5 nutrition tips to stay healthy during the winter months while fans are at home more often:
1. Plan ahead. You need to map out your next meal or snack at all times throughout the day. Where will each meal and snack come from (prepared at home, ordered from restaurant, etc.)? What will each meal and snack consist of to support your body and overall health? Will they be nutritionally balanced, and if not, how can you make them nutritionally balanced with the proper carbs, protein, fat, and antioxidants you need? When you don't plan ahead, you are more likely to fail. Achieving any goal in life typically takes proper planning, and hitting one's optimal nutrition targets each day for one's activity levels and health goals are no different. You wouldn't "wing it" for school assignments or important tasks at work. You wouldn't "wing it" in any relationship that matters to you. You hopefully wouldn't "wing it" with your training assuming there is a goal or outcome you're wanting to reach. So why wouldn't you plan ahead nutritionally for your meals and snacks each day so that you're not "winging it" when it comes to how we largely take care of our bodies?
2. Always incorporate a protein source in every meal and snack you eat throughout the day. Ideally, you choose more leaner proteins such as chicken breast, 90/10 ground beef, white meat ground turkey, most fish and shellfish, skim milk, nonfat Greek yogurt, beans and legumes, etc. By incorporating protein into every meal and snack, you ensure that you reach the required amount of protein your body needs to maintain lean muscle mass for optimal health and physiological capabilities.
3. Place an emphasis on getting vegetables into 2 of the 3 main meals throughout the day.** Focus on color diversity of these vegetables to ensure you're getting all of the proper vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to support your metabolism, immune system, and daily recovery. Each color from vegetables provide a unique set of nutrients which is why it's important to try eating as many colors as you can throughout the week.
4. Consume foods rich with omega-3's to support enhanced recovery, better control inflammation, and optimize cardiovascular health. Omega-3's can come from salmon, tuna, flounder, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, and flaxseeds.
5. For optional health, maintain optimal hydration throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids, primarily from water. The rough rule of thumb is to drink 1 fl. oz. per lb. of body weight of total fluids per day, especially for physically active individuals in order to fend off dehydration. This doesn't all have to come from water; milk, all-natural fruit juices, coffee, tea, soups, etc. all count toward one's total fluid intake. However, water should be the main source of hydration because of all of the many important functions it serves for our bodies. Some of these functions include lubricating the joints, regulating body temperature, helping to maintain blood pressure, and improving exercise performance.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken | makes 4 servings
6 chicken thighs bone-in skin off
3 green onions from tip to tail with root trimmed
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper de-seeded and de-veined
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1. Add the chicken thighs to a large skillet and brown them on medium high heat on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
2. In a food processor add the green onions, onion, jalapeno, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, thyme, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and puree until smooth.
3. Add the chicken to the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the chicken.
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