Jason Walsh on eating seasonally, working out and more
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with HANAH Hero and celebrity fitness trainer Jason Walsh to talk all things nutrition, what it means to eat seasonally, favorite recipes, working out, and more. As we transition into fall, Jason will begin his transition from eating lighter and training outdoors, to focusing on eating heartier meals and lifting heavier weights. Read the full interview below and learn more about Jason's seasonal eating and training method.
Explain the way you eat. Why do you tend to eat heavier in the fall/winter and lighter in the spring/summer. When did you start eating this way and why?
Well, I think a lot of it stems from growing up in Missouri to be honest. It's something that I grew up doing, when I was working out and training for different sports that I played throughout the year. So I think it kind of stems from that, but I also think it comes from a primitive level. In cold weather areas, like where I grew up, you're inside more, I think it's kind of like a hibernation, and you’re just eating heartier food in the fall and the winter and I tend to lift heavier weights. And then in the spring when things are kind of opening up and it's nice outside, I spend more time outside doing more conditioning work outdoors, whether its hiking, or swimming or water sports or anything like that. It seems like it's just a natural transition between the seasons.
What sorts of foods are you eating in the fall/winter and what sorts of foods are you eating in the spring/summer? Specific fruits and vegetables for each season?
In the fall and winter, I am eating heartier foods like stews and chilis. I am probably eating upwards of 3800 to 4000 calories a day, just because of the way I workout during this time of year. I think my protein intake stays pretty consistent, but I am eating more fats like avocados and olive oil, which are calorie dense, and carbs like pasta and rice. In the spring and summer, I am eating lighter which means smoothies, salads, fish, seasonal vegetables. I eat a medley of different vegetables throughout the year, and what I usually do is go to the local farmers market and pick up what is available there. As the seasons change, the fruits and vegetables change, so I tend to just eat what is in season.
How does your body change between the seasons?
It's interesting because I'm not as hungry in the spring and summer because it's usually pretty hot outside and I don't know, it just curbs my appetite a little bit. So in a way, during the fall and winter I transition into a completely different person. I end up gaining 10 or 15 pounds of muscle. I’m burlier. I like being burly. I let my beard grow. It’s something I look forward to. And then in the spring I sort of come out of the hibernation and shed the weight without really trying. I’m more active, and lighter and then I just do it all over again.
Tell us a little bit more about how your workouts change?
Right, well in the fall and winter I’m more focused on lifting heavier weights and when you do that your body is just ravenous. It’s queuing hunger signals and I listen to my body and eat more. In the spring and summer, I’m doing more conditioning work, I’m outside more, just naturally more active. I’m also eating more fibrous vegetables which I feel maybe curbs my appetite a bit, and when it’s hot outside, I just don’t feel like eating as much. I don’t necessarily have a preference, I really enjoy doing both as the seasons change.
What is your go-to fall/winter dinner dish? Your go-to spring/summer dinner dish?
I make a very famous chili. I eat that a lot. It’s super simple, anyone can make it. And then pretty much every day - my five-ingredient smoothie. That sets me up for the day as it is just full of nutrients and protein and healthy fats. When it comes to food, I’m super focused on getting my body the nutrients it needs. I focus on macro nutrients in the meals, and then when it comes to micro nutrients and phytonutrients and adaptogens and things like that, I’m supplementing with HANAH.
What does your typical breakfast look like in the fall/winter? In the spring/summer?
Well I’m going to be honest, I don’t do much for breakfast. I’m up at 5am. I usually just do coffee with Coffee Boost. And then I’ll make my smoothie and drink that a little later on.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in trying this way of eating?
I think it’s really important to listen to our bodies, and to become aware of what we are putting in our bodies. I’m 46, and have been paying attention to what I put into my body for years and have noticed the profound positive effect it has had on the aging of my body and mind, my productivity and my resilience. We need to start opening up the conversation around food, teaching kids the importance of eating right and taking care of their body, and we need to be more educated about the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it impacts our bodies.
Jason's Famous Chili:
- 1 pound of your favorite meat or meat substitute
- 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 20oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can baked beans
- 1 bottle Cholula
- 1 pack chili spice
- Add marinara, tomatoes, beans and Cholula to a sauce pan and heat to simmer.
- At the same time, brown the meat and add chili spice.
- Combine ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat for 10 min.
- Cool, then serve.
- For the best consistency and flavor, put it in the fridge and eat the next day!
Looking for more of Jason's recipes? Click here for Jason's five-ingredient smoothie recipe that celebrities like Emma Stone to Bradley Cooper consumes while in peak training.
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