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  • Writer's pictureTony


Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Making Meals Matter

I like to eat, let me rephrase that I like to eat what I want. I like to cook experiment, test, try, burn and batter foods and snacks. I like to cook sustainably using quality products as well as a choice of budget foods; I add ingredients that blow away taste buds and supply the fuel for any daily challenge, and I also like to junk out on heavy cal meals and 'food to avoid' dishes, because I eat sensibly.

For me every meal should be an experience, whether that comes from cooking it, sourcing it, travelling near and far to find or eat it, it should be about natural flavours natural taste, the moment and the company and not about quantity, feeling full bloated or ready to burst. As an adventurous eater, I try my best not to complicate all things food, throw too much tech or scientific research into equations, depend on or dedicate a lifestyle change to the same meals, unrealistic meal-plans, accountability models and having to answer to someone or something at a specific time. Don't get me wrong these are all brilliant and are proven to work - but wouldn't you prefer to go through the day knowing your sub-conscious mind and body have rituals that drive and guide you without you having to overthink, and over or under compensate meals?

Eating Rituals

So what is an eating ritual? For me an eating ritual was something I adopted to stay lean, energised and feeling ready to go. My eating rituals started with giving up sugar, undeniably the biggest enemy to any (any) healthy lifestyle regime. Giving up this one thing will give you so much clarity and emotional balance its unbelievable. My rituals involve drinking plenty of water, eating complex carb-based meals when training hard, lighter meals when training moderately specific meals for recovery and fasting 12 - 16 hours between meals two days before training, as well as specific detoxing between (crap meals) and supplement uploads giving my body time to get all the nutrients out of meals by giving it time to digest and or to dispense energy. You may think that's all a lot of hassle, nah not at all, its just a case of swapping certain foods for others and making use of your environment. My next blog "To Hellth With It All' will explain how this can be done in more detail.

You Are What You Eat(?)

I pack my diet with complex carbs, the more, the better, for me it's about the nutrients, they're higher in fibre and digest more slowly so keep me filled up for longer, (a right choice if you're trying to lose weight). Comples-carbs also help manage blood sugar spikes after meals, (good for people with type 2 diabetes) help promote bowel regularity; so you can do-do-an-go with none of the newspaper/magazine reading stuff.

Purpose Meals: one way to get the best out of your food and stop you from overeating

Left: a typical complex carb meal (variations include, lamb, chicken, fish and veg) eaten 12 hours before big HIT sessions. Centre: the type of meal eaten before light workouts. Right: meal size and and type for non training days. In addition: mixing meals up and intermediate fasting also allows for those days when you fancy something special.

My regular sources of complex carbs include:

Through moderately healthy eating I have been fortunate enough to not pick-up any internal illnesses through life, no broken bones and apart from the self-inflicted injuries researching new training routines or doing dumb things, had lived a pretty healthy life, until the period when I tipped the scales at nearly 17st (for a guy with an 11st frame). I managed to remove almost 4.5 stone keeping the weight off with what I call ritual eating and the SS1000 style of training, developing explosive energy, reserve energy and a recovery rate I never had before. This ritual eating development was not down to just, food, exercise, supplements and healthy lifestyle changes but deep research-development of self. Through research, I came to understand not only the meals I needed to eat but the times I ate them and the time I needed to give them to do their thing, (help me heal, recover and rebuild).

I found some recommended foods personally did not deliver on their promise, but when eating the healthy foods I ate day in, day out growing up as a kid I noticed a considerable change in not just my energy levels, but how my body accepted and dispersed supplements during and after training. Somewhere in my lifeline, there lay the foundations of a healthy stable diet growing up, the foods that built strong bones, ligaments and tendons (my DNA) that, got me through school PE lessons, cross country, school exams, and kept me outdoors every day, running around the neighbourhood carefree. The question is, could resorting back to your foundation foods also help you develop an understanding of what works best?

Food, Fads and Environments

I have to mention the six-week diet/body transformation programs, the average person and the diets and meal plans that come with them. People take on board the programs in the hope that at the end of the six weeks they'll have a fabulous physique, bags of energy and hit their ultimate goals. A six-week diet/body transformation program may put you in a good place and point you in the right direction but doing it your mind has to put a strong element of concentration on week six (the end) once you get there, reach your goal, what will your mind do, in fact, what will your mind do if you don't? If you can answer both those questions you're in the wrong job (don't confuse what you'll feel like with what your mind does).

Purpose Meals: eating the right meals the right times can help to you train more efficiently and manage a healthy lifestyle change

Left: a typical complex carb meal eaten 12 hours before a 1/2 marathon training session. Centre: 'The SS1000 Run Team' post run event. Right: the run route used for our 1/2 marathon training sessions.

In My Opinion

Personally, and this is only an opinion, even the basic of body transformations should be a 365-day program that incorporates your social, plus work environment and the seasonal changes that come with them. We all know that peer pressure is hard to avoid. If you are fortunate enough to have good friends it means you have good times, meals out, meals in, parties, birthdays, Christmas', the odd christening, wedding, holiday away, holiday at home, BBQ's, movies and on and on…all year-round. Encouraging a short, mid and long term strategy, removing the notion of the best possible gains in the shortest possible time is undoubtedly a more realistic approach, developing healthy eating habits over a more extended period that supports your real-world and not a makeshift world that may be hard to maintain and harmful. Look at it like this, which is quickest to erect and which lasts longer a tent or a pyramid?

Can the quick fix notion and unbalanced diets be responsible for why when people fail, it can impact them in the wrong way? The sacrifice, the commitment, the time, the money spent and look, now what??? SS1000 not only provides training programs for individual needs but concentrates on food, the eating environment; how, why and the with who, all contributing factors that can cause someone to abort, fail, or succeed in their mission. We help people to develop a mindset that incorporates all the variables into their transformation in ways that support progress using the very scenarios that in the past may have halted it.

The SS1000 Approach

At SS1000, we believe education is vital and as patronising as it may sound; teaching people how to eat, cook, prepare and save food in ways that can save money and encourages healthy eating lifestyles for the whole family that can effectively save lives is high on our agenda.

Get in touch

For recipes, more of an insight into eating rituals, healthy lifestyle choices and what SS1000 program works best for you contact us for classes and personal training call: 07986 868 040 .

Be well and have fun in life!

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