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A Quick and Easy Way to Get Your Nutrition Heading in the Right Direction!

By: Ken Dominique

Is there such a thing as a “one size fits all” diet or meal plan? 

Yes and no. 

For starters every person is different, so there can’t be one specific food or diet that every person in the world enjoys and can stick to. However, there is something that EVERYBODY can do to improve their nutrition, and it’s called the “Plate Method”.

If you’ve listened to me talk about nutrition in the past, chances are that you’ve heard me talk about the plate method, and all the benefits it brings. 

So, what exactly is the plate method?

It starts with an empty plate. From there the goal is to fill ½ of your plate up with non-starchy vegetables (I also call them “volume carbs” because you can’t eat too many of them). These can be broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower (riced or garlic cauliflower are great), brussels sprouts, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, green beans, radishes, artichokes, or any other low glycemic carbohydrate. 

Next, fill ¼ of your plate with some lean protein like grilled chicken, turkey breast, eggs or egg whites, bison, salmon, tuna, venison, tofu, or any other kind of non-fatty protein. 

The other ¼ of your plate is filled with starchy carbohydrates like beans, peas, any kind of fruit, quinoa, red potato / sweet potato, brown rice, or oatmeal. 

And there you go! This method of filling your plate is the gold standard because it forces you to have a balanced meal that includes fruits or veggies, protein, and fat (that comes from your protein source). This method can also be utilized at restaurants by ordering a steak with double veggies, or a burger without the bun and sweet potato fries. There are an endless number of possibilities, but the plate method helps keep you in the right direction.

A little pro-tip to top it off: eat the volume vegetables first! Since we are the most hungry when we first sit down to eat, those veggies are going to taste even better, and it helps fill us up quicker so we don’t end up overeating!

If you are looking for more or are interested in nutrition coaching email me at ken@crossfitangola.com to schedule your FREE Nutrition Into!

5 Signs that You’re Human

As humans, we strive to be the best version of ourselves. With these efforts, there is a tendency to be perfect, go all in, be 100%… It is no different when it comes to making improvements with our nutrition.

That is stressful.

When we talk about taking a long term approach and adopting healthy habits over a lifespan, we do not expect that you are 100% dialed in all the time. We are imperfect humans who make mistakes. Part of being human is accepting that we won’t be perfect. This is especially true when we are making efforts at improving our nutrition. 

So, when we look at nutrition, what are 5 signs that you are human, and how can we address these areas?

  1. You get hungry when you don’t eat for long periods of time. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to meal prep and plan for a busy day, we don’t eat enough food. Here are some ways to approach this. 
    1. Make the best choices possible when on the go. Often gas stations or grocery stores will have healthy options like fruit or yogurt for a quick snack. 
    2. Have the mindset that being hungry is not an emergency. 
    3. Being hungry and failing to plan out a meal or snack is not an excuse to eat unhealthily and overeat. 
    4. Hunger may also be a sign of thirst. So take a moment to drink some water. 
    5. If you do mess up and find yourself really hungry, remember that each day is a new day to plan out meals and snacks to better prepare to fuel all that you do.
  1. You have nutrition slip-ups. All of us as humans will overeat or over-drink from time to time. It’s important to address that this happens, but more important to look at how to get back on track after a slip-up.
    1.  Don’t use this as an excuse to let things slide for the next several days. 
    2. Avoid beating yourself up for slip-ups. This happens and it doesn’t define who you are as a person. 
    3. Give yourself permission to be a little imperfect. 
    4. If you have a slip-up, use this as motivation to get back on track and make better choices at the very next meal or snack. 
    5. Give yourself acknowledgment that you overcame the slip-up.
  1. You love dessert and all things sugary. Sugar not only tastes amazing but on a deeper level, when we eat sugar, this leads to a release of dopamine, the “pleasure and reward” chemical in the brain. When we eat sugar, our brains are often triggered to want more and more of this great tasting substance. To stay on track, here’s a way to make a healthier choice if you are craving that bowl of ice cream before going to bed: 

Banana ice cream recipe: 

Take 2 ripe bananas, slice them and place in the freezer. Add bananas to a food processor, and blend, scraping down the sides of the food processor occasionally. Continue to process until smooth, approximately 3-5 minutes. Optional: add a small amount of nut butter and unsweetened cocoa for a peanut butter/chocolate version of this healthier alternative to soft-serve ice cream. 

