Perhaps you’ve heard that saying before.
And there is some great truth in that—particularly when it comes to nutrition, and supporting your training and busy lifestyle with nourishing fuel throughout the week.
I often get asked two questions:
As you can see, a peek into my fridge reveals many of my staple perishables to feed myself, my wife Leighanne and our two girls:
Cal/Mag supplement, maple syrup, coconut yogurt, max fiber (supplement plug!), roasted green chiles, greens powder
plantains, guacamole, chocolate mint raw bar, leftover protein in tupperware, green tea, juices, almond milk
hummus, leftover protein, salsa, chopped watermelon, grain free Granola, Leigh’s homemade nut butter cookies
leftover protein, white rice, eggs
cucumber, spinach, onion, potatoes, zucchini, apples, raspberries, blackberries, salami, pepperoni, raw cheddar, Hail Merry choco balls!
frozen Gluten-Free chicken tenders, nuggets, Gluten-Free bread/rolls, coconut ice cream – various flavours!, homemade smoothy freezies, frozen halibut-salmon-tilapia, sweet potato taters, fries
As far as the pantry, a few of our staple items include: Condiments, canned tuna, some corn or potato chips I find at Whole Foods, and a few tasty raw food (unique) things.
In order to feed this small army, Leighanne and I divide and conquer—she makes the ‘big items’ run at Costco—stocking up on greens and other produce, proteins in bulk, rice, toilet paper, paper towels and other needed household items.
I pull my weight in at Whole Foods: on a mission for several specialty items we’ve come to love. My Whole Foods Scottsdale “plan of attack” once there typically includes:
Left hand side of the store: Fruits, veggies, fish
Back wall: Chili, eggs, almond milk, yogurt, deli sausage, deli bacon, deli fresh meat cuts
Far right: Sushi, cooked chicken, cheese, fresh foods deli
Aisles: Tasty raw food things, corn or potato chips, sauces, condiments, canned tuna, juices.
Bada bing, bada boom—food for the week that is easily prepared.
And just like Leighanne and I tag-team to hunt down our weekly fuel, we also team up to make our meals come together.
In the mornings, for breakfast, I take over the responsibility of heating up the stove to cook up some protein—sausage, eggs, ground meat, bacon—it changes frequently. Leighanne helps round out the meal with fruits or some gluten free oats. Lunchtime is typically on our own—as I bring my lunch to work, and the girls do the same to school (usually leftovers from dinner for myself). And come dinnertime, I am home, back in the kitchen with Leighanne, preparing fish, chicken or beef, alongside a tuber vegetable (sweet potatoes or squash) and some greens or other colorful vegetable.
It may not sound too exciting, but simplicity is how I like it.
For the past several years now, my food and fuel regime has not changed too much: meat, veggies, nuts/seeds and oils, some fruit, little starch and lots of water, with some whey protein thrown in there around my workouts.
Pre and post-workout nutrition is another question I am commonly asked about.
As of late, my ideal liquid meal as of late has been Revive Recovery—Revive RX’s protein powder blend. Following my immediate post-workout shake, I then consume my post-workout solid food meal; often times: homemade meat balls, white rice and some avocado mayo.
And as for my pre-workout meal, most recently, that has looked less consistent than times past.
I changed up my training plan lately from around 10 a.m.-noon to 2 pm, in order to get more work accomplished in the morning time. I am done by 4 pm, bike home and am then finished with work for the day.
While this split allows me for correct mental preparation (finishing my work in the morning), it has been tough for knowing how to best fuel my body prior to working out—without feeling like I have too much sitting in my gut.
Eating breakfast around 6-7 a.m. is not enough to tide me over until 2 p.m. (like it used to for my earlier workouts), so I’ve been playing around with pre-workout nutrition.
Most times, my “good sessions” have been largely fasted—but with this huge time gap now, I know I need something in my system, particularly as I am aging and know more strategic nutrition promotes better recovery following each session.
I am trying to find my ‘middle ground.’
Right now, Hail Merry Coconut Raw balls are doing it for me (about 400-450 calories, mainly fat in content). Prior to these, I tried some light proteins, coconut, whey protein—but they weren’t settling 100% right.
Whenever you are trying to discern what pre or post workout nutrition is best for you, it’s important to be keenly aware of how your food is making you feel and perform. Are you burning up? Gassing out? Having digestive issues? These can be tell-tell signs of whether or not you have the proper macros for yourself at that time of the day.
Schedules change, our bodies change, our goals change, and therefore, so will your food. And while ‘exacts’ of what we consume may look different based on a number of these variables, one thing stays the same: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Stock your fridge and your pantry.