Creating a balanced meal that will not only support your fitness and body composition goals but also provide major health benefits can be as simple as plating the 3 P’s: plants, proteins, and probiotics!
Why the 3 P’s?
Plants (fruits & vegetables, specifically) contain great fiber for digestive health and, in their raw form, contain living enzymes. Fruits and veggies (not lab-made supplements) are packed with not only the known 14-15 vitamins and minerals but also the thousands of toxin-neutralizing antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) that all work together to defend the integrity of your cell health. Your body recycles your cells every 4-months or so and a diet full of a wide variety of color and type of fruit and veg ensure you’ve replicating strong, healthy, damage-free cells. This is a very good thing. Hence the quote by Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Examples: Apple • Acerola Cherry • Beet • Cranberry • Date • Orange • Pineapple • Papaya • Peach • Prune • Broccoli • Brown Rice Bran • Cabbage • Carrot • Garlic • Kale • Oat Bran • Parsley • Spinach • Tomato • Artichoke • Bilberry • Blackberry • Black Currant • Blueberry • Cocoa • Concord Grape • Cranberry • Elderberry • Pomegranate • Raspberry**
**ground up all these whole foods and eat them every day via a capsule (it’s actual real food inside the capsule, not supplements). We’ve been taking them for 10 years every day and could not recommend them more. Email Jess to try them out for yourself (free samples).
Protein is comprised of amino acids and acts as a repair agent for muscle tissue. When you workout – especially with weights – you produce little micro-tears in your muscle fibers (hello, soreness!). Protein, especially post-workout, is essential for healing these tears. This breakdown and rebuilding process produces muscles that are stronger and bigger (read: more toned).
According to our friends at Precision Nutrition:
- For basic protein synthesis, you don’t need to consume more than 1.4 to 2.0 g/kg (around 0.64-0.9 g/lb) of protein per day.
- Nevertheless, consuming higher levels of protein (upwards of 1g per pound of body weight) may help you feel satisfied after eating as well as maintain a healthy body composition and good immune function.
- You should consume some protein before and after training to ensure adequate recovery.
Examples: Wild-caught fish and seafood, eggs, meats (preferably grassfed for highest nutrient content) like lean cuts of beef, chicken, pork, turkey. Cheese, nuts (although really classified in the fat category of food), lentils and beans, jerky, and if unable to access whole foods like these: a high-quality protein powder to drink with water, plant-based milk, or blended in a smoothie. Here are a couple we recommend: Juice Plus+ Complete (free samples at the gym – email Jess) and Bone Broth Protein.
Probiotics are microorganisms that live in our gut and are related either directly or indirectly to pretty much every function in our body… especially digestion. However, the idea that such tiny bacteria can influence how we feel, think and protect our health is pretty hard to comprehend.
Recently, our gut has been called our “second brain” because of how strongly it can impact our mood and well-being. In fact, an imbalance in gut bacteria has been linked to depression, anxiety, and even certain mental illnesses.
Bacteria outnumber the cells in our bodies by 10 to 1… so it’s really important to keep a healthy balance between the good bacteria and the bad ones.
Probiotics (the good bacteria) have a TON of benefits including:
– Strengthening your immune system
– Improving your digestion and nutrient absorption
– Increasing your energy levels
– Improving your skin
– Maintaining an optimal metabolism and aiding in weight loss
*probiotic info above thanks to Alicia Streger of FitPro Essentials.
Examples: Foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, raw cheeses, and even apple cider vinegar pack a probiotic punch (take a shot-a-day in a glass of water). We love this sauerkraut from the Real Food Eater’s Buyers Club, a local Holland/Zeeland co-op: Wildbrine Red Cabbage & Beet with pear. The pear adds a touch of sweetness and is delicious with eggs, tacos, burgers, etc. Kefir is like a yogurt drink but with even more probiotic power (just watch the sugar intake!). You can also take a probiotic supplement if you don’t get the real foods on a regular basis. Here is one we enjoy (soil-based…dirt is good for us!) 🙂 Dr. Axe Live Probiotic.
This week, we challenge you (members and non-members) to eat to a √ Plant √ Protein √ Probiotic plate at least 1 time. And then share with us on social media! Tag @valeotraining and Hashtag it #valeotraining #plantsproteinsprobiotics so we can cheer you on.
We’ll put your name in a drawing and choose someone to receive some yummy Wildbrine Sauerkraut that will add even more probiotic power to their plate. Could the winner be you?!
Have a GREAT week,
WHAT ARE OUR MEMBERS SAYING?
“Thanks to the support and personalized approach of Valeo, I have gained strength, I stand taller, and I flex my arms probably a little bit more than necessary. Mike has challenged, held me accountable, and celebrated my progress through each session. This is a wonderful gym where you will find a dedicated team concerned for your overall wellness.” – Sara
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These Valeo dudes took a guys trip to the movie theater and arcade this past weekend. Love our fun members!
One of our members playfully commented on this pic, our latest Friday / Funny post: “I find that the shoulder sweep exercise has really improved my snooze button range of motion.” Hahaha – cracks us up! 🙂 Keep doing those shoulder sweeps!