This has been an area where I’ve spent a lot of years researching and learning and still know I have a lot of learning to do! But I can say I feel content with knowing that what I know is sufficient for the long term.
I have read all kinds of books over the years and I even participated in a program for a few years called Balance 365. I have also spent a lot of time paying attention to my body to determine what makes it feel good. I’m not perfect at anything, but I think that’s the point.
Here’s a bit about nutrition that I have learned:
This helps build and repair tissues; makes enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It builds bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood. (From WebMd)
We eat fish: salmon, cod, and flounder.
We eat ground beef, roasts, ribs, steaks, stew meat, etc.
We love chicken and I tend to make whole roasted chickens and baked thighs and legs the most. We do breasts also, but only if we pan sear it.
Pork is another common thing that we eat! I try to buy from my friend but it’s very expensive, so I usually just pick it up from H‑E‑B. We love carnitas, pork chops, pork tenderloin, summer sausage, etc.
Then there’s axis venison when we can get some!
I also have a lot of eggs (also has fat), egg whites (no fat), and protein smoothies (with collagen and egg white protein), etc. My family has Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
These are important because they help your body absorb vitamins, help us feel satisfied, help the nervous system, build cell membranes among other benefits. (From Healthiest Best)
We eat nuts and seeds. We love peanut and almond butters.
We eat the yolk of the egg. We have backyard chickens so it makes sense.
Avocados are a huge favorite of mine.
I use avocado and olive oil mostly. I also like sesame oil in some dishes.
The fam has full fat milk.
I like olives at times.
I like coconut sometimes, but I have to limit it because of the amount of saturated fat.
I prefer a leaner meat, but I also prefer dark meat in chicken. Some beef and pork cuts have some fat and I account for that in my balanced meal. I eat a little bit of bacon.
I attempt to get less than 12g of saturated fat in a day, but it’s a process.
Veggies are so important. They provide so many nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and they provide energy. I truly feel so much better physically when I eat a lot of veggies.
I eat these freely: greens of all kinds (lettuce, kale, spinach, etc), asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green beans, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes (including canned), cabbage, yellow squash, and zucchini.
I try to have about 800g/6 cups of fruits and veggies per day.
These are your body’s main source of energy. I cannot function without them. These fuel my workouts.
There are all kinds of sources, but here are the ones we have often: oatmeal, granola, homemade whole wheat breakfast foods, couscous, quinoa, brown and white rice, beans of all kinds, lentils, whole wheat pasta, tortillas, whole wheat bread, etc.
Some veggies and all fruits are considered carbs. Some examples of veggies and fruits as carbs are sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, golden/yellow potatoes, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, corn, apples, bananas, berries, melon, grapes, kiwi, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pineapple, plums, etc.
Fruits and Veggies: Any and all
Protein: chicken breast, chicken thighs, drumsticks, chicken sausage, pork chops, pork tenderloin, carnitas, grass fed beef, venison, salmon, other fish, Greek yogurt, egg white protein powder, whole eggs, egg whites
Fat: eggs, avocado oil, olive oil, butter (minimal), coconut oil (minimal), avocado, nut butters, nuts
Carbs (not from fruit): oatmeal, whole wheat/whole grain products, couscous, rice (white and brown), legumes
Foods that are not from a whole food source that I’m okay with: Clif Bars; Rx Bars; Perfect Bars; bottled dressings; creamers for coffee; diet soda (1 per week or so); sweeteners such as maple, coconut sugar, honey (in moderation); and more.
What I Eat
Here are some meals that I have made and/or that we have often (some of the pics are from restaurants)!
The macros aren’t perfect as I’m still working on that.
Here is some food that I’ve had in the past. Again, macros aren’t perfect.
This has been an area of struggle for me. In 2012-2013, I ran consistently. I ran 2-4 miles 2-4 times per week. I did a little bit of strength training but didn’t have great consistency with this because I had no direction. I didn’t really know how.
Until the summer of 2021, I didn’t work out much at all. I have started many times only to stop after a few times. I knew, though, going into the summer that I needed to develop a movement habit so that I would continue it into the fall.
An online community/workout program that I do (Street Parking) has been life-changing. I went from not working at all, to working out some (before SP), to working out consistently. I have a well established habit. I enjoy it. The workouts are simple, short, but intense. I have gotten stronger and have gained muscle. There is an amazing community with-in Street Parking in the form of Facebook groups and Instagram. People joke about it being a cult because so many people love it. Technically the program is CrossFit, but it’s not affiliated so I don’t really focus on that part.
I’m so grateful to my friend for sharing Street Parking with me because I wouldn’t be where I am without it.
In addition to Street Parking, I love hiking and have started running again.