“Ask the Coaches” Nutrition Series: Coach Branden

 In Ask the Coaches Nutrition Series, Improve your Nutrition
  1. What does “healthy eating” look like to you? Why do you define it this way?

Healthy eating to me is fueling the body to perform, and not throwing junk in the mix because is easier. I try to ensure that I get my fuel from the cleanest sources I can because overall I feel better throughout the day. Healthy eating can be defined in so many ways, but if I had to really narrow it down I would say I need to see a good amount of protein, vegetables, and carbs in my daily meals. Most of all I need to ensure I am drinking more water than any other source throughout my day. If I can find what I am looking for on the outside perimeter of the store than it falls in my category of “healthy eating.” Generally when we grocery shop we only enter the middle section for particular items needed for cooking, this helps with the temptations of sugary snacks that call to us.

  1. What changes have you made to your eating habits & nutrition in 2018 and why?

I have become more conscious of what foods my wife and I are eating and how they are beneficial. I look at it as a plus or minus equation. If it is benefiting us by improving how we feel and the energy levels than it can stay, but if it is just sugar bombs and leaves us feeling sluggish and bloated than we just do not bring it into our household. I had a good friend of mine that is a dietitian design Jen and me a nutrition program to help us find the right amounts of protein, carbs, and fats each of should be consuming. This helped us tremendously in designing our daily food prep.

  1. Do you struggle with a certain aspect of nutrition? What kind of strategies do you use to combat that struggle?

My biggest struggle is ensuring I am eating enough for lunches. With my schedule and my wife’s hectic schedule it is hard for us to get in a good balanced lunch. The best method I have been using to combat the obstacle is ensuring I have plenty of healthy snacks available. I generally eat my breakfast around 4:15am then have a regiment of snacks and “second breakfast” that I eat every 2 hours to ensure the light lunch I get keeps me satisfied and full until we sit down for dinner at 7:30pm. I found planning out my snacks ensures I am reaching my protein and vegetable goals for the day. Broccoli and baby organic carrots have become my best friends this last month, and a few other jewels that are easy to pack to work and around on my errands.

  1. Do you have a favorite meal to make? Share the recipe!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili


  • 2 lbs. ground bison or ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4-oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 28-oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups Whole30-compliant chicken or beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground chipotle or ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground meat until just cooked through.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender. Feel free to add more seasonings if you wish.
  3. Serve with additional toppings as desired.
  1. What is the most helpful piece of nutrition advise you can pass along to others?

Keep it simple, simple will deliver consistence and results. My jiujitsu coach always asks, “how do you eat a whole elephant?” the answer is one small bite at a time. So keep it simple and create a plan that has small steps that are achievable.


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