I keep getting asked “what do you eat” on a weekly basis so thought I’d pull something together to give a bit of an overview.
Before I go into it I’d like to point out
- I am no expert, nor am I qualified in nutrition in any way so do not hold me accountable for anything!
- What works for me might not work for you I’m just saying what ‘I’ do not what ‘you’ should do
- This is just a brief summary of some key points nutrition is a huge subject & this is not the full picture
- I treat everything with the 80:20 principle, I still love, and eat cake 🙂
The last year or so I’ve been on a bit of a learning journey when it comes to diet & nutrition. Previously I’d started to achieve some fairly good results in terms of changes to my body (on the outside) but never really had any kind of fixed approach or understanding of what I was doing.
Thanks to huge amounts of advice & help for experts like Ryan James & Barbara Cox I’ve learnt LOADS, and basically started trying things for myself to see how it goes.
I eat for balance… I look physically ‘ok’, I can perform as an athlete ‘ok’, & from a long term health perspective I’m ‘ok’ I don’t focus on perfection for one specific goal.
What’s the overview
Eat natural (un-processed) food (i.e. fruit / veg / meat / fish)
Why – Because it’s how nature intended!
Why – non organic crops are sprayed / treated / fed with potentially hundreds of nasty chemicals. When you eat the veg you consume the chemicals & they are not all spat out the other end, your body absorbs & stores them. Animals fed on non-organic feed follow the same process & then you eat their meat & in turn absorb the chemicals. Long term complications are not 100% clear but I’d personally rather avoid it.
Why – It will be at its best, have highest nutritional value & avoids air miles! (see tips for ideas here)
Why – it’s what your body naturally uses for energy. “Fats have little or no impact on insulin and, as a result, promote the burning of both dietary and stored (adipose) fat as fuel” (ref)
Good sources are meat fats / unpasteurised dairy / coconut oil / coconut milk / avocados / eggs etc.
Avoid grains & processed starchy food (i.e. all bread / pasta / rice / wheat / cereal / (for me also potatoes / bananas)
Why– Because they affect raise insulin levels / blood sugar / increase storage of fat / cause inflammation in the gut & other areas / are shown to increase chances of diabetes / heart disease etc. There is so much to understand in this area & I’m not 100% there yet, I’m reading some very heavy going scientific studies about it, once I’ve finished them I will summarise what I find!
Avoid un-natural sugars (i.e. anything not from a piece of fresh fruit)
Why – Same as above. Grain based carbs effectively turn into sugar in your body so sugar has essentially the same effects. Avoid all sweets / processed food (most has sugar or ‘hidden’ sugar in it) / ditch it from your coffee & tea / no fizzy drinks.
So what are some of my typical meals?
All products are organic or in the case of meat (depending on the butcher I use) at minimum locally sourced / grass fed / free range)
Fried bacon (or sausage) / eggs / mushrooms / spinach (one pan, loads of butter, little washing up!)
Fried bacon / cabbage (it’s in season at the mo & super delicious – one pan, loads of butter, little washing up!)
Baked egg / bacon (wrap bacon or salami around a muffin tin & crack an egg in it & bung it in oven for 10 mins)
Smoothie with coconut milk / fresh berries if in season / unpasteurised double cream / unpasteurised whole milk / whole yogurt / milled flax seed (or any combination of the above)
Fresh seasonal fruit with coconut milk / desiccated coconut / whole yogurt / flax seed / chia seed
Pan friend chicken breast (loads of butter & an organic stock cube or just hymalayan salt & pepper to add flavour) / spinach / avocado (or variations to add whatever I’ve got i.e. cucumber / peppers / carrots / lettuce based on what’s in season)
Substitute the chicken for a pork chop (always cook better on the bone, more flavour) / slab of pork belly (with some of the fat removed) / lamb chop / few sausages / steak etc
Anything left over from dinners 🙂
In the winter I make big meat stews / casseroles & fill a few tubs for the freezer. I vary this with curries (veg & meat) / lasagnes (you can use veg for the layers not pasta) / cottage pie (sweet potato / swede not potato topping)
Slab of meat (chicken breast opened out / lamb chop / pork belly / venison / sirloin / pork chop) or fish pan fried in butter with seasonal veg
Thai curry with meat & veg (just slice up a bit of anything you’ve got & chuck it in with a really good quality Thai paste / a tin of coconut milk & some organic peanut butter 🙂 Beef or chicken work great in thin strips, your butcher can prep this for you.
Bake a bit of fish wrapped in Palma ham or bacon (with veg)
Roast a nice chicken / pheasant / duck (with veg) gives loads of leftovers for lunches.
Pea & ham soup (ham hocks are super cheap, boil them up & strip them & pop them back in some of the boil water with some fresh peas (when in season) some mint chopped & an organic stock cube if you want more flavour
Homemade burgers (lamb or beef) (fry an onion, whisk an egg, mix the lot together & make into patties & fry in lots of butter. Amazing with a nice fried or grilled mushroom instead of a bun & slices of fresh avocado & spinach salad. Top it with a poached egg for a treat too!)
Cottage pie / lasagne / stews etc (mentioned under lunches)
Pork scratchings (my butcher makes them – they are amazing)
Boiled eggs (7 mins is perfect to keep the yolk a little runny)
Organic raisins if you crave something sweet
Flapjack – my only grain is the occasional Nutirichef Flapjack. J
German / Italian sausages (Like pepperami but less preservatives & additives!)
Coconut flesh (you can buy the whole coconut / drain & drink the water then smash it open & take out the white flesh. Chop it up into chunks & munch… it’s sooooo filling!) or as a cheat buy organic coconut flakes.
Sourcing seasonal veg for free!
Find a local allotment & advertise your services to trade an hours digging or weeding for a few veg on a weekly basis (I’m lucky my Dad has an allotment & I help him every week in return for a nice bag of fresh, organic, seasonal goodies)
Ditching sugar from Coffee
To help ditch the sugar I started putting a teaspoon of coconut oil in it, after a couple of months I managed to take that out too & can drink it black. I don’t drink tea so not sure it would help there. Maybe switch from normal tea with normal milk to a herbal tea such as green tea or mint tea?
How to avoid hidden sugar
Don’t eat any processed food & you won’t eat any J There are lots of names for these hidden sugars i.e.
- Glucose Syrup
- Corn Syrup
- Palm Sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
They have formed a part of my daily routine & diet for the past 6 months & I have to say they have helped a lot with general wellbeing. I don’t suffer from any stomach upsets (due to diet changes & the use of probiotics), despite the stresses of work & training I put my body through I’ve felt really healthy & energised. These are definitely NOT the same as Yakult 😉
Great little video explaining more about what they do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_F8VZbZP8k
By all accounts a cleaner source than traditional cod liver. Great source of Omega’s
My only ‘grain based’ treat.
Buy them here:
My favourite is Fruit 🙂
Chi – coconut water
Great natural hydration, it does have natural sugars so you wouldn’t preplace water with it! But it’s great to drink pre or post training to keep sodium / potassium / magnesium levels up.
A good reading list:
I’ll repeat again this is all just stuff I have picked up, tested, learnt & works for me. I strongly guest trying things for yourself, keeping a diary or how you feel etc. I think it’s really important to be consistent for a good period of time. Eating well for a week won’t make much difference, but do it for 3 months & you should see a change.