Train to Win, Eat to Lose

A Health and Fitness Blog

Eat Like a Caveman

When advising clients and friends on proper eating and following a low carbohydrate diet,  I am often asked what I eat on a day to day basis.  With that in mind, I thought I would share with you what I eat on a typical day.

“Pre”- Breakfast

When I first get out of bed in the morning, I don’t like to eat a “real” breakfast.  My stomach isn’t quite ready for it and since I have been sleeping (and consequently not eating for many hours) I like to get something easily digestible right into my body.  So, I start off with a whey protein shake (I use Vital Whey) and I throw in either a raw egg or a tablespoon of coconut butter to add some essential fats.

Breakfast

Eggs.  Due to the nature of my schedule those eggs are typically hard boiled.  It normally takes 5 eggs to satisfy me.

Lunch

Two cans of boneless and skinless sardines in olive oil, along with a salad of various greens and avocado.

Dinner

Roughly 10 ounces of grass fed red meat (in the form of hamburgers) with a side of green veggies in butter (such as broccoli or string beans), or avocado, or spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Snack

I usually do not have snack between breakfast and lunch.  Between having a protein shake when I wake up and then having breakfast, I find myself pretty satisfied.  I usually have a snack between lunch and dinner.  I may have a snack after dinner depending on whether or not I have dinner at a reasonable time.

Snacks may include real food such as: sardines, eggs, almond butter or almonds, coconut butter, etc.  If I have a dairy craving I may eat whole fat Greek yogurt or whole fat cottage cheese.  On the occasions where I desire fruit as a snack, it will generally be dark berries such as blueberries or strawberries.

Again, this is what I eat on typical day.  Many of these items are interchangeable.  I may have eggs for dinner or lunch. I may have red meat, poultry, or fish for breakfast.  However, the dietary guidelines never change.

Some key factors you may have noticed:

  • I consume a very low carbohydrate diet (a typical day for me would be between 10-20 grams of carbohydrate).
  • I avoid all grains and starches.
  • I consume a diet high in fat and adequate in protein.  On average, this constitutes a 60/40 or 70/30 split.
  • I eat a minimal amount of fruit (generally only when I have a “craving”).
  • I eat a minimal amount of dairy (again, generally only when I have a “craving”.  Although I am a sucker for cheese!).

Bottom line?  I try to eat like a caveman!

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Meat Your New Breakfast

In prescribing a low carbohydrate lifestyle, I am commonly met with skepticism in regard to the topic of breakfast…

“I can’t eat eggs for breakfast every morning!”

Why not?  If I were to tell you that you could eat a bowl of cold cereal every morning, would your response be the same?  How about pancakes?  Some hot oatmeal?  Maybe a bagel with cream cheese?  If you were given the “green light” to eat any of those foods for breakfast on a regular basis would you respond the same way? Probably not. So why is eating eggs for breakfast so shocking?

It’s important to change your thinking in regard to how it’s been ingrained in your head.  Breakfast can be thought of just like any other meal.  Have salmon for breakfast.  Have steak for breakfast.  Breakfast should not be something out of a Frosted Flakes commercial.

“Don’t I need carbohydrates?”

NO.  Human beings can live without carbohydrates.  In fact, it’s the one food macronutrient that we do not need.  The other two macronutrients, protein and fat, we DO need.   We have all heard of essential fatty acids and essential amino acids (protein).  Have you ever heard of essential carbohydrates?  The answer is no, because they do not exist.

“All that saturated fat will raise my cholesterol.”

No, it won’t.  Saturated fat will raise your HDL (also known as “good” cholesterol), which is a good thing.  In actuality, HDL is not cholesterol but a lipoprotein that transports cholesterol to and from tissue.  LDL (also know as “bad” cholesterol) is made up of the harmful  small and dense particles or the harmless big and fluffy particles. Carbohydrates produce more of the small and dense LDL particles.  Here is a very short and insightful video I highly recommend watching:  Exposing The Cholesterol Myth.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Whole Foods = Real Savings

I recently came across another commercial that once again made me cringe. This time it was from Wal-Mart.  Check out the commercial below.

This commercial is brilliant.  Let’s poison ourselves and our children with this junk instead of going to the drive thru and poisoning ourselves with a different kind of junk  because the junk you will buy at Wal-Mart is cheaper than the junk you will buy at the McDonald’s drive thru.  I’m sold!

Of course, this commercial doesn’t take into account the amount of money we will spend on medical bills and dental bills due to the ill effects eating this food will have on our bodies.  Throw those numbers into the mix and you will see that the real savings comes from eating REAL WHOLE FOODS.

You can purchase a dozen Large Brown Organic Eggs for $3.79.  That means you can have 3 eggs for breakfast in the morning for 95 cents!  Add in a serving of fruit (such as blueberries) or a couple of slices of breakfast meat (such as bacon or sausage) on the side  and you have yourself a wholesome and nutritious breakfast for probably right around $2 or $3.  Add in the savings in medical bills and you have yourself quite a deal!

Bottom line:  If you want to have savings in your wallet and savings in your health always go with real whole foods, and take the trash that companies such as Wal-Mart are spewing out and put it where it belongs: IN THE TRASH.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast…it really is the most important meal of the day.

I am always amazed by how many people I talk to that do not eat breakfast on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at the word “breakfast”.  Breakfast is actually a blend of two separate words: “break” and “fast”.  It is specifically referencing the fact that you are ending your fast from the previous night.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Why? Let’s look at an example:

The last thing you had to eat last night was at 9pm. You went to bed at 11pm. You woke up at 6am. You SKIPPED breakfast. You finally decide to eat something around 9am when you get into the office.  You have just gone 12 hours without eating. Maybe you even go as far a not to eat until lunch time.  Let’s say 12 noon.  Now you have gone 15 hours without eating.

During this whole time, you are fasting.  Fasting is without a doubt, a horrible way to try and lose body fat. If anything, you are leading your body toward muscle catabolism.  In other words, you are burning muscle tissue for energy.  If you do this on a regular basis you will in fact see a loss in lean muscle mass and subsequently a rise in your body fat percentage.  In addition, you are depriving your body of the very important nutrients it needs to help propel you through your day.

The two most commons reasons I hear for skipping breakfast are: 1) I don’t have time and 2) I have trouble eating so soon after I wake up.

If you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, you need to prepare ahead of time. Get your breakfast ready the night before or purchase healthy food items that require no preparation the morning of.  Examples:

  1. Hard boil 3 or 4 eggs then night before.  Better yet, boil a dozen eggs so that you have several days worth.  They can easily be stored in your refrigerator.
  2. Purchase cans of sardines in olive oil (my personal favorite is boneless and skinless sardines in olive oil).
  3. Purchases bags of almonds.
  4. Purchase cottage cheese (whole fat and sans the added fruit…you don’t need the extra sugar).
  5. Purchase a low sugar yogurt such as FAGE (whole fat and sans the added fruit…you don’t need the extra sugar).

If you have trouble eating so soon after you wake up (as I do), make yourself a “liquid breakfast”.  I have found that this solves any problem I (or more aptly my stomach) have had with eating breakfast upon rising.  Purchase yourself whey protein powder.  One of my favorites is the Healthy ‘N Fit brand of whey protein because it is all natural with no artificial sweeteners (they use the Stevia herb instead).    Make a whey protein shake and blend it with ice cold water.  Add fat by blending in fish oil or flax seed oil.  You could even use a natural nut butter such as almond or coconut butter.  You now have a breakfast that is packed with the protein and fats you need to break the fast.

Bottom line:  Take the time to prepare so that you can start your day off right and eat what really is the most important meal of the day.

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment