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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Eating clean, training mean - trying to stay ON the wagon

After getting back from Hillmotts residential bootcamp all re-invigorated a few weeks ago, I've really tried to sort my nutrition out and have embarked on a new clean eating plan. I learnt a lot at bootcamp about my own eating habits, and took away with me a renewed sense of drive and determination to carry on eating well and fuel my body correctly to cope with the stresses of training that I put it through.

eat clean - eat all the food


Good nutrition isn't an alien concept to me; I first saw a brilliant Brighton nutritionist back in January this year and completely transformed what I was eating to a much healthier, wholesome and balanced diet. What I thought was a 'healthy' diet (I was obsessed with counting Weight Watchers points at the time) was actually laden with tons of sugar, simple carbohydrates and next to no protein, so it was a massive change for me and a bit of a wake up call.

Clean eating shopping list - protein
PROTEEEEIIINNN!!!


The thing is I have a tendency to lose my way with things after a while. I'll start something up, get all into it and be really focused, see results and then reward myself by taking a break and slacking off for a bit (hello takeaways, Friday treats, pub lunch). Sometimes I slack off too much and then can't get back into it, which is why I went to Hillmotts in the first place - to reignite my mojo and get back on the wagon.

Structured plan


Anyway, the point is, I'm now on Week 3 of my clean eating plan, and I'm loving it. I'm eating more often than I ever have done, have a structured and balanced meal plan to follow that's flexible and easy to adapt to suit my lifestyle. My portions are smaller and I'm thinking strategically about what I put in my body and what I want to get out of it.

Eat clean meal plan - clean eating
Clockwise: Salmon salad, prawn salad on toast with English mustard,
homemade turkey burgers & sweet potato chips, bolognese wrap with salad

The plan I'm following is the brainchild of Chris Manning, one of the trainers at Hillmotts who did the nutrition talk. His e-book 70% Kitchen, 30% Gym has got a six-week plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well as some key bodyweight training ideas to boost results.

A typical day looks a bit like this:


Breakfast:          Homemade protein smoothie.
10-11am snack:  Grilled chicken with cayenne pepper, yellow peppers and spinach.
Lunch:               Tuna with spring onions and peppers on Vogel bread with English mustard. 
4pm snack:        Ryvita with peanut butter.
After training:   Another protein smoothie.
Dinner:              Steak with spinach, mushrooms & tomato. 

Eat clean typical day meal plan

It took a bit of getting used to making smoothies in the morning for breakfast and eating chicken or turkey as my 10-11am snack (I had to swap the lunch and snack around as it wasn't practical for me), but at least I don't stink of eggs anymore at work.



The weekdays are structured and feature set meals and snacks for each day, and weekends are classed as 'mind time' where you can eat what you want but just have to be mindful of what you're putting in your mouth. I fancied a curry on Saturday, so I made one instead of getting a takeaway.

eat clean - homemade chicken masala
Homemade chicken masala 

I went out for a few drinks on Friday, but had vodka lime and soda, and not gin & tonic or wine. (Note: I also made it to Parkrun the following morning and ran my second fastest time, so I'm classing vodka as good running fuel now). 

I'm not going to lie, I have given in to the occasional treat, but the way I see it, if I don't allow myself the odd treat I'll get pissed off with it all and just binge.

I'll write a progress report at the end of the six weeks (maybe with before and after pics if I'm feeling brave) so watch this space!

What efforts do you make with your nutrition? Do you try to eat clean/healthy most of the time or not bother? Any clean meal ideas btw, chuck 'em this way!

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