It’s that time of the week again!
So, I’m starting to try and up my calorie intake (with clean foods!!) and look into my macro’s (the division of my calories between carbohydrates, proteins and fats). Training is starting to get quite intense now and trying to find the energy between work, training and having a life is proving a challenge… Plus, I’ve recently had man flu which has made me feel all human and vulnerable!
To do this, I’m starting to swap my usual routine of breakfast, lunch, dinner into 5/6 meals a day consisting of roughly 3/400 calories each. The most difficult bit is trying to get your head around essentially eating 2 lunches.
Here’s todays feed:
- Strawberry & Banana Smoothie: Two smoothies are rarely the same in my house. You can start with a couple of ingredients and then find you’ve totally run out of others. However, they usually consist of berries of some kind, a banana, greek yoghurt, dash of orange juice and seeds.
Berries: It seems every food nowadays is a ‘superfood’, however, berries really are! They help to combat free radicals in the body which have been identified as cancer instigators. They also contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair
Banana: Bananas help overcome depression due high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. What more of a reason do you need to eat them!
Greek Yoghurt: Greek yoghurt contains twice as much protein as normal “processed” yoghurts which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. I would choose the full fat version over 0% or 2% fat – these are usually pumped with other chemicals like sugar, salt or even worse artificial sweeteners like aspartame (which has been proven to slow down your metabolism!)
Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds contain a huge amount of magnesium which is required for energy production. It also helps you absorb calcium and potassium from other food sources. Nuts and seeds help regulate not only your bowel movements but also your heart beat!!
- Mackerel with Spinach, Rocket & Avocado Salad (dressed with oregano & apple cider vinegar)
Mackerel: Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent, which translates as anti carcinogenic (cancer fighting) and immunity boosting! It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.
Spinach & Rocket: High in iron which is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells, it’s needed for good energy. Spinach is one of the high pesticide-containing foods, so it’s important to eat organic if you can.
Avocado: Full of monounsaturated fat – considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease
Apple Cider Vinegar: One of the major benefits you guys will be interested in is its ability to aid weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them. How does that sound?? Some people even recommend having 2 tablespoons with water a day to gain full benefits! I just add some to my food instead.
This should have been some tuna, salad and sweet potato… However, I just couldn’t get my mind around having a second lunch. I mean, what would all the skinny girls in the office think, right? If they were even paying attention, I bet all they would feel is jealousy.
We’ve been taught for so long to think and eat a certain way, it can take a good while to break a habit of a lifetime! I’ll get there…
Instead I had:
- Greek Yoghurt with Honey
- Sliced mango
These are by no means bad for you! In fact, you would drop quite a bit of weight having this as your afternoon snack over that chocolate bar or fizzy drink! I am trying to cut down my sugar/carb intake and up my protein to aid muscle recovery and energy levels. Fish and slow release carbs like sweet potatoes would have been perfect.
- Chicken, Broccoli, Sweet Potato & Spinach (Chicken cooked in coconut oil and drizzled with apple cider vinegar – I’m addicted!)
Chicken: A a great source of lean, low fat protein and also rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports your teeth and bones, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function. A genuine all rounder!
Broccoli: Don’t over cook it! If you’re broccoli is sliding off your plate in a mashed mess, it’s likely that you have just boiled away all of its cancer fighting properties. Try lightly steaming or even eating it raw! (Tastes great with balsamic vinegar)
Sweet Potato: Beta-carotene or vitamin A is an important antioxidant. One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some! This helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure. It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.
Spinach: As above
- Egg whites with Cress
Eggs: Not just protein packed but also high in Iron and Zinc. Women in particular need plenty of iron due to menstruation, and not getting enough could leave you feeling tired, run down and grumpy. Zinc keeps your immune system in top form and helps your body turn food into energy.
Cress: I mostly use cress just to flavour up some plain foods or salads but after some research it turns out that its an Aphrodisiac!! There were a whole list of other health benefits but do you really need to know any more…
I also made huge in roads into my own personal health challenge today!
If you are anything like me, there are just those certain situations that you just can’t resist indulging in something naughty! E.g. a sugary snack or dessert after dinner, sweets at the cinema, a sweet spirit laden cocktail on a night out… Mine? A simple gluten free brownie that sits perfectly next to my Costa americao with cream. But NOT TODAY! I managed to stroll into Costa for my usual hump day, post work pick me up, beat the mischievous devil in my mind and walk right back out the door! And do you know what? I didn’t miss it one bit. In fact, I think I enjoyed my coffee even more by not having my taste buds drown in sugar and chocolate.
In a lot of instances, you end up eating something out of pure habit. Mindless snacking.
This week, try and think about the foods that you are putting in your mouth. Before you buy anything you will later feel guilty for, just think “what will this taste like?”, “Do I really want it?”, “What will this situation feel like without it?”… And even “Is there something healthier that I can substitute it for?”. If you can’t manage one week, try one day. Or if even this seems a daunting task, think of one particular situation that you know you indulge in something you know you could do without and then make it your task to turn it down.
I promise, it may seem like a really small and monotonous event but you will feel deeply satisfied with yourself for doing it and exercising that self control!