Welcome to another action packed episode of Indomitable Heroics, the epic center of Strength, Excellence and Physical Culture. The most critically acclaimed collection of tantalizing tomes in the cosmos.
Today, we’re going to talk about food…again. This time, on how to keep things simple on not just what to eat, but in prepping and planning your food. Spoiler alert: There is no magic involved.
Now as I pen this, it’s already February, we’re already one month removed from the new year of 2018. I want to remind you that summer is coming.
How do you get ready for summer, in a nutshell? Start now, focus on compound movements, and performance. Put yourself in a caloric deficit through diet and or training and hit your macros. Boom. Don’t worry, I’ll put out an article about it, even though I just told you how to do in all it’s simplistic glory. However I recognize the challenges still lie in food. Yes, you know about hitting your macros ( click here http://citlr.com/on-macros-and-madness-power-to-the-palate/) and yes you know about how to web sling your way into the low cost excellence (click here http://citlr.com/the-peter-parker-guide-to-grocery-shopping-slinging-your-way-into-a-low-cost-web-of-excellence/) but we’re going to talk about quick strategies to do so.
There are different schools of thought here on meal plans. I for one, DO NOT BELIEVE IN FOOD RESTRICTION…ONLY DISCIPLINE. Food restriction to me creates a list of “good foods” and “bad foods.” While I understand the need to minimize calorically dense foods that lack enough nutrients, I think it creates a bad relationship with food. As far as body compensation, your body does not know the difference between an apple and a Klondike bar, other than one having way more fat calories than the other. Your body does not go, “Jimminy Jillickers, you just ate some cake, I’m going to turn all the cake into fat on your waistline!” That’s called magic or as we may say, bovine excrement aka hogwash, bunkum, or poppycock. Now if you want to fill your body on an abundance of foods that are beneficial in terms of your performance (vitamins, minerals and the like) then yes, pick the fruit over your favorite bag of candy, but please note for the millionth time…sugar…does…not…make…you…fat. I know as your resident fitness guy, this may shock you and you may erroneously accuse me of pushing junk food (I’ll cook you with science by the way), I’m not. I personally believe in Balance. Yes, like the gym I work at on 214 D St. SE and 1111 14th St NW. I advocate 80-90% minimally processed whole foods and the remaining 10-20% being up to you. “A” doughnut, “a” serving of oreos, “a” serving of ice cream or whatever. You can also not eat “junk.” I just rather enjoy some Chipotle vs not enjoying some Chipotle or any of life’s other rewards. The keyword here is “a” because you can have one serving of these things, while still hitting your macros and micros (micros = micro-nutrients = vitamins and minerals) and hit your fitness goals. Also understand, that life is not always that favorable toward you in terms of food. Sometimes you will not be able to access that container of food you bought. You have to eat like a ninja and utilize what’s around you. You have to learn how to read labels and know what’s in the food you eat.
I’ve had people ask me about a meal plan. Know this, that “meal” plan you ask for might be a list that someone copied from some website and sold it for you for 10 bucks. Yup…you’ve been had, or swindled.
Yup, you bought a list of “magic foods” thinking the list was going to burn the fat or build muscle.
Guess what….fat burning foods are a myth. Muscle building foods are a myth. Do some foods have properties in them that can boost your performance? Yes, they’re typically just called “vitamins and minerals.” Where do you get these things, in food or supplements. Yeah…in the words of one of our guest contributors on here, “they aint special.” Thank you Shad lol. How do you lose weight…caloric deficit. How do you gain weight…caloric surplus. Again, keeping it simple as far as your preferred ratio of protein, carbs, and fats, which I’ve gone over before…calories in and calories out.
Now if your’e someone who needs and requires a rigid disciplined list for the sake of simplicity, yeah you can get a meal plan. Heck, I’ll even write you one (for a fiduciary exchange aka fee). It’s basically a do this list. Hopefully that person did some research on which foods have certain beneficial properties. Also “superfoods” are a myth. What makes them super? Are you eating the heart shaped Wakanda herb that King T’Challa would consume? (Go see Black Panther by the way, also the read the comic by Christopher Priest…best era imo) Do these mystical food items come with a cape and make you fly. No. It’s really just food that someone researched and put a label on it in order to hype you up, because “food” wasn’t enough for you. It’s a marketing ploy. Just hype. No worse or better. It’s really all about your needs. Mini rant over. Back to “lists.” The point of said eat this list is to minimize your thinking aka “Make things easy for you.” Such lists are just guidelines that you can follow which STILL FOLLOW THE RULES OF CALORIC DEFICITS AND SURPLUSES to grant you your results. It’s basically a cheat sheet or study guide.
Pros – the list is done for you, you follow and boom…profit. The cons – You may get tired of eating the exact same way, day in and day out, and it doesn’t account for lifestyle change and hiccups which will happen. It may not account for the portion you ate because you were hungry or when you accidentally left your food at home or when you ate and were still hungry. But hey, that rigid meal plan though.
Buying ready made meals/catered food.
The concept is simple, you buy meals. Many of these meals are calorically friendly (meaning not high in calories) and you don’t have to cook. There are many that taste great. I’ll even refer you a couple at the end of this article. It’s great for people who are on the go and don’t have time to cook, can’t cook (Shame on you human. Fortunately these chefs are stellar!) ,or just like to have food cooked for you because you’re a regal renaissance individual.
