Eating and exercise, key ingredients to being healthy and fit but if you don’t do it right you’re not going to get the most out of either. I asked Lisa Caldwell, Nutritionist for Whole Foods Market and Kitchen Confidant, to give us a few pointers on how to get the most out of our food.
Food, glorious FOOD! By Lisa Caldwell
Real food, not the “hey, you’re looking pretty, sitting there in that package on that shelf, bet your tasty!” I am talking about real food, with nutrients, required by the body for function, energy and regulation. The type that helps us get closer to our ideal selves no matter how we work out.
Let’s take a brief look at what is going on with real, whole foods, what they can do for us and some simple foods that can easily be incorporated into to our lives.
Nutrients – Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Water. Our body requires these six nutrients to function. Real Food has nutrients, so we want them in our bodies to help us function properly. Fortunately we can find them in a variety of different foods.
Technically, there are three energy-yielding nutrients. Energy, fuel, gas… the food world calls it a Calorie! Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats all supply our bodies with calories or energy. Our bodies desperately need them so we can do Zumba, pick up our kids or get through our day without “crashing”. The other side to supplying us with energy is if they have vitamins and minerals naturally present with them, then our bodies have an easier time taking care of us and doing what we need it to do! For Example: Vitamin C makes it easier for Iron to get into our cells, and therefore use the Oxygen that comes along with it. The B Vitamins are crucial in the conversion of Carbohydrates into Energy and Vitamin E helps out with Protein to protect our skin and fight free radicals.
So how does all of this come together with working out?
Most seem to equate working out and eating “right” with being “good”. It beats the alternative with being “bad”, right?
After the short, snarky paragraph on calories…. How about taking a look at combining real food with working out as plain old “this is just how it works”? After looking in on the cellular level, what each “system” needs to make you feel like the 200 hours you have spent away from your bed was worth it… could you remove the concept of “good” or “bad”? Because honestly, no one food makes you good or bad, it just may not do anything for your hard-at-work body, period.
Therefore, you are having to work twice as hard….. and who wants to do that?!
Here are some simple foods and combinations to consider having at different times of the day. They are made with real, whole foods, supply quality calories, are nutrient dense (so vitamins and minerals are present), are familiar and they can be “cross utilized” in another meal.
Breakfast – as stated in the previous article, the most important meal of the day. Rolled Oatmeal with dried or fresh fruits, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk. Breakfast Burritos – fresh eggs, scrambled with some spinach, garlic and shredded cheese. A frittata that you have sliced and placed in a tortilla wrap. Breakfast smoothie- fruit and vegetable combo with a twist! Check out the recipe attached!
** Breakfast can be hard to put together in the mornings, however, all the items that I have mentioned can be made up ahead of time. Yes, you read that right… you can make it all 2-3 days before and just grab and go!
Lunch – Spicy Fiesta Chicken – frozen brown rice, pulled rotisserie chicken, salsa and shredded cheese. Combine in a bowl, place into a microwaveable container and heat before serving. Options : add spinach, black beans, corn and guacamole to liven it up or put it in a wrap! White Bean Salad with Shrimp, Kale and a Dijon Tarragon Dressing… see the attached recipe. Three Bean Chili, or last night’s beef chili over brown rice instead ?
Snacks – the standard staple – Natural Peanut Butter and Fruit Preserve Spread on Whole Grain Bread. Boring? Consider this: The Fruit Spread is a simple carbohydrate, bread is a complex carbohydrate with fiber and the peanut butter is a high quality protein with healthy fats! All in one sandwich! Yogurt parfait – whole fruit, plain yogurt (no sugar) and granola or trail mix. Smoked Black Bean dip with baked, lightly salted Tortilla Chips or vegetable sticks.
Dinner – Dark Leafy Green Salads with pulled chicken, sirloin or fish. Asian Style Chicken Wraps, food and fun – see recipe on our new Recipes page. Fish Tacos! Everyone loves fish tacos! Sweet Potato Salad – roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, mangoes and red peppers. Add your favorite Lime vinaigrette and voila! You have a new go to favorite!
If you have questions as to how this can all be done within a short period of time, quick tips, techniques and or products that can be utilized to implement some of these items into your life, let us know! All of these foods are real, whole and only want to contribute to all that you already do!