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?
Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal
We eat at the exact same places and order the exact same meals! Every place you mentioned and every entree, I’m like “yep,” “yes,” “that too!” Haha! Except I haven’t had breakfast from Goon on Ya! Just discovered that place and love it.
Haha that is amazing! I feel like our diets have evolved similarly over the years!
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
Wow, you seem to be doing so good with all of these healthy changes. Like you, I am trying to eat A LOT of protein, healthy fats, and keep my calories above 2000 a day. Heck, there are a lot of days where I eat over 3000 calories because of my workouts. I haven’t seen a dip in my mild supply either. Water is key. I drink over 150oz of water a day. Crazy! I’m always full! Haha.
I think it’s great that you and Mike are doing it together as a team. It is so hard to implement these types of changes when one person wants one thing and the other doesn’t.
I’m glad you didn’t completely cut out the wine and beer. 😉 Not sure I would survive without it!
Is this going to be a long term change?
Oh yeah I probably ate like 4000 calories a day at times during peak marathon or ironman training, not even including the workout nutrition! I never counted, I’m totally guessing but it was crazy!
I think I drink at least 150 oz a day as well! I now pee with nearly the same frequency as while I was pregnant unfortunately!
We plan to do it for all of P90x and then that is a great question. I think I’d like to go back to my “natural” flavored creamer because it simply makes my morning more enjoyable. I will probably try to not have dessert every single night too! And maybe bring back the whole wheat sandwiches and toast!
You’re doing so well! I love the 100 Days of real food plan and it’s how I try to eat 90% of the time. I’m drinking 150 oz of water each day, eating at least 2000 calories, but my supply is still really low. It’s really sad. I’m still breastfeeding 4 times a day, but I always give her a bottle after I nurse her because she crys for more food.
Thanks! I’m sorry to hear about your supply issues – I Know how tough it can be! I actually have a blog post almost finished about my breastfeeding journey and it sounds like you will relate.
Thanks for this post! I have Insanity and really want to do it but I know I have to commit to the diet too to get the results I want and that’s going to be the hard part for me! So after this baby arrives I plan on doing it with my hubby. This post will be SO helpful! I find variety is key when on a diet plan of sorts and your meals sound fantastic!
Glad it’ll help! Insanity is great too. I might think about adding in some of those workouts after P90X is over. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do but at home workouts are definitely going to be in rotation for a while until I figure out how to balance everything with a baby!
I’m on day 21 of the Whole 30. I’ve really enjoyed it. (I feel better, more energy, sleep better, better skin.. I haven’t weighed myself because it’s not allowed until the end but I know my pants fit a little looser). It’s amazing how much fake stuff is hidden in food… more than I realized. I found Stevia hidden in some of my teas when I don’t sweeten my tea.
For salad dressing recipes:
Greek: 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, oregeno
Val style: 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp of cider vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic
Cauliflower Rice is genius and you can find it in the frozen food section of Trader Joe’s.
Snacks: Plantain Chips (TJ’s has real food ones) with homemade gucamole
You can do it!
I’m looking forward to reintroduction of Whole30 after and seeing what bothers me after but I’m planning on keeping 90% Whole30 after this is done.
Oo thanks for those salad dressing recipes! I need some variety! I did one with orange rind and orange juice and that was great too. I’ll look for the cauliflower rice too! I just made a new curry recipe that has super finely chopped cauliflower and it definitely has the consistency of rice.
Awesome post! I’m going to share it with my fitness group. Great stuff!