Hello SOTGC community,
Nutrition matters. For those of us who are foodies, it’s a little harder to digest (pun intended), but what we eat does make a big difference in how we feel, how we look, and how healthy we are. It impacts the results of our exercise programs.
I’m going to put myself out there and give you a few examples from my life. I didn’t eat THAT badly, but by putting a little effort into making better food choices (to complement my existing exercise routine), I was able to lower my cholesterol (among other things) and improve my body composition. I already avoided most processed foods and sugary drinks, but, like most people, I didn’t really understand the whole picture until I took a nutrition course – WOW! Our body is one amazing machine.
My aim is not to over-complicate your life or give you another diet you should follow. My goal is to share with you what resonated with me, helped me improve myself and my performance, as well as the things that I am still working on today. My one assumption is that, like me, you already make an effort to eat real foods.
- SLOW DOWN – eating slowly and mindfully makes food taste better and allows you to realize that you have had enough. Put your fork down between bites and use the time to engage in meaningful conversation with your family. Also don’t let yourself get so hungry that you have to eat quickly!
- EAT MORE VEGETABLES – Aim for 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies daily. Eat veggies with every meal. Getting vegetables in at breakfast has been the hardest for me, but eating avocado with my eggs, veggie omelets or shakes with spinach or kale are all good options.
- DRINK WATER – Aim for 1-2 liters a day. Sometimes when we’re bored, we reach for a snack – how about getting down and giving me 20 push-ups instead or drinking some water? Making sure you are well hydrated, especially when you are working out hard or in dryer or warmer climates, is important. I drink a glass of water when I wake up and then have another one with lemon right after.
- EARN YOUR CARBS – This one is from Precision Nutrition and it really grew on me. Your body digests carbs best after a workout so this is the time to have a serving of sweet potatoes, grains, fruit, oatmeal, anything that will give your body that quick burning fuel it needs to recover after working out.
Stick to real food, think of it as your fuel and challenge yourself to make small changes to continue to eat better. I find that with this approach, the changes become part of your lifestyle. For most of us protein shakes or supplements are not necessary, but this is something that should be assessed individually with a nutrition professional. If you would like more in-depth reading on pre and post workout nutrition, take a look at this article from Precision Nutrition.
My challenge to you today is to take one of these tips and make a small change. Let me know how it’s going or ask a friend if you can check in with them so you can be more accountable. Here’s to good food and good results!