THE WHOLE-FOOD WAY

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A whole foods plan that picks up where supplements burn out

Written by Jeff Feliciano and Steve Stiefel

April 8, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

FLEX advocates eating five or six whole-food meals a day for sufficient nutrient intake. A key to success is implementation of a nutritional plan that can be adhered to. Too often, inexperienced bodybuilders will replace the effectiveness of whole foods with the perceived convenience of supplements. Here are some tips on how to buy, prepare and store whole–food meals to best incorporate them into your schedule.

SHOPPING

• Buy meat in bulk. Compare prices at butcher shops, supermarkets and discount stores to find the best quality and quantity at the most reasonable rates.

• Grains and complex carbs can also be bought in larger quantities. You can frequently keep rice, yams, potatoes and oatmeal longer than a month without spoilage.

• Although you will have to replenish fresh vegetables more frequently, frozen and canned vegetables are good for supplementing your fresh veggies. As long as you check the labels for salt and other unwanted ingredients that are sometimes included, packaged vegetables offer almost as many nutrients as fresh and can extend a food budget.

• Like vegetables, fruit should also be bought fresh, but it can be bought frozen or canned, as long as sugar is not added in the processing.

PREPARATION

• To reduce time spent preparing food, try to cook several meals twice a week. If you make enough for three or four days, you won't have fresh food in the refrigerator for a week or more that could have been frozen.

• Prepare all the chicken breasts, fish and red meat that you will eat the next three or four days at one time, grilled or oven baked are the best ways to go. They can then be stored in individual containers for each meal. Be careful to prepare and store protein sources properly. Using boneless chicken breasts will help to ensure that they are cooked sufficiently.

• Hard boil eggs for portable on-the-go protein.

• Complex carbs, like rice and baked potatoes, can also be prepared in larger quantities relatively easily.

• Steaming is the healthiest procedure to use for vegetables, although boiling is OK, but you'll lose some nutrients.

A whole foods plan that picks up where supplements burn out

Written by Jeff Feliciano and Steve Stiefel

April 7, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

STORAGE

• Freeze any meat that you don't plan to cook within the next day or two. Refrigerate the rest that will be prepared in the next couple of days.

• Many fruits and some vegetables like potatoes and onions can be stored outside a refrigerator until they are eaten.

• Most fresh vegetables should be refrigerated until they are consumed.

• After preparation, cooked foods can be stored as individual meals or foods. Storing in bulk allows for more mixing and matching, depending on your appetite, but individual meals allow for greater on-the-go planning.

• Store cooked food in durable microwave-safe containers.

• If you won't be eating the cooked food within the next week, it should be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator a day before it is consumed.

• Each morning, pack a cooler with all the food you plan to eat while you are away from home. A couple of ice packs will keep the food cool if you don't have access to a refrigerator.

Now that you have planned and prepared your daily nutritional intake, you should eat at your intended meal times. With proper strategy, you shouldn't miss any more whole-food meals.
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