Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making it last

There are two things that you want to last when you are training for a fitness show.

1. Your food
2. You satiety (i.e. your feeling of fullness)

Regardless of whether I am going to work or it's the weekend, I always have food on hand. I don't refrigerate ANYTHING. Things taste better to me at room temperature. Sure, you might think this is dangerous or whatever, but it's a practice I've always used. A healthy body comes equipped with very strong bacteria in the gut, and mine can handle a lot. I don't believe in "coddling" your body with antibacterials, overly obsessive hand-washing, crazy produce cleaning, antibiotics for things that can't be cured with antibiotics, none of that.

I quickly rinse my produce (celery, peppers). I never wash my lettuce. And I don't refrigerate my vegetables and tofu if it's going to be eaten within the next 10 hours. I don't get sick, not even a common cold. So this works for me. I believe too much caution allows your body's self-defense mechanisms to quit working, because they don't have to.

What works well:
Broccoli - If it's raw, it stays crunchy. If it's frozen or cooked, it maintains its firmness, though the longer you hold onto it, the sulfer smell does sort of get stronger, but it tastes fine. Raw is really the best for long periods of time.
Tofu - dry-fried. It's been sitting on a hot griddle, the edges are seared, and it will sit in my Snap-Ware all day.
Carrots - Raw or canned, they stay good.
Cauliflower - Raw. It does start to brown a bit, but the taste remains the same
Edamame - I buy it frozen, it's delicious. It keeps well, but is high in carbs so I don't eat it that frequently.
Raw Berries - They don't have to last that long since mine will be gone by noon per my nutrition plan.

What does not work well:
Peppers - they begin to ferment a bit. They also get a bit slimy over time.
Okra - I buy it frozen, but if you keep it sitting, it will get VERY slimy, and it's messy to eat and the texture gets gross.
Eggplant, Squash, Zucchini - It looses the firmness, browns. I don't even like this stuff anyway so no loss to me.
Fruit with liquid - This includes my frozen strawberries. They begin to ferment if you hold them at room temperature too long... but again, mine are consumed by noon, so this is a non-issue.


Obviously, no one wants to be hungry all day. I'm not that hungry with my nutrition plan, but sometimes I like to be pro-active to keep hunger at bay.

- Metamucil - I'm taking this anyway to increase my fiber intake without upping my calories. I like to take it at my smaller meals, and the meals without fat. I take it at Meal 2 and 4, and sometimes 6. With 8 to 10 ounces of water, a rounded teaspoon dissolved is a nice stomach filler.
- Water - Tons of it. I aim for a gallon a day, minimum. I fill up my large Nalgene bottle at least 3 to 4 times at work, and try to drink another while I workout.
- Hot water - I drink this at work because I'm freezing, but I also find that it helps keep hunger at bay. It's hot and satisfying. Sometimes I add a Green Tea bag, but I don't really like tea all that much.
- Protein shake - My pea protein (which I have put to the side) is very bulky compared to my rice protein. That stuff filled my entire stomach up. Though I don't prefer the taste or texture to my rice protein, it has zero carbs, and I may use it closer to showtime.
- Large Salads - I eat large salads at meals 3 and 6. Because nice lettuce is so light and has so few calories, I really make large salads. A shoe-box size of the good lettuce has fewer than 100 calories. Probably 4 large handfuls of lettuce. Once I use a fork and knife to cut it all down, it really is only about 4 cups of lettuce. These keep me nice and full, because they take so long to eat and have a lot of volume.
- Crystal Light - I find that one or two glasses of Crystal Light Lemon Iced Tea can really nip a tummy rumble in the bud. It has a different effect on my satiety than does Diet Coke. It's more "filling" to me.

The urge to eat was far stronger when I first began my nutrition plan. It was especially rough at night. But with my large salad at meal 6, I find that I'm full and satiated, and don't have those antsy feelings that I experienced at night a few months back.

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