P90X is a great workout program, but in order to get the results that you really want, you have to follow a nutrition plan. The first time around, Mike and I used the P90X nutrition plan and followed it very strictly (more on that in this post). As I explained in my first post about this round of P90X, we’re not doing the traditional P90X diet like we did the first time. Instead, we’re following a more whole-foods, low-sugar based approach based on the 100 days of Real Food plan.
We already eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains so this diet wasn’t really a big change in what we eat for each meal. The biggest change has been what we eat (and where we eat) when we eat out (no more regular pizza night or fish tacos and french fries!) and the elimination of sweetened coffee creamer, desserts, alcohol and bread from our day to day diet. We started with the intention of one full cheat day a week, where we would be able to eat whatever we want all day, but due to the fact that we’ve had a lot of parties and events lately, it’s been more like 2-3 cheat meals a week, rather than one full day of splurging. Alcohol seems to be the thing we “cheat’ with the most, although the 100 Days of Real Food
does actually allow for beer and wine in moderation and we typically only have 1-2 drinks.
As for maintaining my milk supply while breastfeeding, I’ve been tracking my food most days using MyFitnessPal. I try to get a least 100 grams of protein a day, plenty of healthy fats, and I never eat less than 2,000 calories a day. I also drink a TON of water since I’m working out hard. My supply has not dipped.
Prior to the plan we were either eating oatmeal or eggs and toast with either peanut butter or avocado on top for breakfast most days. With the new plan, we’re still eating oatmeal a couple times a week but with just a touch of honey instead of brown sugar. Most days we eat 3 scrambled eggs with a lentil/tomato side dish (1 package Trader Joe’s precooked lentils with spinach and half of Trader Joe’s bruschetta mixed in). This gives us 32 grams of protein at the start of the day. We really love lentils so this kind of weird breakfast actually tastes really good to us! Sometimes we’ll have leftovers from the night before with our eggs, like a roast butternut squash dish or something similar.
By far the hardest change has been giving up my creamer in my coffee. I used to use a generous portion of hazelnut flavored “natural” creamer (just cream, sugar and the hazelnut flavor), but now I use half and half and a tiny bit of honey. We actually started using full fat coconut cream and I just couldn’t get behind it. I almost considered giving up coffee all together if that was the alternative.
Biggest Change: No more coffee creamer and toast. No more weekend bagels and flavored lattes.
Lunch is where the meal planning really comes in handy. We used to eat avocado veggie sandwiches a few days a week but don’t anymore since we aren’t buying bread. Two days a week I make us big salad with 1 can of tuna (I have to limit it to two times a week because I am breastfeeding and the mercury levels are dangerous above that much) and a mustard dressing. Other days we will eat leftovers or a big portion of a chili or soup I made (Scott Jurek’s Winter Chili has by far been my favorite and I’ve made it four times) and a simple side salad with avocado. The tuna lunch gives us another 45 grams of protein for the day.
I stopped buying store bought dressing because even the simple vinaigrette I was buying at Trader Joe had added sugar. Instead, I make my own (which can be stored in the fridge for about a week, but usually we eat it all before then) using the following recipe (double, triple or quadruple it as needed, but here are the ratios):
- 1 tbsp olive oil (sometimes I use a flavored garlic one and it makes it even better).
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2-1 tsp dijon mustard, to taste
- dash of salt and pepper
- Optional if available: juice from half a lemon
Biggest Change: No more sandwiches or weekend burritos.
- Fruit: Banana, orange, or pear
- Organic greek yogurt with berries. I stopped eating dairy regularly when we tried the vegan thing a few years ago, but I’ve slowly been more accepting of organic dairy products.
- Protein Shake: 1 scoop Vega protein, 1 cup almond milk (this is probably too processed for the 100 days diet but making my own almond milk is just not in the cards), 1 tbsp flax seeds, fruit of choice (I either do a whole banana and ice or just frozen berries).
- 1/4 cup almonds, pumpkin seeds or cashews
- 1 oz of cheese
I’ve never been one to forget to eat a meal (who are these people and are they lying!?), but with a baby, I definitely snack less often. I think sitting at my desk all day made me snack out of quasi boredom! I’m usually busy between meals so there is less time to think about it or prepare something. Fruit or nuts are definitely my go to!
Biggest Change: No big changes. I stopped eating KIND and other protein type bars when I was pregnant so I didn’t have to worry about cutting that out.
Breakfast, lunch and snacks don’t seem to vary that much but for dinner we have a lot more options. I haven’t changed a whole lot of my dinner recipes since most of them were made up of whole foods anyway. One big change is that I’m buying and cooking fish now, which I didn’t do before. I haven’t purchased meat or fish to cook at home in 3 1/2 years so this is a big change!
Some of my favorite dinners:
- Salmon or mahi mahi with a homemade mango salsa (mango, cucumber, lime and tomato), veggie and quinoa, couscous or roasted butternut squash.
- Butternut squash tacos in corn tortillas with black bean corn salad on top (black beans, corn, diced red bell pepper, lime, cumin and chili powder).
- Tempeh and veggie stir fry with homemade rice vinegar and soy sauce based sauce (most prepackaged asian sauces contain a crazy amount of sugar and it’s very simple to make your own!).
- Lentil Spinach Cashew Curry with brown rice.
- Tempeh and veggie burritos in whole wheat tortillas (La Fe brand has minimally processed whole wheat tortillas, found at Whole Foods) served with homemade guacamole.
- Scott Jurek’s winter chili plus a side veggie or salad (this makes plenty for leftovers throughout the week).
Biggest Change: Not a lot of big changes but no homemade pizza or pre-dinner chips and guacamole. Less beer and wine with dinner.
Our go to eat out option is Chipotle burrito bowls made with brown rice (no cheese or sour cream) or Urban Plates salmon plate with quinoa and veggie side dishes (or for lunch, the Kale Coconut Tofu salad). Whole Foods is also a great place to get healthy lunches. There is also a delicious organic restaurant in Encinitas called Good On Ya that Mike and I really enjoy as well. We have definitely been eating out way less since starting P90X and despite buying expensive fish 1-2 times a week (usually the wild fish is $15/pound or more), we’re saving money on food.
Biggest Change: Healthy places only!
Unlike the P90X nutrition plan, which allows 4 oz of frozen yogurt or something similar, the 100 Days of Real Food plan doesn’t allow for any processed sugars at all, so fruit it is. I’ve been surprised at how little I crave sugar and it gets easier the longer it’s been since I’ve had it. It should also be noted that P90X Phase 1 diet only allows one piece of fruit a day, and we eat as much as we want. I typically have 3 pieces of fruit per day.
Biggest Change: No more chocolate or ice cream after dinner!
So there you have it! We follow this plan most days, but there are good days and bad. We aren’t perfect but having lots of healthy food in the house to eat at all times and not having junk in the house has helped, especially since it’s not often convenient to step out to get something. As with every diet, social situations are the hardest and we have definitely not been as strict as we were during the first time we did P90X, but overall we’re doing pretty great. Within days of changing our diet I felt better and now after nearly 2 months of it, some of our old, less healthy habits are slipping away.
Are you following a new diet in the new year? Have you ever done a whole foods type diet like the Whole 30 or the 100 Days of Real Food?