While nutrition in itself is a vast and complicated subject I’ve broken it down into 5 simple steps that will get you started. We apply rules that are common knowledge in the nutrition world and some that are simply an act of keeping things entertaining and fun for you to remain on track longer. These 5 simple steps are detrimental to keeping a cohesive bond between nutrition and fitness!

#1 Quality Ingredients

We’ve all seen the boom in the organic industry of produce. Quality ingredients make a huge difference in the way that food interacts with our bodies. We can have ingredients that we may think are healthy but ultimately have been tainted in the manufacturing process with pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, growth promoting antibiotics and the list goes on. Such elements like the ones listed have been linked to health conditions counterintuitive to a healthy and well nurtured life. After all food is our fuel and medicine! Produce specifically is vital to having the proper minerals and micro nutrients needed for gut health which is a key role in a steady metabolism thus making organic produce a must! Common minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron are some of the most over looked factors in nutrition. Organic produce is linked to having 3 times as many mineral components as the non-organic produce that most buy. While this is a great step in upping the quality of products you cook with let’s take a look at another step we can take to ensure a quality meal.

Lets start with one of the most commonly eaten proteins and how we can upgrade, chicken! An easy substitute for the regular chicken in your grocery store is free range chicken. Whats the difference? Quite A bit actually, free-range chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat and 28% fewer calories than their factory-farmed counterparts. These stats alone are enough to catch your eye when it comes to eliminating some of the unnecessary factors in the food you eat every day. Not to mention It’s less cruelty for the chickens that are usually locked in factories and injected with growth hormones used to bring higher yields of chicken to the producers. Next is grass-fed beef. The importance of the grass-fed beef goes back to the same ideology as the produce, it contains much more nutrients than regular beef. Research link it to having higher key nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that’s been tied to improved immunity and anti-inflammation benefits. Last but not least is wild caught seafood. While wild-caught seafood has its pros and cons it is ultimately much safer to go with wild caught than not. The biggest con is that wild caught seafood tends to have less of the omega 3 fattys that are great for our bodies but when paired with the con of regular farmed seafood having higher chances of disease . its a no brainer to just take that extra step.

#2 Proper Cooking Methods

While having the best quality ingredients is extremely important, whats the use if you cook them with unhealthy methods?! It’s so counterintuitive to pursuing a healthy lifestyle. the first cooking methods we’ll talk about is blanching. Blanching is a cooking process in which a food, usually a vegetable, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.  It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps combat loss of vitamins. Its a simply and easy way to cook your veggies, keeping more of the nutrients locked in! Baking is our next cooking method, It is a very efficient way to cook your foods by simply allowing your oven to do the work. Baked as appose to frying or searing is beneficial in alleviating any unwanted oils or fats in the cooking process. However if your looking for a darker richer taste, grilling is an excellent option that both alleviates unwanted oils and adds a great zing to it!

#3 Macro Portioning

This is maybe the biggest game changer when it comes to achieving your fitness goals! Having the proper portioning in your meals is detrimental to keeping a well balanced nutrition that keeps you energized through your day. Macro portioning breaks down into 3 categories, proteins, fats and carbs. Everyone has different amounts of each that is required to proper keep your body balanced. You can consult a nutritionist or use an online macro calculator to determine how much of each your body needs. Once you have the recommended amounts of each, next is the portioning. There are hundreds of apps dedicated to helping people count their macro. Some popular ones are my fitness pal and lose it but I’m sure you can find many others just like it. What you do is basically measure your ingredients as your portioning onto your plate and input it into the apps that then calculate how much protein, fat and carbs each ingredients contain. Helping you track how much you have had or need in order to hit the recommended amount. While this may seem tedious it is one of the most helpful acts you can do to achieve your goals and maintain a well balanced life.

#4 Timing Your Macros

The fourth law when it comes to keeping a steady nutrition regimen is knowing when to eat more or less of your macros. This topic is vast and quite honestly one that needs to be researched for each individual. reason being is because we all have different lifestyles and goals but one thing that remains the same is that we need certain proteins, fats and carbs at specific times of the day. For example, allocating more carbs around your workout helps to give you an energy source for your training and having a higher protein for after training helps to build and repair muscle. Fats can also be used as a secondary source of energy behind carbs. The point of it all is to do your own diligent research on when specific macros are required, you know yourself better than anybody else!

#5 Variation To Keep You On Track

This is one of those sort of optional ones. It depends on if you are able to consistently eat boring meals but i mean cmon, who in their right mind likes boring meals?? Variation is one of the biggest factors for keeping you happy with your meals so you don’t dread eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Otherwise you will be more vulnerable to breaking away from the clean eating regimen that we need in order to keep our bodies healthy and vibrant. Some quick tips for keeping your meals exciting:

  1. Recipes: Try using different recipes every week, don’t be afraid to try something new and get creative with your cooking! Expanding your taste buds is a great way to keep happy and excited about your meals.
  2. Seasonings: A common mistake many make when prepping their meals for the week is using the same seasonings for every dish. Lemon pepper on your eggs for breakfast, on your chicken for lunch and on your ground turkey for dinner will lead to bland and boring meals! Just like switching up your recipes, expand your horizon.
  3. Sauces: Sauces can be a great way to incorporate an explosion of flavor into your dish. It can be anything from pesto sauce to BBQ sauces, whatever your craving or think would work well with your meal.

Alternatives

Now, I know this is a ton of information and may take a ton of time that not all of us have. Some are able to spend more time out shopping, cooking and cleaning while some of us like myself have 2 kiddos and A strict client schedule that doesn’t necessarily give us the time we need to diligently do all these things. So, whats the alternative? There are numerous meal prep services out there that will provide you with ready to eat meals, I personally use Meal Prep Sunday San Diego. I trust them and know them well. They take care of all of the above laws I mentioned and do so in a delicious fashion! Their menu rotates every week so your never getting the same meals and a huge plus is you never have to shop, cook or clean ever again, doesn’t that sound amazing? They also prepare all your meals based on your specific fitness goals to properly portion your macros to achieve these goals and deliver them straight to your doorstep for FREE every Sunday. If you’re interested in seeing what this great company can do for you I’ll link their website below for you to take a look at. Its simple and only take a few minutes to see your plans, not to mention they offer a 50% off your first purchase code “1st”. That 50% off will let you give it a try for A week to see how it can incorporate with your lifestyle, Its also a no contract/cancel at any time type of deal so no worries about a commitment. That being said tank you for tuning into my blog, i greatly appreciate it! Dm me the methods that worked best for you, i would love to hear all your stories! Till next time!