  1. When you are stressed, you don’t crave broccoli. Emotions play a role in our nutrition choices. Often when we feel overwhelmed, we turn to comfort foods, things that make us feel good as a quick fix. These are often foods that are high in sugar, high in calories, or high in fat. Challenge yourself to recognize these patterns when you are feeling well, and avoid the temptation to have these unfavorable foods in your house if life happens. 
  1. You feel like you need someone to keep you accountable to your goals. We get you. This is why we offer a program that has a nutrition coach available to help you map out short and long term goals, develop a plan that is individualized to you, and comes with a coach to keep you stay accountable to becoming the healthiest version of yourself.

If you are interested in getting started, send a DM to our FB or IG page and we will schedule a time to sit down and chat!

How To Make The Most Out of Nutrition Coaching

You’ve probably seen stuff on social media about the nutrition program and the benefits of doing nutrition coaching. 

You may be motivated to participate in nutrition coaching to lose weight, gain confidence, improve performance, or to decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases. 

Whatever your WHY… HOW can you get the most out of your nutrition coaching experience? As you contemplate getting started with nutrition coaching, here’s a list of the top 10 ways you can get the most out of your nutrition coaching experience:

  1. Sign up for a long term approach – be ready to commit to at least 3 months of improving your nutrition from the beginning and roll into a wellness membership for accountability to really learn healthy habits.
  2. Show up for your monthly nutrition appointments and participate in your regular virtual check-ins with your nutrition coach via the TrueCoach app. Staying connected with your coach helps you to recognize all the great things you are doing with nutrition, and to strategize other difficult areas to help you stay on track with your goals. 
  3. Be Honest. Honestly logging your food helps your nutrition coach highlight bright spots and areas for improvement. Log your food – the good, the bad and the ugly!  
  4. Enlist help from an accountability partner – your nutrition coach is not your only support person- Who’s your workout buddy that will call you up if they don’t see you at the gym? Who can support you at home or at work to keep you on track with healthy eating?
  5. Keep it simple– don’t overthink things. Putting too much emphasis on meal plans or macronutrient goals can be stressful! If you balance your plate with healthy carbs, proteins, and fats, and reduce the amount of sugar consumed, you are setting yourself up for success and reduced risk of chronic diseases.
  6. Adopt one healthy habit at a time and make this a part of your foundation to avoid the quick-fix mentality. Your nutrition coach will help you identify just a few action steps each month to help you avoid the temptation of making too many changes all at once and getting overwhelmed and burnt out.
  7. Don’t isolate. You can still have fun with friends and participate in gatherings, eat out, and be social. Your nutrition coach has many resources for you to make healthy choices while traveling, attending an event, or eating out. 
  8. Meal prep. Pick out a time each week that you can prep a couple of simple things to deal with busy times of the day. Going into the week with a plan, and ready-made meals is a great way to stay consistent with healthy eating. 
  9. Don’t stress over your food. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef and make fancy recipes. Your coach will give you some simple recipes from the https://www.crossfitangola.com/recipes/ website to help get you started on balancing your plate, and help give you tips for finding the whole, real foods at the grocery store. 
  10. Commit to your health. Follow us on social media and send us a DM to get started!

How To Stop Eating Too Much!

Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.

Sounds easy right? Well, guess what- it isn’t and the lifestyle of today doesn’t help make it any easier. So what can you do to ensure you do this one thing? Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. In between meals, when you think you are hungry- try to drink a full glass of water, wait 10-15 minutes and see if you are still hungry.
  2. When your stomach is growling- eat whole foods comprised of vegetables, fruits, healthy carbs, lean protein, and healthy fat.
  3. Pay attention to your food and take your time when eating. If you scarf your food down in various ways and locations- you are not mindful of your food or your body.
  4. Enjoy your food. Take your time, smell it, taste it, chew slowly.
  5. Do something between bites- but don’t prep your fork for the next bite.
  6. Have a conversation with family or friends- but try to avoid the TV
  7. Most importantly pay attention to your body and STOP EATING when you are satisfied. Eating faster and sighing are both signs that you are satisfied.

It can take time to understand your body and realize when you are hungry or satisfied, but be patient and work towards eliminating unnecessary distractions. Don’t look at eating as something difficult or a chore- change your mindset to enjoy it by slowing down!

Practice Mindful Eating

Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.

