First let me clearly say – I’m borrowing this from Robb Wolf. All credit goes to him- and here’s a little more about him:
Robb is a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565 lb. Squat, 345 lb. Bench, 565 lb. Dead Lift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. He coaches athletes at the highest levels of competition and consults with Olympians and world champions in MMA, motocross, rowing and triathlon. Wolf has provided seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to various entities including NASA, Naval Special Warfare, the Canadian Light Infantry and the United States Marine Corps.
This is a shopping list he shares with his clients- all in California so you’ll see some stores that aren’t familiar on the list. While some of his delivery is a bit harsh- the basis is good and if you are looking for tips on how to eat better along with your training for results – check this out. We all know exercise is good but exercise and a bad diet will not yield results. Period. So – no more excuses – now you have a handy shopping list! And access to a great trainer (me!)
I am stunned by a few facts:
1-People do not know how to cook in general. Microwave meals and fast food seem to predominate. Sandwiches and other grab-n-go crap are the norm. Food quality matters. You need to learn how to cook. Acknowledge, accept, move on.
2-People are “too busy”. If you are “too busy to cook” you need to reevaluate your life. How much time do you spend watching TV? Be honest and realistic because if you legitimately do not have time to feed yourself correctly you are heading towards serious health problems.
3-People go absolutely fetal if they do not have their bread, rice, pasta and all the other garbage carbs. Inevitably the question arises “how do I cook this?” It is simply a cover for “I want my comfort food”. If you want results you need to alter what you are doing. I know this seems obvious, but apparently it is not! If you want to keep doing the same old thing join a Globo gym, don’t go (most people don’t) and keep eating what you have been eating. Wasn’t that easy?! Not surprisingly you will continue to get the same results.
4-As day follows night, eating can only follow shopping. You cannot and likely should not eat out all the time. That means you need to stock your pantry and have the vittles on hand to cook nutritious, possibly even tasty meals. Hence the handy guide that follows. You CAN do this. We have clients who are not very bright (not naming names) who do this. They are committed and will not accept failure. If they fall off the pony, they get up, catch the lil’buggar and get back on. If you are not committed to this please step away from the ride, do something else and leave this hour open for someone who will listen, grow and reap the rewards this program can offer. All right, enough finger wagging, here is your shopping guide.
Fruit & Veggies-
Trader Joes has a great selection of frozen berries and
Vegetables. Hit the farmers market and buy what is in season. Avoid bananas and other tropical fruit. Buy local. FoodMax actually has a very good produce section. I think they sell enough volume that they constantly turn the stock over. Many of the supermarkets have anemic looking produce sections…I’d swear I see the same avocado from week to week in one store. Try buying some non-traditional veggies like Napa cabbage and some other goodies. Expand your horizons for crying out loud! That said however you should ALWAYS have the following in the freezer from Trader Joes:
Broccoli, green beans, asparagus, blue berries.
TJ’s has some other frozen veggies that are good but you MUST have these on hand. You can easily throw together a meal with some meat or chicken and a half bag of these veggies. Remember the excuses above of not having enough time? Keep this stuff on hand and you will have no problems. FYI-We make random checks to peoples homes to verify veggie stocks…just kidding, but man we should!
Trader Joes is good for grass fed meat. This is your first choice with all varieties of meat. Grass fed is better than organic. Free Range chicken, wild meat if available. Conventional cuts like London broil for beef and pork loin are good options if the organic and or grass fed options are not available. The Chico State farm is an excellent source but they are only open Thursday and Friday so plan ahead. Costco has good prices and good quality. Stock up! People tend to make bad food choices when they run out. Don’t be on of “those” people.
Vegetarian? Find another trainer, I will not work with you. You won’t make progress and all we will do is argue. Someone else can take your money and watch you not make progress.
Fish and shellfish-
S & S-is the place locally.
Trader Joes (No, I do not have stock in them) has a good selection of frozen fish and shellfish. They also have a canned Wild Alaskan Salmon. Great stuff for salads. When you buy any type of salmon make sure it is WILD. “Fresh” does not mean wild. They also carry a mild sardine called “Bella Olhao”. I cannot stand other sardines. These are actually pretty darn yummy. Again great for salads, just pour in the olive oil they are packed in.
