Today completes the 5th week of exercising as the second habit I want to build. I’ve been doing a good job staying on track and have managed to work out at least three times a week. However, I’ve been only focusing on exercising and not really watched what I’ve been eating. I am noticing more muscle on my body and a little more tone, but I’m starting to think that my diet needs to change if I want to see some real results. I just want to make it clear that when I say diet I don’t mean a three month diet, or a gimmick to lose wight quick. I’m talking about nutrition and a diet that supports a healthy lifestyle.
I don’t eat meat which adds a little more complexity to the diet endeavor. I’m sure you’ve heard people say that one may develop a nutrient deficiency on a meatless diet. So, before I continue let me shed some light on that concept, that although not wrong, is very misunderstood. There is a total of 20 amino acids that your body uses to make all the proteins that your body needs for healthy function. Out of those 20, there are 9 that your body cannot synthesize and must be ingested. Meat and other animal based products contain all of the 9, but you can also consume it from other sources. There are also some nutrients that cannot be found in plants, like B12, well it can be found in mushrooms but you would need to eat a really large amount.
Below is a chart of the 9 essential amino acids and a few of the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that contain them:
|Leucine||Seaweed||Sunflower seeds||Kidney Beans||Avocados||blueberries|
In time you’ll find that many of these ingredients go well together, and can become a complete protein ingested together. Also, I’m sure you notice there is some overlap with a few of these ingredients so don’d be afraid to mix and match. For example rice and beans with a side of guacamole, accompanied with a strawberry/blueberry smoothy has all your amino acid needs covered (specially if you add yogurt to your smoothy). Also, milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs contain all of the essential amino acids, so if you’re not vegan you can get your B12, and other nutrients from yogurt, and cheese. If you are wondering what spirulina is, I’ll tell you it’s just a micro-algae that is consider a super-food, really high in protein (even higher than red meat) and associated with many health benefits. I won’t go in dept about it but I added a teaspoon to my shake (blueberries, strawberries, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, almond milk) and I felt the energy boost right away. It felt like a drinking a cup of coffee, but better, wide awake and energetic but without the jitters.
The plan is simple, decrease my calories and increase my proteins and fats. I noticed that I eat a lot of empty calories like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or cookies, sometimes cheesecake. I love pastries, and junk food so that’s something I really want to cut down on. Seconds part is I’m going to meal-prep. It’s hard to eat healthy when you don’t have healthy choices available. Also, it makes it easier to just buy food when you don’t have anything prepared at home. I know the plan is pretty vague at this moment. I am just looking to cut down on carbs, there is no real “plan” for that except to avoid sugary treats and switch for protein or fat filled food.
I’ll leave you with this: Exercising is my main focus, I’m finding that my body craves better nutrition because of it, so in your journey listen to your body, and keep at it. Don’t allow slow progress to deter your from reaching your higher purpose goals. It took a long time to make the bad diet habit, so it’s going to take a while to change and become accustomed to eating healthier.