Sounds easy right? Well, guess what- it isn’t and the lifestyle of today doesn’t help make it any easier. So what can you do to ensure you do this one thing? Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. In between meals, when you think you are hungry- try to drink a full glass of water, wait 10-15 minutes and see if you are still hungry.
  2. When your stomach is growling- eat whole foods comprised of vegetables, fruits, healthy carbs, lean protein, and healthy fat.
  3. Pay attention to your food and take your time when eating. If you scarf your food down in various ways and locations- you are not mindful of your food or your body.
  4. Enjoy your food. Take your time, smell it, taste it, chew slowly.
  5. Do something between bites- but don’t prep your fork for the next bite.
  6. Have a conversation with family or friends- but try to avoid the TV
  7. Most importantly pay attention to your body and STOP EATING when you are satisfied. Eating faster and sighing are both signs that you are satisfied.

It can take time to understand your body and realize when you are hungry or satisfied, but be patient and work towards eliminating unnecessary distractions. Don’t look at eating as something difficult or a chore- change your mindset to enjoy it by slowing down!

Send us a DM through our social media pages for more nutrition tips and to schedule a FREE nutrition introduction!

Gain Accountability With Nutrition

  • The #1 guaranteed way to improve your overall health (drumroll, please) – is to find someone to be held accountable to!
  • If I had a dollar for every person who has said to me “I know what I’m supposed to be doing, I just don’t do it,” I’d be rich. VERY rich. Unfortunately, just because we know what we should be doing, doesn’t mean we magically start doing it.
  • Sometimes all we need is someone to be accountable to in order to create new habits and start building that integrity with ourselves in order to achieve our health goals.
  • One tip I’ve seen good success with is to tell someone close to you about your specific goals. This could be a spouse, parent, co-worker, gym buddy, or anybody else that you have a good relationship with. Telling someone helps keep you working hard because you don’t want to let them down. 
  • That’s also a vital role of a nutrition coach. Your nutrition coach acts as your personal cheerleader rooting you on every step of the way, they’ll be checking in with you regularly, and helping you overcome any obstacles in your way. This really can be the difference maker between reaching and sustaining your health goals – and falling short. 
  • You need to decide that you’re worth it and make the investment to get you from where you are now, to where you’ve always wanted to be. 
  • Send an email to ken@crossfitangola.com for more information about nutrition coaching, or send us a DM on our FB or IG page!

Tips for Meal Prepping Efficiently

The concept of meal prepping can be overwhelming for a lot of people, but it’s one of the most beneficial skills you can develop for your nutrition.

One of the most common things I hear is “I don’t have time to meal prep!” But meal prepping doesn’t have to take you all day long. You need to come up with a realistic plan and execute it. 

Here are 3 tips for saving time on your meal prep:

  1. Create a master grocery list and have it flow in the order of your grocery store, make tons of copies and plan to just cross off what you DON’T need each week. 
  1. Invest in kitchen gadgets. Crockpots, Instant Pots, a food processor – all of these gadgets can save you a ton of time on your meal prep day. 
  1. Use 3 compartment containers. This takes the guesswork out of the equation. Fill the largest section with your favorite non-starchy veggie, the medium section with your lean protein, and the smallest with your starch.

In my experience, the easiest thing to meal prep is brown rice (I make 3 cups at a time and it lasts me a full week worth of lunches), and meat. I go through phases of different meats, but I always cook a bunch of it on Sundays so it’s ready to go for the whole week. For the last few months it’s been lean ground beef mixed with ground turkey.

You want to make your meal planning easier? Take action TODAY. Write down what you plan to prep, when you plan to get groceries, and block an hour or two on your calendar to prep the food. 

Need guidance? That’s what nutrition coaching is all about! Send us a message through social media or give us a call and set up your FREE nutrition intro!

