As an emergency responder there is a lot of uncertainty when you clock into your shift. In fact, only one thing is pretty certain – you will get hungry and have to eat.
Unfortunately, as first responders, we are limited to what we can eat because of busy days, sparse selection, and the peer pressure that comes with the territory. We have to be cognizant of what we are putting into our bodies because our performance can be adversely affected. It’s like the analogy goes: if you owned a Lamborghini you wouldn’t put the cheap fuel into it, so why would you do the same to your body by filling it with junk food? Well, in the emergency responders case the “Lamborghini” can actually save peoples lives, so premium fuel is a must.
The best diets and workout programs are the ones that fit best into our lifestyle. Focusing on the right meals that are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will help promote muscle growth, mental longevity, recovery, and muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
The following foods are called the “Warrior Twenty.” These are the foods that should fill your kitchen. There’s something to be said about the actual amount of different foods in your refrigerator. Take a peek inside the kitchen of any Olympic or elite athlete and I can guarantee that the variety of different foods they eat is not a lot. So whether you’re at the firehouse, the police station, or simply have a cooler in your car, the same rules should apply. These twenty foods will help you build more muscle, power, and endurance, and help cut some extra fat.
It may not be the most elaborate diet, but it’s simple. Being simple makes it easier to stick with and, more importantly, sticking with something consistently makes it a habit. The formula is even easy, too. The more you stick with eating just these twenty foods the better. If you add more variety to the twenty, then you will most likely be moving away from your goal.
Most people don’t consume enough protein, which hinders the muscle building and repairing process.
1. Whole Eggs: Eat whole eggs, not whites. Look for the words “free range,” “cage-free,” or “omega-3” on your egg cartons.
2. Lean Meats: Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of pork (like tenderloin), beef, along with wild game (buffalo, venison, elk, ostrich, rabbit).
3. Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies can help to increase mood during your long shifts and stressful calls.
4. Fermented Soy: This produces natural antibiotic agents to increase the body’s resistance to infections.