Growing up as a baseball player and weightlifter, I have spent the majority of my life trying to GAIN weight. But now that I am training with Team Invictus and trying to become a more well-rounded athlete, I have had to make some dietary and training adjustments to lean out and look good. Here are some techniques that I used to help make me start eating healthier.
Grocery Shopping: One of my biggest problems growing up was that I loved to snack on good ole fashion peanut butter and jelly sandwich and crackers. When I go grocery shopping, those items are usually in the middle aisles. So using that brilliant brain of mine, I decided to stay out of the aisles and stick to the perimeter of the store. The perimeter of the store is where you will always find the meat, vegetables, and fruits. So now I only go into the aisles if I need some kind of spice or healthy snack (nuts and sweet potato chips).
Spice/Oils: When I cook meat or vegetables, I always try to use flavorful spices. Plain meats and veggies don’t really taste great, and it’s tough to stick to a diet of food that doesn’t taste good. I find that if I mix and match my spices and oils (typically olive or coconut oil) my food stays much more interesting. Sure, I have come up with some bad spice combinations, but I have also come up with some really delicious combinations. In the process I have learned what works together and what does not. I would like to think on my way to becoming a half decent chef.
Leftovers: Always make more than you can eat in one sitting, that way you don’t have to worry about making another meal the next day or later that day. The meal is already healthy, so you don’t have to worry about accidently winding up with a cheat meal. If your parents eat healthy as well, another good trick is to take their leftovers. So if you live close to your parents, don’t feel bad, just take their food.
The Secret Weapon: The best way to start eating healthy is to find someone else who eats the way you want to eat, and ask them to cook for you. Seriously though, getting together with a group of friends one day a week to cook food for the upcoming week is a great way to start eating healthy and stay on track. You will learn how to prepare food, learn different ways to cook, learn about new ingredients, and learn new recipes you can use in the future. If that doesn’t work, and you really don’t like to cook, pay someone to cook for you. It might cost you a little bit extra, but at least you will know that everything you eat is going to be healthy and benefit your health and fitness goals. Check out Pete’s Paleo, a really convenient way to pick up gourmet Paleo-friendly meals at Invictus.