Rule #1: If it didn’t exist 5,000 years ago, you can’t eat it.
The human body is genetically engineered to eat things straight from the earth (emphasis on STRAIGHT). In other words, if it was made in a factory or took several steps to produce, it is not a quality food source. If we consume chemically engineered (processed) food, it can lead to a disruption in the basic function of the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. For an athlete, compromising these systems in the body can lead to delayed recovery and higher risk for injury.
Rule #2: Avoid the middle of the grocery store.
Typically, grocery stores keep the frozen and processed food in the middle. Rule # 1 rules out all processed food, but what about frozen vegetables and animal proteins? The best way to answer this question is by asking another question: Would you rather put premium or unleaded fuel in your Maserati? The same can be said for frozen (unleaded) versus fresh food (premium). With fresh food, there is higher nutrient content and shorter processing time, making it a much better alternative.
Rule #3: For every 50 grams of Protein consumed, have 2 servings of vegetables.
Protein is the foundation of rebuilding tissue, but only consuming proteins limits how readily available glucose is for the body. Sure, you can rely on gluconeogenesis to produce glucose, but most athletes have an extremely high energy expenditure and need an alternative carbohydrate source . This is where vegetables come into play. By consuming the above recommended amount of vegetables, it not only provides readily available glucose, but also provides fiber to help aid in digestive health.