Nutrition Diaries: Total Row Owner Elliott Smith
Total Row’s “Nutrition Diary” series follows the daily eating habits of Total Row owners and trainers. Each author describes what they eat in a typical day, why they eat it, and what the nutritional benefits are. Today’s diary is from owner Elliott Smith.
Nutrition Diaries: A Day of Eating with Total Row Owner Elliott Smith
Hey everyone! This is Elliott and I’m the owner of Total Row. Today, I’m going to take you through my daily eating routine, which is admittedly on the strict side. Having the energy to power through multiple classes (in addition to my day job) is critical to my success!
(Special Note: This is my schedule during the week. The weekend is much less organized, and has the opportunity for many more pitfalls!)
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day for me and without it, I wouldn’t make it far. My day almost always starts with a high intensity workout (and many times has ended with one the day before), so fueling up early is crucial! My goal is never to run at a calorie deficit, so the more I burn the more I eat!
Pre-Workout Shake: This is simple and fast – water mixed with protein. I like to get something light in my system before starting my workout. I’m not a fan of fasted cardio/exercise. In many cases, if you are actually putting in a solid effort you’re going to be starving in under 30 minutes. This pushes the wrong buttons on your blood sugar, and will likely cause you to overeat after. Be careful here.
Post-Workout Shake: Again, my goal is fast and simple, but this time with a LOT more punch! I start everyday with the same shake. Ingredients: Banana, Blueberries, Peanut Butter, Spinach, Instant Coffee, Ice, Protein, and Almond Milk.
For me, the early part of the day is always the easiest to get right. Try to outline a plan that you follow religiously. It puts you on the path for success the rest of the day!
I’m usually dying of hunger by about 10am, and really need to get something in my system to hold me over. I eat the same 3 snacks every day between breakfast and lunch: almonds, prune, cheese stick.
There’s nothing really special here (you will notice this theme throughout my day). The almonds are filling, and provide vitamin E, protein, unsaturated fat, and other minerals. A prune is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and helps with digestion. A cheese stick is delicious and gives me something to look forward to… hey, we all need a break!
There’s no real nutritional secret here; I’m just looking for high quality foods that will fill me up, while not give me the opportunity to overindulge.
Again, consistency is the key here. I make my lunches for the whole week on Sunday, which makes sticking to my plan easy and affordable. Each lunch is some version of chicken with a side vegetable. There are about 10,000 ways to mix and match chicken and veggies, so boredom hasn’t been an issue.
There is again no real secret here. These are wholesome foods that are cheap, easy to make, and readily available. You don’t have to stick with just chicken and vegetables. There are lots of nutritional options that are both easy and affordable.
One of the downfalls of eating a low-carb diet is the fact that you are always eating! Similar to my snacks before lunch, I eat a trio of snacks after lunch: an apple, broccoli with hummus, and a spinach salad. Each item offers me various nutritional benefits, and by packing them ahead of time, I’m (usually) not tempted to stray!
This is a time of the day where energy can lag, motivation fails, and cravings sneak in. Many days you are also getting in your final bit of nutrition before an afternoon workout. Whether you grab some nuts, a bar, protein shake, or whatever, make it easy to carry, healthy, and tasty! By going too strict at this point in the day, you are likely to choose an unhealthy alternative.
This is without a doubt the hardest meal of the day for me, and I would suspect for most people. I’m tired, have been eating healthy all day, and am free to go find whatever I want. Because of this, Lauren and I like to keep a few readily available options that are easy and healthy (and will go bad).
1. Grilled Bourbon Salmon with a vegetable
2. Grilled Chicken with a side salad
3. Grilled steak kebabs with 2-3 side vegetables.
Dessert: My biggest craving throughout the day is ice cream at night. I usually will let myself indulge as long as I complete both my workout and other nutrition goals. To me, letting in some bad with a lot of good is fine, if not healthy. The worst thing to do? Make one mistake, quit on yourself, and make many other mistakes. This is the main reason I’m so regimented throughout the early part of the day. By taking the choices off my plate (literally), it’s much easier to stick to my plan!
While far from perfect, I’ve tried to keep my day simple, affordable, and focused on high quality proteins and vegetables!
My advice is to start by outlining a plan that involves healthy, whole foods. In most cases, the more basic the plan the easier it is to follow. With your plan in place, all you have to do is execute!
It’s OK to Ask for Nutrition Guidance
If you are still lost and don’t know where to start (or would just like a fresh pair of eyes on you plan), reach out to an expert for help. At Total Row, our Ultimate Package includes a nutrition assessment that coordinates with your workout plan.
Long story short – if you don’t know what to do, ASK!