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My personal nutrition plan


This is my current personal nutrition plan. I’ve added it here as an example and template for you to use to help you create your own plan. If you haven’t already done so please read all the articles in the nutrition plan series before you try to create your own.

Here’s my Nutrition Plan Spreadsheet. As you can see it isn’t complicated. It’s easy to follow and I know exactly what to eat and when. It makes it easy for me to make adjustments. This is my own current plan, you will need to go through the previous sections and learn about different foods and how it can impact your hormones and body type. Make yours a personal journey to give yourself knowledge and understanding that will help you achieve the goals you desire.

Let’s break my plan down

Most of the foods I eat are natural and not a combination of foods mixed together to produce some man-made processed food/ready meal – this also makes it easier for me to adjust my macros and know what’s what.

Interesting to note, that whilst I have tried various diets in the past, this was the first one I created myself based on my own experience and knowledge gained over the years. It seemed easier to listen to the so called experts on the internet, instead of looking at what was really going on. However my own nutritional plan was the first diet that actually filled me up and on occasion I still couldn’t eat everything that I planned to, yep a ‘diet’ that filled me up and I couldn’t eat anymore!!!!!!! ūüôā

So here’s a brief breakdown of what and why I’m eating the foods I do. Firstly even my own plan isn’t perfect, so don’t go following it blindly. There are some foods that will be better, however I don’t like all foods, some aren’t conveniently available at my local shopping place either. So this is what I like and can control easily. I’ve listed some of the benefits, but not all of each of the foods I’m consuming. I want people to go away from this and learn for themselves about the foods they are planning to consume and how it can benefit them in their goals.

Start of the day.

Pretty much as soon as I get up around 7 am I’ll have:

Green tea – ¬†I make a cup of this refreshing drink (does take some getting used to initially). It is full of antioxidants, has been associated with fat loss with its polyphenols and caffeine helping with fat oxidation. It also can help improve brain function, lower bad cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar levels and fight viruses. Alternatively I’ll have Hibiscus or ginger and lemon tea.

Vitamin D Helps proper function of receptors around your body, including the ones that tell your body whether to store or burn fat. It can help absorb calcium, reduce depression and improve your mood. It is also good for bone and teeth health, good for growth, your heart, preventing diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Breakfast

Within 15-20 minutes of getting up, I’ll have my breakfast.¬†This is a quick simple breakfast, as the last thing I want is to get out pots and pans and start cooking something. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and cook and tastes nice too.

Oats –¬†I put around a half a cup of oats in a bowl, add a glass of water to it and cook it in the microwave for around 4-5 minutes (use a large bowl to avoid over flow). If you prefer, use a pan, but you will need to stir it constantly to avoid it sticking to the pan. The oats provide a nice amount of carbohydrates after a long sleep and a slow release of energy due to the high amounts of fibre it has, it also has numerous vitamins and minerals and can lower bad cholesterol.

Frozen mixed fruit – I then add in a mix of fruits, such as blackberries, cherries, grapes and blackcurrants and¬†put the bowl back in microwave for 1 minute (or if you take the fruit out the night before, you can just add them to the bowl without returning it to the microwave). These are full of fibre, antioxidants (polyphenols), flavonols, are anti-inflammatory, help destroy bacteria and have a whole host of useful vitamins and minerals. (sometimes I’ll substitute this with dried fruit, such as raisin/currants or cranberries for example).

Whey protein – I’ll add in 1 scoop of whey protein to 100 ml of milk (or water if you prefer), shack it up in a beaker and then pour it on top of oats/fruit. Whey is a quick digesting protein and ideal first thing in the morning, providing a good array of amino acids. The small amount of milk adds a bit of slower digesting protein, but is mainly added to make the mixture more creamy. Don’t use too much milk as it does have the ability to stop the absorption of some nutrients. Alternatively I’ll substitute the whey for more milk and Greek or natural yogurt.