Eat Real Food

  • Ever wonder what the problem with processed food is?
  • That’s what I’m here for! Coach Ken here to follow up with this week’s theme of eating whole foods and avoiding processed garbage.
  • Excessive consumption of carbohydrates leads to all kinds of diseases that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies, yet our country is rampant with obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease. Why is that? When we dive into what the average American eats throughout the week, we find that most people snack on brownies, cupcakes, crackers, chips, pizza, pop, doughnuts, cookies, reeses cups, snickers, or any of that other crap that you’ll find at the checkout counter at any grocery store.
  • Eating too many carbohydrates makes our insulin skyrocket, which leads to your body not being able to control your blood sugar like it’s supposed to, which leads to chronic disease.
  • I know from experience that A LOT of people don’t make their lunch and bring it with them to work, and because of that they end up getting fast food every day, which is loaded with all kinds of preservatives, sugar, unnecessary carbs, and trans fats that lead to metabolic disease.
  • One problem with processed foods is that by eating junk like McDonalds and Taco Bell, you are throwing your macronutrient proportions out of whack. You are going to end up consuming WAY too many carbohydrates, way too much sugar, and way too much fat.
  • 1 Big mac, fries, and drink is 1360 calories, which includes 190 grams of carbs, 95 grams of sugar, and 58 grams of fat. OR you can eat a mexican fiesta bowl (the recipe is on our website) that has 420 calories, includes 38 grams of carbs with 8 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of fat. You can literally eat 3 servings of the mexican bowl instead of a number 1 at McDonalds and still have less calories, less sugar, and less fat.
  • Eat like you’re paid to do it. Better yet, eat like you would want a close family member to eat so they can be as healthy as possible, because they would want the same thing for you.
  • This week, your job is to make all of your lunches for the week, and put whole foods in it. That could look like a spinach salad with some tuna and veggies, or some chicken breasts with broccoli and brown rice (throw some hot sauce on it for flavor). Or head over to the CrossFit Angola Recipe Page for a ton of delicious, balanced recipes that include whole, nutrient dense foods.

3 Tips to Maximize Gainz from Home

1: Increase your NEAT. NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Essentially, this is the energy we expend outside of our exercise/workouts. This could be going for extra walks, doing yard/house work, cooking, anything other than exercise. Most of us have decreased our NEAT activity because we are cooped up at home and this will affect how many total calories we burn at the end of the day, even though we are still working out every day! The goal is to increase this activity throughout the day to burn more calories and keep your metabolism running high. Go for walks, find things to do around the house, stand more, just move your body more! It will make a big difference over the course of days, weeks, and months, and will help to burn fat and stay (or get) lean! 

2: Get an accountability partner! This one is huge. It could be joining our Zoom Classes, doing a workout with some friends (outside or over skype), or just having someone you can text everyday with how your workout went. This will make it easier on the days you just don’t want to workout and would probably skip! Having accountability leads to consistency which is the key… bottom line! If you don’t have an accountability partner, reach out to us… that’s what we’re here for!! 

3: Get some bands. If I had a small home gym, different resistance bands would be one of the first (if not the first) thing I would buy! They are extremely versatile and can be used for TONS of different upper body, lower body, and core exercises. The beautiful thing about bands is that you can increase or decrease tension as needed and it is a great way to workout the body’s muscles without putting much stress on the joint thus decreasing risk of injury as compared to traditional weights like bars and dumbbells. Bottom line, bands are the bomb and if you plan on working out at home, ever, get some bands!!!!

Eat Like An Adult

For many of us, the question becomes where do I start? With so much information out there it can get overwhelming, to say the least! We hear it all the time, “I don’t even know where to start…” While it may be kind of true its really just a convenient excuse to not start at all. Above is one of my favorite explanations of how to eat healthy from Dan John.

It is more than a little on the nose, but hey let’s stop coddling ourselves. It is 2020.

We hold a few simple guidelines as a basis of the Nutritional Coaching Pyramid.

  1. Eat REAL Food- If it ran, swam, grew, or flew… eat it!
  2. Avoid food products that contain more than 5 ingredients
  3. Eat foods that contain ingredients only a 3rd grader can pronounce
  4. Do the above MOST of the time
  5. Drink more water

Basically, do what the guy with 2 first names said above and you will be on the road to nutritional success! So what does a healthy day of eating look like? Boy am I glad that you asked! What I can do is show you what it looks like to us.

Is it perfect? Nope. Does it have dairy and wheat? Yup. Is it a great place to start? Yup. Can it be tweaked? Sure. Is there room for improvement? You bet. Does it meet most of the criteria of our guidelines? Yup. Is it 99% better than the dumpster fires that are most people’s current nutritional practices? Hell Yes.

Good nutrition should be simple. We all get so caught up in wanting everything to be an orgasmic experience for our taste buds that we sacrifice our own happiness for another pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Enough is enough, its time to start being honest with ourselves about what we really need, not what we want.