CrossFit King of Prussia is commencing a clean eating challenge starting April 1 and lasting the entire month. Some people will choose to eat paleo, primal, Whole30, or a combination of any of these, but the main point is to be more conscious of eating healthful foods instead of unhealthful. What is going to get you not only feeling better throughout the day, but also performing better in the gym and at work? What is going to help you maintain energy levels and be able to play with the kids when you get home? What is going to prevent those midmorning or afternoon slumps where you feel like you could just take a nap at your desk? Besides the basic things like cutting out grains, sugar, starch, and eating more meat, vegetables, and some fruit, there are some other tips and tricks I've learned along the way that can help you get on track. Here are just some I thought of off the top of my head. If you have any, feel free to post to comments!
Top 10 Practical Tips/Tricks to Healthful Eating
10. High Percentage Chocolate - Need to fill your chocolate craving or sweet tooth? Get 85-95% cacao bars and know there is a ton less sugar in them than milk chocolate. If you are being really strict though, go the 30 days without even the dark chocolate.
9. Water - This should be obvious, but get off the soda, juice, diet (fill in the blank) and learn to drink water. Add lemon juice or go for sparkling water for some style. Avoid the sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and yes, even aspartme.
8. Spaghetti Squash - If you miss a good old side of pasta, grab a spaghetti squash and follow these directions. Be prepared to be amazed as to how accurately it looks, feels, and generally tastes like the real thing without the carb crash afterwards. I'm a fan.
7. Coconut - Use coconut OIL for anything you'd use vegetable oil or butter for, like frying. Use coconut MILK for a source of good fat and as a substitute if you're staying away from dairy. I like to use it in smoothies. (don't get the "light" kind, just go for the real stuff, usually with a Thai label) Use coconut FLOUR to make Coconut Pancakes. Or, Mike F.'s favorite, Pumpkin Muffins. You can definitely find coconut milk at any grocery store in the Ethnic section, and usually can find coconut oil and coconut flour. Whole Foods definitely has all three.
6. Jerky - a great way to have protein ready for you on the go. Here's how to make your own with just an oven. Mix with some nuts/seeds and dried fruit, and you've got yourself a snack pack to grab and go. Or a Paleokit.
5. Steam - Get those frozen or fresh veggies, throw them in a tupperware with some water, and in the microwave for a few minutes. BAM, steamed vegetables. No excuses for healthful carbohydrates.
4. Lettuce - Use in place of buns or tacos. Or use lettuce to make deli meat wraps for a quick snack or lunch. It fills you up more than you might think and you won't have those slumps due to sugar spikes from bread. Also, how easy would it be to fill up some tupperware with salad in the fridge, then throughout the week throw in leftover meat or deli meat for a lunch the next day? Pretty darn easy!
3. Almonds - Grab a handful for a quick snack or grind up some almonds in place of bread crumbs (almond crusted tilapia fried in butter and lemon juice = heaven!) There are also a ton of almond flour recipes floating out there. Keep grinding away and you can make your own almond butter. Not quite as "peanut butter-y" as sun butter (sunflower seeds) but better than peanuts!
2. Fish Oil - Check out this article and figure out how much you should be taking. Unless you're having salmon 3 times a week, you should be taking fish oil. It's worth it.
1. Eggs - Your best source of quick, cheap protein. Fried, scrambled, omelet, over easy, deviled...the list goes on. Still eating oatmeal, cereal, or English muffins because you don't have time for breakfast? Change it up and start your day right by taking Egg Muffins to work. And don't be afraid of the cholesterol and saturated fat, eat the yolks!
I know you have lots more tips and tricks, so let's here them!