Cooking for yourself…Meal Prep
This implies you cook the food at home. There’s nothing like the satisfaction that you yourself are perfectly capable of throwing down in the kitchen. You cook the food and you know what’s in it. You take what YOU like, and craft it according to your whims. The rules are simple
Bill’s Caloric Kitchen Commandments
1) THOU SHALL KNOW YOUR MACROS… through practice and finesse, you can get my fitness pal to tell you how many calories are in your food. It’s a bit tricky and takes a few tries to understand but whatever. You should be doing this anyway. It’s not about it being 110% perfect, just consistent.
2) THOU SHALL MAKE FOOD THAT TASTE ACCORDING TO THINE EXCELLENCE. Hopefully it’s good to you.
3) THOU SHALL USE DISCIPLINE. – I know the temptation is there to go ham on your food. After all extra fat taste good in your food. It’s so easy just to make a regular mega calorie induced meal but guess what…you can’t. You can’t go overboard on some ingredients.
4) THOU CAN USE SEASON. Just because it’s “healthy” doesn’t mean it has to be nasty. Be a melanin-induced man, I like season in my food. Simultaneously I’ll say, you probably do consume too much sugar, butter, other fat and don’t actually know what your food actually taste like without it. This is kind of 3B, but I enjoy a good bit of dramatization in my tomes.
5) THOU WILL LEARN THE ADVANTAGES OF COOKING IN ADVANCE. – Cooking in advance saves time, I really don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
6) THOU MUST KNOW THAT LEFTOVERS SAVE LIVES. – I’m part uncouth knave. I can eat leftovers every day. Why? I like my own food and I also like to save money. I’m also a specialize in “survival economic culinary fitness prep.” Basically it’s the culinary version of being a hood handyman. “I can take you to Aldi and get your right on a low budget. It may not be fun but it’ll work. To quote Cam, “For the Right price, I can get you out your deal.”
7) THOU MUST BE READY TO ADAPT – It’s easy to get caught up in the same old routine. I strongly suggest eating a variety of foods so you can get all your nutrients. You can hit your macros and still be lacking in vitamins. Remedy this by eating a variety of veggies, taking supplements and simply taking the initiative to educate yourself on what’s out there.
The main thing your nutrition requires is consistency. No, that doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing everyday. It just means YOU have to be consistent in your caloric management. All these things are just easy ways to be calorically consistent. Calories are indifferent to your goals. YOU have to be the driver not the passenger. No more blindly consuming food that someone else says is healthy. Know what’s in it. Either you will control your calories or they will control you. Yes counting macros can be challenging at first but you know what’s challenging? Not knowing and going off whims. You can eat “healthy” and still fail your fat loss goals. You can think “you’re eating enough” but still be UNDER EATING! YES! THAT HAPPENS! Let’s take responsibility and make our lives easier in the new year.
Is it really that simple?
Yes, buy food, cook food, store food, eat food. Repeat.
A quick word on adapting.
I’m not sure if I told you this story but it’s worth mentioning. Sometimes you REALLY got to know when to adapt. When I worked at the LA Fitness in Hyattsville, we didn’t have a fridge or microwave, however we had to make sure we were fed and ready to work. Fortunately I worked next door to a Giant. What I would do is get a “big ole sandwich” and toss the cheese out. Cheese isn’t the devil, but I wanted to save calories. I might’ve wanted a Klondike bar at night or something else. I did this because I…you guessed it…KNEW MY MACROS. I also know how to read labels. Again it’s not magic, just science and math. There were sometimes I NEEDED a snack at school I was training kids at before going to train at a gym. What would I do? If I didn’t have a protein bar, I’d just buy a candy bar. This might tie me over until I get to the store to eat. The candy bar had about 11 grams of fat 29-32 grams of carbs and maybe 3 grams of protein. It was sometimes the bridge between peace on Earth and my rage upon the cosmos. Am I saying eat candy? No. You just got to do what you got to do. It’s also worth noting that if you do buy a protein bar, make sure it’s high in fiber and relatively easy on the carbs. Why? Well to me it’s not necessary to eat ONE bar which 50 grams of carbs. You might as well eat a whole meal. Again, adapt.
No one thing is necessarily better than the other. Being someone who preaches flexibility, there is a time and place for many strategies. You may want to stick to a certain food list (don’t get swindled with those 10 dollar lists that someone printed on the internet without knowing what’s going on) because it’s inexpensive, easy and you may not want to think a lot ( I encourage you not to blindly do this. You can really just craft a grocery list), you may like to save time and enjoy the flavor of having your food prepared for you by a chef, or you may like cooking for yourself.
And that’s it for the day. I hope I cleared up some issues on food as well as put you on to some great chefs below. Until next time!
Meal prep chefs on IG
As promised here are two chefs whose food I’ve had.
An amazing chef with her own fitness testimony. She’s been doing this for years! I’ve had some of her food before and it’s dope. Ree Ree can flat out do it! She’s also Jamaican. I don’t know what it is about that special place, but I love Jamaican food. Ree Ree brings her own story, and her own culinary power to her meals. I can’t even do it justice by saying it here.
I recently had some of his food at our Black Girls Lift event with Ernestine Sheperd. Yes, that Ernestine Sheperd! Danny catered our event. Food was dope!
Bill Walker is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), one of the top recognized agencies in the country. He’s also a Youth Fitness Coach in Washington DC. To set up an appointment or inquiry contact him at Bwalker929@gmail.com