How to eat and feel better
By Diane Elmore
Part I: Your Kitchen!!!
Your kitchen may need a makeover, and I don’t mean how it looks on the outside, but rather the contents of the cabinets, pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
Before you look though, what are your goals for yourself? Are you looking to increase your energy, fuel your training, look better, lose or gain weight? Think about this.
Now, I encourage you to go and take a look inside those cabinets, pantry, refrigerator and freezer. What’s in there?
Is there a mishmash of healthy food mixed in with junky foods? There was in my case when I started to change what I was eating, I found that mishmash food equals mishmash results. Unless you have an iron will (and even then) you will probably end up eating anything that is in there. If you are like me, and are so very hungry after a race or workouts you will probably eat those junky foods just because they are there calling your name, and end up with mishmash results.
It is a big step, but I encourage you to get rid of all the junk. Yes…all of it. Some examples of what to get rid of include:
· white bread
· peanut butter filled with sugar and whatever crazy ingredients it is filled with to keep it from separating
· candy …(unless it is 60% or higher dark chocolate – then it isn’t junk)
· potato chips
· coffee cakes
· frozen desserts
· sugar cereals
· processed meats
· frozen dinners
· soft drinks
· sugared up sauces
If you have children, you can either take them along for the new eating adventure (highly recommended – these foods aren’t great for them either) or store their foods in a separate cabinet that you will not usually go into (Not recommended. Remember if it’s there you may seek it out).
The next step will be to replace those foods with beautiful, delicious and healthy foods. To the grocery store you go! I would encourage you try to stay on the perimeter of the store as much as possible. Here are some of the items you should be looking to buy. You can decide what it is you would like to eat based on your own preferences.
Any and all vegetables – red peppers, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery and cucumbers make excellent snacks. Look for lettuces with darker colored leaves, usually the more color in the veggie, the better it is for you. Right now if you can get to a farmers’ market and support your local farmer, you will also benefit from the best and freshest vegetables that have not had to withstand shipping and handling!
berries, bananas, apples, plums, nectarines, figs, etc. I also like to have lemons on hand for cooking and flavoring water.
Meat, poultry and fish
Skirt or flank steak, Lean ground sirloin, boneless chicken, whole chicken, salmon, fish
Dairy and eggs
Yogurt, cheese, eggs – greek yogurt contains much higher protein than (cheese should be highly flavorful and you don’t need a lot of it – we are not talking about American cheese here). If you cannot have milk, I would suggest unsweetened almond milk as an alternative. Race Director Note: For the very strong - get rid of all dairy and replace with Almond milk - skip the cheese and yogurt. For a lot of women this is the main cause of stomach issues.
Nuts and seeds
Almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pecans
Black beans, garbanzo beans, cannellini, pinto, whatever you like!
Extra virgin olive oil
Whole wheat or spinach wraps
Ezekiel bread (udi’s or Rudi’s for gluten free options)
salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley are a few
chicken broth (low sodium)
Make your own seasonings - it's fun and so much better for you!
This is not a definitive list, but covers a lot. If you have questions, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my next post, I will give you some strategies on what to do with all that food you brought home so that you have them ready to go when you are hungry, as well as what a portion size really is!
I am a personal chef and triathlete, located in the Princeton area. During my study of the culinary arts (pastry included), I gained a lot of weight, and it was not healthy. I changed my lifestyle to include triathlons (and all the training that goes with it) and changed my diet as well. I have lost 80 pounds in the last 2 years. Proof that delicious food does not have to add to your waistline!!! I am currently studying Sport and Exercise Fitness Nutrition with Precision Nutrition.