Nutrition seems to be a basic word tied in with the world of sports and fitness. Nutrition is complex, yet it comes down to a very simple set of principles. There are millions of articles out there, so why are we having an epidemic of obesity? A hard time losing that last few pounds or putting on extra muscle? When it comes to nutrition, I have seen the same three things make the biggest changes: Education, Preparation, and Implementation. After reading this post you will learn how to better invest your money on nutrition, add time to your busy day, and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with dieting.
Step One – Education
Nutrition has an entire field of studies behind it, degrees, certifications, courses etc. For the average person it is completely overwhelming, which is why they turn to a nutritionist, trainer, or magazine article for the answers. The hard truth is that it’s difficult to stick to a plan just because someone told you to do x, y, and z. Knowing the amazing benefits of a clean lifestyle and the repercussions of ignoring what you eat is much more powerful.
I feel my joints flare up whenever I consume too much sugar, I get hungry every hour if I started my breakfast off with too many simple carbs, my work at the gym doesn’t show when I don’t get enough sleep. Those are my cues to make changes in my diet and lifestyle. I know these things partly because of schooling and research, but anyone can study their own body and the patterns they follow. Just be honest with yourself, try your best to eat well sourced low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.
The education lies in learning about yourself, what you are willing to do to go from point A to point B. So let’s say you have a good idea on nutrition, on your body, and on how to fuel it with high quality foods. However. . . you have no time, and money is an issue. Well. . . Read on as your solution lies in step number two.
Step Two – Preparation
Working out without a plan, focus, or a goal usually leads to very minimal results. That’s why many of us follow some sort of regimented program, a specific stimulus such as plyometric training elicits a positive stress on our nervous system with the goal of increasing performance. So why do we neglect this when it comes to nutrition? Between my clients, friends, and an occasional conversation I strike at the gym, time and money seem to be the biggest issues.
People hear the word “meal prep” or “food preparation” and instantly feel discouraged, picturing themselves over a stove for hours on end. I’m not sure where this stigma came from, but it is an unrealistic perception of what being nutritionally prepared is. The reality is that it is does not only help us avoid the drive thru line, but it is also more cost effective, reduces stress about cooking during the week, and eliminates excuses.
So here are your 2 easy actionable steps:
I. Shopping List And The Cabinet
You will grab what is most conveniently available to you, so why not make those options healthier and smarter?! The odds are already stacked against us with a fast food chain at every corner, and junk food advertisements during every commercial break. Maximize your chance for success. Eliminate whatever boxed junk you have left in your cabinets and replace is with healthy options. This is where your shopping list comes into play, build a shopping list for yourself at a time you feel most motivated. You can never go wrong with several pounds of a well sourced protein such as chicken, salmon, and grassfed beef , an abundance of vegetables including kale, broccoli, collard greens and brussels sprouts, and healthy fats such as avocados, legumes, and coconut oil.
II. Preparation For The Week
You now have all of your great healthy choices, high five, but time is the issue now. Preparing food doesn’t have to be a chore, it doesn’t have to eat away half of your already busy day, and it CAN be easy. Below is a great article if you’re looking for more detail about starting your food preparation journey for the first time, an easy to follow guide on making it quick and simple.
Personally, I have an easy time throwing 4 lbs of chicken or fish into the oven at 425 degrees. During the time the oven is preheating I separate my choice of protein into a baking tin glossed with coconut oil, throw vegetables into a steamer or pot, and chop up any raw ingredients I may want to have at my disposal. This would include chopped celery, cucumbers, and other vegetables I can find to dip in hummus on occasion. This whole process takes less than an hour every Sunday night, eliminates any worries I have about time during the week, and keeps me from spending money on empty calories. I can go into specifics for pages on end, for now let’s stick to the basics, remember if you have any questions or comments, leave them below this post or email me at [email protected]
Step Three – Implementation
My favorite. Grab your food and go! You INVESTED your money into quality food that will benefit your health and vitality instead of throwing money away just for the sake of feeling full, you ADDED extra time to your already busy workday to stop you from pulling into the drive thru or cleaning pots with every meal you eat, and now you get to reap the benefits! Strengthening your body, easing your mind.
Today we begin forging our bodies and
strengthening our minds.
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