Thursday, January 22, 2015

How "eating right" can be SO wrong

Hey Fit Fam ...

I totally get why so many people throw their hands up and say ... "I give up".  Eating "right" can VERY be confusing even for the most experienced nutrition nuts :)

For example ... Breakfast
Many people think they are "doing right" by grabbing a smoothie at "Smoothie King" on the way to work. Or maybe throwing veggies, fruit juice and fruit their juicer and running out the door. Or possibly throwing one of those "low fat" breakfast sandwiches from the freezer into the microwave. Maybe you are a cereal person. So you have some Special K with dried berries. Those options are marketed as healthy, so they have to be good choices... right? Oh wrong!!  If you ate ANY of the above you would send your blood sugar on a roller coaster!! You are going to CRASH and be hungry (and possibly store fat) because these choices are all very low protein and full of sugar.  So in some instances, that bowl of cereal or smoothie could be just like eating a few ice cream cones for breakfast!!

How can you make these favorites you enjoy RIGHT?  Easy!!!

Smoothie --  Fruit is fine, it's nutrient dense and a good sugar/carb! The problem is people eat too much. Stick to one serving (or less), use unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water) instead of milk and MAKE SURE and get PROTEIN in there! An easy way to do that is to add at pasteurized egg whites or/or a protein powder blend. If this meal isn't pre/post workout I would suggest a nice protein blend and not a whey isolate! Why? The digestion period of a meal replacement protein (like 1st Phorm Level One ) is designed to have a longer digestion period than a whey protein. So you will feel full longer and stay anabolic (which is why I use Level One before bed.) Basically, blends like Level One digests similarly to the rate of whole food! However, there is an exception!! If you go to 1st Phorms webpage you see they actually say you can use their Phormula 1 whey isolate protein first thing in the morning ... even if your breakfast isn't pre or post workout! They say that it's rapid assimilation qualities make it ideal for first thing in the morning to give your body a quick hit of essential amino acids to promote muscle growth! So as long as you are eating every 3 hours (or less), this particular whey protein is actually okay! The great thing about using Phormula 1 over Level One in the morning ... the flavor options!! They have a Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Juicy Watermelon, or Loopy Fruit ... which would all be AMAZING in a fruit smoothie!!!  Last .. don't forget your carbs!! Throw in some oats (not the packaged kind). I'd say 1/4 to 1/2 cup is good for most. They blend well, add texture and get in much needed QUALITY carbs you need to start your day! You can also do things like flax seed, chia seed, coconut oil, nut butters - etc. Healthy fat is also a must for health (and weight loss) and is excellent first thing in the morning! Again .. just watch portions .. especially with nut butter! It's so easy to have "just a little more" -- yes I'm speaking from experience, lol! Also check out my Essential Oil Smoothie I posted earlier this week. If you for some reason can't have fruit, or you just want to add some quality nutrients into your shake, these oils are GREAT!!! So for a smoothie, an example would be (adjust based on your macro needs) .... 1/2 scoop Loopy Fruit Phormula One, 4 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil, fruit of choice (I would do 1/2 cup berries), 2 egg whites, 1/4 to 1/2 cup oats, stevia if you want to add more sweetness, water, ice -- blend and enjoy!!!

Juicing --  Each their own, but I'm not a fan of drinking my fruits & veggies and especially not a fan of juicing alone. While it's packed with nutrients, some juice concoctions I see people post are FULL of sugar and ZERO protein! If you must juice .. use more veggies than fruit .. fruit instead of fruit juice .. and you have to get in some protein. So maybe some tofu or protein powder!! Essential Oils would also be GREAT for juicing!!

Breakfast Sandwiches -- There are TONS of pinterest recipes for this one that you can actually make ahead of time and FREEZE and pop in the microwave! I have one of these little guys.

Crack an egg, pour it in, microwave, done! If you don't want to do the "yolk", you can simply pour egg whites in here as well .. it makes a perfect circle! As for the "bread" part. P28 has a good high protein one, ezekial breads are a great choice as well if you don't need/want the "added" protein from P28. I can't have either of those because of having Celiac. But I did find a gluten free "bagel thin" that is made of better gf rice and tapioca flours that I use if I'm craving a breakfast sandwich. You can also mix veggies into the egg whites before you microwave. Add on some salsa, a tiny bit of low fat cheese if you wish, some avocado so you have some healthy fat -- boom! Much better than that processed packaged stuff! And again .. you can pre make the egg/veggie .. put in freezer and pop out each morning .. microwave ... add your toppings and go!

