Inside Scoop: Daily Nutrition of a CrossFit Athlete
Hi, again, guys!
I have what you asked for, prepped and ready: the inside scoop on a day’s worth of my nutrition. This post will include what I eat, when I eat, and why I eat. I’ll also leave some general guidelines as to how you can apply healthier food options into your daily routine to follow.
On Monday, I logged all of my food intake by snapping pics before snacks and meals. My Monday’s typically are crazy busy, starting at 4:30 am, I don’t stop until about 8:30 pm, usually with two training sessions, an 8 hour work day, a few hours at my part time job, and hopefully squeezing in some time to myself or to hang out with Zack in the evening. This Monday was only slightly different; I had to cut out my second session to attend a meeting in order to fulfill a requirement for one of my summer classes (school comes first, y’all!). Now that you have a general jist of what a typically day looks like for me, let’s dive into the good stuff.
4:41 am. I’m headed to my 5am training session with my staple pre-workout snack: a cinnamon rice cake with a tablespoon of almond butter and my BCAA supplement in my shaker cup. This snack has fast metabolizing carbs and some slow burning fat (plus I LOVE almond butter). BCAA stands for branch chain amino acid, basically protein before it comes protein. Giving your body protein in it’s simpler form helps to promote faster protein synthesis and recovery. I typically sip on the BCAA throughout my session and then finish the rest post workout.
6:07 am. Home from the gym and fueling up for the day. This post workout protein shake is another habit I follow every day. You’re body primarily needs carbs and protein after a workout for maximum recovery. So to start my protein intake, I take a scoop of protein powder with almond milk to sip on as I get ready for the day. You can also use another milk preference or just water!
7:03 am. Finally time for my favorite meal of the day: BREAKFAST! Seriously, I could eat breakfast food for every single meal, no question. I’ve been eating the same meal each morning for about a month now. And before you gasp, I know what you’re thinking: don’t you get tired of eating the same thing every day?! Honestly, no. It tastes delicious and I feel replenished to start my day all within my macros. If it fits, I’m a happy girl!
This morning consisted of a 1/2 cup of oats with cinnamon, a tablespoon of almond butter, a tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 a serving of raw almonds, and a handful of blueberries. Alongside, 3 servings of egg whites (that seems like a lot but it’s only 15 grams of protein with no carbs or fat!). Often I have a half of avocado on my eggs as well!
You’re probably now also thinking: wow, Ashley, you eat a lot. And honestly, it does seem like that. However, breakfast is usually my largest meal with my highest amount of fat (fat curbs hunger). It prepares my body for what it needs to do the rest of the day and works for me. I can’t ask for much more than that!
7:32 am. Off to work with an Formula O2 Recovery drink. O2 is a local company in Columbus, OH that makes recovery drinks for athletes. The big pull for this particular drink is that it has 7x the amount of O2 that’s found in water, which promotes recovery. It’s straight carbs (also good for refueling) and tastes delicious. Plus it has a little caffeine 😉
9:47 am. Snack time at my internship. Usually my mid-morning snack consists of more protein because I need a looooooot of it. Quest bars are high in protein but extremely low in carbs and fat. I, personally, found a protein bar that compares in terms of nutrition and their flavors are bomb! Cookies and Cream and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip are my favorites.
11:02 am. Lunch time! Since I’m always working or at least away from home, I eat 80% of my meals out of tupperware. Today’s plastic tub dijoure is a salmon burger with a cup of sweet potatoes and fresh green beans, topped with half of an avocado. I just started eating salmon burgers this week and 12/10 would recommend. YUM!
12:58 pm. Afternoon snack. I couldn’t picture this one because I was about to run a therapeutic group at my internship and had to eat quickly (plus, your girl was hungry and honestly forgot). This snack consisted of a serving of almonds and some pumpkin pecan granola (yes, it’s as good as it sounds). Quick, easy, and straight out of a ziploc bag. Perfect to snack on in the middle of the day at work.
3:30 pm. I like to call this meal “first dinner”, although I didn’t have the macros for a second dinner this day (cue the sad face). Dinner was similar to lunch (because meal prepping) consisting of sweet potatoes, green beans, and 4 oz of chicken with a half an avocado.
6:13 pm. This was my last mini meal of the day, which is unusual for me. Usually I’m able to have a bed time snack around 8 or 9 pm, but this day it didn’t fit my nutrition and honestly I wasn’t hungry, so I went to bed. This snack included an Rx bar, which is another favorite protein bar of mine, and another protein shake. I love the Premier Protein shakes, too. They are super easy to tote around and packed with 30 grams of protein (and I’m usually low here so it’s a perfect pick me up!).
Overall, I was a little bit under my macros for this day, coming in right on target for carbs, but under on protein and fat. But based on my hunger, I was feeling satisfied. Despite the numbers that I receive from my nutritionist, the number one rule is to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re not, don’t. If you want to eat but you’re not hungry, ask yourself why and go from there. Those are my rules of thumb!
As for some general eating tips:
1. Try to eat as many whole foods as possible. Sadly when I say whole, that does not mean a whole dozen donuts or a whole pizza (I wish!). Whole foods consist of anything that’s not processed and generally doesn’t have a label, like fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, etc. Fill your diet up with this and then fill the cracks in with some clean eats like protein shakes/bars and organic snacks!
2. Eat small and eat often. Everyone’s heard that portion control is key, but that does NOT mean you have to starve yourself. This is one of my biggest pet peeves to discuss with people who are starting a healthy lifestyle. They equate healthy to always being hungry, and by the looks of what I eat in a day, you can eat a lot of food and still be healthy! More frequently, smaller meals will keep you satisfied and boost your metabolism to keep burning throughout the day.
3. Don’t be afraid of carbs, just be aware of the types of carbs you’re eating. Complex carbs are a great option for post workout or if you know you’ll have to go a few hours without eating. They metabolize slower and are generally more of your whole foods. Simple carbs are usually full of more sugar, are processed faster, and leave you with a crash at the end. This isn’t the case for all simple carbs, but the majority of them fall into this category. If you need a quick pick me up, simple is ok. But try to go with something like a rice cake or natural granola!
4. Everybody is different and every BODY is different! What I do will not necessarily work for the next person and vice versa. Higher fat and lower carbs with lots and lots of protein is what I’ve found to work best for me. Others work better on less fat and more carbs, it all depends on YOU! So don’t be afraid to experiment to find your sweet spot. Be patient and trust the process!
5. I’ll leave you with this: nutrition is the KEY to your physical health success. But being physically healthy does NOT necessarily mean being shredded with a six pack. This is something I have to remind myself every day. If I’m eating well, prioritizing sleep, and performing in the gym, I should be satisfied. The physical results of being more cut or having abs is a biproduct of focusing on making yourself holistically excellent. Strive to be the best you and the rest will take care of itself!
I hope these quick tips and seeing a days worth of nutrition give you all a little bit more of an idea as to what healthful nutrition looks like. If you have any questions, never hesitate to reach out to me through the comments section, the contact tab, or social media.
Remember, be the best YOU today!