Today I had a question from one of my followers on the blog if I could update the foods I now eat, as opposed to what I ate when I first started losing weight. As some of you might recall, I lost about 25 lbs following Jillian Michael’s online diet and fitness program, and pretty much “ate clean”. This is very different from eating for the purpose I am doing now, mainly low body fat, to gain striations, show muscle separation, etc. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with ‘clean’ foods (i.e. Tosca Reno and many other health ‘authorities’ out there), it just doesn’t give you the body of a body builder or a figure competitor. I keep my fat to about 40 grams per day – this in itself is very low and not “recommended” as I am not really on a ‘lose weight diet’ , however it is what I need to follow in order to get the look I want. So here is my new list below.
Foods I ALWAYS eat:
1. VEGETABLES! In all its forms except corn and peas and potatoes (only on re-feed days). That means anything green like broccoli, leafy greens, fennel, celery, etc. Then I also eat tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions (although there is sugar in the latter two I don’t really care), zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, just to name a few.
2. Oatmeal! The world’s greatest food! This is my daily breakfast 7 days a week – I eat about 1/2 cup and add about 1 cup of wheat bran (not oat bran, not the same!), with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (40 cals per cup), and a scoop of Gaspari banana flavored protein powder. Best breakfast ever and keeps me full for hours. I eat breakfast BEFORE I work out because my goal is to add muscle, not to look like a Twig. This might change though, but I will enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂
3. Non fat cottage cheese– I’m addicted to this, sprinkled with some cinnamon it’s my afternoon ‘treat’!
4. Non fat Greek yogurt – I eat this mostly at night (not every night) with some unsweetened cocoa powder and a packet of Truvia or erythritol, as it contains slow digesting proteins and helps feed my muscles nutrients over night and just as important; keeps me feeling full at just the right level so I sleep well and don’t wake up starving in the morning.
5. Lean proteins like chicken, all kinds of fish (even fatty ones like salmon) and shellfish, sometimes flank steak, and bison steak. I spice it up with all kinds of spices – grill it and have it with my pureed cauliflower (like mashed potatoes!) and green veggies. After I finish this meal I am always in awe of how full I am and how great I feel at the same time – and all for just around 350-400 calories!
6. Egg whites! Ok this is lean protein also – but I eat egg whites all the time; scrambled or hard boiled when I bring them in my cooler for snacks, simply the greatest food out there. I spice it up sometimes at home with my non fat/home made salsa, or some mustard, add some steamed vegetables maybe or make an egg white omelet. Yum!
7. Mustard and vinegars! I add this to everything that needs a little “umpf”- all kinds of mustard (except the ones that add sugar and calories, like ‘honey’, and all kinds of vinegars (there are sooo many!)- you’d be surprised at how much a boring dish can be ‘revived’ by adding these items. These are my ‘free condiments’ along with my spice rack – use them too and you’ll never miss oil or butter or cream ever again! (well, maybe in some dishes, I won’t lie – I’m a chef after all, lol!)
8. Caramel Rice Cakes – I eat two after my work out as “fast carbs” to feed the muscles as my main goal is to grow. I will probably stop this once I get to where I want to go, but this is my regular snack after my work out.
9. Gaspari Protein Powder – Simply the best tasting protein powder on the market! Right now I’m addicted to their Dark Chocolate and Banana, but all their flavors are amazing. I put one scoop in my oatmeal in the morning as a pre-workout supplement, and then I drink one scoop after my work out mixed with water. Deliciousness!!
10. Fish oil – I take this in form of capsules. Not considered “Foods” per se, but gets me the necessary Omega 3 where it is lacking and it is counted as calories in my daily total.
Foods I SOMETIMES eat:
1. Nuts, like almonds, cashews and pistachios. I am not a ‘nut freak’ and thank God I never was addicted to nut butters (Maybe because I’m not American?) nor do I have a desire for “fatty” foods.
2. Pork Chops; yes I’ll admit it – I will eat that sometimes, it’s not as lean as chicken and turkey but it’s not as fatty as a steak either (I obviously trim away the fat). Sometimes a girl has to have a different kind of protein!
3. Winter Squashes, like Butternut, and Sweet Potatoes. Normally too much starch but is generally low in fat and does fill you up – I like to use them on refeed days and they are delicious just roasted in the oven with some fresh herbs and spices.
4. Wine– let’s face it, this is the worst you can drink/put in your body, no doubt about it. Lots of sugar and it inhibits muscle growth, I don’ t think there’s anything positive about this one. But I won’t lie to you my readers; I work in the wine industry and I do drink wine once or twice a week (in moderation!). That being said- I don’t once I start really counting down towards my competition (about 12 weeks out)!! This is definitely the toughest thing for me.
5. Rice, Graham Crackers, Ezekiel Bread, Dried Berries/Raisins and Green Peas – this I eat on re-feed days (about once a week or every other week, depending on how I feel).
If I can think of anything else I will let you all know – I think this covers most of my diet right now. With a diet like this, you have to focus on all that you CAN eat and are allowed to eat and be happy about that, not about what you can’t eat. Happy eating people!