What Do I Eat?

What do I eat?On the Diet page, we discussed the basics of a diet; ideally, eating 5 well-balanced meals spaced 3 hours apart.  On the Meals page, we discussed the macronutrient profiles of those meals.  But having that information brings up questions. What do I eat?  How do I put the meals together?  When exactly do I eat them?

To answer those questions, let me share with you a 4 step process:

Step #1 – Make a list of all the foods you CAN eat. 
Step #2 – Put the foods together to make well balanced meals. 
Step #3 – Make index cards of the meals.
Step #4 – Shop & eat from the cards. 

What do I eat? 
Well, what can you eat?  Are there things that you have to stay away from?  Answering these two questions is important for Step #1.  So, brainstorm and write out (or type up) a complete list of foods that you can (and will) eat.  Think of sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  If you need help with a list of foods, check out Michi’s Ladder.  (Michi is a Japanese word meaning “road; path; method”.  It is a guideline to follow to make healthy food choices.  The higher up the ladder, the better the food choice.)

How do I put the meals together?
SPICE IT UP!Step #2 is also important.  EACH meal should contain proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Be sure to remember that lean sources of protein like chicken and turkey will need fats added.  Lean cuts of beef and fish will already have fat.  Don’t forget about vegetarian sources of protein either.  Adding carbohydrates to a meal is generally pretty easy since carbohydrates are everywhere.  Just make sure you choose the healthier ones near the top of Michi’s Ladder

Here are some 6 examples of well-balanced meals.  Each has a good portion of protein, good carbs and good fats.  Each meal is about 300 calories.  Obviously, you can mix-and-match and rotate as needed.  Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what things you can and should eat.  One more thing!  Don’t forget spices.  Eating bland food all day, every day is NOT fun.  So, SPICE IT UP!  EXPERIMENT!  By the way, a little onion and garlic go a long way!

4 oz Salmon (grilled or baked)
1 serving of Asparagus
1/2 cup Quinoa
4oz Sirloin (grilled or broiled)
1 cup of Broccoli
1 small Sweet Potato
4oz Chicken breast
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 cup Mushrooms
1/2 cup Snow Peas
1 cup of Carrots
2 tsp. Honey
4 oz Turkey Breast
1 cup of Spinach
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 Granny Smith Apple
4oz Orange Roughy (or some other fish)
1 cup of Cauliflower
1 small Banana
4 oz Tuna
1 cup of Mixed Berries

With the meals that you put together, follow Step #3 and make index cards from these meals.  This will help to simplify the process of preparation.  Which brings us to Step #4, which is using the index cards to assist you in shopping, cooking and then eating those meals.  It may sound silly but it does work and it doesn’t leave anything to guess work.    When it time to shop make sure you have all the ingredients covered.  When it is time to eat, just pull out a card and cook (or microwave) what is on the card. 

Timing is everything!When exactly do I eat them?
So when do I eat those 5 meals?  Some guidelines:  Never skip a meal.  Always eat something within an hour of waking up.  Eat every three hours.  Drink Shakeology either 2 hours before your workout or 1 hour after your workout. 

My schedule looks like this:

6:30am Get up
6:45 am 1/3 of the P90X Results and Recovery Formula drink
7:00-8:00am Workout (sipping and then finishing the P90X Results and Recovery Formula)
9:00am Meal #1
12:00noon Meal #2
3:00pm Meal #3
6:00pm Meal #4
9:00pm Meal #5

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