Everyone always asks me what foods I eat every day or what my intake is. Firstly you will notice that I do not usually share my caloric intake. This is not because its a secret of any kind at all but mainly because
1. I change my intake depending on my current goals and the way my body is responding week to week, and
2. Most importantly, because just because a certain caloric intake is right for me, does not mean it is right for you and your goals.
But what I CAN share with you is the foods I incorporate each week.
As you are probably well aware by now, I practice flexible dieting. If you have missed the boat and are unsure what that is, let me remind you quickly. Flexible dieting is choosing the foods you want to eat within a flexible structure. So NO foods are off limits, the trade-off is that you need to hit a specific caloric intake and macronutrient breakdown.
"But what about making sure I get enough nutrients? " you may ask. Well ensuring that you hit an adequate fiber intake of 25-40g per day depending on your size and digestion capability should ensure you are getting enough nutrient goodness from vegetables, fruit, and other whole foods. For more information on flexible dieting check out my blog HERE.
So now you have a brief run down, I can reiterate that my foods usually change each week and each given day depending on what I feel like eating. However even though I am a flexible dieter, I still incorporate most of the same foods each week as my staples. My general rule is to aim for 80% whole foods to ensure I get all of my nutrient requirements in, and then the rest are made up of whatever "fun" foods I choose.
Notice how I didn't say "bad" foods? This is because there are NO bad foods when it comes to body composition. Flexible dieting is all about having the power to choose whichever food you love.
Now that you are up to speed let me share with you my grocery staples I have on hand each week and why I incorporate them into my daily food intake.
The fist item always on my grocery list is an ample amount of protein sources for the week. Protein is the building block of your entire body, you need it for tissue repair and development. If you do not have an adequate protein intake then you will most likely have muscle tissue break down, which means ladies, you lose muscle and you store more body fat, simple.
I try to get my meat sources directly from a local butcher, not only will they be fresh that way but they will usually be cheaper and of a higher quality than meat from a large supermarket chain.
My current four favorites include:
- Grass fed beef burger patties
- Grass fed fillet steak
- Free range, hormone free chicken breast
- Fresh local wild caught prawns
There are an endless amount of protein sources you can also incorporate. sometimes I include salmon, Greek yoghurt, kangaroo patties, pork, ground chicken or turkey breast and I always have a protein powder handy. However, usually, those are my staples because they are simply my favourites at this point in time.
Note** some proteins still contain a large amount of fat such as beef and salmon so just keep this in mind when tracking your food intake.
Carbohydrates can come from endless sources. I find that some people can have an intolerance or a hard time digesting certain carbohydrates, so it's simple, if it irritates your tummy do not eat it. Just because I have it on my list does not mean it's a "magic" food that works best, it simply means I enjoy eating that particular carbohydrate over others. So go with what you love and can tolerate.
I will break my carbs into 2 groups for you so that you can understand where I generally place them in my day:
1. Lower GI carbs for during the day
These will take longer to digest so I prefer to eat them during the day any time that is before a workout.
- Sweet potato
- Pumpkin (very low carb and great for lower carb options)
- Wrap bread
- Weet bix
2. Higher GI carbs
I like to place there either directly after my workout or in meals following my workouts because they will absorb a little quicker and kick-start recovery time.
- Fruits, such as frozen blueberries, frozen mangoes, frozen açaí packs, bananas
- White basmati rice (I still use this during the day if I have a fat source to combine with it in a meal)
- Cereals like coco bombs and coco o's
- Rice cakes
- Pop tarts
Even though these carb sources may be optimal placing around workouts and during the day, I don't want you to get caught up on the small details. What still matters the most is hitting your intake for the day no matter where you place your carbohydrate sources.
As you can see as a flexible dieter, most of my staples here are majority whole foods. However what I do LOVE to add in after training sometimes in a trip to Tutti Frutti frozen yoghurt because it's just so good and it's a great source of predominantly carbohydrates.
Yes, fat sources! Fat is very important in your diet, especially for women as it has a huge role in bodily functions such as hormone production.
My favourite fat sources I usually love to include in my week include:
- Coconut oil
- Avocado (when they are not a million dollars each!)
- Nut butters
- Olive oil
- Coconut milk ice cream (even though this has a combination of carbs and fats I still use it as a fat source and it's the best treat)
I like to make sure I have fat in all meals however I keep it as low as possible around training time. fat sources can come from anywhere you like. If you want to sneak in some chocolate then that is absolutely ok too.
As you can see my staples consistent of pretty much all whole foods. However, that's not to say that I do not add in other foods when I feel like them. My pantry has been known to hold items such as Oreos, Nutella, lollies, chocolate, muesli, loaf bread and much more. I also include a wide range of condiments as well as herbs and spices to ensure my food always tastes great. The beauty about dieting in a flexible way is that you can continue to add variety into your intake and constantly change the foods you eat depending on what you may feel like. Because, let's face it life is too short to eat bland boring food and avoiding the foods you love to eat.