4 Foods This Former NFL Player and Chef Keeps Stocked to Fuel His Fitness Routine

Source: Nick Argo/Tastemade

POV: you've committed to working out, saved all of the classes and routines you'll do and signed up for your gym membership, but what will you eat? 

Even if you cut out processed foods and study up on the nutrients you'd need to meet your fitness goals, it can still be difficult to determine which specific foods you'll need to buy.

But, Derrell Smith, chef and former linebacker for the Houston Texans, has some suggestions.

After severely injuring his neck, Smith was forced to make a career change; he first pivoted to advertising, but then found love for a completely different field that fueled his passion: food.

"At the end of the day, food is fuel, and I can't tell you how to fuel your engine versus how I fuel mine. But, I can tell you that if you balance your diet, you exercise and you be intentional about what you put into it, you'll get the results you want," says Smith.

Smith has a new special airing on Feb. 3 called "The Ultimate Game Day Spread" which features football legends and basketball stars, making food and discussing their game day rituals.

And speaking of rituals, certain foods were staples for Smith when he was a professional football player, and he still stocks up on them today to stay fit.

These are four foods that Smith aims to always have available, especially when he's spending more time in the gym.

4 foods this former NFL player and chef keeps stocked

  • Fresh fruit, especially bananas and açaí (as well as frozen fruit for smoothies)
  • Peanut butter
  • Greens including arugula, asparagus and a head of lettuce to make your own salad
  • Carbs like bread, rice or crackers

Advice for curbing food cravings

Some of the biggest hurdles as you're committing to fitness are impulses, Smith explains, and sugar is one of his biggest cravings.

But he's found a way to satisfy his sweet tooth without eating unhealthy foods. For instance, he'll reach for oranges when he wants cereal.

If cravings for unhealthy foods like sugary cereals is difficult for you, "you've got to learn how to supplement things into your diet."

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