The former WEC featherweight champion and current Ultimate Fighter coach spoke via ufc.com about how his diet is and the importance of healthy eating.
“There are a lot of things I don’t like. It’s like the Water Boy, Bobby Boucher and his mom saying that ‘Everything is the devil.’ I had that growing up. Like, I’ve never had a soda pop or a Pepsi. I’ve tasted it a couple times but never really drank one. It’s like, you know, ‘It’s the devil!’ (chuckles). I’ve had root beer …and I’m not a complete weirdo when it comes to stuff like that, but I don’t ever drink soda. I try to avoid candy but sometimes I crave it and I’ll have a little. I don’t eat red meat very often; I just don’t like the way I feel when I eat it. On occasion I’ll have a good steak or In N’ Out burger if I feel like it. I don’t like milk very much … I’ll drink goat milk, I think it’s better for your body and easier to digest. I’ll try to get it as close as ‘out of the goat’ as possible without sucking on the nipple of the goat (chuckles).
I don’t avoid milk in all cases. I actually like Egg Nog at Christmas time. But milk, in general, I feel like it makes a lot of mucous for me and I think there can be a lot of hormones in milk that I don’t like. It’s just another one of those things that mom raised me to be anti against since I was young.
While I was in the womb, before I can even remember, I was conditioned to enjoy a healthy diet. After that I started learning more when I was an athlete. I learned a lot through trial and error as an athlete. I learned what you should and shouldn’t put into your body, especially at certain times of the day (what Nutrition expert Dr. John Ivy of the University of Texas calls “Nutrient Timing”). The scientific part of my diet is things like … I don’t want to eat a steak an hour before a workout. Steak takes like six to eight hours to digest so you can’t utilize that energy for a long time. A piece of bread trickles into your system and you can use it over a couple of hours, it’s steady energy. Sugar (holds up his smoothie) is a right away energy source, in 15 to 45 minutes I’ll feel the effects of this sugar.
Sometimes it’s good for me to have simple carbohydrates, like white rice. I come down 21 pounds from my walk-around weight (roughly 156 pounds) to make 135 pounds. So when I get down to about 10 pounds over (145) it makes sense to have high energy dense food. So it’s fine to eat white rice on an occasion like that, but for the most part I like complex carbohydrates – beans, rice, vegetables, couscous, all those grains, nuts, they are complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates have been refined and they’ve taken away a bunch of stuff and just leave the energy part. That’s what America has too much of. If you’re working out a ton, and you need some simple carbohydrates, then do it. But if you’re not working out at all, and all you eat is simple carbohydrates, then you’ll be storing fat. And that’s a lot of white rice, a lot of breakfast cereals that are processed, and a lot of processed foods.”