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In the context of an active, healthy lifestyle, we need to think of food in a new way. Food is not the enemy in determining your body weight. It is fuel to allow you to achieve your fitness/health goals. Calories and activity levels are inextricably linked, so many people believe that what you eat doesn’t matter as long as you burn as many calories as you consume. The total number of calories you consume does matter, but the truth is that some foods provide better fuel than others. Quality fuel provides us with more physical and mental energy. Just as you would not put sludge into your car, you can’t fill your body with inferior fuel and expect it to function properly. So, how do you know what foods to choose? By selecting nutrient-dense foods, that provide you with high-quality calories and vitamins and minerals.

The best way to do this is by selecting whole, natural foods rather than pre-packaged convenience foods. Eating natural foods allows our bodies to better absorb the nutrients we need. Eating fresh food also provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh, whole foods do not sap your body of energy but give you energy!


Nutrient density is the priority. How does it make you feel? Active and energetic, or lazy and lethargic?

Sample Grocery List: work from the outside edges, inside.

  • avocados

  • beans—black beans, pinto

  • chicken

  • dark chocolate

  • eggs

  • frozen or fresh mixed berries

  • lean red meat (elk, bison, grass-fed beef)

  • greek yogurt (full fat)

  • mixed salad greens

  • nuts—especially almonds/walnuts

  • olive oil

  • oranges

  • salmon, ahi, fresh fish

  • sourdough bread

  • sweet potatoes, yams

  • whole-grain bread (sparingly)

  • whole-grain brown rice

  • vegetables—the more colorful the better

  • Two approaches I recommend:

  • Quadrant Approach: You may perform and feel your best by eating 4 equally proportioned meals each day. This keeps your energy at a constant level and helps to speed up your metabolism because your body does not think it is starving. Food is better absorbed and you will have better energy not only in your workouts but in your activities of daily living.

    • Consuming healthy fats, while reducing carbohydrate intake. This signals to your body that it is OK to use stored fat as fuel. *Adaptation period associated with this.

    • Effective for athletes or people with physical jobs.

  • Intermittent-Fasting / Time-Restricted Feeding:

    • Delaying your first meal of the day as long as you can, often until 11:00 AM, and consuming your last meal of the day no more than 8 hours later.

    • Easing calories into your day, finishing with your last meal being the most nutrient-dense and highest-calorie. A satiating effect to promote restful sleep, provide the needed nutrients for repair and rejuvenation, as well as enhance your ability to delay the first meal.

    • A low carbohydrate, less than 50 grams per day, higher fat, diet works well to promote fat loss. Consuming adequate amounts of fat signals to your body that it is OK to use stored fat for energy. *Adaptation period associated with this.

      • Protein and fat satiate. Diesel engine. Burns slow and steady. High MPG. Reliable.

      • Carbohydrates do not satiate. Burns hot, jet fuel, low MPG. Unpredictable.

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