Nutrition Update-My tips & nutrition norms

Many of my clients and friends lately, have been nudging me to post a new nutrition blog with some of my eating and healthy habits.

I know it’s been a minute from the last time I wrote to you all and I am sorry!! 😦

 Life has been a bit busy lately with work and my own training. I’m also about to make a huge life transition which I’ll be going public with very soon! All good things going on, I just haven’t had the time or energy to devote my thoughts to my writing.

That will change very soon as well. I feel better having an outlet to share my thoughts and tips here to help encourage anyone else who may benefit or feel uplifted.

SO-with all that said, I have a few nutrition and overall wellness tips that I do that I believe you can all benefit from if you try some.

Eating 

What I stay away from:

  • soda or carbonated drinksI don’t need to sit here and list all of the negative health benefits of drinking soda..including weight gain and not to mention it burns your throat!! I don’t consume this stuff.
  • sweet tea! I know this one is unheard of being from the south but it’s been months and months since I’ve had this in my diet. If you can’t cut it completely, plan it for your cheat day or work on subbing it with a healthy juice instead with natural sugars.
  • Fried foods– Okay, so I do love to indulge in some wings or fried chicken every now and then after a hard run or logging some long mileage at the end of a hard week. But this should definitely be a moderation food for SURE!!
  • Processed packaged/canned foods- Alright, do you actually think your body understands what your putting into it if you can’t even pronounce it..? I do not eat what I do not know. Meaning- if I can’t list the ingredients on my hands or read and understand what they are..I DON’T EAT IT. It’s not natural and not good for your body to try to break down all these foreign chemicals and harmful additives.
  • Adding salt/seasoning or excessive sauce/dressing to foods- I understand that seasoning meats and adding sauce to pasta and dressing to salad is normal ans tasty. However, again this needs to be done in MODERATION. What good is a salad if it’s covered in dressing and you can’t even see any green? When you go out to eat, many times the food is already over-seasoned and high in sodium. Don’t add more!
  • RED MEAT- This is one most people call me a weirdo for. I don’t eat beef or pork at all. I only eat-chicken,fish, and turkey. This is mainly a personal choice to opt for leaner meats and I also don’t like eating them at all. I think if you do eat red meat you need to really research the meat you are buying and know where it was raised and packaged ect. Know what is in the meat and eat it sparingly if you consume red meats.
  • SWEETSHaving dessert or treating yourself every now and then isn’t a sin but if you’re trying to trim down or work on your six-pack..ice cream and cookies every night won’t get you there. I’m just being real. I like to eat an oikos greek yogurt cup with a scoop of coconut peanut spread and my favorite fruits or granola whenever I get a craving. Find healthy alternatives and your body will adapt.

What I normally eat:

  • GREENS & Veggies– Try to eat something green with every meal, even if it’s blended into a smoothie so you can’t taste it. You should add a variety of mixed veggies into your diet each week too, don’t get bland and bored with your food. Mix it up.
  • FRUIT- NATURAL SWEETENER. I like buying fresh, organic fruits that are currently in season. Switch it up and try new fruits each week! These are perfect for snacking throughout the day and you should try to eat fruit with most meals.
  • Lean Meats/Protein– As stated, I only eat: chicken, fish(a lot of salmon), and turkey!! QUINOA is also a great protein/ plant based option for you vegans.
  • Almond milk- I drink this instead of dairy milk. I used to drink soy but always drink almond now. You can get it unsweetened or in different flavors.
  • Almond butter/nuts- I’m a big fan of the Justin’s Almond Butter. I normally buy the singles in Target to add to my 4-6 little meals/snack packs throughout the day. I also love Aldi for a canister of healthy mixed nuts.
  • Fruit pouches– There are many kinds out there. I only buy the organic ones with just fruit and natural additives, NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!!! If you pick anything up in the store with this as an ingredient, put it down and run away.
  • Whole Grain bread/Whole Wheat bread- Typically these breads are higher in nutritional value. I stay away from exceptionally starchy or “white breads”.
  • COCONUT- Oil, Milk, Butter..basically everything coconut.
  • Matcha/Green Tea- Put it in smoothies, coffee(just ask the Greystone Starbucks about me!), Protein shakes, or just inhale it.
  • DRINKS- WATER, natural juices(OJ,Cherry,apple, cran..ect), Vitamin Water XXX Zero, Coconut water, smart water, non-dairy milk. OCCASIONAL- Craft beer, whisky(rarely), or weekly-biweekly(depending on training and race schedule) glass of RED WINE. anddd did I mention..WATER?! oh and COFFEEEEEEE.

