Because I’m not a licensed nutritionist, I don’t create specific diets with my clients. However, I can give nutrition guidelines. In this four part series, I’ll clue you in on some of the best foods for your body, and some that you should be avoiding. Today we’ll cover some of my favorite proteins, followed by healthy fats, then carbohydrates, and finally foods you should avoid. Make note that you should be eating from all three of the macronutrient groups (proteins, carbohydrates, and yes, fats) at every meal. That ratio though depends a lot on the individual. This is by no means a complete list. Please feel free to add to it or comment.
Proteins – Protein aids muscle recovery. The proteins here are for non-vegetarian/vegans. Healthy protein intake is certainly possible with those diets, but because most vegetarian sources of protein don’t contain a complete amino acid profile, getting complete proteins can be difficult without animal sources, and you really need to know what you’re doing to go this route successfully.
Eggs – The standard against which all other proteins are measured (really). They get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because they contain a lot of HDL (good) cholesterol. Its true that you should limit your consumption of yolks to 2 a day, but you can go to town on the egg whites. I drink them right out of the carton Go for the free-range eggs or organic. Although the USDA will tell you otherwise, a large study in Oregon found them to be much more nutritious. Seems healthier chickens make healthier eggs.
Chicken Breast – Yes it gets old, but eat it anyway. Everyday! I grill up a bunch at the beginning of the week so I’ll have it ready when Mr. Hungry comes. Make sure that it isn’t packed in a “sodium solution”. This is saltwater added as a preservative, and for size. Some experts estimate that Americans get up to 40% of their sodium intake though meat packed with this solution.
Grass-fed Beef – Grass-fed beef has the same omega-3 to omega-6 ratio as salmon. That means that grass-fed beef fat is actually good for you! Although cuts of meat can be hard to find in conventional supermarkets, a lot do carry grass-fed ground beef, which because you want the fat in it, is just as good!
Yogurt and Cottage Cheese – Not everyone does well with dairy. But if you do, it’s good to know that because they have a lot of slow digesting protein called casein, yogurt and especially cottage cheese are excellent before bedtime. Go for the Greek yogurt, its got double the protein.
Salmon – Salmon is excellent source of protein, and of incredibly healthy omega-3 rich fats. The wild salmon is much more nutritious than the farm raised. I love it grilled. Be careful though, the FDA recently approved the world’s first commercially available animal for consumption! It is a terrifying hybrid of salmon and eel, and is called “Aqua Advantage Salmon” Yuck! Can you believe that our government is allowing companies to sell these Franken-Fish as food?
Whey Protein Shakes – Although not a food, I had to throw these in there because they are absolutely the best thing you can have after a workout. This is because whey is absorbed extremely quickly into your muscles and helps you recover within the “anabolic window”, a 45-minute period after your workout when your muscles most need protein.
That’s it for today. Next time we’ll cover some of my favorite healthy fats.