The “80/20” Rule


Read on for recipes, examples of a healthy diet, & tips for revving your metabolism!

Working out is only 20% of the equation. It’s what you put in your body that really makes the difference!

Even though “my story” might not look like yours, I promise that my tips and ideas for eating will make a difference in how you look and feel!


My sister once said she has no idea what I eat since there’s so much I don’t eat.

It’s true, over the last five years or so, my diet has changed significantly and can look restrictive to some. Eight years ago, I got certified as a nutrition counselor, alongside my personal training degree. I learned a lot but didn’t really adhere to all the rules for awhile. Why? Because I didn’t really need to. I wasn’t overweight and thought I felt pretty good.


So, why did I change things? If you read my “Strong is the New Skinny” blog, you will learn that I had a bad relationship with my body. Even after becoming certified, I ate to stay thin, not to feel good and be strong. And, I was afraid of “fat” so a lot of my food was empty calories. After my pregnancies, I noticed that my moods, my stamina, and my running were all affected by what I consumed. And so I began my positive relationship with food.  As I incorporated what I had learned with my certification, I couldn’t believe the difference in my moods, my energy levels, and my performance. And, even though I didn’t need to lose weight at all, my body changed. My muscles mass increased dramatically and fat went way down!


So, What Do I Eat?

Here is an example of what I might eat for 21 days. It is what I give to my clients when they need to kick-start a healthier diet.

Click here for recipes to the highlighted items above!

Basically, I eat: Lean Proteins (occasional Beef), lots of veggies, nuts, some dairy, eggs, roasted potatoes, limited grain but some. I don’t love fruit (I like hot food, not a big salad girl either), but I make myself eat it, usually in a smoothie. I love olives, lentils, artichoke hearts, beets.

And I try to stay as organic as possible, especially when it comes to animal bi-products and “the dirty dozen”.  I try to stay low on the glycemic index and that really makes a difference in my moods and I rarely get “hangry.”


I eat like a European. Fresh, whole foods. I drink water, French press coffee (NOT with creamer that is made with oil!), beer and wine (like I said, you have to live a little!). And, I make myself a tonic every morning that I just LOVE, it keeps my skin clear, keeps my bowels clear, and does wonderful things for my other organs!)

What Don’t I Eat?

White carbs, refined sugar, most processed items, nothing frozen (except fruit with no sugar for my smoothies), processed cheese, nothing fried (except when I steal the fries off my kids’ plates, and tortilla chips, hell, you have to live a little!). I don’t eat pork products. I do not drink soda (Diet is worse than regular). High Fructose Corn Syrup is a bad word in our house. No dressings or dips with the exception of house-made.

Do I miss all the other food? Well, when I do, I eat it. And then I regret it because I feel like crap. Not guilty, just tired, unable to workout hard, etc. And sugar just makes me GRUMPY!

One of the reasons I am writing this today is because I was craving a Coke yesterday and had one for the first time in maybe 3 years, and boy did I crash and burn a couple hours later! I was cranky, I had a headache, etc. So, no, I do not feel deprived at all. I feel like eating a diet full of useless calories is depriving myself of what my body needs and deserves.


And, I do not measure, weigh my food or count my calories!


Other tricks?! These are some great tips that will really make a difference in your metabolism!


  • Don’t eat carbs at your last meal of the day
  • Try to start the day with your biggest meal and taper down
  • Try not to eat after 12 hours awake (up at 5 AM? Stop eating at 5 PM)
  • Always have a protein source handy
  • Try to eat equal amounts of fats, carbs and protein
  • Stay low on the GI index
  • Eat every 3-4 hours!




Written by:

Delaura “Del” Baldwin

NPTI Personal Trainer & Nutrition Consultant, AFA Group Fitness Instructor

Co-owner, Fitness Director, and Master Trainer at Delirium Fitness

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