Cereal -- I am not a cereal pusher simply because most are VERY bad or very unbalanced! Where is your PROTEIN?! However .. if you must ... I came up with a perfect Quest Nutrition POST workout cereal that could be used as higher protein breakfast cereal as well.  Just omit the Ignition I used and add in some stevia to sweeten the almond milk if desired. You could also use ONE serving of HEALTHIER cereals (like Cheerios, Total, Wheaties, Grape Nut *any that don't have high fructose corn syrup, excess sugar, fat, etc*) and to get in your protein just add a scoop of protein powder (flavor would be based on the cereal you choose) to your unsweetened almond milk before you pour in the cereal!! Yummy! Flavored milk :)

Now for what I actually SUGGEST for breakfast! Ya'll know I couldn't live without my "Basic Batter Base". I use it every morning to make different yummy creations! I feel like I am indulging every day! My favorite are my Peanut Butter and Blueberry Mug Muffins :) Fast, balanced and ohhhhhhh so yummy! Side note .. you can make any of these ahead of time and just heat in the morning!

Moving on to ... lunch and dinner 
You may think you are "doing right" by grabbing a "lean cuisine" meal. Or you may order a salad with grilled chicken or salmon. All of the above are most likely HORRIBLE "diet" choices. DID YOU KNOW those frozen meals are filled a bunch of crap! Even the organic ones (which I used to live on for dinner when I was in news) and are NOT "good for you". They are loaded with sodium and while they may be "low cal" or "low fat" .. they are NOT nutrient dense and in addition to that likely have way more carbs than you need (especially if you are eating every 3 hours) and not nearly enough protein. There are some exceptions .. but still .. it's not nutrient dense! As for the salads.. unless you omit the croutons, cheese and creamy might as well have a burger and fries! There are so many options I wouldn't even know where to begin. I have 6 meals a day so I don't really have "lunch". But a good example would be a healthy bread (such as ones listed above for the breakfast sandwiches) with some turkey, low fat swiss cheese (you don't ned a full slice .. a little can go a long way), some Quest Protein Chips (because a serving of that turkey only has 10g of protein which may not be enough for you and your needs and these chips are high protein and low carb). Maybe some grilled chicken and homemade red potato chips with any green veggie. Some yummy homemade tacos .. with crock pot shredded ckn, thin corn tortillas, some rice, peppers, salsa and guacamole. Or just something simple ... like baked chicken, sweet potato fries (homemade) and maybe asparagus. My options .. and yours .. are endless!! As for late in the day ... if you are hesitant to eat carbs at night .. first of all don't be. A steady flow of GOOD carbs all day is GOOD for you!! But if you are still hesitant, then stick to carbs that come from fiber (vegetables). One of my FAVORITE meals to eat as my "Meal 5" is a salad (usually spinach, red pepper and cucumber with real balsamic vinegar), Miracle Noodles, Sauteed Zuchinni, Grilled Ckn or 99% lean ground turkey, crushed tomato w/seasonings like Flavor God Garlic and crushed red pepper.

Last ... before bed
Many people just don't eat. I remember I had a family member that "closed" her kitchen at a certain hour every night. I know many people that seriously believe they shouldn't eat after a "certain hour", or that it's okay to eat as long as it's "just a snack". I was notorious for just having a piece of fruit thinking that was smart. Sure fruit is healthy .. but it's not a great choice right before you go to bed. Why? It's a quick spike in blood sugar, you crash, done. The goal of your bedtime meal is to stay anabolic while you sleep! So WHAT you eat is very important. And yes .. I do mean RIGHT before you lay down. I eat and lay down almost immediately most nights! I personally have a waffle and peanut butter every single night!! I do a scoop of protein (a blend w/ casein is a must. I usually do quest or level one). I add in 1 or 2 egg whites, some baking powder (does this sound familiar .. yup my basic batter base except protein powder instead of oats) -- and make it into a waffle! I put walden farms pancake syrup and anywhere from 1/2 to 1tbs of nut butter on top! Sometimes I make a "fluff" (which is just carb master yogurt and any add on you wish .. pb2, peanut butter, cocoa powder, cinnamon, etc). Bottom line ... healthy fats, slow release proteins and minimal/no carbs are what I suggest right before bed! Other options would be an egg white omelet with avocado, cottage cheese & peanut butter, a simple protein shake, you could even do a small serving of red meat or salmon with some veggies!

I hope this helps you! I know that eating "healthy" can be so confusing! But remember ... just because someone "markets" something as healthy .. doesn't mean that it is. Aim for NUTRIENT DENSE calories to fill you up and make sure your meals are small, spread out and BALANCED! Fueling yourself with the RIGHT foods and taking a consistent, slow & steady approach is KEY to a body for LIFE!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

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