One of the main philosophies we use with our nutrition clients is that of nutrition periodization. Periodized nutrition just means that you eat according to your training cycle – build, base, competition, and recovery.
Right now some people are in their off-season, others are deep into their build phase – increasing their training volume week to week. I am trying to get over an injury, and therefore my training volume is lower than usual. This is why my plate is 1/4 full of grain (quinoa), 1/4 full of lean protein (barramundi fish), and 1/2 full of vegetables.
When I increase my training volume, this plate will adjust by increasing the amount of quinoa and decreasing some of the vegetables and lean protein. Other variables such as time of day (pre or post workout meal), type of training day (easy, medium, hard), and fitness goals (weight loss or mass gain) should be taken into consideration when organizing your plate.
Details about my meal:
- Lean Protein: Barramundi –Barramundi is a type of seabass that is buttery in flavor and full of essential fatty acids. If you avoid fish (i.e salmon) because of its fishy flavor, Barramundi is a great option for you.Also, while fish like salmon and tuna are being over-fished, Barramundi is farmed and therefore much more sustainable. While wild fish is ideal, fish that are farmed in environmentally friendly and clean ways will protect the supply of wild fish.
Preparation: The fish was baked at 400′ for 15 min. with citrus and lemon-pepper seasoning and dill.
- Grain: Quinoa – Quinoa is a seed with close relatives by the names of Spinach and Beets. However, its cooked texture more closely resembles that of a grain. This is why it’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Quinoa is gluten & wheat free, and per 100 grams has more protein and fiber than couscous or rice, however the total calorie count is slightly higher.
Preparation: 2 cups of dry grain boiled in 3 cups of water will provide dry, fluffy quinoa!
- Vegetables: Spinach, tomato, garlic, onion – these are good sources of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Lycopene, and Selenium – which also have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Preparation: Though many foods are best eaten raw, spinach contains oxalic acid, which makes the vitamins and minerals difficult to be absorbed. This is why its best to steam or lightly saute, as was done here in olive oil.