What I Eat – Part I – My EvolutionApril 11, 2012 • Posted in Category articles, build muscle, build strength, building athleticism, mindset, nutrition.
So the questions have been pouring out as if the Hoover Dam had been knocked down in the last couple of days since my last post on Fasting Vs. Bodybuilding Diet.
If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do and after you’re done, make sure to drop a comment and cast your vote on who has the best abs (She does) 😉
When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter what my abs look like at this point. I’ve need to be able to perform at a high level no matter what.
When you train at a high level and EAT RIGHT, getting shredded up is a nice bonus, plus it’s always nice to have that cut up look right?M
Many of you that read my blog have wanted to know what I personally eat on a daily basis, so what I’m going to do over the next series of blog posts is go over what I eat, when I eat it, and why I eat it.
I’ll break it down into two different days (training and non-training days) and if you’re lucky, I’ll even share some of my favorite cheat meals with ya as well. 😉
Before I get into what I eat on a daily basis I think it would be best to take you through my personal “evolution” of eating. What I eat today is way different from what I used to eat in college as there have been many things that have taken place since then.
#1 – As time has gone by, I’ve grown wiser and have learned many lessons…
As a fitness professional who’s always striving to better my crafts by continuing to LEARN, TEST, and RESEARCH different things within the health and fitness realm, I’m ALWAYS allowed to change my mind.
Just know, what I may say to be the best thing for me or my clients today, quite possibly might nto be what I say in the future. I may turn around and say the total opposite. It’s just how it works and you’ll see what I mean as you read through my evolution below.
Any good coach / professional knows this is how it works. The world is ALWAYS changing and if you don’t evolve with it, you will simply fade away in the wind.
So, I’m going to start with my first few years out of college when I “thought” I knew what good nutrition was and I’ll go from there…
College Years: Freshman / Sophomore
When I first started college, I ate primarily an Atkins type diet during the day, but I would allow myself to have starchy carbs for breakfast.
During the football season when I was most active, I would eat whatever I wanted. Fast food, pizza, pasta, rice, you name it, I was eating it.
My thoughts were since I was so active and “healthy” from football that I could eat whatever I wanted to eat and I would be fine. I would simply burn it off from all the practice and extra training I was doing.
Little did I know that this was putting a HUGE dent into my overall performance on the field with such sh*tty eating habits.
In the off season I would go back on an low carb Atkins Diet or try different extreme diets I would take straight outta the different Muscle Mags I was reading.
I can remember this one I did for 2 weeks that consisted of nothing more then canned tuna, chicken breasts, and water. I felt like total crap for those two weeks…
The worst was I NEVER was as shredded up or jacked as I wanted to get to be and I had NO idea that it had to do with what I was eating.
College Years: Junior – Senior
I can remember the exact event that changed the way I looked at nutrition forever…
One weekend, a certified nutritionist from the University of Nebraska visited our football team and talked about the importance a solid nutrition plan had on our performance on the field.
I can remember thinking she was full of sh*t and that I already was eating “good”.
She said to “Eat whole grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and yams for fuel”. I thought she was full of sh*t because I was eating a Atkins type diet at the time and that carbs would make me fat…
Even though I thought she was full of sh*t, I took her advice and started to eat a more balanced diet composed basically of healthy foods and the recommendations she made with the carbs.
So, I started to eat a ton of whole grains (100% stone ground wheat bread, pasta, pancakes,tortillas) at every meal. I thought since it was “100% whole grain” that is was something truly special and”healthy” for my body.
With that I ate more grilled chicken breast, ground turkey, and fish. Didn’t eat too many greens or veggies and the only fruit I ever really ate were apples.
I NEVER ate nuts or seeds as I thought the fats were “bad”.
Post College Years:
After I got out of college, I started training at a big box gym as a personal trainer.
There I found out more specific principles of eating such as with counting calories and macro-nutrtients.
My own eating basically stayed the same as it was in the last few years of college until I got myself into bodybuilding…
When I decided I wanted to do a show I started to read every damn nutrition book I could get my hands on that had anything to do with bodybuilding.
At first, I tried to do exactly what Arnold did in his Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
This was your true old-school bodybuilder’s diet.
I started eating the SAME thing every day… Chicken, Broccoli, Brown Rice, and Lots of Egg Whites.
