Just Eat Clean
5 Pro-tips for better nutrition
By Sean Schoeneman
We hear our coaches say it all the time and it sounds so simple.
“Just eat clean and exercise,” said every single coach I’ve ever talked to.
The exercise part is easy; DRiV has that part handled for us. We just have to show up to get a whole hour of world-class, coach-led fitness every single day if we want it. But what about nutrition? The hard part. How, exactly, does a person “eat clean?”
In a CrossFit Journal article titled “What is Fitness?” Greg Glassman simplifies the definition of fitness down to 100 words. The first two sentences of this well-known definition give us a simple tool to guide our daily eating habits. Nutrition is mentioned first because it’s arguably the most important aspect of our health and fitness.
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”
First, let’s talk about the second sentence and just get that one out of the way. We want to eat enough calories to perform our best in the gym. Too little food and our energy, strength, focus, recovery and workouts will suffer. Too much food and our bodies can’t burn all the extra calories we ate. Lucky for us, they’ll be oh-so-graciously stored as body fat for use later.
Now, to the meat and potatoes of this article! (See what I did there?) “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.” We’ll cover portion sizes in the future, but here’s a quick breakdown:
· Meat and vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet and should fill the majority of your plate in a typical meal.
· Nuts and seeds make good snacks, and additions to meals, for healthy fats and protein.
· Try to eat the whole fruit whenever possible, instead of dried fruit or fruit juice. Fruit can be a good snack to calm that sweet tooth!
· Starches such as rice, potatoes, and oats are ok, but should be minimized. I’ll spare you the Glycemic Index lecture for now (but I’ll include a link below in case you really want to break out your nerd glasses).
· Added sugar should be avoided. We’re not talking about the natural sugar in an apple, but rather the additional sugar added to most processed foods to make them taste better. Look at the ingredients lists and avoid foods that contain sugar or ingredients that end in -ose (i.e. sucralose, fructose, etc.). Foods containing added sugar are full of extra calories. Not to mention, your body barely recognizes those ingredients as food in the first place.
Here's 5 pro-tips to keep your nutrition on point!
1. Shop in the perimeter aisles at the grocery store. That’s where all of the good-for-you foods are. This is where the produce and meat sections are. Avoid processed foods and snacks that live in the middle aisles. If we don’t buy Pop Tarts and Doritos, we can’t eat them.
2. Eat as many natural whole foods as possible. If it looks like it grew on some sort of plant, or came from an animal, it’s likely a whole food. If it looks like a twinkie or a pepperoni Hot Pocket; it probably isn’t. The less steps a food takes from the time it is harvested to the time you eat it, the better.
3. Drink plenty of water. For most of us, this means drinking more than we think we should. Sometimes thirst can be confused for hunger, so we eat a snack when all we really needed was a glass of water.
4. Prep meals ahead of time. Spend a couple hours on Sunday getting food ready for the week. Having access to pre-made meals will reduce the likelihood of poor food choices. Meal prep services like SuperFit Foods can help with this if you’re short on time.
Click here to check out our partners over at SuperFit Foods and simplify your meal prep game!
5. Keep healthy snacks on hand at all times. Apples, oranges, almonds, and beef jerky make great snacks on the go. Having a couple of these options handy will help you stay on track between meals.
Good nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep it simple, be consistent and be patient. It takes time for your body to make the changes that reflect your new nutrition lifestyle.
Email email@example.com to set up a nutrition consultation with one of your coaches today!
“What is Fitness?” By Greg Glassman. CrossFit Journal, 2002.
“Glycemic Index” By Greg Glassman. CrossFit Journal, 2002.