Raleys– They are another good seafood option. They carry some less popular fish like mackerel that are pretty strong tasting but amazingly nutritious. BBQ mackerel outside or your house will smell like fish for a year. Raleys on east ave. is pretty good. Notre Dame…not nearly as good.
Eggs- Omega-3 enriched only. Costco has a great deal on these and they are top quality. Trader Joes is even better! Any major supermarket carries these however.
Coconut milk- If you like curries this is a great carrier. Safeway and Raleys carry a Thai brand “ Chakoh”. No idea on the pronunciation. The two Asian food stores in town carry this one as well. Just a personal favorite but any coconut is good coconut milk.
olive oil– Pacific Sun or one of the other top shelf brands will lighten your pocketbook a bunch but they are amazing. You get what you pay for with olive oils. Trader Joes has a good base model that is ~$7.99/liter. This is a good day-to-day olive oil.
Tomato paste/sauce Trader Joes to the rescue again. They have a canned marinara called “Sugo di Pomodoro”. You can pour this over any meat/veggie dish and LOVE it.
Spices- The more the better. If you do not know how to cook, learn. We have a DVD in the works. Google specific recipes, look for examples on youtube. If you MUST watch television then watch the food network…unless Battle Star Galactica is on. You MUST watch BSG.
Coffee- Raleys carries an espresso called “Café La Llave”. Buy a stovetop espresso maker from Pete’s coffee and prepare to get wired.
All Items listed below can be found at either Trader Joes, the Farmers Market or S&S produce.
nuts (raw, but not cashews or peanuts)
organic fruit and vegetables
unsweetened coconut flakes
nut flours (almond, pecan, and chestnut)
Based on the shopping list you could probably figure out what you are supposed to eat…here is a hint: it’s not bread, rice, pasta nor potatoes. What IS on the menu? Glad you asked:
Protein – Every Meal:
Chicken – 3-4oz
Beef – 3-4 oz
Fish – 3-4 oz
Eggs – 2-3 whole eggs
Now…I’m assuming you are pretty sharp but oddly enough a few things seem to slip by people…repeatedly. When I say “every meal” I in fact mean EVERY BLESSED MEAL. This is especially critical if you are trying to lose body fat. Another frequently confused point is the topic of “protein”. If you are fighting for survival in a 3rd world country then yes, beans and rice count as protein. At NorCal S&C it most assuredly DOES NOT. You need chicken, beef, fish, pork lamb, turkey…are you picking up what I’m putting down? If you think beans, nuts or Tofu count as protein please re-read the vegetarian clause above and follow those directions appropriately.
Vegetables – Every Meal:
Vegetables – all varieties…as much as you want, especially:
Newsflash-More vegetables exist than those listed above, you may eat those…unless they appear on the “no-no” list below.
Fat – Every meal:
Nuts: raw or LIGHTLY roasted and preferably unsalted – small handful
Avocado – ½ of medium sized one
Olive Oil – use as salad dressing – 1-2 Tbs.
Newsflash 2- Fat does not make you fat. We recommend a moderate to low carb diet. It is healthy and effective. Ask questions, check blood lipids but for crying out loud, just do this stuff for a month! Do you see ANY processed food in this? Any sugar? Trans fats? No, no and no. It’s whole, natural foods and you will thrive on it.
Fruit – Occasionally, always with protein!
In order of preference:
Eat what is in season and local.
Coffee – Espresso or Americano’s only – preferably black – no sugar or artificial sweeteners!
All flour products (bread/cake/cookies/scones/tortillas/pastries etc.)
No Jamba juice! – too much sugar!
No Dairy (cheese/milk/butter/cottage cheese, etc)
No Mochas, No Latte, No Frappaccino’s
No Artificial Sweeteners
No potatoes, corn beans or other starchy vegetables
Now…similar to the admonition to “eat this at every meal” the “absolutely not” category means….don’t eat it! You have a month of introduction in which we will help you get your insulin levels normalized, clean up your digestive health and likely a whole slew of other considerations, all while losing fat and feeling better.
After a month you can tinker with re-introducing some of the banned foods, but you need to know that non-compliance in the first month is grounds for termination. No messing around. I have limited time and love what I do and I WILL NOT waste my efforts on someone who cannot hang in at least a month. Like I said previously, there are a slew of trainers who are fine with taking your money and allowing you to continue along with bad nutrition. Not me. You will get results; you will feel and look better. Why? Because you followed these guidelines and reaped the benefits from sound training and nutrition.