I had about 2-3 protein shakes a day to top that off and would drink anywhere from 3-4 gallons of water a day.
When it came to competition time, I had it locked in even tighter.
All of my meals were strategically timed, the calories were specific, it was spot on.
I got completely shredded, but I felt like sh*t.
Very low energy levels, quick mood changes, and overall I just wasn’t very happy.
After I competed and won in my first show, I said that was enough!
I will admit that I learned a TON about nutrition while I was prepping for my show. Stuff that I didn’t know or even think about before.
The best thing I learned was how to manipulate my macro-nutrients and properly time my intakes of carbs, fats, and proteins, so the main thing I changed after my show was the timing and intake of my carbs.
When I figured out how to properly do this, I was able to keep myself well around the 7-8% bodyfat range year round with no problems.
My diet consisted of a lot of the same foods: chicken, steak, eggs, turkey, brown rice, whole grain breads and bagels, quinoa, sweet potatoes, berries, ect but the whole overview now was that of Carb Rotation.
The only issue was, I was eating every few hours and if I didn’t get in my meals or I had to skip a meal for whatever reason, I was very stressed and temperamental.
Also, my fat intake was still very low and even though my diet mainly consisted of real, healthy foods, my energy levels still weren’t where I wanted them to be…
Enter – The Caveman Diet…
So after a few years of eating mainly like a bodybuilder, I had enough of being tired most of the day.
I had been hearing tons of talk about this “Paleo / Caveman” diet from a lot of different people so I said to myself that I would look into it.
Long story short, after I made the switch from your typical Bodybuilding Diet to a 90% Paleo Diet, I could see the difference in both my performance levels and physique and my energy levels went sky high as well.
One of the biggest changes I made switching from a Bodybuilding like diet to Paleo was I cut out 95% of the grains I was taking in and switched that up with healthy fats.
I added in more nuts and seeds to my diet and cut the breads. I also added in Almond Milk. I was never really a huge dairy person before, but the addition of almond milk was extremely good.
One of the best things I ever did was invest into The Paleo Recipe Book. Instead of eating the same old stuff day in and day out, that book gave me a ton of new ideas which helped keep things fresh.
While I felt and looked better then ever, I was still eating every few hours. I still believed that in order to retain muscle and keep my metabolism as high as possible that I had to eat every few hours.
I never skipped meals, always ate breakfast, and NEVER ate any type of starchy carbs at night unless I was cheating…
Enter – The Paleo Cheat
After adopting the Paleo way of eating, my main philosophy was to eat lean and clean 90% of the time and cheat 10% of the time.
This was great and kept me from going insane. I still eat this way today and I recommend everyone do this.
Monday – Friday I would eat mostly all of the same things day in and day out – All Paleo, no junk and then on the weekends, I would eat pretty much anything I wanted to eat…
Burgers, fries, pizza, dessert… You name it I ate it! It was my way of cheating and getting away with it.
I wrote up a whole blog post about it – How to Cheat Paleo and WIN.
Then there came this thing called Fasting?
So, what you’ve read thus far has been a timeline of how I’ve evolved with my eating habits over the course of the last 10 years or so.
It’s come a long way!
I can truly say that Paleo changed my life the greatest overall, but the last few months that I’ve added fasting to my lifestyle, it has truly been even more remarkable!
I feel that the combination of a Paleo-like eating style and strategic fasting is the ultimate package for health and energy.
Thanks to books and resources from Brad Pilon (Eat Stop Eat), John Romaniello and Dan Go (Fat Loss 4 Ever), Jason Ferruggia (The Renegade Diet), and Martin Berkhan’s LeanGains.com, I’ve learned more about fasting and have created a eating style that has specifically worked very well for me.
Personally, I’ve never felt better!
Many of my personal online coaching clients are getting some extremely great results as well.
I’ll continue to research, test, and tweak as time goes on, but for now, I’m happy with where I’m at.
Thus far, has been my evolution of eating!
In the next two blog posts, I’m going to cover what I eat on a daily basis. I’ll go over what I eat on a TRAINING DAY and then what I eat on a NON-TRAINING DAY schedule.
In the meantime, go ahead and leave your thoughts below and f you got questions, post them up in the comments!
Live and Train Aggressive!
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