Recently, on Instagram I’ve had some feedback about what works for me. What works for me nutritionally, in the gym, nutrient timing, supplements, etc. Well here is an example of a ‘regular’ day for me and some of the supplements I take.
Keep in mind: what works for me is specific to ME only. This is for you to get ideas from, but know that what works you could be 100% opposite. Bodies are weird like that.
My Staples: there are a few things that I just can’t and won’t go a day without. I know that not only do they do my body good, but they have benefits for other things.
Oatmeal. I was on and off with this for awhile, but now I am it is ON and here to stay! When I finally realized the difference in my non-oatmeal to my oatmeal days, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.
- Why I like it: When I have this for breakfast I notice that it keeps me full a lot longer into my day. Instead of getting hungry 2-3 hours after breakfast, I can last 4-4.5 hours. It makes a big difference on the days when I have to wait 4+ hours to eat my second meal because I’m so busy. Not only that but it is a great complex carb, my body appreciates it.
- How I eat it: One of 2 ways usually. 1) Overnight oats with 1/2C oatmeal + 1/2C Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla yogurt + 1/2 scoop Quest salted carmel protein + 1 TBS peanut butter + almond milk (to desired consistency). Or option 2) 1/2C oatmeal +1/2 -1 scoop quest protein any kind + 1-1 1/2 C water + peanut butter/choc chips/ sprinkles to taste 🙂
For more on complex carbs, check out this article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/benefits-of-complex-carbs-and-the-best-ones-to-eat/
Peanut Butter. I. Can’t. Go. A. Day. Without. There are plenty of “healthy” or “healthier” peanut butter options out there. What’s usually in my cupboard is Jiff Natural Peanut Butter, Better N’ Peanut Butter any flavor, or the Peanut Butter Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter
- Why I like it: Because it’s peanut butter, duh
- How I eat it: With everything.
- Why I like them: An apple away, keeps the doctor away. But no really, I eat one a day for all dat Vitamin C, and they’re delish
- How I eat them: Uh, as is. Or with PB 🙂
Greek Yogurt. Dannon Oikos triple zero vanilla to be exact. Still delicious with a LOT less sugar.
- Why I like it: A great source of protein, no fat, low carb (this kind specifically)
- How I eat it: in overnight oats, with granola, mixed with PB and honey, with fruit.
- Extra tip: Use plain greek yogurt as a substitute for so much – sour cream, heavy cream or cream cheese in baking, etc.
These foods are in my grocery cart every single time, even when I’m not getting a full load because I go through these that quickly. Below are other staples:
- Couscous/ quinoa
- Sweet potatoes
- Ground turkey
- Deli turkey
- Quest bars/ protein bars
- Almond milk
- Cottage cheese
- Misc fruits and veggies
So eating all of these foods may seem fine and dandy, and then some people try it and say “Uh… What? I’ve been eating healthy, heck I’ve been eating Kale and other superfoods and I am seeing no change!” Sometimes it comes down to nutrient and meal timing.
And let me note this here. Just because you are trying to eat healthier or begin a diet does not mean you have to eat less. Don’t do it. Majority of Americans either overeat (the obvious) or undereat because they don’t know what their bodies need.
Nutrient Timing: Yep. It’s a thing. Spreading your meals out into more smaller meals throughout the day at a pretty consistent basis, that works. That is the easy party of nutrient timing. What I found to be hard, and it has taken me quite a few years experimenting to figure this out is nutrient timing. What to eat before and after a workout, what’s best for breakfast, for a bedtime snack, etc. Here is what my nutrient timing looks like
- Carb loading first half of the day. I’ve found that my body works best when I have majority of my carbs (60% or more) in the first “half” of my day. Usually that means before about 3PM. Within that time I have oatmeal for breakfast, an occasional sandwich or PB toast, yogurt + granola, apples and other fruits, and sweet potatoes or something of the sort for lunch. When it comes to dinner, I don’t omit carbs though, because I hate the notion of “oh no carbs are bad for me”. No I just have less carbs in the second half of my day. Dinner? Usually sees couscous or quinoa or a taco salad. Pre bedtime snack? Cottage cheese, protein pudding, or halo top.
So I know when my body appreciates carbs. Why do I think this is? Well I usually have 1-2 workouts done before 5PM. Also, I’m usually up pretty darn early. My body not only appreciates the carbs early, it demands carbs. Will this work for you? Maybe. Maybe if you workout in the morning and are on your feet the rest of the day. Maybe your body just likes carbs early in the day so it has time to work them through your body and store them properly. Or maybe you need a more even keel of carbs throughout the day. Maybe you only workout in the afternoon or maybe you wake up later in the day. You figure it out, you do you booboo.
