“Hello… It’s me.” Anyone get the Adele reference? (insert the smirking emoji here). It’s okay, you can laugh… I did! ANYWHO, how are y’all doing? Can you believe that there are only two weeks left until Christmas and Kwanza? Not to mention, three weeks until 2020! PAUSE. Two-Thousand-Twenty. That’s a whole new decade! I’m sorry, but where did the time go? Now is probably the most crucial time for you to hone in on the diet and eating healthy portion of your life-long fitness journey. HELLO! We have a major holiday season approaching, without proper discipline (discipline in the kitchen and at the dining room table), we could lose our weeks, months, and even years of hard work and dedication to a healthier lifestyle.
I was chatting with my fellow TruFit members and I couldn’t believe they were still discussing the latest fad diet. Like, “FAD DIET?” Come on now! Sure, diets are great if you’re participating in a fitness competition, but diets are…well… diets. AKA, it’s a short-term eating habit that you’ll probably break within the first two weeks. Harsh, I know, but I used to be one of those ‘fad diet’ junkies. And let me tell you, I had eaten so much grilled chicken that I started to cluck y’all! Don’t even get me started on the brown rice and broccoli overload. Plus, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE carbs! Most diets don’t condone carbs at all. SHAME ON THEM! Committing to your fitness journey is a holistic lifestyle change. Lifestyle meaning: it lasts longer than two weeks (preferably the rest of your life)!
Once you’ve committed to making working out a top priority of your everyday lifestyle, the second and most crucial part, is to commit to making healthier eating habits all around. No fad diets! Simply trade those processed sugars for wholesome natural sugars (from fruits and honey)—don’t forget, even sugar has a healthier alternative: Stevia! Sweets are my weakness, especially during the holidays. Remember, it is way easier to put on an extra 10lbs then it is to take it off.
Don’t ruin all your hard work in the gym for a day or more of unhealthy food overload. Because I have the ‘working out’ aspect of the healthy lifestyle journey down pat, I have found that I’m hungry just about all the dang time! I feel like my tummy is never full unless I over indulge and then I’m disgusted with myself. It is a very rare occasion when something like that happens, but I am only human. I find myself constantly looking in the fridge and asking myself, “What to eat? When to eat it?” Especially when I’m hungry all the time.
What to eat and when to eat are the million dollar questions for all fitness junkies. Having talked to many of the qualified fitness experts over at TruFit and conducting my own research, I could probably write a thousand page book on what to eat and the best time of day to eat it. However, I think a just brief overview will do the trick!
WHAT to eat? WHEN to eat it?
The number one no-brainer: Stay away from processed foods. Basically anything in the middle of the grocery store. Rough, I know! The struggle will be real at first, but then it literally becomes second nature. Have you ever been told, “You should shop around the perimeter of the grocery store.” Think about it, the perimeter of any grocery store is filled with vegetables, fruits, meats, and numerous dairy products—all vital to a healthier lifestyle.
Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day AND probably my biggest meal of the day. Breakfast is vital! Your body has gone (hopefully) 7 – 8 hours without food or water while you were asleep. Think about the word, it literally means you are breaking a fast. Eating breakfast replenishes your famished body and fuels you for the rest of the day.
The choice of breakfast foods consist of some form of protein (eggs, egg whites, protein pancakes, or omelet variations), possibly one healthy fat (any natural nut butter like almond butter, peanut butter or even just plain butter), maybe one healthy grain (whole wheat bread, old fashioned oats, etc.), or even one nonfat dairy (plain nonfat greek yogurt, skim milk, non fat cottage cheese, etc).
This is surely not the entire list of possible breakfast items, but just a few ideas. Pick and choose what works best for you! Throw in some fruit, cottage cheese, or a handful of spinach in that egg white omelet. If you’re not a morning person like me, make some healthy overnight oats the night before—literally a grab and go breakfast. Keep in mind that you need a balanced breakfast, so don’t over do it with the carbs.
Take a trip down memory lane with me, if you will, and remember how awesome snack time was in primary school. As an adult, you can still look forward to snack time, but a much healthier snack time. Bring healthy snacks with you everywhere you go! I have friends that I know who pack healthy snack options before we even step a foot out of the door. I’m not trying to deal with a hangry elf, not to mention the temptation of choosing a fast food option.
Some healthy snack options include: almonds, apples, greek yogurt, homemade trail mix, protein shakes, rice cakes, a spoonful of peanut butter/almond butter, or even some fruit variations—try to keep those fruits within the morning time frame because you want to give your body the remainder of the day to utilize the fruits’ natural sugars and carbohydrates; all with which provide you the necessary energy to power through the day.
Similar to breakfast, lunch should 100% consist of a protein variation ( think chicken, steak, lean ground beef/turkey, shrimp), and a vegetable of some sort (I eat veggies in the morning too, but some people think I’m strange? To each their own right?). Along with the protein and the veggie components, throw in another healthy grain or fruit option like brown rice, whole grain pasta, or quinoa.
You should probably have another snack at this point. Who am I kidding? I eat a small meal just about every 3 hours—that’s about 6 small meals a day.
This is one of my favs aside from breakfast. When I know I am going to be lifting heavy at TruFit, I make sure to have some form of carbohydrates to fuel my body for the necessary energy to be successful throughout my workout. These potential pre-workout ( at least 45 mins or MORE before the actual workout) snacks include: a slice of whole wheat toast or a salt free, brown rice cake with a teaspoon of almond butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Or one of those Peppermint Protein Brownies from one of my favorite healthy recipe blogs, CutandJacked. UGH! I’m getting hungry just typing about it!
Typically, dinner is the average person’s largest meal of the day. But no, you are not average. You are above average and you know that you should not eat a hefty dinner. Why, you ask? Because after dinner, you’re more than likely going to lay on the couch or hop in bed to binge Netflix. Your body has had zero time to break down those sugary processed foods, carb load galore, or fats on fats on fats. When your body doesn’t have enough time to break down those sugars and carbs, they’ll turn into that evil word…Yeah, body FAT! NO THANK YOU!
Dinner should include some form of protein, definitely a veggie, and maybe a nonfat diary item. If you’re like me and you legit crave carbs regardless of the time of day, you may have a fourth of a cup of brown rice/quinoa…The struggle is real y’all. That’s why I make sure to carb load in the morning hours.
Remember, baby steps will make the biggest change. Making subtle choices to your eating habits will get the ball rolling on a more holistic and healthier lifestyle. That being said, I may or may not have found a healthier cookie/brownie alternative just in time for y’alls Holiday Cookie Party: “Bring a Dozen, Get a Dozen!” My holiday cookie party is on the 20th. Don’t act like you’re not attending one too!
I’m going to head to TruFit and put an end to this ‘fad diet nonsense. I feel like TruFit should come with a warning: YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT. YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. YOU WILL BE HAPPY. No joke y’all, I truly love this place! Just don’t ever forget: subtle changes will grow into a healthier lifestyle and thus produce a healthier you! You CAN do it!
-Peace, Love & TruFit