Everyone will have their own choice and personal preferences when it comes to food and meal options. Finding out what works well for you from a taste and nutritional point of view is very important.
When you’re trying to keep your nutrition on track and food cravings are knocking on the door, what can you do to help minimise the risk of you going rogue and falling off the wagon?
I personally like to include some food choices that seem ‘naughty’ but actually are less damaging than you may think. For example, when you think of caramel sauce in most cases aside from thinking ‘tasty as hell’ you think high calories and high sugar content. Introducing Waldens Farms Near Zero Calorie and Sugar Free Sauce. Waldens Farms do a wide range of sources from Chocolate Sauce to Caesar Dressings and even Ketchup. When you look further at the nutritional profile of the caramel sauce you may be surprised to know that there is only 0.4g sugar and 3.4 calories per 30ml serving.
What we consume from meal to meal will dictate how we operate on both a mental and physical level, from optimal brain functioning to aiding in performance and recovery. Making the right food choices on a consistent basis will provide you the fuel to push hard in your training sessions and the ability to recover without feeling de-energised. Check out this article by Charles Poliquin on how to balance blood sugar in line with optimising brain functioning.
It is important to not differentiate between ‘meals’ and ‘snacks’, instead think in terms of feeding opportunities. Every time you consume food you have the opportunity to make your body better or make it worse. Research has proven a higher-protein diet is not only safe but may actually be important to achieving the best health, body composition, and performance. The honest truth is, it’s difficult to achieve all of these with insufficient protein intake. An article I would recommend looking into is one by precision nutrition on food and mood with Dr. John Berardi.
In order for nutrition to be sustainable, you must be able to enjoy the process and not see every feeding opportunity as a challenge. Staying on track with your nutritional goals can be a tricky task, so make things easier by being creative and introducing guilt-free choices.
My Favourite Post-Workout Meal
- 2 Bagels
- 1/2 Avocado
- Chicken Steaks or 2
- Ostrich/Venison/Buffalo Burgers
* WARNING *
Just because I’m having this meal doesn’t mean this will slot perfectly into your diet. Firstly, establish your goal and what you want to achieve whether that be weight gain or weight loss etc. From there you really need to have a good idea of your required calorie/macronutrient intake in order to accommodate your food choices. (You would need to track your food for this to work)
For me personally, I like to utilise a lot of my carbohydrates in and around my workouts.
2 bagels will clock up a total of 86g carbohydrates. However, for some people depending on their specific goal and current diet this may be too much or even too little.
* High protein (Higher carbohydrate, Lower Fat options) *
Option 1: Power Smoothie
- 1-2 scoops protein powder
- ½ Banana
- 50g Blueberries
- 50g Strawberries
- ½ Wheatgrass
- 1 handful of Spinach
- 500ml Organic Milk
Option 2: Fajita Wraps
- 1-2 Wholemeal Wraps
- 1-2 Chicken or Turkey Breasts
- Seasoning (Paprika, Cajun etc)
- Mixed Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions
Option 3: Turkey Burger Bun, Sweet Potato Wedges and Salad
- 250g Turkey Burger
- 250g Sweet Potato Wedges
- 1/2 Bag of Fresh Salad
- 20g Tzatziki Sauce
* High Protein (Lower Carbohydrate, Higher Fat Options) *
Option 1: Scrambled Eggs with Bacon & Avocado
- 3 Medium Eggs
- ½ Avocado
- 3 Rashers Back Bacon
Option 2: Smoked Salmon, eggs & Nuts
- 150-200g Smoked Salmon
- 4 Egg Whites
- 30g Mixed Nuts (Cashew, Almond, Brazil)
Option 3: Steak with Greens
- 250g Rump Steak
- 150g Green Beans
- 100g Asparagus
- 100g Kale
Top Tip: Enjoy your food, get creative and make sure it’s sustainable moving forward in order to prevent you falling off the wagon.