With the New Year here, healthful foods and healthy choices are abound. Everyone is different in the goals they have when it comes to their health: some are actively making changes to their diet, others are checking in with what their body wants and needs, and some just want to be mindful on what and how much they eat.
Local gym owner of The League: Elite Training Facility, Terry Williams, knows a thing or two about health. Along with being a gym owner, Williams also has a masters in health and said making the right choices at the grocery store is a great place to start when checking in with your dietary needs.
“Stick to the perimeter,” Williams said. “In grocery stores, all of the fresh stuff that’s grown from the earth, or raised on it, is around the outskirts: fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy. Inside the aisles, however, is where we find boxed foods that are processed, and typically loaded with artificial flavors, preservatives and an abundance of sodium, sugars and fats.”
When it comes to preparing meals for the week, Williams recommends giving yourself variety: two types of protein and at least two types of carbs. “This way, you can mix and match a bit to avoid boredom, and add veggie sides to these combos,” Williams said.
Making mindful decisions on what you add to your diet is a great place to start, but also listening to your body and giving yourself flexibility. Williams uses the term “leisure meals” in this case, stating that these meals are not per se “Cheat Meals.”
“Leisure meals are a key piece of the plan,” he said. “These are meals that you literally commit to, once during the week and once during the weekend, to break the monotony of rigid rules. If you eat three meals per day and snack twice daily (between major meals), you’re eating in a total of 35 times per week. With this leisure meal frequency, you’re getting two breaks and 33 nutritious meals, a winning ratio. Research shows that when you know these planned breaks are coming, you are far more likely to stick to your nutrition plan at times other than leisure meal time.”
Williams knows his research. He just recently put in the research hours for his newly published book, The FlavorFuel Kitchen, which is all about eating fit and still eating fun, Williams explains. His core belief for the book: breaking the barrier that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless.
“I believe that we shouldn’t have to choose between flavor and fuel, so I’ve simplified the art of meal prep by laying some basic guidelines to keep ingredients clean, and then got creative in breaking down how we make popular classics in a healthier way,” Williams said. “For example, there are things like pizza, wings, and mac & cheese in the book! But they’re all lean and clean.”
You can grab a copy of The FlavorFuel Kitchen on Amazon or stop by the gym at 2219 West 34th Street #B.
Going into 2018, Williams’ advice on making healthy eating habits is to make it fun. Stray away from boring and flavorless food – spice up your life, get creative, and try new recipes to invest into your consistency.
Whole Wheat Tocchino Pizza Recipe
You start with a 100% whole wheat crust, and spread your home made tomato sauce over it (1 small roma tomato, 1 clove garlic and a pinch of basil for a quick spin in the blender. Done!). You then top it with chopped bits of kale and spinach (which you won’t taste, but will get great nutrients from), fat free shredded cheese, and turkey pepperoni (76% less fat than the sausage variety). After just 9 minutes in the oven at 400-degrees, your pizza is done and delicious!
by Terry Williams M.Ed