Eating Clean on the Move
Happy Thursday, lovelies!
Although this has been a short work week, it’s been a little rough for me. I had one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time on Tuesday (my phone broke and I almost got smushed by a subway door trying to catch the 4 train) and I’ve just been feeling really “meh” lately. It’s on days like these where I’m glad that I have the gym to sweat out all of my frustrations. There’s something about a good run or breaking that personal record with squats that can really put you in a good mood. When in doubt, don’t pout…sweat it out! But it’s more than just the workouts that help me clear my mind. The foods I eat also help to keep me full and focused. Exercise can only do so much so my diet is very important. I manage to eat relatively clean for the most part (I do have a cheat meal once a week) and that keeps me running on all cylinders even with all of the things I do on a daily basis.
As I mentioned before in my Questions and Answers blog post, my diet consists of lean proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and good fats. Proteins are the area that I get the most easily bored with so I have to mix it up. I can only eat so much chicken and eat so many egg whites, Dante. Luckily, my trainer gives me a lot of choices in this area. I still eat chicken and eggs but I also “treat myself” to shrimp, lean sirloin steak, tilapia, and turkey. Sometimes, I can have pork but since I’m training for a competition and have to watch my sodium intake, I’m not eating pork right now. I also realize that I said carbs and most of us are programmed to think that carbs are bad. That’s not true. You have to eat the RIGHT carbs. The ones I eat are brown rice, rice cakes, red potatoes, and yams. Not all vegetables are created equal either. Certain veggies are high in sugar (I’m looking at you, carrots and corn) so it’s also important to eat the right vegetables too. I eat asparagus, mixed green salads, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans for the most part. Did you notice that I didn’t say fruit? Yeah, as good as fruit is for you, it’s a sneaky way to add extra calories and sugar into your diet. But not all is lost, my lovelies. If you must have fruit, citrus, melons, and berries are your best friends and won’t set you back. Strawberries are my favorite fruit and so I usually have a few with breakfast or as a snack after lunch when I’m craving something sweet (you know, the 2:30pm snack/coffee run). Finally, you should have some fats in your diet. The “good fats” are the ones that help burn off belly fat (which I really need). I get mine from whole eggs, avocados, almonds, peanut butter, and salad dressing.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When it comes to eating clean, this is certainly true. How many times have you ordered pizza when you were too tired to cook dinner after a long day at the office? I know I have. That’s why taking the time to prep your meals ahead of time is such a great idea. It guarantees that you stay on plan, you save money since you’re not eating out as much, and you don’t have to worry about cooking when you get home from work. Since my diet is really strict at the moment due to my competition prep, I have to cook all of my meals and weigh out the proper portions. Yup, you heard me. I weigh out my food. But when caloric deficit is as important as it is to me right now, I have to. If I have a little bit more flexibility or am running short on time, I order all of my meals from companies such as Fit Fuel Prep. I order a week’s worth of lunches and dinners and they’re delivered to my apartment in a refrigerated box. I keep two days in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. As the week goes on, I thaw out my meals as needed. The dishes are incredibly tasty and they’re perfectly portioned. They also specialize in using all natural ingredients and have different options based on dietary needs (i.e. paleo, gluten free, etc.). This usually does cost me more than it would for me to buy all of the ingredients myself but it’s definitely a time saver when I’m in a pinch. When I cook my own meals, I usually do my grocery shopping on Sundays and prep my meals twice during the week for optimal freshness (Sundays and Wednesdays). I cook all of my lunches and dinners and prep all of my snacks in advance (see picture above). The only meal that I don’t prep ahead of time is breakfast because I almost always eat eggs and I typically don’t eat breakfast until I get to the office around 8am. To hold me over while I’m commuting, I have a protein shake and a rice cake with a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter spread on top of it (and my morning coffee, of course). Everything I need for breakfast is at the office already so I just cook it when I get there.
The other things that are important here are water intake, supplements, and sleep. I drink a gallon of water per day. To keep it interesting, I infuse my water with lemons, cucumbers, mint, or berries. I have my tumbler ready to go in the morning that’s been steeping overnight in the fridge and just refill it with water from the office water machine as the day goes on. It’s a great way to keep track of my water intake and I don’t have an excuse for not drinking enough water. The only negative is that you have to pee. A lot. I also take supplements for overall health and specific ones for different needs. I take a thermogenic to promote fat burn and amino acids for muscle recovery. I also take a probiotic because sometimes the high amounts of protein can mess with your gut a bit, especially if you’re not used to it. Last, but not least, sleep is imperative. I try to get 6-7 hours nightly if I can but life happens and so sometimes I get less than that. But usually if I have a night where I don’t get much sleep, I try to go to bed earlier the next night to make up for it.
This post was just a taste (get it?) of what my diet consists of and how I manage to eat clean while on the move. If you want me to post more about specific meals or recipes that I love, let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Instagram about it. Always happy to help out in any way that I can! Bon apetit!