Every once in a while people ask me what I do to stay in shape? I’m more than happy to pitch them the the Crossfit mantra (because the first rule of Crossfit, is to talk about Crossfit) but to be honest, it’s really more about what I eat!
Over the last 15 years I’ve come to realize that diet is EVERYTHING! I was once told by a nutritionist that 80% of body transformation comes from what you sick in your mouth, not the time you spend in the gym. I spent countless years with perfectly good abs, hidden under a layer of fat, no kidding!
I have also come to realize that food is how our bodies get energy… sounds like a duh moment , right? You’d be surprised that even the most advanced athletes don’t fuel their bodies properly. It’s not only about what you eat, but when you eat.
I could drone on about counting macros, and calories… blah blah blah … but I don’t believe it necessary, unless you are entering a bikini contest, or make your ex jealous, then you might want to go that route!
A very smart coach (Alex) once told me that he tries to eat most of his carbs around his workouts and veggies, fats and proteins scattered throughout the day. I have since adopted this way of eating and it works really well.
As far as what kind of food/diet to follow. That’s a little tricky. For about a year, I only consumed CLEAN food, which basically means no preservatives (that includes sugar!!). This way of eating was tough, but the benefits were amazing! My stomach issues went away, all my seasonal allergies disappeared, and for years every time I consumed alcohol I would sneeze and sneeze and sneeze. 6 months of clean eating, I was drunk like a freshman in collage!
I have recently adopted the 80/20 rule with clean eating, recognizing that it was easier to get through my workouts by eat some “non-clean” items. I have explored the paleo diet, but decided it wasn’t for me… but for some reason, the best healthy and clean recipes are actually paleo… but I’m not paloe!
So in conclusion, workout hard, fuel your body for your hard workouts, and eat to build muscle whatever way you can, just be healthy about it!
Here’s a wicked Paleo meatball recipe…. Because I’m NOT paleo 😉
Paleo Pesto Meatballs Over Coconut Creamed Spinach
For the Meatballs
1 lb. Ground Turkey/Chicken
1 Medium Onion, Diced
1/2 cup Paleo Pesto or Regular Pesto (http://www.preppypaleo.com/2013/05/my-favorite-paleo-pesto.html)
3 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed
3 Tbs. Almond Flour (which is fancy for ground almonds)
1 tsp. each of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder
For Coconut Creamed Spinach
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Diced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced or Chopped
1 tsp. each of Salt, and Pepper
1 Pkg of Fresh Spinach, or Frozen, ( be sure to defrosted and drained the liquid, I usually put it in a collider and squish I down with a paper towel)
1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Canned Coconut Milk (Shake that can before opening!)
½ tsp of Nutmeg
1 Jar of Tomato Passata (fancy for tomato puree)
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
To Make the Meatballs
Pre-heat your oven to 375, and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, mix all the meatballs ingredients together, preferably with your hands. Try not to over mix this, or you’ll end up with hard balls, and no one wants that!
Take an ice cream scoop and form into balls. If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, go buy one!! Otherwise your balls should be about 2 inches round. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheets.
*Tip make sure your hands are slightly wet, this ensures the meat doesn’t stick to your hands.
Bake for 30 Minutes.
To Make the Coconut Creamed Spinach
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent, takes about a minute.
Add spinach, broth coconut milk and nutmeg, cook for another 2 minutes until thick and creamy, remove from heat
Put it all together
You have 2 choices here… if you don’t want to add the tomato puree and cheese, through the meatballs into the skillet with the spinach and mix it all up.
Preheat oven to broil.
Spread spinach on the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Top with the meatballs. Spoon tomato puree over the top and sprinkle with cheese and broil for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.