The New Daily Food Routine

Morning workouts are best for my schedule, and I used to rarely eat in the morning before working out. If I did, it was half a Clif bar or maybe a banana and a glass of milk. I always felt just fine working out without much in my stomach, or without anything at all. But the last month or so I was having a complete smoothie before my workouts, and then a full breakfast afterwards. I thought that maybe it was a good thing to have some food in me while working out. But my triathlon coach has told me that if I don’t feel like I need it, then I don’t need it. At least not for shorter workouts, which is all I’m doing these days. So here is my new daily food routine:

1. Breakfast, green smoothie – Immediately after I get home from my morning workout.

2. Lunch, spinach salad, or something else healthful.

3. Afternoon snack. Something healthful.

4. Sensible dinner with plenty of protein. I’m focusing on fish (mostly salmon) and ground turkey.

Overall I’m trying to include more fruits and vegetables, unprocessed, whole grains, less fat, less red meat, and less sugar. Oh, and definitely less dairy.

Over the past month I’ve been hovering between 215-220 lbs. After going on a strenuous three-day hike in the Uintas of Utah with my family I dropped down to around 210, and now I’m hovering between 210-215 lbs. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes from here. The first shipment of spinach is coming in today, so tomorrow morning will be my first green smoothie.

  • Joshua

    Ok, I’m already switching things up. See, the problem is I have braces, and I can’t chew very well. Smoothies are easy, but salads are especially difficult. So the following exchange ensued:

    Me: One other question…is there any reason for me to have my green smoothie in the morning right after my workout, rather than for lunch? I’m not sure the salad will work out for me right now because I have braces and I can’t close my back teeth together, which makes it hard to chew lettuce, and especially the thin and flexible leaves of spinach. So if it doesn’t make any difference I’ll continue having cream of wheat or oatmeal for breakfast, and then I’ll have a green smoothie for lunch. If it does make a difference somehow then I can switch that up, but let me know if it makes a difference one way or the other.

    Coach: The green smoothie is as good as a salad. For now, I think that is a great idea! You might find yourself hungry a couple of hours after “lunch” and need a snack. That is OK, and let yourself have a small snack before dinner.

    So there it is. Hot cereal for breakfast, smoothie for lunch.

  • Joshua

    Even though I can’t eat spinach salads for now, I’m looking forward to it once I get my braces off next year, so here’s an exchange between me and the coach.

    Me: So what do you put on your spinach salads?

    Coach David:

    – Chicken, cut and cubed
    – Almonds
    – Croutons (not too many)
    – Boiled egg
    – Blueberries, raisins or dried cranberries
    – Vinaigrette dressing

    But everyone is different. This version might make you gag. The key is some crunchy stuff, some protein, and some sweet stuff.

  • Paul van Lienden

    Hi Joshua, I read part of your story this afternoon, the rest will follow tonight. I have recently started on a similar venture and would very much appreciate if I could ask you for advice from time to time, as I seem to have very simalar circumstances. My biggest problem at present is a re-occuring calf muscle injury that has put a halt on my running.
    I enjoyed the comments on the green smoothies. Keep up the great work.
    Kind regards,