My Vice:

I guess if I could name the one bad thing in my diet right now would be my venti iced white mocha addiction. I get it many days throughout the week and it gets me through work and peps me up after an early morning run. I often get the matcha powder in it, which is healthy..yes. BUT-all of the sugar from the syrup in the drink I’m sure I could do without.

All of these nutrition tips are what I normally live by and do. I’m not saying these are what everyone should do but this works for me and my training. I do drink a ton of water, don’t eat/drink those listed items and I am disciplined because I know I perform better that way.

Over time, it really has become normal and just is a part of my lifestyle. Any change you make in your diet takes time. Habits form after about a month of repetition and commitment.

Even if you read this and pick maybe one or two helpful tips, try them for a few weeks and see how you feel!

I’m not perfect and sometimes life gets busy and I’m stressed at times too and don’t eat enough for the amount of training I do, and I don’t drink enough water. But I can absolutely tell in my energy level and performance when I do the little things and stay committed.

Age or activity level isn’t an excuse, neither is cost. Fruits and vegetables are so cheap, cheaper than buying food out at fast food places throughout the week!! YOU are in charge of you and your health. Excuses shouldn’t stop you from transforming or maintaining your body in the way that you want it. Just because it doesn’t happen over night doesn’t mean you give up.

We are given just one body in this life and it is a precious gift. Treat your body as the temple it is and fuel it carefully with love and goodness.

Savvy Food Prep & Grocery List!

Nutrition tips for how to grocery shop efficiently, budget frugal, what foods to buy where, and what you should always have in your kitchen!

Buying and eating healthy can be overwhelming when you don’t even know where to start when you get to the grocery store. You want to eat healthy but it’s expensive and you don’t even know what to buy to make your dollars last.

 

I’m here to help!

I know that these tips may not be for everyone that scrolls through my blog and that’s okay. I’m offering some advice and suggestions that I know have helped me fuel my training while poorly adulting for the first year and a half on my own.

I’m a smart shopper and I know some tricks that can help you save a lot of money while you build your pantry and maintain healthy living.
It all starts with making a list. Staying organized and knowing what you need before you hit the store will save time and money.

So I’ve compiled a few lists broken down into simple categories for you(and no it’s not an exact list of everything I go buy at the store each week!). And no you don’t need to go out and buy everything on these lists.

This is just a guideline for some of the types of foods you should have in your healthy/fit kitchen!


Fruits and Veggies

  • Apples
  • Kiwis
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Pomegranate
  • Lemons
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potato
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Zucchini

Dairy/Non Dairy alternatives

  • Almond milk, coconut or soy milk
  • Skim milk
  • Greek yogurt or lowfat/nonfat yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Low fat cream cheese
  • Butter or vegan butter spread

Juices

  • Orange juice
  • Tart cherry juice (or make your own with chia)
  • Gatorade
  • Apple juice
  • V8

Beans/legumes

  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Pento beans
  • Green beans
  • White beans
  • Edamame
  • Peanuts
  • Quinoa(it’s really a high protein veggie but I’m sticking it here bc you’ll see it on this isle or with the rice)

Fats,sauces &spreads

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Spreads & sauces
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Coconut oil peanut spread
  • Almond butter
  • Tomato sauce
  • Pasta sauces
  • Low fat dressings for salad
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Hot sauce

Nuts, grains & breads & pasta 

  • Brazil nuts,almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds,
  • Chia seeds & flax
  • Brown rice
  • Basmati & jasmine rice
  • Oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain bagels


    Protein

  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Shellfish
  • Any deli/lunch meats

Teas,powders extras 

  • Green tea bags
  • Matcha powder(raw green tea powder! It’s amazing and what I got hooked on this year in my smoothies and lattes at Starbucks!)
  • Instant coffee powder
  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Protein bars
  • Granola
  • Cereal bars
  • Organic Jelly or jams
  • Crackers/healthy salty snacks

WATER!!!!!!! I don’t like tap water..fluoride*cough*cough*

 You can buy 24 pack or a gallon of purified drinking water for under a dollar at most stores.


