Green Mountain CrossFit Nutrition Programs
General Information and Philosophy
What To Eat
Our philosophy on fueling our bodies for health and well being is simple: Eat lean proteins and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat. This sensible, whole-foods approach lets us get plenty of energy, decreases our risk of disease, and maximizes our intake of vitamins and minerals from foods. We think it’s also a really delicious way to experience food.
Getting Started: Bringing It Home
What’s the best way to hop on this healthy eating train? We recommend starting at home: clean out your pantry, refrigerator and freezer of foods that aren’t going to help you eat clean or get healthy. Then head to the grocery store. Here are some tips:
1. When purging your refrigerator, keep this in mind: if you could not have raised it on a farm or harvested it out of your garden and eaten it an hour later, it probably shouldn’t stay in your fridge. Kale, apples, grapes and broccoli stay. Dairy foods should be simple and unsweetened. Meat, tofu, milk, cheeses, and unsweetened yogurt should stay. Pudding and ice cream should get tossed or given away.
2. In the pantry, if it has an ingredient label on it, it may be edible, but is probably not fuel. You do not see ingredient labels on swordfish or tomatoes, carrots or onions. But they are on the chips and cookies. Fuel your active lifestyle with real, whole nutrition. Nuts, whole grains, and dried legumes are great additions to any pantry.
3. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, and avoid going down the packaged food aisles. Single ingredient foods (milk, fish, almonds, oranges, olive oil) are going to become your go-to foods, not items from a box or bag with a list of 15 ingredients on the label.
How Much To Eat
Is it enough to simply eat whole foods? Can we eat whole foods in any amount and feel energetic and strong without gaining weight? How much fat can we eat? How about protein or carbs? Deciphering how much fuel is just right is often difficult. If you have struggled with finding how much food gives you just the right amount of energy for your lifestyle, without going overboard, feeling hungry, or carrying excess weight, we are here to help.
Below you’ll find some general guidelines for finding the right balance of nutrients and portion sizes in your daily meals. For customized guidelines specific to your body and lifestyle, or help implementing a healthy lifestyle, contact our nutrition coach to get started.
Blocks: We find that a day consisting of three meals and two snacks, each containing 30 percent fat, 30 percent protein and 40 percent carbohydrates, fuels us well. We break our portions down into blocks that contain this balance of all three macronutrients. Each protein block contains 7 g of protein; there are 9 g of carbohydrate in each carbohydrate block and 1.5 g of fat in every fat block.
Based on your size and the activity level, you should eat a certain number of food blocks each day, divided among your meals and snacks. For example, you may be allocated a total of 12 blocks a day that must be divided over breakfast, lunch and dinner, and two snacks. While the number of food blocks you can have depends on your body composition (height, weight, lean body mass, etc.), a medium sized woman will require three blocks each of protein, carbohydrate and fat for every meal and one block at each of her two snacks per day. Medium sized men will need four blocks each of protein, carbohydrate and fat for each meal and one block at each snack.
Food Block Examples
If you are a woman, you might choose a lunch of 3 oz. of skinless chicken or turkey breast, served with 2 cups of tossed salad and an apple for carbohydrate and 1 tablespoon olive oil and vinegar dressing (1 teaspoon is one block) for fat. If you are a man, you would multiply the individual block amount by four. You can select your two snacks a day--taken in the afternoon and before bedtime--from any of the food groups, and men and women are both allowed one block. For example, you may choose to have a protein snack of 1 oz. of non-fat cheese; a carbohydrate snack would be 1/2 cup of blueberries; and a fat snack would be six peanuts.
Here’s how that breaks down:
Each snack and meal should have some protein in it. Each protein “block” should be around 4 ounces for a medium sized man and 3 ounces for a medium sized woman. Eating a mix of low fat protein like fish, turkey, skinless chicken and tofu gives you variety, flavor, and necessary vitamins and minerals.
The carbohydrate portion of the meal or snack should be about twice the size of the protein portion. You can find filling carbohydrates in vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruits. We encourage your carbohydrates to be low on the glycemic index, which includes most fruits and vegetables, since this way of eating aims to control insulin levels, keeping energy level throughout the day.
Each meal or snack should include a small amount good fats like the fat found in avocados, nuts and olive oil.
A Healthy Lifestyle Made Easy:
- Balance your Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats at each meal
- Have a snack or your first meal within one hour of waking
- Drink an 8oz glass of water at least 8x a day
- Meals (3-4 blocks) will fuel you for 4-5 hours while snacks (1 blocks) will keep you satisfied 2-3 hours
- Always eat your fats, but keep the unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio at 2:1 or better
- Eat lean low-fat protein sources, including fish 1-2x per week
- Keep unfavorable carbs to 25% or less during meals
- Eat a 1-2 block snack about 30 minutes prior to sleep
- If you are hungry, eat
This way of eating is inspired by Biochemist Barry Sears’ Zone diet. He theorized that eating a certain ratio of macronutrients at each meal limits inflammation, controls blood sugar, and results in a healthier weight. The Zone Diet is based on the idea that you should eat carbohydrates, proteins and fats in specific ratios at every meal. You know if you have found a successful balance if you are not hungry for the next four to six hours, while maintaining peak mental focus. This way of eating may help you get enough of vitamins A, C, E and K without increasing your risk for any micronutrient deficiencies, according to a study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in August 2010.
For more detail on The Zone, click here. (link to http://www.zonediet.com/the-zone-diet/)