Chia seeds and flaxseed – To finish off my breakfast, I’ll sprinkle around a teaspoon of Chia seeds and a teaspoon of flaxseed on top (I actually use a mix of flax/sunflower/pumpkin seeds). These are full of fibre, minerals, omega 3, lignans, more anti-oxidants and protein.

As you can see this provides my body with a great start to the day, providing, quality mixed carbohydrates (the fruit is generally faster digesting and the oats slower), fibre, protein, fats, anti-oxidants, various vitamins and minerals and much more. The whey protein is fast digesting. In fact this whole meal probably does create a slight insulin spike, which I need to kick start the uptake of nutrients in the morning.

My breakfast My breakfast

Lunch

About 3 hours after I’ve eaten my breakfast at around 11 am, it’s time for my early lunch.¬†I make an omelette, consisting of 2 whole eggs, a tomato, and a handful of mushrooms. Throw it all in a frying pan. I use a 1 cal spray, such as coconut oil and spray half a dozen times, simple.

Eggs – Whole eggs are a great source of protein, contains various vitamins (especially many B vitamins) and minerals and the yolk has cholesterol (you do require some in your diet) and essential fatty acids.

Tomato – Has antioxidants, various vitamins and minerals and is anti-inflammatory.

Mushrooms – They are full of a whole host of vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals and antioxidants. I buy frozen bags of mushrooms for convenience.

Beetroot – Has iron, folate, antioxidants and nitrates (nitric oxide). Nitrates are a good pre workout food with the potential to improve workout performance. Ready to eat pre cooked pack.

Lunch provides me with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and nitrates.

Alternatively I will often have a simple tuna omelette.

My lunch My lunch

Pre workout nutrition

I tend to workout at around 2 pm, so between 1 pm and 1.30 pm (30 minutes to an 1 hour before my workout -depending on how I feel) I’ll have:

1/2 scoop whey – To provide amino acids directly to the muscles to be oxidised during the workout, rather than the potential of breaking down muscle. Also kicks start the protein synthesis process. This is a supplement, hence just 1/2 scoop is used. I mix this in water only.

Kiwi – A good source of Vitamin C, B6 (folate), other vitamins and minerals, fibre and aids protein digestion.

Pre workout nutrition

Post workout nutrition

Within 5-10 minutes after my workout, I’ll have the following:

1 scoop whey  РTo further help increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown. I mix this in water only.

Creatine – This is the time I take the largest dose of my simple carbohydrates and therefore can get more creatine absorption. The body also wants to absorb as much nutrients as it can get at this time. Helps exercise recovery and all the benefits mentioned here in the supplements article.

Dark chocolate – Around a 1″ block. Provides simple carbohydrates and has antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, high in potassium and magnesium and other minerals which you lose from sweating and contains cocoa, which provides nitric oxide for improving cardiovascular health with better blood flow.

Banana – Contains simple natural carbohydrates, but isn’t too high in the GI index, high in potassium and magnesium which is lost when sweating, has B6 which is good for healthy blood and breaking down protein.

This post workout nutrition is used to kick start the recovery process. The simple carbohydrates and whey protein create a small insulin spike required to help shuttle all the nutrients into the blood stream quickly – I don’t go overboard with this, hence the slightly slower digesting banana. However, insulin is anabolic, it decreases muscle breakdown and increases blood flow. If you are trying to lose fat, be aware that excess insulin can halt the body from burning fat for energy. I don’t make this a big post workout meal as I intend to eat a meal around an hour after this nutritional intake.

Alternatively I will often just have around 300 ml of milk and either Greek/natural yogurt, that provides a good mix of carbs and protein (whey and casein).

Post workout nutrition

Dinner

My mealsAbout an hour later around 4 pm I’ll have my dinner. This is my biggest meal of the day. I will also cook all my food for my late evening meal at the same time. Apart from having to peel the sweet potato, there is next to know other preparation needed for this meal.

Chicken – This is a low fat good quality protein source that provides B vitamin’s, vitamin D. I cook this in the oven only.

