We must first establish the 10 important rules of adopting healthy eating.

  1. Make breakfast a priority.
  2. Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids), lean protein with each meal (ex: chicken, lean beef, tuna, fish, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt).
  3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal (eat more veggies).
  4. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
  5. Eat a balanced meal every 3-4 hours. You should eat between 5-8 small (200-500 calories) meals per day.
  6. Drink only non-caloric beverages, the best choices being water (48-64 oz a day) and green tea (that means no soda).
  7. Ensure that the bulk of your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.
  8. Eat mostly whole, natural foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).
  9. Minimize intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets (i.e. cookies, cakes, ice cream, muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, sugary cereals).
  10. Limit intake of alcohol.

Terms to Know:

Carbohydrates - the body's preferred energy source
Best Sources in order of preference:

  1. Vegetables (choose more raw veggies, than cooked)
  2. Fruits
  3. Whole Grains
  4. White Flour products (breads, bagels, muffins, etc)

Protein - the nutrient needed to repair and build muscle
Best Sources in order of preference:

  1. White meats, fish, poultry
  2. Eggs and egg substitutes
  3. Non Fat or Low Fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  4. Red Meats

Fat - an essential nutrient; must make up 30% of total calories; not the "bad guy"

Best sources:

  1. Cold-water Fish
  2. All types of nuts, avocadoes (guacamole)
  3. Olive oil, safflower oil

Worst sources:

  1. Animal fat
  2. Anything that looks like fat (butter, mayo, etc.)
  3. Anything fried


Good Choices Fair Choices Poor Choices

Apples, applesauce


Whole grain breads/rolls


Pancakes, waffles, white rice


Cherries, peaches, plums


High fiber cereal


White potatoes, white bread


Pears, blueberries


Brown or wild rice


Pasta, bagels, sweetened cereals


Chick-peas, beans, lentils    




Fruit drinks, soda, candy




Squash, peas, sweet potatoes    


     Maple syrup, corn syrup, dates,      figs


Eggplant, mushrooms


Corn, baked beans


     Corn chips, crackers, pretzels


Onions, tomatoes, lettuce


Unsweetened fruit juices


     Honey, molasses, ketchup


Broccoli, brussel, sprouts


Bananas, grapes, raisins





Good Choices Fair Choices Poor Choices


Skim milk, fat free yogurt


2% milk, low-fat cheese


Whole milk, regular cheese


Cottage cheese, egg whites




Ice cream, frozen custard


White tuna (packaged in water)


Whole eggs


Ground beef (75% lean), fried chicken, fish/seafood


White meat poultry (skinless)      


Darm meat tuna (packaged in water)


Bacon, sausage, bologna


Ground beef/turkey (95% lean)


Dark meat poultry (skinless)


Hotdogs, pepperoni, salami, beef or pork ribs


Non-fried fish/seafood


Ground beef/turkey (85% lean), turkey bacon or sausage


Untrimmed steak


Trimmed beef/pork tenderloin


Trimmed pork chops or lamb




Beans, peas, lentils


Nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter





Good Choices Fair Choices Poor Choices


Seeds, pumpkin seeds


Tropical oils (coconut, palm)    


Hydrogenated oils


Flaxseeds or oil


Vegetable oil


Partially hydrogenated oils


Primose oil, olives


Peanut oil


Bacon, butter


Extra virgin olive oil


Sunflower oil


Cream, cream cheese


Avocados or guacamole    


Light mayo


Sour cream, ice cream


Fish, clams, oysters


Sesame oil


High fat dairy products




Soybean oil












Meal Options


Breakfast Lunch Dinner      Snack


Egg beater omelet
(w/ ham, Canadian bacon,    
peppers, onions)


Chicken breast      sandwich
(on rye or pumpernickel w/      
lettuce,tomato, onion)   


2 chicken breasts or
broiled fish          

     Balance bar


Bowl of oatmeal


Nonfat mayo or mustard


Chef salad


     PR bar


16 oz. skim milk


16 oz. skim milk


2 pints skim milk


     Any meal replacement shake and fruit






Fruit salad


     Cottage cheese and fruit



     Peanut butter, fruit and skim milk



     Low fat yogurt



     Mix of nuts/dried fruit and low fat milk

Fast Food Options

If you must eat fast food the following brief list is relatively O.K. but you should certainly avoid it if at all possible.

Burger King

2 BK broiler Chicken Sandwiches

2 Plain hamburgers

Jack in the Box

2 Chicken fajita pitas


2 Grilled chicken sandwiches


2 McGrilled Chicken Sandwiches

2 McLean deluxes without the cheese

2 Egg McMuffins

4 Small regular burgers (combine the patties to make two double burgers)

Taco Bell

2 Soft chicken tacos


Grilled chicken sandwich

2 Chili 2 plain hamburgers

Banned Substances

For more information, please visit the NCAA website.

*To view the Strength and Conditioning homepage click here.