It’s Been A While!

Lots has been in the works lately! Like I had imagined before, sooner or later, I was bound to start slacking on this blog thing. Anyways, training is still going great. 4-6 times a week depending on my recovery and how I’m feeling. It’s currently the holy month of Ramadan so I have been fasting for approximately 14-15 hours a day. Since I train at 8 pm (break fast at 6:30ish pm), I only have an hour and 30 minutes window to digest the food. So I really have to control what I eat. Dates are very popular during the month of Ramadan, so I usually down somewhere between 10-15 date with A LOT of water just so I can replenish my energy levels (insulin, water, etc..) along with some soup, salad, and a lean protein cut. A small portion that’s just enough to keep me going for the next few hours and then after my workout, I have a decent sized portion of you name it. Gotta get my gains in during this month!

VERY BIG NEWS! Two weeks ago I decided to take on the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Seminar/Course and I just got the results back today. Absolutely pleased and proud of myself. When I talked myself into it, it was a 100% personal. I wanted this for me. To prove to myself that I can do it if I put my mind and heart into it. Today, I’m a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. I will definitely use the knowledge that I have gained and gathered over the last few months and from the great coaches around me to benefit myself and those around me in the best way possible. Avoiding the novice’s curse (skipping the basics and jumping right into the challenging bits) is a daily challenge for me and if I ever get to coach, I will make sure I emphasise the basics and build my athletes on from there. I’m absolutely in love with this great CrossFit community. Everyone around me has been so supportive and encouraging.

On Nutrition & Dieting

Have you ever had one of those days were you keep finding yourself wandering aimlessly in the kitchen and munching on anything and everything? If yes, then I have officially found another abnormal beast just like me!

So I have been feeling like that for the past two weeks, especially when I get to my day off from CrossFit. Now don’t get me wrong. I try to cook most of my meals at home. And when I’m not cooking, I’m usually popping my head into the kitchen every 10 minutes asking my mom not to add any butter/cream/condensed milk to the food. So I’m definitely trying my best to keep my food very plain and SIMPLE. That’s the most important factor about eating clean. Simple, nutritious foods and grains to fuel and energize your body. It is very important to get your body used to the type of food you ingest everday. This step requires your commitment and consistency.

Let’s assume that you are working out at 4 PM (who does that? I do.), you will get your body used to having a small meal at no later than 2 PM. Now this meal must be a small portion of a lean protein meat and simple carbohydrates because you want to make sure you are able to fully digest it before your workout starts. After completing your workout, you may have your protein shake and then a nice post-workout meal which includes a decent portion of lean protein, healthy fats, and some vegetables. Now I’m not being entirely clear about what you should be eating and I don’t want you to keep wondering.

So after a little research, I hope that you are able to incorporate and introduce these foods into your daily intake. 

Lean Protein Source (30% of caloric load):

> Chicken Breast (4 oz.) – 27 grams

> Mahi-Mahi (3 oz.) – 16 g

> 99% Lean Ground Turkey(3 oz.) – 21 g

> Eye of Round Steak – 20 g

> Scallops (3.5 oz.) – 15 g

> Shrimp (4 oz.) – 18 g

> Tilapia (5 oz.) – 22.2g

> Turkey Breast – 26g

> Tuna Fish – 20g

 

Fats/Lipids Source (30% of caloric load):

> Virgin Coconut Oil

> Grass-fed butter

> Clarified butter/ghee

> Extra virgin olive oil

> Avocado Oil

 

NOTE: You want to avoid fats that have a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids and high processed industrial oils. Examples include Canola, Cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, corn, vegetable, sunflower, margarine, and buttery spreads.

 

Notice the following comparison:

Coconut oil = 92% saturated, 6% MUFA, 2% PUFA [GOOD]

Sunflower oil = 6% saturated, 19% MUFA, 63% PUFA [Not so much]

Notice how sunflower oil is mostly composed of unsaturated fatty acids? That poses a problem.

 

Carbohydrates (40% of caloric load):

> Beans (White, black, pink, kidney, lentil, soy, almond, peanut, walnut, chickpea)

> Small Seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy, sesame)

> Whole intact grains (wheat, oat, rye, rice, barley)

> Pita Bread, basmati rice, unpeeled boiled potato

> Sweet Potato

> Banana

 

Most of the above mentioned carbs are rated low to medium on the Glycemic index of foods. This is important because a low-GI (glycemic index) food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which is what you want to be ingesting for most of your meals except for the post-workout meal. That’s the only time you may indulge in a high-GI food to rapidly raise your blood glucose levels for energy recovery purposes after exercise. High GI foods include white rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, pretzels, and bagels.

 

I tried to simplify things as much as possible and give you the gist of my research. Carbohydrates are very essential for your body as you can see and it is impossible to sustain a no-carb diet. However, the time of day at which you consume these carbohydrates is even more crucial. I personally prefer to have the bulk of my carbohydrates in the morning for breakfast and before my workout for sufficient fuel. From the time I’m done with my workout until bedtime, ideally, I would have a lean protein cut of my choice with some greens. I would snack on unsalted peanuts, cashews, and walnuts. Also I have to have my daily spoonful of Peanut Butter. I’m saying I would really like it if I’m able to eat like this all the time and be able to vary my choices within the above mentioned categories. I get the usual cravings just like everyone else. When I do, I try my best to shut my stomach up with a date or a glassful of water. If that craving is occupying my mind and all I’m thinking about, then you just gotta have it!

 

If you have any questions or would like to give feedback on this reading please let me know 🙂

 

Sources:

http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/the-top-10-meat-proteins/slide/9

Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats: How to Tell the Difference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index