Beef or oily fish РI will also have a small piece of a low fat lean beef burger or a fish such as a smoked Mackerel. These provide a good source of fat (fat increases the uptake of beta-carotene), as well as fat being needed by the body. Beef also has a small amount of creatine in it.  Smoked Mackerel has salt helps replace lost salt through sweat after a workout. So both are a rich source of oils and protein. The beef burger is also cooked in the oven only.

Half to three quarters of a sweet potato – Has¬†B vitamin’s, vitamin C, beta-carotene (for vitamin A production), carbohydrates and fibre. Sliced for shorter cooking time and placed in the oven.

Mixed vegetables: carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and spinach –¬† Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory, flavonoids, fibre, vitamin K and numerous other vitamins and minerals and helps reduce bad cholesterol. Placed on a plate and put in the microwave for required time.¬†I buy frozen bags of vegetables for convenience.

This meal is essentially your meat and two veg dinner, only I have more than two veg with it. It provides good quality proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre.

My diner

Late evening meal

I get hungry at night. The last thing I want is to start rummaging around looking for a quick snack. So this meal is essentially a continuation of my main dinner. I have this at around 8 pm, four hours after my larger diner. It mostly comprises of:

Quarter to half a sweet potato, some of the mixed vegetables from the main meal and the rest of the burger or fish. 

My late evening meal

Bedtime nutrition

About 15-30 minutes before I go to bed, at a round 11 pm, I’ll have:

1 scoop casein protein –¬†¬†This is a more slow digesting protein and ideal as a pre bedtime protein source as I’ll be asleep for 8 hours and the more constant supply of protein benefits the long time between my next meal. Sometimes, I’ll substitute the casein powder for Quark. I tend to only have casein and quark last thing in the evening as they (dairy in general) can block various nutrients including anti-oxidants from being absorbed.

Natural peanut butter –¬†This is a high protein source and has mostly unsaturated fats and some saturated, which also helps to slow the digesting process providing protein and energy over the 8 hours sleep period. It also has fibre and potassium, magnesium and antioxidants. Natural PB also has no added salt or sugar. I only have about a heaped teaspoon.

All this is shook up in a mixer and added to about 200ml of water (you can substitute milk if you are looking to gain weight). This meal provides slow digesting protein and fats for the 8+ hours sleep I get.

Pre bedtime nutrition

My none workout days

These days aren’t much different with the exception of the absence of the pre and post workout nutrition. Plus I will put the creatine in with my breakfast.

Additional notes and summary:

Although I eat red meat and fish most days, I tend to keep this on the low side. Mainly as I want to keep my saturated fat content down and also within the limit for mercury content from the fish. If I feel I need more protein, I’ll add more chicken to my plan.¬†If I feel I am eating too much and putting body fat on, I will reduce my carb intake, which could be from my breakfast or the sweet potato. Having a set plan, makes it much easier to adjust for specific goals, without the hassle of counting calories.

Occasionally If I feel I need something different during the week (maybe having a weak period), I’ll try to grab a small box of raisins or make some honey pop corn. I buy my popcorn as whole kernels and pop them in a lidded pan popped on the hob. It supplies, numerous B vitamins, fibre, oils and polyphenols. I sweeten it with honey, as it is a natural sweetener and has flavonoids, antioxidants and has antibacterial properties and helps regulate blood sugar. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for a different flavour and even more great nutritional content.

Water is on my table and I drink this throughout the day. If I have coffee, I will normally have this pre workout only.

I also shop just once a week. I hate shopping! Therefore much of the food I buy can be frozen and used when I want. If you want to buy fresh, ensure that the food will last until your next shopping day.

Remember you need to tailor your plan based on YOUR current goals. Don’t follow diets that are generic, low calorie, low fat, low carb……make a nutrition plan that you can follow and sustain, that provides the nutrients you need to be healthy and fit for life.

Finally, while the plan above is my current one, I make changes on a regular basis depending on my goals and often stop some of the supplementation to allow my body to recover or have a change. Keep it simple but also keep it evolving.

Update: I have recently changed my diet to a more plant based diet. More on this later, time allowing.