So what the heck does eating clean really mean? I get asked that question a lot. There is so much craziness out there with dieting right now… you get to the point where you don’t know what to believe. I hear everything from keto, intermittent fasting, hi protein, low fat, and everything in between. Diets all work .. and there is no one specific diet that fits everyone, But for me the key to maintaining a lean physique, while training to gain strength, speed and endurance has been to stick to predominantly whole foods. Now trust me.. I am not a whole foods nazi… I do have protein shakes, PB2 and quest bars .. but I would say that 80 percent of my diet is whole foods.

What are whole foods?

The easiest test is: Does it have only one ingredient? If it has one ingredient and it comes directly from the earth or an animal, it’s probably a whole food. Examples: avocados, tomatoes, rice, organic farm raised eggs, apples. READ YOUR LABELS! If the food starts listing more than four ingredients, or words you can’t even pronounce, it’s probably processed. Most processed food is bad for your health and bad for the environment. When it comes to what to eat before versus after a workout, I like to look at the macronutrients. Macronutrients (or macros) are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats…the building blocks of the energy systems that allow your muscles to produce “work.” PROTEINS Help maintain muscle mass ( everyone needs this and mass does not just mean “massive muscley men”) and prevents further breakdown of muscle. CARBS Give energy for both short, high intensity movements like kettlebell swings , and also long bouts of exercise, like marathons. FATS Provide essential nutrients to the body and help maintain cellular function. They help maintain blood glucose and insulin levels so you don’t feel crazy spikes of energy and fatigue. The idea of timing our macronutrients is slightly outdated. For most of us who engage in a moderate amount of physical fitness, a healthy balanced meal is sufficient both before and after a workout. The foods you choose, should be based off a personal trial and error approach to determine which foods you can tolerate and digest properly before or after the activity. Those who run marathons, or are really trying to put on muscle mass, may need to vary their macro balance. For instance, a marathon runner may need to increase their carbohydrate intake before a long training session. Someone who is looking to gain muscle mass may need to supplement either mid or post workout with a protein shake or meal, high in protein and carbs. But if you do not fit into these two categories, you most likely will get all your daily macronutrient needs from healthy, macro balanced, whole food meals. For example a great pre workout meal would be
  • one egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup spinach and tomatoes w olive oil
Lately Ive been starting my day with a meal like this, though I vary the carbs to keep it interesting or if my workout is more intense. A more intense workout would require a sturdier carb like potatoes, or oats. I vary the fat intake as well: avocados, egg yolks, olive or coconut oil, or peanut butter all give you a healthy dose of fat! I go on different breakfast kicks… I have been trying this… and I like! For Post workout I usually either do a protein shake but lately I have been doing
  • 4 pz of chicken
  • 1/2 baked potato
  • 1/2 cup broccoli…
Ive been liking it.. and switching up the carbs.. sometimes sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa. Eating this way has been working for me personally … its kept me lean and healthy. I know there are a ton of other diets out there that work but my experience has shown me the best diet is the one you can sustain! So I think for the general public who is looking to get off diets and just find a meal plan that works is to go clean and simple!