We start with common sense. If your grandma wouldn't recognize it as food, it probably isn't. Food, contrary to popular opinion, does not grow in boxes, bags or cans. Its growth is somehow connected with the ground. As little contact as possible with factories is desirable, generally. Organic? -- heirloom? -- sure, of course. But don't let that stop you. Excellence is better than good enough, but good enough is good enough. Perfect is a fantasy, a destructive fantasy. See? Common sense.
So, what to eat? We've seen it before. Berry-fruit smoothies. Doesn't have to come out of a $400 blender. Just get the job done ... make a smoothie. Berries are superb nutrition. Invented to be food. So get to Trader Joe's or CostCo or where ever, and blend frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries ... all very low glycemic load ... and a tiny little bit, a cube or two, of mango, pineapple, kiwi, banana, for the nutrients, not for the flavor. The tropical fruits have a higher glycemic load, so go easy on them. On the other hand, a little is reasonable -- we're after the nutrients.
Add water, maybe tap, maybe purified ... whatever. Add some protein powder, to taste, not more than 30 grams per serving -- maybe rice protein, maybe pea protein, maybe mixed veggie protein -- no need for soy, or whey ... we get enough soy and animal proteins just by being American -- no need to supplement it. Add some coconut oil, some flax seed oil, some omega three oil. You now have nearly perfect nutrition. You could live, abundantly, off of just this sort of meal. No need for any other beverage, milk or rice milk or soy milk or almond milk or milk or, um, wheat milk or milk or milk. Common sense. We're not trying to add calories and spike our insulin. We're trying to get nutrients into our bloodstream.
Most people's blood is sugar water and red corpuscles, and maybe some heavy metals ... strontium or plutonium maybe. Don't be like that. Feed your cells, not your appetite. The bloodstream should be a soup, a thick broth as it were, of nutrients, available when your cells need what they need. You don't know what they need. But they need it. So eat nutrients, not sugar in all its industrial disguises.
What else? Fibrous vegetables. Nutrient dense, calorie poor: the perfect ratio, if there is such a thing as perfect. Frozen broccoli, cauliflower, mixed peppers, corn and peas and green beans and string beans and carrots. Chop in any other veggies you like, or high quality meats. Add seasonings. Apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, basil, oregano, parsley, any other high-nutrient herbs or spices. Bragg Liquid Aminos -- savory. Bread? Some, Ezequiel.
What to eat before a workout? Something that won't spike your insulin. Eat more than half an hour, or an hour, prior to the job. What to eat after the workout? If your goal is to pack on muscle, it's the one time that spiking insulin is good, to usher protein into muscle cells. Here it is again, the post-workout recovery drink:
A can of 100% fruit juice (not the sugar water "drink"), flavor does not matter -- it's all instant carbs anyway, which, in this instance, is the point. Look at the ingredients, see how many grams of carbs there are, and add about one-third or one-fourth than many grams of protein powder -- pea is nice. So if it's 250 grams of carbs, add 60 to 80 grams of protein. It's not complicated, it's easy. Protein you don't need just turns into calories, and in the mean time turns your body acidic, and leaches calcium out of your bones, and is hard to digest anyway. Don't get more than you need. Get what you need. That's called optimal.
Add 2 g each of:
• vitamin C & E
• ALA (alpha lipoic acid) .
Divide it into 3 or 4 portions, freeze them for later, use it within an hour of a hard, big workout.
What else to eat? Paleo? Atkins? Zone? South Beach? They are all insulin-control diets. It's not all the protein that gives the benefits, it's cutting back the industrial carbs. Paleo gets it right in the emphasis on good fats and low glycemic load carbs. As for all the protein, there's a debate that we need not get into. Eat, be happy, but be responsible. So eat nuts and seeds and fruits and whole grains and all those good things. In moderation. Eat them for the nutrients. Feed your cells abundantly, and feed your appetites moderately. You know, common sense, like grandma would have wanted. No need to be perfect.