As the famous expression goes, “you are what you eat!” Nutrition, combined with consistent training, plays a huge role in overall quality of life. Your body requires good quality fuel and correct maintenance to function at its best. This doesn’t have to be something complicated, nor something boring. Keeping it simple is what always works best. CrossFit have come up with a pretty straightforward solution:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

Balance and variety are key. From both a chemical and a mental standpoint, a varied diet will keep you motivated to eat well. There are plenty of ways to make your food more interesting, while keeping it healthy. We have all tried countless diets, some which work, some which are a real struggle and some that we feel comfortable with. Emilio and I have tried and tested a number of different ways of eating and have both found that the Zone diet works for us. We do not want to suggest that this is the best diet, but we wanted to share our experience with you.

What is the Zone diet?

The principal concern of the Zone diet is to keep your hormones under control. It is not only teenagers who need to balance their hormones! Hormonal balance affects all important components of your wellness: body composition, energy utilization, blood chemistry, and much more. The Zone diet is principally an anti-inflammatory diet that teaches us to balance all our meals correctly. It does not promote low-carb, or high-protein and can easily be adapted for any dietary requirements (vegan, vegetarian etc.) It is entirely up to you how strictly you follow it, it can be used more as a guideline, or if you are cutting for a competition and need to reach a certain weight it can be followed strictly.

For more detailed information on the Zone diet read this.

Sample Day

Generally, we try to eat four slightly more substantial meals a day and avoid snacking when possible. We have both found this to be a better way to keep our energy levels up throughout the day and to keep hunger at bay. We do not measure strictly but keep measurements smaller for Steph!

Breakfast 8:00 - Porridge with Greek yoghurt, banana and berries.

Lunch 12:00 - Trout Niçoise salad (green salad, tomatoes, green beans, new potatoes, olives and smoked trout) with a nectarine as a dessert.

Afternoon Snack (Merenda) 16:00 – open face turkey and avocado sandwich on multigrain toast.

Dinner 20:00 – Marinated chicken breast with chickpea, quinoa and feta salad.  Followed by a small piece of dark chocolate.

Meal Prep

Whether you are following the Paleo diet, the Zone diet or you are just trying to eat clean, meal prep facilitates all of these and is the easiest way of ensuring that you stick to your plan! Preparation is key. It may seem like a chore at first, but we have implemented meal prep into our routine and it is now something that we actually look forward to.  We spend the week trying to come up with new recipes, new ideas or testing new things out.

So what exactly is meal prep?

It is exactly what it says on the tin! This involves planning out, shopping for and preparing all of your meals at one time, for the whole week, or for a portion of the week. This can vary depending on how busy your upcoming week is. We generally like to try and set aside two days a week to do our meal prep. They tend to be Sundays and Wednesdays. It does take a fair amount of work and effort, but it is worth it. A couple of hours of extra work in return for a weeks’ worth of goodies!

Some of our favourite recipes

Roasted Sweet Potato, Feta and Sundried Tomato Frittata

This is one of our all-time faves! You can stick with our recipe or add in whatever you like!

Ingredients:

2 small sweet potatoes

200 grams of feta

10-15 sundried tomatoes

8 eggs

·         Cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes, add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and some oregano. Roast for 25 minutes at 220°C.

·         While the potatoes are roasting, chop the feta into small cubes, slice the sundried tomatoes and whisk the eggs. Once the potatoes are cooked add all ingredients to an oven proof dish lined with baking paper.

·         Set the oven temperature to 180°C and cook for 45 Minutes.

·         Serve with a mixed salad.

 

Paleo Banana Bread – this is a fantastic recipe and can make for a great afternoon snack with a bit of peanut butter if you are more in the mood for something sweet. We like to add walnuts or pecans in to the mix.

Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta and Red Wine Vinaigrette – this is super simple but absolutely delicious and makes for a great dinner party recipe!