All the time people ask me what I eat, how I eat, and when I eat. As a general rule of thumb I prescribe to the 80/20 rule. I make an agreement with myself that if I eat good 80 percent of the time I can eat shitty 20 percent of the time (I assume most people are around 50/50 (my roommate and friends included)). If you do not allow yourself these little "vacations" from your diet it can set you up for disaster. This is commonly why people fail at keeping up with their nutritional strategies/fad diets. Diets that are too restrictive rarely work; even Jared from the Subway commericals splurges on cookies and ice cream from time to time.
When grocery shopping, stick to the outside of the super market. It is when you go down the middle lanes that you buy the junk food that is processed over and over again and left with very little nutritional value. When I mean processed foods I mean cookies, crackers, cakes, breads etc. For instance, white bread used to be wheat bread before all the nutritional elements were stripped during the processing phase. These products that have been processed are very hard on your body to digest and give you alot of "empty calories". Empty meaning that the calories of this type that are being consumed give your body a fraction of the needed nutrional elements. There is reason why the people on the island of Crete are some of the healthiest people on the planet. The average male lifespan is nearly 90 years! Historically, Cretans have eaten only what their land produced: lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and various types of proteins like fish, lamb, and chicken. Freshness is key.
Debunking the low-carb/high-protein diets. Everybody is different, everybody has different nutrional needs. So do not believe these fad diets/Dr. Phil diet miracle crap. When you read a book saying you need to cut out carbs, or eat your weight in grams of protein per day, do not listen. These books and websites are great at giving you general information about nutrition, and give you a good base in which to live your life day-to-day but these mass-prescribed diets do not work for everybody. For instance: I eat nearly 6000 calories a day. Do you think the average Joe could do that without becoming a plumper? Probably not. But my body needs that many calories to keep me going. For example, during a 6-hour bike ride I burn nearly 5,000 calories. During an Ironman the average athlete burns 10,000 to 15,000 calories (about 5 days worth of calories for the average person). So my needs are a little bit different that others. I am sure your needs are different as well.
So what do I eat, and when do I eat.
4:30 a.m. A glass of water, and a piece of fruit and peanut butter toast to get my body going
8:30 a.m. More water, Egg-beaters (about 4 eggs) and a cup of cooked spinach. maybe some cooked lentils if I have a long workout that day.
11:30 a.m. Turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread w/ light low-fat mayo. I add tons of veggies such as spinach, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. Water. Maybe some low-fat cottage cheese.
2:00 p.m. A can of low-sodium soup or whole wheat spaghetti with grilled chicked from the night before. More water. Maybe a piece of chocolate (70% cacao dark chocolate because it has more antioxidants).
4:00 p.m. Pre-workout meal. My world famous protein smoothie :) It contains 100% strawberry juice, frozen mango, frozen strawberries, low-fat vanilla yogurt, a whole banana, and two scoops of protein (about 50 grams).
7:00 p.m. A post work out smoothie or other nutrional supplement that provides me with a good mix of carbs and protein with a good helping of Glutamine and Branch Chain Amino Acids to help me recover faster.
9-10:00 p.m. Grilled anything with whole wheat rice, potatoes, or some other carb.
In total... around 5,000-6000 calories of "whole foods"
I went to San Diego for the weekend to see the girlfriend. I can understand why San Diego is a mecca for triathletes and fit people in general. The place is gorgeous. I had a 12-mile run on Saturday so we headed down to Mission Beach to run by the surf. My girlfriend Nichole, my Mom and I are doing the Portland Marathon in October. So I kind of made a competition between the two of them. I tell my Mom that Nichole has been training for months and is in fantastic shape, and I tell Nichole that my Mom is fit as all hell and will leave her in the dust. I guess that is my attempt at being motivational? Nichole ran with me on Saturday, and I am starting to think my Mom might be in trouble ha ha. The weather was kind of crappy at the beach, pretty gloomy. But the beach is kind of like pizza in a sense, even when its bad..... it really isn't that bad. I once heard a guy say, "a bad day at the beach beats a great day at the office". Running on the sand for a few hours seems like minutes. It sure does beat training in the concrete jungle of Tempe, Arizona. Overall it was a fantastic trip, and a much needed break from the daily grind.
This week ahead is pretty arduous. I have about 18 hours of training planned, so about 15 workouts in total. If I didn't take Sunday off I think I would be a hurting unit. My goals for this week are to keep strict controls on my diet, go to bed early, and focus solely are finishing my last 10% or my workouts at race-pace to get my body accustomed to the feeling of fatigue.
Oh... I forgot to mention my leg shaving breakthrough. Schick Intuition shaver might be the best product since sliced bread. It is like a Mach 3 razor with soap around it so you do not have to use shaving cream. Genius. (Thanks girlfriend)
"Think big and do the uncommon"
-Timothy Ferriss best-selling author of Four Hour Work Week (an absolute must-read!!)