The interesting thing about living in Charlotte is that the city is practically deserted prior to noon on Sundays. Everyone is either home asleep or in church, so I take advantage of the quiet tranquility of Sunday mornings to run errands before the rest of Charlotte emerges from their homes and/or places of worship. This morning, I did my grocery shopping (I usually make 2 trips per week). I was so excited this morning to find grass-fed ground bison at my local Harris Teeter! (I have been trying to avoid going to Whole Foods in my quest to eat primally).
I just want to share quick comparison of what my grocery list looked like when I was prepping for my last show and what it looks like today:
- Egg whites (by the carton for convenience)
- Old-fashioned oats
- All natural peanut or almond butter
- Extra lean ground turkey breast
- Sweet potatoes
Today’s Grocery List
- Free range organic omega-3 eggs
- Organic pumpkin
- Raspberries and blueberries
- Organic spinach
- Locally grown organic sweet potatoes
- Extra lean ground turkey breast
- Grass fed ground bison (also local)
- Brussels sprouts
- Raw almonds
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Heavy cream
- Organic balsamic vinegar
- All natural almond butter
- Garlic artichoke salsa
The point I am trying to illustrate here is that eating for a physique competition and eating for general health/fitness are not necessarily the same thing. The foods that comprised my pre-competition meal plan are by no means unhealthy, but I was limited to only a handful of foods. Variety is important for eating a balanced diet and it’s also key in preventing food boredom. All of the foods on today’s grocery list are things I eat daily (spread out across 7-8 meals, of course). When a competition isn’t around the corner, I prioritize both quality and variety, and I am really enjoying it!
It sometimes boggles my mind that so many Americans can go for days without eating a vegetable or that the only veggie they eat on a regular basis is white potato in some processed form. Even a lot of the fit/health-conscious people I know will fill up on protein shakes, Quest bars, sugar-free “diet” foods, and meals with grains and meat, but shortchange the vegetables and fruit. I love eating so many vegetables – I actually enjoy the taste, and I also feel amazing physically and mentally when they form the basis of every meal. It also makes meal prep pretty simple – cook a bunch of veggies (I either steam, eat raw, or saute in coconut oil), cook up some meat, and then pair them with some healthy fat and you’ve got some minimally processed, extremely nutrient dense meals.
Certain foods can be an acquired taste. I wasn’t a fan of pumpkin the first few days of eating it, but eventually, I came around and now enjoy it. Some foods have a bad reputation (i.e. Brussels sprouts), so I always assumed I didn’t like them…which is absolutely not the case! They are one of my favorite vegetables! So, I encourage you to be open-minded, both about foods you have never tried and foods that maybe you have tried in the past, but didn’t care for. Tastes change, and the way food is prepared can also make a huge difference! Did I mention that coconut oil makes everything taste better? 🙂
I do still have difficulty managing nuts and nut butters in moderation (when I am really hungry, they sound so tasty, and it’s very easy for me to overeat given how calorie dense small portions are). I talked to my nutrition coach, and she swapped the almond butter for coconut butter…which I have never had before. I’m excited to try it though! I found Nikki’s Coconut Butter and ordered two flavors – Midnight Mocha and Vanilla Cake Batter. Can’t wait to try something new!
Also, there is a great website called Eat Wild that you can use to find local grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy (especially if you eschew Whole Foods like I do and want an alternative).