Cooked By TFW: Getting Your Diet Right!

Y'all… I had plans… big plans. So far in 2018, I've been hitting y'all with some lightweight, remedial, beginner-level ish as a cooking baseline. I was getting us set up for excellence because I want us to start this year on the right foot. (I was asked the other day if linking all my greatest hits in every post this year is the new drinking game. You know what I said? I said… "SHUT UP CHAD! Go back to your corner before I put you in your corner! …Chad…" Ugh… Chads, amirite? Here's the thing, we were in a circular room… Chads don't deserve corners; corners ain't for Chads. #CornersAintForChads #SayNoToChads But yeah… The drinking game for January is me dropping copious links, so go back and read the last three posts and get yourself drunk!)

But this week, I had plans to hit y'all with a new recipe! I had plaaaaaaaaaans, y'all! I was supposed to drive to Kansas Thursday morning to watch MY Alma Mater, THEEEEEEEE University of Central Florida, take on them busters at Wichita State in a rousing game of hoopsketball (drink) and spend the weekend with my frenz, including the ever-gorgeous, Future Mrs. Six Fingers, Scott. Y'all remember Scott (drink), right? To celebrate my first big trip of 2018 and my reunion with all my faves, I was going to hit us with a new Jackfruit recipe. I. Had. Plans. Y'all. But you know what they say about plans… "something something, plans are silly, something something." I had some major setbacks in my grand glorious plans for this week. Setback 1: My Kansas trip had to be cancelled due to a death in the family of our host, B🐝🐗 (I legit don't call anyone by their real names… #BreakFreeFromYourGovernmentName). Keep the homie B🐝🐗 and her family in your thoughts.

 Bruh… my heart hurts… My bank account looks like it hit the ultimate weight cut.

Bruh… my heart hurts… My bank account looks like it hit the ultimate weight cut.

Despite this tragic news, I still was going to hit y'all with that jackfruit good good, but then… Setback 2. We know my day job is "legal researcher and stuff…" I have two day jobs, both are technically independent contractor gigs, so I'm working with multiple attorneys at multiple law firms, living multiple paper chases. It's a hustle, y'all. I spend almost as much time hunting down attorneys and office managers for my dang paycheck as I do working on the projects that earned me said elusive paycheck. I've been waiting on a check for the last eight days so I could buy groceries to make this still-trying-to-woo-Scott jackfruit meal. And just like my dad to my 5th birthday party (oh, did I get too real on a Wednesday?), that big check never showed up… Times is tough, y'all. Sometimes you play the hustle; sometimes the hustle plays you… SOOOOOOOOOO… no groceries means no recipe. My bad y'all! 

But have no fear, fam! Let's make January a month of just getting our acts together. Last month, Coach LA hit us with some good eating habits (drink), and before that, I gave us a grocery guide (drink) to get our kitchen ready for our new, healthier diets. This week, I wanted to talk more about those "new, healthier diets." Keep that grocery guide open in a separate tab, because I'll refer to it every so often. I want to go over the types of foods we're eating, when to eat them, and getting y'all on a more regular schedule. 

In the aforementioned grocery guide, I harp on single-ingredient foods being the key to success. Single-ingredient foods are veggies, fruits, meats. Processed foods are not single-ingredient. When you look at a label on your food and you can't pronounce half the ingredients, you're setting yourself up for failure. I'd say 90% of my meals are all made at home because (well, I'm perpetually broke, but also) I want to have complete control of what I'm putting in my body. Eating out too often leaves you susceptible to consuming too many "how do you say that?" unhealthy ingredients. 

So let's talk about when to eat our single-ingredient foods. I'm going to use my fight camp feeding schedule as an example, and you can adjust to meet your needs. Now, this may seem counterintuitive, given that I'm often tying to lose 15-40 lbs in 6-8 weeks, but in actuality I tend to eat way more during fight camp than in my regular life. That's really stuck out to me in 2018 so far, as I've been eating like garbage most days and without any set schedule. I think sticking to a modified fight camp feeding schedule is a great way to reach your goals of a new you in 2018 (yes, I've already linked to that post before, but drink anyway). 

In Coach LA's habit guide (drink, you lemmings!!!!!), she challenges us to eat proteins and veggies in every meal. I strongly agree with this challenge. Every single one of my meals has a serving of lean protein and some sort of veggie, usually Spinach. Spinach is a great ergogenic aid. I won't bore you with science (just with my own mundane life stories), but ergogenic aids help improve your athletic performance. Ergogenic aids open up your blood vessels, which improves your blood flow and aerobic resistance, and helps with muscle recovery. Other great ergogenic aids are pomegranates, beet juice, and arugula. 

While I eat protein and veggies every meal, I save my carb intake for post-workout meals. That's usually a sweet potato or rice. Carbs after working out best help with recovery. Now, I know what you're thinking… "How is Tym so drop-dead gorgeous and amazing?" But please, pay attention… We haven't touched on fruits yet.

Fruits are a great source of essential vitamins; however, some fruits also contain a lot of sugar, so I personally limit which types of fruits I eat and when. According to my grocery guide (bruh… just drink), citruses, cherries, grapes, and pineapples have too much sugar in them to be regulars in our healthy diets. They are fine every so often, but if you're going to include fruits to your regular diet, stick to your berries: rasp, blue, black, cran, straw, and… um… apple? Appleberries? YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY! If you're a fruit smoothie type of person, you can't go wrong with the berries.

A high-sugar fruit that IS a staple in my diet is the majestic banana. (Side note: VICE News did a really interesting piece on bananas a few months ago that blew my damn brain into a million pieces. Check it out if you have an HBO subscription.) While it is a staple of my diet, I limit banana consumption strictly to a quick workout boost in between classes at the gym. 

Being able to eat on a consistent schedule is important. When your work/school schedule permits, you should be eating 3 to 4 smaller meals per day rather than 1 or 2 large meals. If you are feeling hungry between those meals, it’s important to snack smartly. An easy snack would be unsalted or lightly salted nuts, an apple, or berries. Snacks should not substitute an entire meal; therefore, if you are eating a snack like nuts or berries, limit yourself to a handful or two just to satiate yourself until your next meal. The following is the feeding schedule I use when in fight camp, but can serve as a general guide for you:

Morning Breakfast (ideally no later than 9am)

2-egg omelet (drink!) with extra egg whites (drink!!!!), spinach, and ground turkey, topped with salsa (check the label for the sodium and sugar content of the salsa)

Early Lunch (between 11am and noon)

Small, basic salad: fistful of greens (usually spinach), lean protein, salsa (as oppose to salad dressing)

Late Lunch (no later than 3pm)

Another small, basic salad

Workout (6pm to 8pm at Train.Fight.Win)

A banana between classes

Post-Workout Dinner (ideally no later than 2 hours after working out)

Pan-seared chicken breast (drink!), steamed/roasted vegetables, a sweet (drink) potato (drink!).

And there you have it! Over 1300 words, 0 recipes, but we've had fun, right? We know how to best fuel our punchy-kicky machines! January is dope, y'all! We're going to dominate 2018! Together as a team! Fingers crossed I get paid at some point, so I can make us some delicious meals next week… and, ya know… pay my bills and stuff. Kisses! 

Tym Gooden