One-On-One with Sifu Lee: Nutrition
Nutrition and sleep are more important than concentrated exercise or martial arts. If you did not eat or sleep, you would not be able to function or live very long. But if you did not exercise or practice martial arts, you would obviously still survive. This goes to show the importance of getting good rest and eating healthy. Depending on the individual, it is ideal to receive 6-10 hours of sleep a night. If one has not received adequate sleep for the day and has the option to either get sleep or exercise, one should always choose sleep. As sleep is what supplies the body with energy in which to exercise and it is also during sleep that an athlete’s muscles will be able to repair.
As far as nutrition and eating habits are concerned. Similar to exercise, people know what is healthy to eat but many simply do not follow healthy eating habits. First and foremost we should stop consuming obvious foods that are unhealthy and stop practicing obvious unhealthy habits. We should never smoke cigarettes or ingest any harmful substance into our bodies. We should never drink alcohol, not even in small amounts, as this does not serve any healthy benefit to the body. We should not take any harmful drugs. We should not take any muscle enhancement supplements such as steroids, creatine, etc. Those are some of the obvious substances that we should not consume for any reason, as they serve no health benefit in anyway.
Here is a list of some of the basics of nutrition:
- We should eliminate our consumption of soda. Soda has absolutely no nutritional value. We should drink pure filtered water for most of the day. There may be times that our bodies may crave for some sugar. In order to fulfill this need we can drink 100% Pure Juice with a mixture of filtered water in order to lessen our consumption of mass amounts of sugar.
- We should not drink anything that contains caffeine or consume energy drinks. These drinks supply superficial energy boosts that train your body to become dependent on this superficial energy boost. Rather you should eat healthy foods and drink natural juices or water to gain the energy you need.
- We should not intake powdered protein shakes. The money spent on powdered protein shakes can be better used towards purchasing real healthy foods that provide us with the energy that we need for the day. If we eat correctly, the food that we consume will provide us with more than enough protein for the day. Purchasing powdered protein simply is a waste of money.
- We should eat 5-6 small portion meals throughout the day rather than 3 large portion meals a day. In this way your metabolism will be trained to burn more calories during inactivity resulting in optimal fitness.
- You should never force yourself to eat more food when you are no longer hungry. You should simply eat enough food so that you are satisfied. Never overindulge.
- 90% of your meals should be healthy home cooked meals. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it is a necessity to learn how to cook healthy foods or to at least live with another individual that can cook healthy foods. This is cost efficient and also the healthiest way of eating. Mostly all restaurants serve food that contains more oil and fats than necessary, resulting in unhealthy eating habits if consumed too frequently.
- Fruits are a very good healthy snack that should be preferred over unhealthy snacks such as donuts, cookies, cakes, and candy bars. Apples, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes, etc, are all good fruits to consume for snacks.
- Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and various other nuts are also very good for snacks. Although they do contain a high percentage of fat, they contain the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are actually very good for the body.
- Sweets such as candy bars and cookies can be consumed in small amounts. Sometimes our bodies crave for sweets. During this time we can have a couple of cookies or a candy bar, it’s ok but there is a problem when you start eating 10 cookies a day or 5 candy bars everyday.
- Ice cream is ok but we should purchase ice cream that has a lower fat content. Slow churned ice cream or light ice cream containing half the normal fat content is ok as long as we consume 1 serving every couple of days or longer. Sometimes our bodies crave for this kind of sweet.
- If we do need to eat fast food we should prefer sandwiches rather than hamburgers. We should rather prefer Jimmy John’s, PotBelly’s, Subway, or any other sandwich fast food restaurant as these sandwiches are usually much healthier than the normal burger joint.
- A good daily snack is a self-prepared sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread, the usual veggies, meat, cheese, etc.
- Potato chips when moderately consumed are ok for a little snack or to supplement a meal.
We are never on a strict diet. We are not on a diet at all. We train our bodies to eat healthy and find joy in eating healthy. We have made eating healthy a lifestyle, a habit. When you begin to live this lifestyle, your body will not feel good when you consistently eat unhealthy. Your body and mind will respond in ways that motivate you to only put quality foods inside of your body. There are times when your body craves for junk food, such as hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, gyros, hotdogs, etc.
It’s ok to eat these types of foods once every couple of weeks or maybe even once a week but when your body has become accustomed to eating healthy it will not desire to eat those types of foods more than just a few times every couple of weeks. Once you have become accustomed to the healthy way of living all you simply do is listen and pay attention to your bodily functions. You then simply eat whatever you wish to eat and naturally your body will only crave the healthy. Therefore, remember that this is never a diet, this is a way of life, a lifestyle, a habitual way of living that is geared towards the healthy way of living, you eat whatever you want but truthfully it is your body that only wants the healthy.
A day’s example of a food plan while drinking water throughout the day:
- Eat cereal in the morning with milk.
- Take a daily multivitamin if desired.
- 2 hours later eat a banana
- 1 hour later eat a self made sandwich
- 2 hours later eat your lunch meal such as a stir-fry with veggies, meat, and rice.
- 1 hour later snack on a few cookies, some chocolate, or mixed nuts
- 30 min. later eat an orange.
- 1 hour later eat an apple.
- 1 hour later eat your dinner meal such as veggie soup, stir-fry with veggies, meat, and rice.
- 30 min. later eat some light ice cream if desired.
- Drink some 100% juice mixed with filtered water
Freddie’s Modern Kungfu
NOTE: As anyone will tell you, always consult a physician when concerned about your health, diet and direction of your wellness plan. As for ANY nutritional and dietary information on this site (or ANYWHERE), please use your own good judgement. The authors of this website, are not registered dietitians, but have a strong background in health, wellness & exercise. Proper nutrition just goes with the territory.