“Murph” Prep Nutritional Challenges
L1 = STEPS 1-4 Brand new to monitoring Nutrition
L2 = STEPS 1-7 If you are already doing steps 1-4 successfully
L3 = STEPS 1-10 You have a solid base but are ready to hit the next level!
*make sure to check the videos at the bottom for other helpful tips!
Most folks are up for a good Physical Challenge, especially CrossFitters such as yourself. However, discussing Nutrition can trigger a minor panic attack. Take this 4 week Challenge and see how changes in Nutrition can greatly impact the way you look, feel, and perform. When we build our fitness pyramid, Nutrition and Recovery are the base, Not Exercise, that’s second.
Instead of rules, here are some general guidelines or ‘Best Practices’ that have been proven time and time again and you will see portions in all the popular “diets” on the internet. Some guidelines are harder than others and require preparation time. If you don’t have time, consider a meal prep service such as Naked Foods.
Excess sugar, sodas, fast food, processed foods with no expiration dates, trans fats, candy bars, snack cakes, etc… are known by all to not be good for you so you won’t see them covered here. If you decide to make a choice that doesn’t fit these ‘best practices’ then Bless It and Own It! Don’t make justifications, blame someone else, or complain that your are weak. Take responsibility and move on to the next Great choice!
Read through these and check out the videos at the bottom for some extra tips!
- Eat your Veggies, Especially Greens!
Make two or three giant pans of veggies in the oven with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Peppers, Onions, Sweet Potatoes, Bok Choy, etc… Once cooked, it’s very easy to add a couple handfuls to any meal. For Greens, sauté them on the stove top with olive oil or some other sort of quality fat, maybe adding some Apple Cider vinegar and chicken broth.
*If you don’t eat greens on a regular basis (4-5 times/week), then add a quality greens supplement. Most have good probiotics as well as some enzymes, both of which are very beneficial to a healthy gut. We carry G3 from Puori or you can get Health Force Super Foods “Vitamineral Green” from the Health Shoppe. Read the instructions well and build up over time.
2. HYDRATE! Not just drink water.
Too much water without electrolytes can cause a sodium imbalance and your body will flush moisture from your tissues (dehydration) to correct it. What this means to you: Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces/day and throw a small pinch of sea salt (not regular salt) in there for some electrolytes. Trader Joe’s carries a Pink Himalayan Sea Salt grinder that works well. Just a couple twists into a Nalgene or other water carrier should suffice.
3. EAT ENOUGH!!
I’m not a fan of the word Restriction and I believe it’s what causes the Panic associated with Nutrition changes. Instead let’s focus on just eating enough. When you increase your activity but don’t feed your body, your brain perceives that you are in a famine state and adds to it’s reserves (fat) by storing as many calories as it can for future use. This won’t happen in a short fast but if you are historically calorie restricted it will drastically slow your metabolism and ability to burn fat.
If you are consistently taking in more calories than you can burn, this also causes you to store excess bodyfat. Think of your food as fuel and eat at levels that support your activity but not the extra fat storage from over or under consumption. (The Fit3d and a coach can help you establish baseline needs)
Eat 3-4 times per day, consuming adequate amounts.
Palm size piece of protein (one and a half for larger males)
Two fists of veggies
- One fist sized portion of Complex Carbs such as Sweet Potatoes, Steel Cut Oats, or Brown Rice, Bananas or other fruits but not Juices.
- Green leafy and cruciferous veggies you can pretty much eat as much as you want.
- If you can follow these Simple guidelines you will win. Being Healthy and Fit is really easy if you only eat real food in these proportions 3-4 times per day.
- For those looking to add size, increase the meal frequency to 4-5 and keep the same portion sizes.
4. DON’T CUT THE “Healthy” FAT!
You should eat at least one Thumb Sized portion of fat at every meal. It’s critical that you make healthy fat choices. Mix and match your fats just like your protein sources since they have different profiles and benefits. Avoid processed fats, margerines, vegetable oils, canola, partially hydrogenated etc… Not Good.
Choose from these:
- Unsalted Kerry Gold Grass Fed Butter (Trader Joes)
- Organic cold pressed Coconut oil (Trader Joes is best deal)
- Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive oil (again trader joes)
- Fat from pasture raised, grass fed animals
- Coconut milk (from a can, avoid extra ingredients)
*If you are eating Non-Grass Fed Beef and Pork- (grain finished or corn finished, not GRASS FED) buy the leanest cuts and trim the visible fat. The fat carries the bulk of hormones, antibiotics and other bad stuff attributed to commercial meats.
*MASTER STEPS 1-4 BEFORE ATTEMPTING 5, 6, and 7
5. START YOUR DAY WITH FAT AND PROTEIN ONLY
Starting your day with lower to no carbs will avoid the insulin spike and the carb craving roller coaster many people get stuck on. Controlling Insulin will help lower inflammation and promote quicker recovery between workouts, as well as fat loss.
6. GO LOWER CARB ON RECOVERY and NON-TRAINING DAYS
Your body doesn’t have a need for extra carbohydrates on recovery days. Eat your normal amounts of veggies, fats, and quality proteins and leave your starchy items and fruit for training days. This little step can lead to big gains but dial in 4 and 5 before worrying about 6 and 7.
7. CYCLE YOUR CARBS AROUND YOUR ACTIVITY
For quicker GAINZ in fat loss, save your starchy or simpler carbs to pre and post workout meals. This will provide adequate carbs to fuel training but not enough to store excess bodyfat. The rest of the day you will lower your carbs by eating mostly veggies for carbs. You should experiment for yourself but I have found that many people including myself, respond very well to this.
*STEPS 8-10 ARE NECESSARY BUT CAN MAKE IT FEEL RESTRICTIVE AT FIRST. GETTING STEPS 1-7 DIALED IN FIRST CAN MAKE THAT TRANSITION MORE NATURAL FEELING.
8. AVOID DAIRY, BREAD, AND PROCESSED CARBS. JUST EAT REAL FOOD!!!!
Too much data that shows there’s a link between gluten and inflammation. Both gluten and dairy spike your insulin and insulin control is the real secret to leaning out and building muscle both.
Save our powdered proteins for Post workout, when the Insulin spike is a normal mechanism for replacing lost fuel in the muscles.
*I love milk and cookies as much as the next guy but if you want lean muscle, high performance, and a lack of fat on your abdomen; it’s best you replace these with quality carbs and veggies.
9. Avoid Artificial Sweetners and added Sugars
If you want something sweet use real ingredients like honey, bananas, whatever, just don’t use artificial sweeteners. Please don’t mistake the previous statement to mean it’s ok to eat sugar or honey or any other carbs all the time. It’s best to ween off sugar entirely. Once this is done, the cravings subside and the fat loss begins! (see #7 if you want something sugary, post workout is when it fits best)
*Above 70% Dark Chocolate in small amounts can be used to curb sugar cravings.
10. Alcohol is not my Friend
If you want to be lean, recover fast, and look young forever, Alcohol is not your friend. If you are going to drink, use moderation and try drinks without extra sugar and very few ingredients. Skinny Girl Margarita, Vodka Soda with limes, etc…. Basically the cleanest alcohol you can get with some sort of citrus to blunt the insulin response, and something bubbly to make it taste good. Soda water is better than tonic because of sugar. Have fun, be responsible.
I hope this helps!