People ask me all of the time what I eat. My eating is based on my own goals which are:
1. Health: This is my priority. I used to have other agendas higher then this in the past but that has changed. I used to eat for strength and muscularity completely. Fortunately Goals 1 and 3 overlap fairly well.
2. Strength goals: Generally, the more food you eat, the stronger you get. Its pretty simple. All top strength athletes out there are pounding food as a job(Unless they are competing within a restrictive weight class). The two are very closely connected. I'm sure food quality is important here as well but if you look at the diets of the strongest people in the world the key is quantity, not quality. Unfortunately, eating in this way is not always conducive to goal number 3.
3. Physique Goals: I am a huge believer in talking the talking and walking it too, both in the way I train, my success as an athlete and the way it reflects my health. With all the work I'm putting in with eating, nutrition recovery etc. a lot of my energy is going towards having a more appealing physique.
I titled this what I'm eating because what I eat changes frequently based on new things I'm learning and as my goals shift slightly. However, I'm not making radical swings from one diet to another and that's key. We have all heard that changing your diet must be a lifestyle change and that's incredibly true.
Now, there are a billion diets out there and each good one is followed by twice as many bad ones. Each person is different and each person has different goals. Your eating should reflect this completely. I can't stress this enough so I'll say it again, each individual has different metabolic needs, physiology and goals and this must reflect the way they go about a dietary program!
I like the Weston A. price Foundation. I like paleo style diets. I like hunter gatherer diets that were followed from people such as the Inuit, Kitavi, Kuni, and Masai. I Like the idea that more traditional diets were more nutritious than current diets. I also feel that we may have gone too far in our recommendations to avoid and limit animal products. Plug those things into google if you want some more information.
Here's a list of the foods I eat on a daily basis:
Animal products: organic, wild caught, grass fed/pastured, cage free. Basically the animals need to be eating what nature intended them to eat in order for them to be healthy for you to eat. I get pastured animal products at www.grasslandbeef.com I also get local organic and grassfed beef from eatwild.com You can find your own local farmer!
Organ Meats - usually in the form of liverwurst, these must be pastured/organic
Dairy - organic, grass fed and raw. I get my milk from an Amish farm. You can find local high quality products at www.realmilk.com
Milk - whole
Oils and fats - Unrefined, organic, pastured
Red Palm Oil
Coconut and coconut products of all types.
Vegetables - I end up cooking half of my vegetables. I can't tolerate too much raw vegetable. Organic as much as possible. I follow the Dirty dozen for fruits and vegetables If I can't do organic.
Leafy Greens (romaine, spinach, swiss chard, arugula etc.)
I'm missing a ton of stuff here but here is the bulk what I buy weekly.
White Potato (Mostly after training)
Fruits - organic as much as possible. I follow the Dirty dozen for fruits and vegetables
Berries of all types
Nuts and Seeds - organic when possible and raw
I eat the vegetables, animal products, fats and oils with the most frequency. Nuts and seeds are in moderation due to a very high content of omega 6 fatty acids. The starches and fruits vary in amounts depending on whether or not I'm trying to gain or lose weight and again this reflects back upon whether I have a competition coming up or not. Dairy intake fluctuates too. Milk is great for weight gain I try to get some high quality dairy when I'm trying to gain weight but its tough to get your hands on raw dairy in NJ.
I eat about 3 to 6 times per day and I have recently noticed that the number of times I eat per day is not as important as I once thought. I just need to make sure I'm eating enough food.
As you guys know I train 3-4 times per week with 1 to 2 walks thrown in there for 30-60 minutes.
I supplement with Fish oil, branched chain amino acids, vitamin D, and ZMA. I'm also taking a pro-biotic and I play around with digestive enzymes from time to time.
I've always had moderately elevated blood pressure and a heart arrhythmia (PVC) that I monitor closely. It runs rampant in my family (Come on mom and Dad!). Trying to maintain my weight and all of the extreme weight lifting doesn't help I'm sure.
Bottom line, eat for your on goals! If my way of eating isn't work for you, you may want to switch things up because everyone is different! I wanted to give everyone an idea of what I eat and why and hopefully this can give you a basis for what you need to eat and why also!
*****A closing note: Yes eating well WILL require you to go out of your way to find good food. It WILL require you to learn how to cook and prepare food. It IS more expensive (although if you are a smart shopper it can be very reasonable, I'm a full time student who can only work so many hours and I make it all happen).
Americans put very little value in their food and health. Change your mindset about where your time and money should be spent. Value yourself and your health and feed yourself and your family accordingly.