What we put into our bodies is just as important as the scrutiny we give to our training blocks. No matter how competitive an athlete you may be, how you fuel your body is integral to not only feeling good, but staying healthy through the colder months. While there is no one way to eat, there are a few easy ‘tips’ to keep in mind when choosing certain foods to incorporate in your diet.
Eat the Rainbow.
An easy way to make sure you’re getting in an array of nutrients is to keep your diet colorful. The more colors you can incorporate in a given meal, the more vitamins and minerals your body will glean from the different foods.
Don’t be a ‘routine’ eater.
Different foods contain different nutritional benefits. In a lot of cases, eating in a routine can lead to mindless snacking, overeating, or can make your body more prone to getting sick. When you eat a balanced diet, with a variety of your foods, your body extracts different nutrients and helps your body build immunity. Much like you wouldn’t learn in school if you only read one textbook over and over again, it’s important to feed your body different nutrients so as not to ‘plateau’ as well.
If you’re an eater who needs some sort of structure, try this easy tip. At every big meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) make sure you’re incorporating one source of healthy fat, one source of carb, and one source of protein. If at each meal you know certainly you have a good portion of each, chances are your diet is well rounded and full of nourishment.
Fats: ½ an avocado, 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil, nuts, full fat dairy products
Protein: tofu, chicken, turkey, lean red meat, salmon, fish (sardines!)
Carbs: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat pasta or bread
Plan ahead and travel with snacks.
Though meal prepping is a genius invention, most of us don’t have that time or committment. Much like when a diet fails, our mindset reverts to the comfort of, “well if I can’t do some of it, I won’t do any of it.” Even prepping a lunch the night before, or packing healthy snacks throughout the day can be hugely beneficial not only for your health, but for your wallet too. Easy snacks to always have on hand could be:
Two hard boiled eggs with sea salt, pepper and cayenne in a glass tupperware
Whole fat yogurt w/honey and crushed almonds
Mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, brazil nuts) and a few slices of turkey or cheese
A protein bar--look for some with minimal ingredients like RX, LARA, or KIT’S Organic
My car has been famously deemed the snack mobile, as it’s certain you’ll always find an energy bar, or even a can of tuna in my glove box.
Enjoy the food you put in your body.
Eat intuitively. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when your full. Listen closely to the signals your body is giving you. When your mileage starts to ramp up, it may be a sign to incorporate more sources of complex carbohydrates in your diet like brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. When you’re not training as much, focus on incorporating more fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid to go out to eat with friends, or perhaps try cooking more dinners at home. Surprise yourself by learning to bake. Buy a cookbook and vow to make at least two recipes as week from it. When you give your diet just as much love and attention as your fitness regime, you will notice how much stronger, healthier and motivated you’ll feel.
Run Hapi and Healthy,