Thats a breakfast full of carbs. Gimme that energy for leg day.
- Carbs + protein + little fat before a workout and protein + carbs after a workout. My pre-workout choices? Apples, rice cakes, bananas. Or if it is 1 hour or more prior greek yogurt parfait or PB toast. Post workout? honestly, it usually falls perfectly with one of my meals. But if not, and this rarely happens, I’ll have a protein shake to tide me over.
Not only does nutrient timing your workouts help you get through the workout – with proper energy, without feeling sick, etc. It also 100% affects how your body recovers and also plays into your weight loss, strength building, etc. goals. But that’s another topic for another time.
- Meal timing: 1 meal every 3-4 hours. It works. I eat 6 meals a day and on my really early days I eat 7 meals. I’m not eating 500+ calories each time. No, my biggest caloric meal is actually usually lunch. Breakfast (300-400 cals) Breakfast no 2 aka meal 2 (200-300 cals) Lunch (450-550 cals) Meal 4 (200-300 cals) dinner (400-500 cals) bed time snack (100-200 cals)
Why does meal timing work? It allows your body to constantly have something to work through. As soon as you finish digesting one meal you are about ready to put another one in. It doesn’t give the body time to be confused or to think that it is not getting a meal for awhile, putting itself into starvation mode.
Let’s tie this into exercise
Now of course, contrary to popular belief, everything done in the kitchen will outweigh your efforts in the gym. You just can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, knowing that my diet is on cue, here is what I currently have found to be working for me. NOTE: I change up my exercise routine about every 3-4 months.
Strength training: Don’t be afraid of muscles. I’m not. Sure one of my main goals is to always be getting stronger and to have visible muscle definition, that might not be your goal, but strength training is important to have in EVERY program. If you don’t want the “bulky” look go for lighter weight and higher reps. But keep the strength training because it helps your body be strong to fight against falls, poor posture, injuries, etc.
- Current program: 3-4X per week of legit strength training. Where most of my sets are only 4-8 reps each set. Some sets get into the endurance range of 12-15, but the overall goal is strength. My heart rate is not as high here, which is why I pair it with an occasional 2-a-day with running (see more later).
HIIT, or something of the sort: I recognize that one of the best ways to burn fat is to work in intervals. High heart rate to low. So I do HIIT. Plus some days I just need to sweat, so here’s a good way to do it.
- Current program: 2-3X per week of HIIT. This could include tabatas, interval training, workouts under 30 minutes. The goal is to monitor the ups and downs of the heart rate. More recently, I’m working out at #orangetheoryfitness more for this HIIT (if you haven’t tried OTF- do it!). I mean the whole premise of OTF is the “afterburn” which comes from that intervalling of the heart rate
Running: yes, I’m a runner. Especially right now as I know that a half marathon and hopefully a tough mudder will happen this year. As long as you are smart about running, it can be beneficial to any program – I mean #cardio, duh. The more running I put in my regimen, the leaner I feel. But I will NOT run myself into the ground with miles and miles just to attempt to be leaner. That is where strength training also comes into play.
- Current program: 2-4X per week of running (noting that some of these days my running comes in my HIIT when I do Orangetheory). Usually my run days are my 2-a-days, most commonly paired with lifting.
- Monday: AM lift- legs, PM (afternoon) run
- Tuesday: AM lift- shoulders + run at the end of workout
- Wednesday: HIIT at orangetheory (including core)
- Thursday: PM lift – chest/ tris /core
- Friday: AM lift- back/bis + PM run
- Saturday or Sunday: Lift- deadlift/ accessory work/ core + run
- Saturday or Sunday: rest day
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert here. I will just note what I use and why I like it and keep it short and sweet
- Quest nutritin protein powder (to be mixed with anything you can set your mind to- protein pancakes with quest are BOMB) plus quest bars
- NLA for her Ignite: I’ve tried a lot of pre-workouts and I just like this. No tingling, no crashing plus workout energy, focus, and sweat
- Currently NLA for her aminos, but changing to ideal lean. The NLA BCAA’s did make me tingle. Any other recommendations for BCAA’s?
- Easy living nutra. If you don’t currently use a probiotic I highly suggest you try. It really helps with a “happy gut”, and in my personal experience, eliminates unnecessary bloating.
- Joint health – Vasayo microlife ‘renew’ gel. Works wonders. Curious about it? Ask
- Multivitamin- Vasayo microlife essential. Proven to be absorbed by the body ALOT more than regular multis and not just peed out
Questions? Please ask!