Eating healthy is important whether you’re in Competition Prep or in Off-Season. Here is a great list of items you can find at your local grocery store to ensure you will be in peak condition all year long!
Proteins – In this category, it is important to include lean/low fat sources to build clean and dense muscle!
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Tuna (Water Packed), or White Meat Chicken (Water Packed)
Fish (Tilapia, Cod, Halibut, and on occasion Salmon and Sea Bass)
Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
Buffalo Steak (Lean)
Protein Powder (Lactose free)
Egg Whites or Eggs
Ribeye Steaks or Roast
Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt)
Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round, 96% Lean Ground Round)
Extra Lean Ground Turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or Cutlets (Fresh Meat not Deli Cuts)
Complex Carbs – When picking from this group, I always delete all forms of bread and pasta when in prep. Otherwise, all of these I consider being attractive choices to produce good energy to help get you through the day.
Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)
Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
Beans (Pinto, Black, Kidney)
Oat Bran Cereal (watch Sugar, less than 6 grams)
Ezekiel Bread (Frozen Healthy Section of Kroger’s or Whole Foods)
Farina (Cream of Wheat from Box)
Multigrain Hot Cereal
Pasta (Whole Wheat, Ezekiel brand – watch serving, very dense)
Rice (Jasmine, Basmati, Arborio, Wild, Brown)
Potatoes (Red, Baking, New)
Kashi Low Sugar Cereals (less than 6 grams of sugar)
Whole Wheat Pita (Low Carb Variety – Joseph’s Pita Bread, or Food for
Carbdown Flatbread (Wal-Mart)
Corn Tortillas (Food for Life Brand is best, microwave to make crispy)
Whole Wheat Tortillas (Food for Life Brand)
Rice Cakes (lightly salted only)
Fibrous Carbs & Vegetables – I would hope we all include at least 15g-20g of fiber per day in our diets. This will help a lot with weight loss, digestion and curbing appetite. A great rule of thumb is: fresh first, frozen second, and canned should be your last choice.
Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)/Bagged Salad
Green or Red Pepper
Spaghetti Squash (my fav)
Fruit – I know for a lot of us, we eliminate all fruit from diet during prep. This is ok, but I would highly suggest adding an antioxidant supplement to the mix. When in off- season, it is important to keep your “Free Radicals” to a minimum. Doing this will aid in better sleep and strengthens the immune system.
Berries (Blueberries and Raspberries)
Lemons or Limes
Melons (not Watermelon)
Eat bananas, Grapes, Peaches or Plums Sparingly (lots of natural sugar)
No Dried Fruits, including Raisins (loaded with sugar)
Healthy Fats – Having plenty of “Poly” and “Mono” unsaturated Fats in your diet is very important. Fat acts as a transport to carry nutrients to all parts of our body. Sounds funny, but you actually need fat to lose fat.
Natural Style or Organic Peanut Butter, even better, Peanut Wonder (Whole Foods Market)
Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds)
Dairy & Eggs – Eating from this group is you must be cautious. While most of these items work well to promote size and aid digestion, you will want to look out for high levels of sugar and fat. In Prep, I usually eliminate all dairies except Greek yogurt.
Low-fat or Fat-free Cottage Cheese
Low or Non-Fat Milk (eat dairy only occasionally)
Non-Fat Yogurt (look for low sugar only)
Fat Free String Cheese
Fat Free Cream Cheese
Beverages – Water will always be your best choice, but for those of us looking for a brief alternative, here are a few safe suggestions
Condiments & Misc. – The “Evil” group. Even though most condiments are hazardous to your prep or diet, it is important to know about the ones that can be used on occasion to flavor things up a bit.
Fat Free Mayonnaise (on occasion)
Ketchup (Heinz One Carb Brand only)
Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette (Farm Grove)
Salsa or Fresh Pico De Gallo
Sugar Free or Low Carb Ketchup
Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Sugar Free Jelly (Polaner or Smuckers)
Tomato Paste (Low Sugar)
Mustard (Yellow or Dijon)
Extracts (Vanilla, Almond, etc)
Low Sodium Fat Free Beef or Fat Free Chicken Broth
Plain or Reduced Sodium Tomatoes Sauce, Puree, Paste (look for low sugar)
Fat Free Cooking Spray
Sugar Free Applesauce for Baking
Herbs & Spices – Great additions to any meal! Most of these will make you think twice about it being too difficult to eat the same meals over and over.
Mrs. Dash (all varieties)
McCormick’s (all varieties)
Cinnamon (My Fav)
Curry Powder (Best on Chicken)
Pumpkin Pie Spice
For many of us, we have our diets pretty locked in and know what works for us. That being said, I hope you all enjoy this simple and classic approach to prepping clean. Picking the right foods can in most cases be the difference between a winning body and a losing diet!
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