I have mentioned strikes in previous blogs and it just occurred to me that I haven’t really taught you what this means!
Think of a strike as a non-compliant meal…”what is that?” you ask… A non compliant meal is a meal that doesn’t fit in with your goals. You might have heard of them as ‘cheat meals’, and it’s the same concept.
Knowing that our bodies deal with carbohydrates (think processed or starchy) best in the hours following a session, it makes sense to consume them in this window and outside of that…think STRIKE. Did you know sugars and sweets, grains, fruits and vegetables fall into the carbohydrate category? Don’t laugh! Many people don’t! Carbohydrates in the form of fruit and veg (excluding starchy carbs like potatos) can be eaten anytime.
Our bodies require fuel (nutrition) for energy, so it is important to make sure you eat something every 3-4 hours, and include whole protein, fruit and veg with each of these feedings. This includes after a gym session in the evening. If you miss a meal… STRIKE (who would want to waste a strike on MISSING a meal???!!). Lets discuss a few example snacks which seem to be peoples’ most challenging meal.
Flax crackers and zucchini sticks with hummus
Nut/seed loaf (recipe here) and piece of fruit
Celery sticks (or apple) with peanut butter and cottage cheese
Natural yoghurt with berries and protein powder
Smoothies…get creative!! A favourite of mine is 1/2 banana, 1 pineapple ring, teaspoon of passionfruit pulp, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2/3 cup water & scoop pf plain whey protein (this tastes like a pina colada)
How many strikes are you allowed in one week? Well that depends on your individual goals. In the Precision Nutrition System (what I have studied), we think “let’s not drive ourselves crazy, it would be realistic to be good 90% of the time so let’s give ourselves a 10% buffer”
If you are eating every 3-4 hours, that 10% of your week equates to around 3 meals, so that is a good place to start. Some clients prefer a full strike day. I prefer to spread my 3 delicious strikes out throughout the week (usually planned for) and you will NEVER catch me wasting a strike on missing a meal…NEVER!
The strike system helps in making better choices. I.e. you come face to face with a chocolate bar and have a decision to make: “do I really want THIS to be one of my three strikes or do I want to go out for breakfast on the weekend?”.
Give it a go this week and become accountable. For a free food diary template click here.
Record your Dietary intake over a week, then take a look back on day 7 to assess your weaknesses in order to set your goals moving forward.
Dietary record for day 13:
Breakfast: Smoothie on the way to my first session at 5am. Banana, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons each of honey, peanut butter and cacao (have just run out of protein powder which I would normally include)
Snacks: soy long mac, 1/2 raw sugar free slice @ moore & moore in Freo (dates, apricots, seeds etc), handful of grapes, hazelnut infused long black from Freo markets, handful of cashews
Lunch: Teryaki fish (I small spoon rice only) from Takas Kitchen in Fremantle, Miso soup, 4 gyoza
Dinner: Nachos – homemade (red rock jalapeño & cheddar corn chips) topped with beef mince, salsa, cheese, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, spring onions and a dollop of my roasted red capsicum and cashew pesto (which is wayyyy to spicy this time around)
Dessert: Rice puff bar
I will count dinner and dessert as a strike due to the high carb content and I have not trained today or prior to the meal.
Todays hardest challenge – saying no to licorice allsorts. Again, waved literally under my nose when I was STARVING. I did actually say “ah I already had sugar in teryaki sauce, I could just make it a strike day”, but found strength within to know I would be home in 5 minutes to make dinner AND that licorice would surely be a pain in the belly!