One of my most favorite quoted athletes of all time, Yogi Berra, once said, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.” Granted his math doesn’t quite add up, but there is a subtle sense in his madness. I’d like to adapt this favorite quote of mine to training and say that “Fitness is 90% nutrition, the other half is physical.” Here’s why:
Nutrition is one of the most important, arguably the most important part of any proper training program. You can train hard and train smart, but if you are not supplying your body with proper energy sources and nutrients it needs to rebuild and grow during training, you will not see the results you are working so hard to achieve!
I admit, this was probably one of the areas in which I was most lacking until I came under the guidance of well-known nutritionist Brian St. Pierre. Through his guidance, I was able to see much better gains from my training program and was able to keep the weight on during the season (I will profile in-season nutrition which is a whole other story at a later time).
When I started my first full offseason of training at Cressey Performance in the fall of 2009, I weighed in at 215 pounds. By the end of that offseason before heading down to spring training in 2010 I was at 240 pounds and leaner than I had been at 215.
Brian is a consummate student of the ever-changing field of nutrition and bases his guidance off of both tried and true methods and current research. The basis for his guidance is from the highly researched principles from Precision Nutrition System developed by Dr. John Berardi. The basic tenants from both of these sources which I stick by are (1) eat real, whole, minimally processed foods as close to their natural state as possible (2) eat every 3-4 hours, 4-6 times a day (3) eat lean protein with every meal (4) eat at least one serving of vegetables or fruits every time you eat (5) eat healthy fat.
I’m going to take page out of some of my favorite bloggers blogs, and give you below a “Day in the Life Of My Stomach” segment on my daily eating habits so you can see how I eat in an effort to maximize my training which consists of 4 days a week lifting and 2 days a week agility and speed training.
BREAKFAST- 9:30 am
5 large organic eggs (yes, whole eggs WITH the healthy, nutrient filled yolks) with 1/2 cup frozen spinach, 1/2 cup mixed frozen peppers, 2 tablespoons wholly guacamole, 2 tablespoons black bean and corn salsa, turmeric (a spice)
1/2 cup organic rolled oats w/ 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries and 1 tbsp flax seed
1 tsp Carlson’s fish oil
Beverages: 2 oz POM Pomegranate Juice, 8 oz black coffee
During my lift, I will usually just stick to good ol’ water.
POST TRAINING- 1 PM
Post Training Workout Shake (Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana) consisting of:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop chocolate metabolic drive protein
1 banana, 1/4 cup vanilla whole milk Stonyfield organic yogurt
1/4 cup mix berries
1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp flax seed
2 tablespoon unsalted Teddy’s natural peanut butter
1 scoop superfood (fruit and veggie extracts), 1 scoop creatine (5g)
POST TRAINING MEAL- 4 PM
1 oven baked (with extra virgin olive oil) organic free range chicken breast in Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla
w/ 2 tablesppons hummus, black bean and corn salsa, 1/4 avacado
spinach, pepperjack cheese
2 kiwi fruit
beverage: Green Tea and Water
3.5 Cups of Mrs. St. Pierre’s Chili- a recipe I got from Brian St. Pierre’s blog courtesy of his wife
SNACK- 10 PM
1.5 cups of whole milk vanilla Stonyfield organic yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1/4 cup almonds and sliced apple
2000 IU Vitamin D
This was a standard training day for me, so on days when I don’t lift and only have agility and running, I may cut back my intake slightly. As you can see, I love eating and especially eating healthy.