September 22, 2020

5 Simple Foods I Try And Eat EVERY DAY As An Athlete + WHY!

Fitness trainer McKenna Waitley wearing L*Space swim and holding an avocado and a piece of toast

Hi L*SPACE fam! I'm Newport Beach-based fitness instructor McKenna Waitley (AKA @mckennza on IG). I hope you enjoyed my 30-Minute Full Body HIIT + Abs home workout on Instagram Live! If you missed it, be sure to check it out on IGTV here now.

As a former professional soccer player, I have learned a lot about health foods and nutrition as energy. So I wanted to share some of my favorites and why they go hand in hand with an active lifestyle. Keep reading for my 5 simple everyday food faves, and why I love them! 

blueberries

Simple Food #1: Blueberries 

Why do I love blueberries? These little guys are an antioxidant powerhouse!

They are anti-inflammatory, which means they fight swelling in the body. If you work out a lot you are going to want these blue guys on your side, helping you to recover. They're also great for your hair and skin, improve fat regulation and are high in potassium and Vitamin K! I usually pop these onto my overnight oats or morning yogurt, but they're also a great midday snack. 

an onion

Simple Food #2: Onions

Why onions? Nutrient-dense, baby!

Yes, they are high in nutrients and low in calories. They're also loaded with powerful antioxidants just waiting to fight disease. Onions are known for fighting cancer and are high in Vitamin C and fiber. I don't know about you, but I want my immune system to be as healthy as it can be during this pandemic, and be able to work out as much as possible! I love to eat raw tidbits for a stronger punch but adding them to your morning omelette, sandwich and dinner pans are just as yummy!

an avocado

Simple Food #3: Avocados

Why do I love this ultimate health food? Loaded with the good fats!

It's time we start to remember and accept that not all fat is "bad." In fact, we need it to live. Stay away from the processed kind as much as you can but don't stop eating those 'cados - they're good for your heart health! They are packed with nutrients and vitamins, one important one being Folate - which is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Did I mention they have more potassium (which help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals) than bananas?! 

I love a trendy, homemade Avocado Toast with lemon and red pepper. Add it to breakfast, your salad, or a delicious grain bowl for that satiation. Swapping out refined carbohydrates for fresh avocado can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction.

mushrooms

Simple Food #4: Mushrooms 

Why? You know it, MORE antioxidants!

That means they want to fight those damaging, free radicals that cause diseases like cancer (thanks to them being high in Selenium)! Low in calories, high in Iron, and they also lower bad cholesterol levels. There are way too many reasons to eat this one as much as possible - this list would go on and on. I am a mushroom hog! I like them raw but if you don't, throw these on the pot soaked in olive oil - both for dinner and breakfast. The good thing is there are so many kinds of mushrooms - so keep searching for your favorite!

multi grain bread

Simple Food #5: 21 Whole Grains + Seed Bread

Why? Cuz CARBS are your friend!

Ya I said it. Packed with protein, fiber, and whole grains with NO artificial ingredients...Dave's Killer Bread is my go-to! Carbs provide the body with the energy it needs and are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. And you NEED energy to push yourself hard enough to see results in a workout. And carbs also fill you up, so when you eat the right amount, it will actually prevent you from craving those bad things late at night.

 

What's in it?

12 G Whole Grains

It means bread contains the entire kernel of wheat, as well as other whole grains like oats, brown rice or barley. The good stuff.

6 G of Protein

Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein! Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

280 MG of Ala Omega-3

This fights depression, improves eye health, joint health and sleep!

No High fructose corn syrup

 

Those are the 5! They're simple, they're cheap and there are a variety of ways for you to sprinkle them into your meals without getting bored. If I were to add one more, it'd be local, organic HONEY! But that's a blog post for another time ;) 

 

Stay balanced. Stick to whole foods. And eat well so you can achieve those fitness goals!

xoxo McKenna