I love food! I am one of those people who will always finish their plate because I don’t like to waste food. Couple this with the fact that I am not a picky eater….well….I rarely turn down anything! Holidays are a struggle when there are pies, cookies, candies, and all kinds of goodies just waiting to be devoured. Saying “no” is hard so I usually give in to some splurging from time to time. However most of the foods out there are probably not ideal for fueling me through serious training while helping me to keep my weight down. I am going to share with you my personal favorite foods that keep me going through my day to day life and training.
First on the list for me is “rice”. I love rice! It is my main grain, starch, and carb. It’s gluten free so I usually feel less bloated and have digestive issues! I am Asian so I grew up eating a lot of rice. I usually eat my rice with kim chee. Some people do not like kim chee but it is a spicy fermented cabbage that is actually really good for your gut. It puts healthy bacteria into your digestive system. The second main starch or carb on my list is the potato. I like baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Next on my list is “greens”. Greens help fight inflammation, help your body absorb nutrients better, improve organ function, enhance your metabolism so you can keep the weight off, and they boost your immune system. My go to greens that I enjoy eating include kale and spinach. I eat most of my greens raw! Both of these are loaded with vitamins and minerals. I love the taste of kale and spinach. Both are known for vitamins such as c, a, and k. Kale is the most nutritious packed of the salad greens. One cup of kale has 2.5 g of fiber, 3 g of protein and 329 mg of potassium! This cancer fighting superfood is a great vegetable to eat regularly.
The next “green” on my list is broccoli. This anticancer food is high in vitamins a, c, k, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Broccoli also gives you 2.6 grams per cup of protein! A lot of times when we think of protein we think of eating meat or fish but vegetables have protein in them too. Try eating more greens to also get your protein!
I also eat a lot of inflammation fighting fruits like: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and grapes. Okay, maybe I also like these fruits because they taste great and are sweet! Talking about sweets, I also eat some dark chocolate from time to time because it is also good for inflammation. (look for over 70% cocoa).
Another regular in my diet is the banana. The banana is known for its potassium but I also eat it for energy and find it easy on the stomach for a starchy fruit. Other vegetables or fruits I eat commonly include mushrooms, carrots, green beans, and citrus fruits.
I love meat. My favorite is to grill chicken, beef, and pork. I also eat canned tuna and other types of fish or seafood as often as I can. Out of all the meats I eat “chicken” the most. Again, most of my meats are grilled or baked but not fried.
Lastly, for beverages I drink mostly water and green tea. Water is super important for hydration and green tea is one of the healthiest things you can drink. Green tea is known to help with immunity, weight loss, brain function, fighting cancer, balancing out your blood sugar, and helping with inflammation. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. I also find it helps to keep me warm in the winter as I sip on it all day.
Those are my main daily and weekly foods. These foods are easy for me to buy and get into a routine eating. I also enjoy eating these foods and they happen to be super healthy and work for me. I try to avoid the processed foods, the artificial foods, and the fatty or high in sugar foods. Another important area to watch out for are beverages high in calories and sugars like pop, fancy coffees, energy drinks, and sports drinks. I only drink water on most of my workouts each week.
When you eat right you’ll notice you don’t need a whole lot of other things to help you feel better and have energy. I rarely need extra vitamins (pills), supplemental drinks, and I never need the 5 hour energy shots, energy drinks, or caffeinated drinks. There is a ton of marketing out there trying to convince you that you need their products to feel better and perform better. I encourage you to start with making sure your everyday meals and snacks are nutritionally loaded to help you succeed in life and in your workouts. What you eat can fuel your day to day, help you recover, and keep you moving forward to accomplishing your goals. Food matters!