Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

Eat as Smart as You Train!

I used to hate nutritional advice articles. But then again, that was when I was in my early 20’s and I was worried about the fat-content of peanuts and walnuts. In other words, I was a white belt in basic nutrition because I considered it a hassle to deal with (i.e. why should I “fix” my body if it wasn’t broken?). I didn’t eat poorly, but I didn’t tailor my diet with any intent either. That wasn’t exactly forward-thinking of me. Additionally, I thought that a diet customized to my jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai training would be expensive and restrictive. But thankfully, that didn’t turn out to be true, so here is the fruit of my personal diet-homework throughout the years. What follows are what I believe to the most healthy yet inexpensive meals befitting the martial-arts-lifestyle. My goal isn’t to explain all the scientific nuances of why these foods are good for you. Other sources such as will help you out much better there. Rather, I want to highlight some practical ways for you to integrate them into your life.

Organic, Virgin, Unrefined Coconut oil in hot oatmeal, or morning coffee.

This type of coconut oil (not the refined or fake stuff) is a nutritionally-dense “superfood” like the avocado. It’s amazing for heart and brain health, and fat-burning too. It tends to solidify in cold liquids, so it wouldn’t go well with your cereal and milk. Instead, add a teaspoon of it to your hot oatmeal and mix it in as it melts. I’ve found that it also goes well in hot coffee, and it definitely beats the artificial flavorings that you can get in popular coffee shops.

tuna+vegCanned tuna and your choice of raw vegetable slices, sprinkled with a dash of vinegar.

Loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is easy to prepare and very cheap (and not in the bad sense of the word). Put some in a small Tupperware container, add pieces of raw vegetable (your choice), and sprinkle it with vinegar. Now, you’ve got a post-training lunch that’s very healthy and less expensive than the designer-meal version of the same thing that you could get at a high-end food market.

m+p+bMilk, bananas, and peanut-butter.

This is my favorite pre-training snack. Some people like to eat shortly before training, and others like to eat several hours before training. But in any case, these three foods ARE a superfood of sorts, in my opinion. Peanut butter is rich in protein and provides a great calorie-boost. Bananas are rich in natural sugar and potassium. Milk makes the two come together excellently. Maybe it’s just me, but dipping banana-slices in peanut butter with a glass of milk on the side is oftentimes better than stopping for a formal lunch. Alternately, you can make a good milkshake out of these ingredients if you have a blender. And of course, you can substitute regular milk with soy or rice milk if you want!

a+eAvacado slices, eggs, and hot sauce (or pepper).

Put scrambled eggs and avocado-slices in a Tupperware container, sprinkle them with some mild hot sauce, and you’ve got what I believe to be the best post-training meal ever. Check out the extensive health-benefits of avocados here:, as they’re too numerous to do justice to in a single paragraph. If you don’t like hot sauce, then be creative with the seasoning (if any) you put on this combo (if any).  You can sprinkle it with pepper, or cut some whole wheat bread into crouton-like cubes. Regardless, this is an easy meal to make . . . although it can initially be difficult to find the point at which avocados ripen perfectly. Just store them with your bananas, and they’ll ripen better and quicker.

g+fGlucosamene and Fish Oil capsules.

These are excellent for joint and heart health respectively. Whatever your motives are for your striking or grappling lifestyle, your joints and your heart are, to put it lightly, pretty important. For the sake of athletic longevity and resilience against injuries, integrate these supplements into your diet sooner rather than later.

 Wrapping It All Up!

I’ve had my share of injuries in Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. I’ve also had some injuries outside of martial arts which could have ended my career if I hadn’t been physically ready for them. So, what would my personal life and training regimen be if I hadn’t tailored my diet to my lifestyle? Honestly, I ate well so that I wouldn’t have to find that out. I think it would be wise for others to do likewise.


JJ Mike

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.

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