Avoid

  • Anything with high fructose corn syrup(I do not purchase anything with this in it)
  • Trans fat
  • Sodas
  • Sugary juices
  • Candy or fattening snacks w/ low nutrition
  • Processed foods
  • Canned foods
  • Red meat(I know some of you eat that and it’s okay! I just don’t eat beef or pork so I don’t buy it)
  • White bread
  • Cottage cheese or high fat butters/spreads
  • Sweets!!! A little desert every now and then is okay but loading up on candy and ice cream isn’t!

I typically go grocery shopping once every week-week and a half. Normally I only need to restock each week or so on my meats,produce and any short-term perishables like fruits,fresh veggies or milk and cheeses.

Most of your grains, pastas, breads, oats, snacks & dried foods will last two or more weeks depending on what you buy and expiration dates.

 I like to buy my meats FRESH and cook them the day I eat them(I’m mainly talking about fish/chicken/frozen meats for dinner). 

Now, I know that many people that food prep LOVE to make all of their meals on Sunday and have them all lined up and ready to roll in the fridge for the week.

I’m the same way EXCEPT– for my dinner meats, I make those the day of or have left over meat the next day for dinner at most.

 

I normally do my food prep on Sunday’s too- my breakfast smoothie bags, morning meals, snacks, fruit baggies, lunch bowls, sandwiches, pastas, salads, & cut veggies and fruits all put in their containers and sealed up(on a normal, good week!)

 BUT-something about stale,dry chicken and broccoli for dinner each night just rubes me the wrong way..I like variety and switching it up every now and then makes me happy.

That may work for some or that may not. Take it or leave it folks. Do what you will eat so you don’t get bored or waste food. 

My grocery store hit list-what’s best to buy where?

Aldi

Gold mine for the following:

Sweet potato chips

Veggie straws

Black bean/blue corn chips

Dried fruits

Nuts(they have this amazing can of mixed nuts you can buy for less than $3 filled with Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts ect. Basically all the good ones & good for you)

Apple sauce & fruit snacks

Peanut butter

Almond/soy milk

Pastas,quinoa, pasta sauces

Frozen fruit for smoothies

Basically any little fueling/healthy snacks or dried foods.

Wouldn’t recommend meats,dairy or produce here.


Publix

Where shopping truly is a pleasure.

I buy all of my deli meats here and cheeses. It’s the best quality and you can get lucky with specials in pricing each week. Publix is great for frozen or fresh meats too you can make the day of or stick in the freezer. Also, if you go to the seafood counter- you can get a piece of fish steamed right there for you, buy it, go home and just prepare your sides and have the protein part ready to go! It’s awesome.

BOGO. Need I say more..? Look out for cereals & certain dairy, snacks and other items on your list that could be buy one get one free at publix each week.


Target

Cartwheel. Download the app now and you’ll be penny pinching your way down your list in no time. As if we needed to spend more time in Target getting distracted by all its goodies.

I love buying my veggies and some fruits here. Prices are normally good and it’s on the way home for me most days. I also buy my water, Gatorade and a few snacks here. You can also find some sales here on certain items each week.


Sprouts

Best place for FRESH FRUITS & VEGGIES hands down.


Trader JoesBest place to buy cheapest wine/craft beers

Sushi, salads,cold lunch items, breads, snacks

Frozen meals and veggies, pastas are affordably priced and good quality

Organic snacks and sweets


Walmart

I mainly hate going in this place for obvious reasons- too many humans & only like two registers out of 25 open at a time.

It is pretty great to bulk buy some of the non perishable items and really save money on a budget though. If you can muster up enough patience, this is the best bang for your buck overall. I don’t buy deli meat or produce here.

Alrighty, that wasn’t so bad huh?! 

Shopping for healthy and affordable foods takes a little practice, knowing what sales are happening and what to look for when you go shopping, having a plan and committing to it.

Yes, food prepping does take a little time out of your Sunday-fun day..


BUT it will save you money and time and health in the long run the following weeks when you’re in a hurry, tired and hungry during the day. You’ll be prepared, satisfied and your body will adapt to not craving unhealthy, empty foods that just add calories.

Have fun with it. Eating is supposed to be enjoyed. Play with recipes and find out what you like and switch it up every now and then. Don’t be boringggg and force yourself to eat the.same.meal.every.day.blahhhhh. 

You know your body best. And your body will respond well when you fuel it right. Take care of your temple!! You only have one, treat it with respect and care. 🙂