The Five Cornerstones of Nutrition – Purposeful Nutrition For Healthy Living

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This week I happened to bump into the infamous Networking Guru, Michael Hughes. After a quick call it became clear to me that I need to share what has made the most impactful change on my health and exercise goals.

After years of acquiring many certifications, becoming a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, I had been instructed to teach the Canada’s Food Guide, which in my opinion, is insufficient. It promotes too much consumption of starchy carbs and limits women’s portion of protein to only 2 per day and men to 3 portions. This simply does not help you maintain a health weight especially if you are diligently working out at the gym weekly.

In 2014, I made the decision to enter The Ontario Physique Association in Ottawa, Canada in the Masters Figure Competition.  I placed 6th.. It took me 10 months to prepare with purposeful nutrition, nutrient timing, daily weight training, cardiovascular training, regular massages and nutrition PLANNING. There were more components to it  which included the bathing suit, posing and working on a stage presentation. The time and dedication is exactly like what Olympic athletes are required to do daily.

As I discovered, to achieve results in a health program and training, you must understand and apply focus to the following areas:

  1. Purposeful Nutrition
  1. Quality of Nutrition
  1. Portion Control
  1. Nutrient Timing
  1. Hydration With Water

Ask almost any personal trainer and they’ll tell you that regardless of your training goals, healthy eating is the backbone. Food is what fuels your body to reach your goals and without proper nutrition through quality foods, you’re likely to stall. As a result, if possible, eat organic foods and, above all else, maintain a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, and fats including such things as fish oils and flax seeds. With planning you will eliminate the need to over eat and eat the foods that are high in sugar or fat because you have a specific craving.

1.Purposeful Nutrition

Everything you consume should have substantial nutritional value. Everything you eat should serve some sort of nutritional purpose in your body, fuel your workouts, and (be) geared towards optimizing your body’s function throughout the day.  Do you get headaches? Do you lose energy throughout the day? Are you less productive in the afternoon? Do you “HIT THE WALL” during training and can’t keep up or meet your training goal? Theses are important questions that need attention and consideration.

2. Quality over Quantity of Nutrition

It’s important to eat more whole foods rather than anything processed or purchased in a box, bottle or package with a list of ingredient names you will never understand. An apple is an apple, as is water, sugar, salt and chicken.

These are easy to figure out. Remove these high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods from your life and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Strategic Carbs: Carbs come in two forms—starchy, faster-acting options such as rice, bread, and pasta, which raise blood sugar quickly; and non-starchy carbs such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are higher in fiber and raise blood sugar gradually.

Lean Protein: Give your body a protein infusion every couple of hours to maximize muscle growth while stimulating the release of fat-burning hormones. The best sources include lean red meat , chicken, fish, lower-fat dairy foods, egg whites and nuts. While whole foods should always be your first choice, a quality protein powder can be used in conjunction with your diet to make sure you meet your protein macros each day.

Consider adding a whey protein or two between meals, and use slow-digesting casein protein to fuel your gains at night while you sleep.

3. Portion Control

You’ll be eating more often, so paying attention to portions is extremely important. Jay Cardiello, a personal trainer to countless celebrities and professional athletes, explains that you need to “make sure chicken breasts, (and) meats, are no larger than your palm” and that “spaghettis, (and) pastas, are no larger than your fists.” He also suggests using “smaller bowls, plates, and cups” because studies show people “serve themselves 20 to 40% more food when they’re using larger plates.”

4. Nutrient Timing

Fuel your body with multiple small meals and snacks each day to keep your blood-sugar levels under control and your metabolism steady and to stimulate the production of new muscle. The timing of when you eat starchy carbs, on the other hand, is key to getting and maintaining a lean and muscular body. Eat them either first thing in the morning or directly after your workouts and your body is more likely to use them to help refuel your energy reserves. Skipping breakfast or meals sends the wrong message to your body indicating a shortage of food and therefor sets your body into starvation mode and holding onto fat stores.

5. Hydration with Water

Drink water and calorie-free beverages to keep your performance in the gym at its peak. Avoid sugar-laden drinks as it spikes blood sugar levels and will sabotage your body’s antioxidant defense systems.

Other helpful benefits include better sleep, improves function of the organs, cells, reduces high blood pressure, as well as cholesterol. Opt for filtered tap water or distilled water rather than bottled water. Bottled water isn’t regulated like the city water.

BONUS tip!

Do you want the best tip ever to help you put more joy into your meals?

Here it is.

Take one food item. Chicken, a can of beans or a fruit. Open you cupboard or fridge and add a spice, herb or seasoning to give it LIFE. Most often in the pursuit of healthier eating people get off track because they’re BORED.

Remember the JOY of Cooking cookbook? Food tastes better when you serve it with love, time and attention.  Have fun with it!! Keep staple food items on hand. Shop for fresh and frozen and eliminate microwaveable package meals. Become your very own #homechef #empoweredhealth2017

Reminder to keep friends, family and fun close over the next 4 weeks. It’s the memories that matter most. Mind your thoughts and words.

What can you do today? What can you do right now?

Have a great week,

C h r i s t i e

Feel free to message me on Twitter @christielflynn pr Instagram @christieleighflynn and ask a question. I’d love to connect and hear from you.

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