In my previous post, I focused on the before, during and after workout foods. But whether you are training for a race or just maintaining a minimal recreational fitness level, it's important to know how to balance your meals each day....for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
I teach all of my athletes to maintain the SAME daily meal and snack routine whether they are intensely training for an event or are in more of a low-key, recreational mode of fitness. For most of us, our fitness level ebbs and flows from season to season and year to year. Bottom line: Always keep the same base meals and snacks, but when your fitness picks up to about 60 minutes or more, five to six days a week, you can start adding extra nutrition before, during and after workouts. This protocol will help you maintain weight and energy level.
So what should you eat for your base of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? Below I've included a sample day of three meals and two snacks. You'll notice a balanced blend of everything your active body needs to be healthy-fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.
I was given the opportunity by Florida Grapefruit to write a full seven-day meal plan for active adults highlighting one of my favorite foods-the grapefruit. Grapefruit is on my "fav list" since one serving (1/2 fresh grapefruit or 8 ounces 100% grapefruit juice) has 100% of your daily vitamin C. It's super hydrating and has an invigorating flavor. Go to the Juicy Scoop Facebook page to find the complete Grapefruit Active Lifestyle Meal Plan.
BREAKFAST: Egg and spinach scramble with toast + café au lait
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups baby spinach
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 slices sprouted whole grain bread, toasted
1 cup (8 ounce) hot coffee
1/2 cup 2% milk or plant-based milk, warmed
Brush hot skillet with oil and cook eggs with spinach. Top with fresh chives, salt and pepper. Serve with toast. Combine coffee with milk (café au lait).
SNACK: Half grapefruit topped with plain low-fat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
LUNCH: Greek salad with garbanzo beans and pita croutons
1 whole grain pita
2 cups mixed salad green
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
2 Tablespoons chopped olives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon dried dill
Cut pita in half and toast in toaster. Break up into crouton like size pieces and toss with remaining ingredients.
SNACK: Celery (6 sticks) and almond butter (2 Tablespoons)
DINNER: Spicy fish tacos with grapefruit cabbage slaw
4 ounces white fish (such as tilapia, cod, halibut, snapper)
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon honey or 100% maple syrup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup pre-shredded broccoli slaw
1/2 Florida grapefruit, cut into thin segments
1/4 cup julienned radishes
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 corn tortillas, warmed/toasted in dry skillet
Grill or broil fish until internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Whisk lime zest/juice, honey, chili powder, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Toss dressing with slaw, grapefruit, radishes and cilantro. Serve fish and slaw in tortillas.