Training and eating go hand in hand relationship for a good training routine and healthy lifestyle. Rest is an absolute must but that’s for another post, along with supplements. Budgets another major consideration, especially for anyone training seriously be it for fun competition or lifestyle. Giving in to the fast food quick grab seems like an easy solution but getting organised and getting into a routine of planning prepping cooking and enjoying is actually easier faster more convenient and better for health and lifestyle. For us our training dictates many of the essential nutrients we need, high protein, carbs and veges for the fiber minerals and vitamins we need. Our aim is to gain as much of the essentials from a normal diet without the need for expensive body building shakes and supplements available and advertised as an absolute must have. Protein and carbs essentially equals growth and size and the rest is keep you going and healthy.
Without too much detail, I will add in a diet post later, chicken is one of the best sources of protein. A balance of at least one serving of red meat and one of fish a week is healthy and breaks the monotony of the repetitive meals, as well as giving your body the extra nutrients it needs.
Veges for us is simple, lots of colours. The more coloured veges in your diet the more likely you are gaining all the nutrient groups needed. Carbs can get complex but we like to keep it simple with low GI options like Kumara or sweet potatoes, and pulses like lentils barley and split peas. And all of this easy is easy and fast to prep and cook, lasts for at least 3 days in the refrigerator, and makes for a good varied great tasting diet that’s cost effective healthy and really beneficial for good training and lifestyle.
Veges are really simple, we take carrots, courgettes, mushrooms, eggplant, red and yellow peppers and about half a bulb of garlic with a good two teaspoons of chili past thrown over the copped veges. Throw it in a baking dish with NO added oil and bake it in a fan oven. turn the mix every 5 or so minutes and that helps mix the garlic and chili through. Dependent on how you like your veges done simply taste test as you go until they are done. We like a bit of crunch left in the carrot sticks and we also chop the garlic course so we get the crunchy taste blasts when we eat them. And no need to peel, skins on, except the garlic.
Pulses are also simple, boil water in a pot and get it boiling, and add in the mix, we like a mix of split peas and lentils, or just barley. Reason we like the lentils and split pea mix is that the lentils turn to a soup and the split peas keep their form and add a texture to the mix. Keep stirring the mix every few minutes and once its cooked and has a soupy appearance you can turn to a low heat and simmer to render off the excess water, leaving a thick mix that’s awesome either on its own or dolloped over any other food for serving.
With our chicken we choose boneless skinless breast fillets, easier to control the amount of fats and really simple to cook. We simply place a single layer of chicken breasts into an oven pan and cover with a reasonable amount of mixed herbs and 5 spice mix. Finely chopped garlic and chili makes for another great taste, and you can add ginger basil or whatever creative flavour explosions you like. Normally at the same time as the veges we place them in the oven and fan bake till cooked. Do make sure the chicken is fully cooked, we cut the chicken and check the meat is cooked through and the juices run clear. Once done we place the tray or pan on the bench on an angle allowing the juices to run to one end and let the chicken cool and drain before putting into another sealed container in the fridge.
At the same time we often cook either steaks or fresh salmon fillets in a pan and have that as our ‘not chicken’ meal with veges and kumara or pulses that evening. Again the fish or red meat has oils fats and other essentials helping out with the balance of getting all we need for muscle gains and maintaining healthy lifestyle. And it tastes great and varies the diet for our main meals enough to keep it interesting.
About once a week or so we also do a slow cooked roast with a marinade, chili lime garlic or whatever grabs us at the time. If we don’t do a slow cook then we swap it out for a Mexican styled chili con cane with rice. Both the slow cook and Mexican options have enough left overs for another meal at least. This way we have awesome fresh great tasting food, no quick fix prepackaged with who knows what added sugars and additive foods, and generally speaking most of the week the actual time it takes to get our lunches or dinners ready is faster than cooking prepackaged expensive not so good for you things.