Here is a list of foods that should be in your shopping cart and the ones that shouldn't. This doesn't mean that you can't have a cheat meal from time to time, but sticking with the good foods will help you reach your goals a lot quicker! Thanks Lindsay Matway for giving me this list, it helped a lot!
Good Sources of Protein:
Protein That You Should Stay Away From:
- Egg - Grand daddy of all foods. I like to have 1 whole egg for every 3 whites.
- Liquid Egg Whites - This is just pure egg whites. More convenient than cracking all the eggs and discarding the yolk but will cost you a little more.
- Skinless Chicken Breast or Cutlers - Lean, inexpensive, high quality protein; staple of every diet.
- Top Round Steak - Lean cut of meat. Has more fat than chicken but great source of meat. Definitely something you want to have in the off-season and can be eaten while dieting in moderation.
- Filet Mignon - Tasty lean cut of meat. Expensive but worth it every once in a while.
- Flounder - Inexpensive lean fish.
- Cod - Inexpensive lean fish.
- Pollock - Lean fish.
- Wild Salmon - Healthy fatty fish. I get my salmon wild because the quality is a lot better but that results in a higher cost.
- Canned Tuna - Lean inexpensive fish. If you worry about your sodium you might wan tto cut down on this. Make sure you get the one in water not oil.
- Turkey Bacon - Leaner than regular bacon, not something I have all the time but I am a bacon lover so adding this to my breakfast in the off-season is something I like.
- Lean Ground Beef - Make sure you get something that is at least 90% lean. This can be a great off-season source of protein.
- Cottage Cheese - Slow digesting form of protein. Great to have when you have to go a long time in-between meals and also excellent to have before bed.
- Pork Tenderloin - Inexpensive lean protein.
- Wild Sea Bass - Lean high quality protein. Expensive side.
- Wild Swordfish - Lean high quality protein. Expensive.
Good Sources of Carbohydrates:
- Skinned Chicken - The skin just adds extra fat that you don't need.
- Breaded Chicken - The bread crumbs adds simple carbs that you don't need.
- Deli Meat - Made with too many chemicals. Low quality of meat.
- Bacon - Too fatty, but so tasty. I love this food but it's not the best for you.
- Farmed Fish - Have less omega-3s than wild fish, recent studies show that the farm raised fish fat is very unhealthy.
- Fatty Ground Beef - Any ground beef that is below 85% is too fatty for me. Yes they make tasty burgers or meatballs but that amount of fat is just too high to have on a regular basis.
- Fatty Cuts of Red Meat - Just look at the steaks, if the outside of the steak has some fat on it but the body of the steak is all red then that is fine. All you have to do with those steaks is cut the fat off the edges. If the body of the steak is riddled with white fat you are getting a low quality highly fatty steak that might taste good but won't be good for you.
Carbohydrates That You Should Stay Away From:
- Oatmeal - I like the slow cooked version, not instant. I have oatmeal with my first meal every day. It is a great slow digesting carb.
- Steel Cut Oats - Similar to oatmeal. Slow digesting carb.
- Fruit - All fruits are great but some are better than others for different reasons. Blueberries are at the top of the list for antioxidants and bananas are great for post-workout carbs. The majority of them digest faster than complex carbs so they are best used in the AM or pre and post workout.
- Vegetables - Like fruit you really can't go wrong when you eat veggies. During the off-season all veggies are great to have but when you are looking to diet I stick with just the green ones as they have less calories and net carbs. Veggies are a great source of fiber. Try to have some in every meal.
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams - Tasty slow digesting carb. Add a little brown sugar and you will be in heaven.
- Brown Rice - Staple of a slow digesting carb.
- Whole Wheat Bread - I like to have Ezekiel bread as it is not processed and not made with white flour. Great slow digesting carb.
- Cream of Wheat - Substitute for white rice. Faster digesting carb.
Good Sources of Fats:
- Cereal - Most cereals today are loaded with sugar. Oatmeal is a better option. Add some blueberries and truvia to it and I promise it will be as sweet as you need. On top of that you will be getting a much healthier carb source.
- Candy - Loaded with sugar.
- Chips - Loaded with simple carbs and bad fats.
- Ice Cream - Loaded with sugar.
- Soda - Diet version is fine but the regular stuff is just sugar water.
- Sugar Juice - I am not a big believer in any kind of juice even most fruit juices as they are mainly sugar water. I would rather eat the entire fruit which as all the nutrients and is better for you.
Fats You Stay Away From:
- Olive Oil/Flaxseed Oil - Great source of fat. Great to add to dishes.
- Fish Oil/Staple source of healthy fats.
- Almond Butter/Cashew Butter - Derived from the nuts but a good source of fat.
- Almonds - Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Pecans - Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Walnuts - Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Cashews - Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Natural Peanut Butter - Not processed. Great source of fat and some protein. Love adding this to my shakes during the day.
- Avocados - Healthy fat source. Love it in my sushi.
- Fried anything!!!
- Butter and Margarine - Not healthy to add to the bread. Add oil instead.
- Palm Oil and Coconut Oil - Not healthy fat source.
- Vegetable Shortening - Not healthy fat source.
Here is a sample of a grocery list I would typically make to get you started!
Top Round Steak
Fish Oil -You can get the pill form if you'd like.
Natural Peanut Butter
Now I want to show you some tips of what my fellow coaches have taught me. To prepare your meals during the weekend (like on Sunday) that way you have all your snacks ready to go during the week and you won't be caught in a bind. I believe a main part of eating clean is to eat 5 small meals a day with snacks.
Hope this helps to give you guys some ideas on how to eat better and to make it easier for your lifestyle! :)
Note: Great books to learn more are Tosca Reno "The Eat Clean Diet" Books and her Cookbooks! You can find them on Amazon!