Beginner's Guide to Getting Fit Part 2

Now that you've purged all the junk food in your pantry, it's time to bring in good, natural, healthy foods.

Sometimes eating healthy seems really difficult.  It can be.  If you have a plan and you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be.  Start figuring out the foods that you like that you know are healthy.

Go to the grocery store and get ready before the week starts.  There is no magic, just eat as fresh and as clean as you can.  

As much as you can, avoid sugary foods that are empty calories, processed foods and any other foods that you just know are not healthy no matter how good they taste or how big the lettering is on the package that says things like, natural, healthy, nutritious.  

Generally speaking, we all know what foods are good and what foods are bad. The less processing, the more nutritious.  Whole wheat, fresh, and natural are all good choices.

How Much Do I Eat?

Too many variables and too confusing for beginners.  No only that, if you are following a certain eating plan with certain ratios and percentages, you're going to get overwhelmed at some point.

At first you are excited to spend two hours in the grocery store and 4 hours in the kitchen prepping to get the ratios just as they are called out.  Two days later you feel like you are out of food and need to go the grocery store.  You actually have plenty of food, it's just not prepared.

How about this?  Just eat foods you like that are mostly healthy and whole.  Eat foods that are fairly easy to prepare and that you'll have the ingredients you need most of the time.  Eat foods that are easy to prepare.  

Eat a variety of foods throughout the day and keep it simple.  Eat until you are full, not until you are stuffed.

Some of my favorites:

Natural Peanut Butter (by its self or on whole wheat bread)
Natural Almond Butter
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Almonds or Pecans
Apples and peanut butter
Red pepper Hummus and red pepper
Mixed nuts and dried fruit
Lara Bars
Cowboy Salad - onion, tomato, jalapeno, and vinegar (essentially Pico De Gallo)

Meal and Recipe Ideas

I won't go into the exact recipes.  So much of the cooking that I do is just using what is on hand and throwing something together.   Most if not all of the meal ideas below don't require a specific recipe.  Combine, grill, roast, bake, etc.  If you know how to cook, you can make these without too much difficulty.  I like to keep things simple so I don't get overwhelmed.  

Grilled Chicken Breast Meal:
Grilled chicken breast, roasted vegetables (onion, red pepper, asparagus, zucchini), homemade mashed potatoes, cucumbers and vinegar.

Stir Fry:
Stir fry chicken, mixed vegetables, serve over whole kerrnel rice.   To make a thick, sweet sauce, combine Braggs Liquid Aminos, honey and cornstarch.  Mix in with the chicken and vegetables and serve over rice.

Grilled fish tacos on whole wheat tortilla:
grill the tortillas for added texture
top fish with cabbage, tomato, red onion, avocado, any other vegetable, salsa mixed with greek yogurt.

Meat Loaf:
Half turkey meat and half lean sirloin
minced onion, garlic, mushroom, white squash, whole wheat bread crumbs, eggs, and mild taco sauce or ketchup(pulverize in your food processor the onion, mushroom, white squash to hide these nutrients from the kids)

Slow Cooker Meal:
lean roast (pork or beef), potatoes, onion, carrot, squash, mushroom, any other vegetable, water and seasoning
cook on low for about 6 hours

Grilled Pizza: cook this on your gas or charcoal grill right on the grate
Whole wheat pizza dough, flatten out and throw on charcoal grates. Cook until brown and then flip over and add sauce, low-fat cheese and high quality meat, fresh basil, garlic, onion, roasted red bell pepper, anything fresh and healthy. Ready when bottom is brown and cheese has melted (it doesn’t take much cheese, don’t overdo it.)

Whole wheat bread, spicy mustard, fresh ham and turkey breast, ton’s of fresh veggies very thinly sliced.

Breakfast Burrito:
Saute in water (add a few tablespoons at a time) tons of veggies: onion, garlic, peppers, chilis, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. until soft.  Add free range eggs and scramble.  Cheese is not needed, put on whole wheat tortilla and top with salsa.

Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Use the same idea as the meatloaf above. Whole wheat noodles and a great sauce like Classico. Easy and delicious.

Tips and strategies that everyone knows, but don’t always follow:

  • Eat five or six small meals per day. 
  • You don’t have to eat the whole sandwich; half now and half later. 
  • Don’t skip breakfast, a scoop or two of peanut butter and an apple is fast, delicious and nutritious.
  • Get your food ready the night before so you are prepared in the morning.
  • Have a cooler with frozen packs ready to take your food and water with you everyday.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day, try to limit soda, coffee, energy drinks, etc. Do this for one week and see how you feel.
  • When you eat out, as soon as your food gets to the table get a to-go box and put half in it and set aside.
  • Put your cottage cheese and nuts and peanut butter in smaller containers so that you can easily pack it each day of the week.
  • Don’t force yourself to eat foods that you don’t like just because the food is healthy.
  • Don’t eat until full or stuffed, eat until satisfied. (Don’t starve or stuff yourself)

Eat Your Green List Foods

Your goal is to eat at least 80% of your foods from the green light list

Primary Veggies
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Greens, Leafy (all types)
Green Beans
Peppers (bell, sweet, and everything in between)

Secondary Veggies and Grains
Beans (low sodium if canned)
Bread (100% whole grain, no HFCS)
CousCous (100% whole grain)
Grains, Whole, Various (amaranth, millet, etc)
Oats (rolled or steel cut)
Pasta (100% whole grain)
Purple Potatoes
Rice (Brown and Wild)
Rice Milk (unsweetened)
Sweet Potato/Yams

Lean Proteins
Beef, Lean (less than 10% fat)
Buffalo or Wild Game, Lean (less than 10% fat)
Chicken, Turkey and other fowl (all)
Cottage Cheese (Any Fat %)
Dairy Milk
Fish (preferably wild caught)
Greek or Regular Yogurt, Plain
Pork Tenderloin and Chops
Soy Milk, unsweetened
Tofu, Firm
Protein Powder (pure, unsweetened)

Citrus Fruits

Healthy Fats
Almond Milk (unsweetened)
Butter, unsalted
Cheeses, Various
Coconut, unsweetened
Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
Coconut Oil
Nut Butters
Olive Oil
Seed Butters

Free Foods
Lemon and Lime Juice
Herbs (fresh and dry)
Flavor Extracts
Black Coffee, Unsweetened
Tea, Unsweetened
Broths (low sodium, no sugar)

FREE Workout Program

If you don't have a workout program to follow or maybe you are looking for something new.  I have developed a medium to fast paced program that is highly effective and adaptable to home or a gym.  It is called 3 X 3 Matrix Training.  There are three exercises in each matrix with three reps each and there are three rounds.  Get it here.

About the Author Health Wealth

I'm just an average 40 something guy with a family who wants to help people get fit and healthy. I have a bachelor's degree in Physical Education (UTEP 1991) and a Master's degree in Kinesiology (Sam Houston State University 1993) I became a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) in 1994 from the National Athletic Trainer's Association. I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1999. I have worked out (mostly) in some form or fashion since high school. I'm not super fit and I don't have a six-pack. I've don't Spartan and a few other obstacle races.  I've done home fitness DVD's and worked out at gyms. I'm not a runner or a Crossfitter. I don't eat perfectly, but do understand it's importance. There are too many people who are not healthy and too many people who don't know how to enter the fitness world.  There are too many personal trainers that are not qualified to work with people, especially beginners. There are too many false thoughts, gadgets, and expectations and I want to guide people down the right path so that they have success. If I share a product or service with an affiliate link, I either use the product or know the product. I don't know everything, but I know a thing or two.

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