Nutrition

Abs are made in the kitchen!

It takes some serious planning and discipline to see results based on nutrition.  And believe me, there is major truth to the old saying that abs are made in the kitchen.  Plan your eating schedule, prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time, and keep your food CLEAN!

Planning
An Ideal Eating Schedule would look something like this:

7am              
10am            
1pm
4pm              
7pm
10pm


 That means you will be eating 2190 meals a year. With so many meals, you would think we would learn to get it right! Each one is essential to your health, critical to your happiness and will lead to your success! 2190 meals seems like a lot to plan for, but if you break it down day by day and prepare your meals its a lot easier than you may think!

Okay so we know WHEN to eat, how about WHAT you can eat...

Your diet should be comprised of 55% complex carbs, 27% lean protein, 18% healthy fats. (This is just a guideline, but you can download calorie counters on your phone that will give you the break down of what you are eating just in case you are really out of whack).
Water is crucial for cellular function at every level, from regulating body temp, to keeping joints mobile and and maintaining tissue health.  Try to drink about 10 cups of water a day to keep your systems running at an optimal level.

You should eat 6 servings of protein a day, 2-4 servings of complex carbs, 4-6 servings of fresh produce, and 2-3 servings of healthy fats.



Following the schedule above, here is a sample menu of clean healthy foods all throughout the day (most of which you can prepare at the beginning of the week or the night before):

7am Breakfast:
1/2 cup oats cooked w 1 cup water (opt. top with 2Tbs ea ground flaxseed, wheat germ, bee pollen, 1/4 cup berries) 4 eggs whites 1 cup black coffee or clear green tea 1 liter water 10am Mid Morning:
1 apple w 2 Tbs natural pb or 1 handful raw almonds 1 glass of water

1pm Lunch:
5 oz tuna or chicken over 2 cups spinach leaves, 1 grated carrot, 1 tomato, 1/2 chopped bell pepper dressed with oil/vinegar or lemon juice, 2Tbs flaxseed 1 glass of water 4pm 


Mid-afternoon:
5oz grilled boneless skinless chicken breast 1 cup steamed veggies 1 glass of water 7pm 


Dinner:
5 oz salmon 1/2 baked sweet potato w chopped chives 1 glass water 1 cup plain green tea 


9:30pm Evening:
This meal is optional, you can include it if you are still hungry or chose to skip it.
1/2 cup kefir with 1/2 chopped apple or mixed berries 1 apple with almonds 1 rice cake with 1 Tbs natural peanut butter

It is not always possible to eat this many meals throughout the day, but a good start would be to at least make sure you eat SOMETHING for breakfast!
You should always make sure to eat a lean protein with a complex carb so other breakfast ideas would be a protein shake with shake with strawberries or eggs whites with spinach and tomato.


Preparation
For most people trying to lose weight or live healthier, knowing what to eat is the hardest thing to tackle. And with most people's schedules, they need something quick they can grab.
So in case you are sitting around wondering what's in my fridge.....let's take a quick look at my fridge cribs' style......
Remember I have cooked and pre-portioned every item for the week.
TOP SHELF
  • plain Greek yogurt (a staple in any healthy refrigerator!) with some freshly chopped strawberries 
  • bags of oatmeal
  • snack packs of celery sticks
  • fresh mixed vegetables
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • hummus (so SO important!!)
  • salsa or hot sauce (perfect for adding flavor with little to no calories)
  • balsamic vinaigrette dressing
MIDDLE SHELF
  • salads (with baby spinach, romaine and spring mix)
  • grilled chicken
  • boiled shrimp
  • boiled eggs
  • Ezekiel bread
  • whole wheat tortillas
 BOTTOM DRAWER
  • apples, oranges, tomatoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, ect.
I like to do my meal prep on Sundays.  After church I grab my clean eating recipes and make a shopping list of everything that I will need for the week.  And I STICK TO IT! When shopping keep your blinders on, don't wonder around the store giving yourself the opportunity for fall to the temptations of sweets and junk food.  Stay FOCUSED and remember your END GOAL.

This is a great rule that I live by that I have borrowed from Oprah.  I call it "Lap the Crap".  When in a grocery store stick to the outside aisles where you will find all of the healthier foods.  The produce and fresh meats, fresh whole wheat breads and dairy are all going to be lining the walls of your store.  The inside aisles will be filled with your candy and chips, sodas and junk foods.  Not only will this rule help your waistline shrink but will help your wallet stay fat!

Once back in your kitchen the magic really starts.  I prefer starting with the meals that I know will take the longest to cook (usually dinners) and while they are cooking I portion out my snack and salads for the week.  

Keep organized!  Label, have a listed schedule for every day.  When I first started preparing all of my meals in one day I ate the same thing every single day, this was fine until I started getting bored and branching out to more options.  But the repetitiveness of those first couple weeks taught me the discipline I needed to stay on track.  Try it.  And when you think you are ready to move on and have fun with your meals (while still keeping them clean and healthy) do it!
  
Clean Eating
According to LiveStrong.com Clean Eating is a diet program that is based on the idea that the best way to eat is to enjoy whole foods.  Whole foods being foods that are as close to their natural state as you can get them.  Clean eating lifestyles mean that fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins will be replacing pre-packaged, processed foods and fast foods.  Healthy fats also replace saturated fats.  Think good, quality, healthy foods.

One of the rules that I live by is "If it wont go bad in a week, don't buy it".  This is great because it stops me from buying processed foods that will last longer, instead I get the fresh fruits and vegetables that are nutrient rich and so much healthier.

5 Simple Steps to Eating Clean

1.  Eat plenty of FRESH fruits and vegetables.  Stay away from canned, frozen and processed foods.  If you absolutely MUST use something other than fresh vegetables frozen is better than canned, but watch out for extra additives (especially added sugar) to frozen fruits.

2.  Balance lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.  Use whole grains, like brown rice, and sprouted bread if you are really serious (I like Ezekiel brand breads and English muffins).  These are going to be better for you than any processed grains.  Look for gluten free foods even if you do not have an allergy, it leads you to less processed grains.  Eat LEAN meats!  Chicken, white fish, turkey....think WHITE meats.  Salmon and lean steaks are okay but in moderation.  Do not fry your meats! Broil, bake, grill and steam!

3.  Avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks.  Drink water and tea and stay away from fruit juices that have added sugars and dyes.  Get a juicer and try making your own juices, they will taste better and be healthier.  Don't forget your healthiest meal of the day SHAKEOLOGY!

4.  Trade bad fats for good fats. Know the difference!  Pay attention to labels!  You want to remove as much saturated fat from your diet as possible.  Do this by avoiding fast foods and eating lean cuts of meat.  Get your good fats from nuts and fatty fish.

5.  Eat several small meals to keep blood sugar regulated and avoid overeating.  Choose snacks such as nuts, low or fat-free dairy or fruits and vegetables.  This is where hummus is a huge lifesaver for me!  Grab some hummus and celery sticks and I am good to go!

Check out these Clean Eating recipes!