guacamole with tortilla chips…can you tell I’m more of a salty girl?). 10% is going to keep you sane and able to make rationale decisions most of the time.
Here are some “easy” tips to healthier eating (easy as in easy to learn…not necessarily easy to incorporate):
- Plan ahead. You need to plan a healthy week of meals + grocery shop and then stick to it! If you make yourself a plan + get the ingredients you are way more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. Busy people get in trouble when they don’t have healthy things on hand.
- Meal preparation. I have many friends that use their Sunday to cook meals for the week. You can prepare your proteins, starches, and vegetables ahead of time and then prepare them (in correct portions) in Tupperware. This way during the week you just have to grab one and warm it up. If you are super busy during the week (it seems like most people are) than this could be a key to you eating better! Think about doing this for your lunches! If you are grabbing something from the cafeteria or fast-food everyday for lunch, this is definitely a spot that you could quickly improve with some planning! I’m a huge pack your own lunch advocate.
- Keep temptation away from the house! If you have treats in your house that you love, you are really tempting yourself and testing your willpower. It’s better to get a vary small serving (pint of ice cream) vs. a huge serving (gallon) if you are choosing a treat. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is one of my keys to life. I’m not superwoman, so I’d rather just avoid the things that really test my willpower (hello chips and salsa).
- Reduce/eliminate sugary drinks. I slightly cringe when I see people drinking soda. Really try to reduce soda, sugar laden coffee drinks, or fruit juice. These are extra calories that don’t leave you satisfied or more full + studies show people that drink sugary drinks don’t compensate by eating less + they are one of the main culprits of the obesity epidemic!!!!!
- STOP eating out so much. Any way you slice it, when you are in control of your food preparation + portions you will be better off. Eating out is a big part of our culture + one of my favorite date nights, so I’m not saying to stop doing it. Just realize this really should only be a meal or two a week. If you are traveling or have to eat out for work, try to navigate the menu and choose a healthier option.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. This can add up to lots of calories + cause you to make some poor food choices (hello 2am pizza). If you have a goal of weight loss/being healthier this is definitely one thing that can slow you down. I was just reading an interview with a celebratory trainer and he said WHITE WINE is one of the worst enemies of waist lines.
- Don’t go hog wild on the weekend. Of course, easier said than done. I have weekends that I overindulge too. I usually start off feeling sluggish and crappy on Monday. If you go out to dinner + out to drinks on Saturday…do you really need to go out to brunch or get a bloody mary the size of your head on Sunday? Probably not. If you do overindulge, just get right back on track as soon as you can. Don’t let it be a slippery slide down to old eating habits or a “bad week”.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. I used to feel pressured to say “yes” to dessert if we were over at someone’s house or if someone took the time to make a treat. Not so much anymore. If it looks absolutely delicious, I might say yes. But, if I would rather not spend an indulgence on it…I politely decline. No one really cares, and if they do that’s weird.
Hope everyone has a terrific day! -Ames