So, a good friend of mine recently came to me asking for advice and feedback on her diet. Of course, I love talking all things nutrition/fitness/running, as I am constantly reading up on all things related. Although I am by NO means a nutritionist, over the past 5 years I have completely changed my diet into a way that has made me leaner, has regulated my digestive system, and I also believe has helped me become a faster runner. At one point, I was counting calories, but could foresee myself becoming obsessive and had to stop. Now I approach food with balance – understanding what fuels me (whether it be for a regular day of work or for a half-marathon PR), what I should avoid for my picky digestive system, and where I can indulge. So, I told her of course I would give her my opinion and make any suggestions on new meal ideas.
Also, she wanted to start tracking what she was eating and her workouts, as a way to be held accountable to her 2012 resolution, and I gladly accepted when she asked if she could send them to me. She said her main goal was to improve her overall health, to stick to a regimen, and to begin to incorporating more short-distance runs into her weekly workout regimen (Do I sense a budding runner?! mwahaha) She also agreed to having these suggestions shared on the blog – maybe you all can provide further insight and meal ideas?
(Of course, with any change in diet/exercise, consult your doctor!)
So here we go! My suggestions are in orange!
1 cup of coffee, 2 Tbsp of fat-free cream
Nothing wrong with a cup of coffee a day. However, I am a big believer in going organic with dairy as much as you can. Are you using organic cream? To learn more about the need to shift to organic dairy, check out The Dairy Section chapters within Marion Nestle’s “What to Eat” – you’ll be convinced, trust me.
7:30 AM - Breakfast
2 egg whites (hard boiled no yokes)
15 almonds (yes I am counting!)
Note: VERY HUNGRY all morning
I’m not surprised you’re hungry! Protein is great for breakfast, but you also need to feel full – which is where fiber comes in – think fruits and oats! A few meal suggestions: (1) One serving of rolled oats with cinnamon and berries, plus a few slices of organic turkey breast (2) a yogurt bowl – I’m a fan of Stonyfield’s organic low-fat varieties, with berries or sliced banana, sliced almonds, and chia seeds, plus a slice of WW toast with natural PB.
10:30 AM – Mid-Morning Snack
Hmm. Okay, we ALL know I love me a natural energy bar. However, I believe that energy bars are best for pre-workout fuel, post-workout recovery, or (only as a last resort) as a meal replacement. I’m not a huge fan of energy bars simply as snacks. Keep it simple – grab an apple! I eat an apple every single day, around 11:00 AM – it’s strangly ritualistic to me. Apples have tons of fiber that will tide you over till lunch and have natural sugars to keep you perky when that mid-morning slump wants to creep up. Plus, they’re cheap, easy to grab on the go, taste delicious, and will remind you of your childhood.
12:30 PM - Lunch
2 slices of tomato on very small bed of romaine with a few drips of straight balsamic vinegar/EVOO
Tuna fish with small amount of light mayo, s/p and dill
1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
8 honey wheat pretzel sticks
Great start for lunch. However, why not increase the romaine (seriously, eat as much as you want, it will fill you up and is great for digestion). Also, try replacing the light mayo with 2% Greek yogurt. And just go low-fat on the cottage cheese, not fat free – these are good fats. And, again with dairy, make sure it’s organic mkay?
2:00 PM – Afternoon Snack
1 small piece of dark chocolate BOOOO
Boo? I say good for you! You made it to mid-afternoon, you deserve a reward. Enjoy those antioxidants with pride. If you’re trying to stay away from chocolate, try a mini York peppermint patty. Love these. They’ll satisfy that post-lunch sweet craving, and some say peppermint can keep hunger at bay. Honey Stinger organic energy chews are also a great alternative to artificial candy.
5:30 PM - Pre-Workout Snack
4 carrot sticks, 2 celery sticks with 2 Tbsp of tzatziki (or however you spell it!) <- you spelled it right.
Note: Was not hungry, but knew I wouldn't make it until 8:30 without food especially with a planned workout.
I like this snack – huge fan of tzatziki. However, since you workout AFTER work – you might want to consider adding a bit more fuel – especially once you amp up the running! This is where I would suggest a natural energy bar – I’m a big fan of Picky Bars – which are all-natural, have the ideal carb:protein ratio for pre-workout fuel, and are less than 200 calories.
WORKOUT (my program by the trainer I saw over summer)
5 min walk warm-up
12 strength training exercises
In-between each exercise, 2 minutes of jogging at 5.5mph on treadmill (so about ten of these)
5 min walk cool-down
Simply ask yourself: Are you sweating?
8:00 PM- Post-Workout:
Small 6-oz protein shake made with 100% whey (Not organic! <--boo!) mixed with 2 frozen strawberries, water and 2 Tbsp of nonfat vanilla yogurt.
Yum! Of course, switch to organic whey – try Tera’s Whey protein, it’s excellent. Also, I would switch in low-fat organic yogurt instead of non-fat, or maybe try mixing in almond milk instead. Bananas are a great source of potassium for recovery as well. I always throw in Chia seeds to help with hydration! And throw in some ice cubes for added thickness.
8:15 PM - Dinner:
1/2 avocado, veggie burger with 1 tsp of ketchup (no bun), and 1 slice of reduced fat swiss cheese
Small amount of sautéed spinach, with EVOO, pepper and garlic powder
Are you still hungry? Two words: MORE VEGGIES. Why a small amount of spinach? Eat as much as you want! Add in other veggies, too: broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, bussels sprouts, etc. Girl, I know you make a mean stir fry. For a change, try incorporating some beans too, which are a good source of fiber. I agree with your decision to leave out too much carbs at dinner/before bed - it helps you to not feel sluggish and keeps the digestive tract moving. Oh, and enjoy that avocado.
Where’s dessert? For a treat, how about a serving of low-fat Stonyfield organic fro-yo? I love their coffee and chocolate fudge swirl flavors and have some every night. Plus they’re only about 100 cal/serving so you can enjoy it guilt-free.
…And where’s the wine? Don’t deprive yourself! Enjoy that glass of red. I know you want to.
I have had a total of 45oz of water today....definitely need to increase this! I am trying to at least get to 60 before bed!
Yea, you do! Hey, don’t you have a NaturaStride thinkSport bottle? :)
Thanks for sharing! Feedback, anyone?