Eat Smart, Train Hard - Shane Carwin

A trimmer Shane Carwin is ready to face Junior Dos Santos tonight, and his shift from 285 lbs to 250 lbs didn’t come about by accident. Let’s take a closer look into some of the staples of Carwin’s diet during training.

Carwin succeeded in making this drop by focusing on whole foods and creating a slight calorie deficit over time to lean out all the while maintaining energy for peak athletic performance. Of course it helped that Fuel the Fighter client and pro MMA athlete Josh Ford, who is an aspiring nutrition nut, helped plan and prepare Carwin’s meals ahead of time.  

4-5 Egg whites, 2 slices of whole grain bread & a smoothie with a mix of pears, handful of blueberries, ¼ c almond milk, 1/4c whole almonds, a banana and 1-2 tbsp ground flaxseed.

Shane has a balanced breakfast that includes complex carbs from a variety of sources, complete protein from the egg whites and healthy fat from the almonds and ground flaxseed. The omega-3s from ground flaxseed aren’t as potent as those from fish like wild salmon, but ground flax is also a great source of fiber. Be sure store ground flaxseed in the fridge to keep it from going bad.

Pre Workout Shake
8 oz Water, 4 oz OJ with 5g Whey protein powder, 15g Glucose and pinch sea salt

A shake or smoothie can be a convenient choice in mornings before a workout since its simple to make fresh and can be consumed on the go. This has carbohydrates that are easy to digest and a hint of salt to prepare for sodium losses from strenuous activity.

Post Workout Snack
A “pudding” that was a mix of mashed banana, blueberries, almond butter, ground flax seed, whey protein powder, lemon juice and raw cacao powder.

The carbohydrates combined with the protein here promote an insulin response to oversee repairs to lean muscle tissue and this also helps restoration of muscle glycogen (the carbs that are stored in muscles). In addition to the quality protein and carbs, this snack has a variety of nutrients like fiber, potassium, and unsaturated fat (the heart healthy kind), vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Raw cacao powder also offers antioxidants, but it’s not for the faint of heart as its bitter taste takes some getting used to.

Baked chicken fingers
8 oz sliced Chicken breast coated with a ground up mix of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, coconut flakes and some almonds.
Baked yam with 1/4 cup low fat organic almond milk, pinch of cinnamon (all processed into a smooth creamy mix)
Salad w/ mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, carrot and some shredded raw goat milk cheddar

If you haven’t checked out Ezekial bread, get on it! You’ll find their breads and tortillas in the refrigerated section of the market. You’ll also notice how his yam smoothie is made with almond milk, this is a substitute for skim or 1% milk for people who cannot tolerate dairy foods. Salads are of course a great addition to anyone’s diet as a method to enjoy a large bulk of food without the calories. Just remember to go easy on cheese, skip croutons and creamy dressings since those can all add unwanted calories while dieting. A better choice would be to add high quality balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and a very light sprinkling of a lower fat cheese like Carwin does.

Chocolate banana roll up
A mix of almond butter, ground flax seed, raw cacao powder and a little honey spread on an ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, topped with a banana and rolled up.

Parchment baked 8 oz Chicken breast (or wild salmon) with spinach and chopped tomatoes.
Quinoa pudding
Cooked quinoa boiled with water and some almond milk, then flavored with cinnamon, organic vanilla extract, agave nectar and some fresh berries
3 cups steamed mixed veggies.  Broccoli, carrot and cauliflower.

Quinoa is one of the few plant based sources of complete protein. It’s best for your body to have a balance of plant and animal based protein sources so incorporating quinoa is a smart choice. It has a consistency like couscous/brown rice. For a variety of easy quinoa recipes check out or download the Cole’s Corner iphone app for recipes.

PR Cole is an accredited Registered Dietitian (RD) with the American Dietetic Association. She holds a masters degree from Columbia University in nutrition and applied physiology. Cole is the founder of Fuel the Fighter LLC and is the nutritionist at the TapouT Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Follow her on Twitter @FueltheFighter.

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