You are what you eat!
When I was thinking about what to write about for this blog I thought about my season and my training. I have been training and racing for a few seasons now and I can look back on what has worked and what hasn’t. One thing that has really been a game changer and that I have become a lot more aware of and really tried to keep an eye on this season is my eating. I LOVE food. I worked in restaurants almost all of my life, starting at age 13 making salads at a friend’s dad’s restaurant, all the way to owning my own for about 6 years. Food has always been a passion of mine and still is. Some of you might have seen the picture of me when I owned my bakery and you can tell that I liked to eat! Now I have really started to look at how that fits into my training.
One thing that I have tried to change about my diet is the philosophy “training to eat” into “eating to train”. This is nothing profound, but it is a great approach to thinking about what you are eating. You wouldn’t buy a really expensive sports car and put low grade fuel in it, would you? Would you drive the same car around with cheap oil in it? Or even more than that would you start out on a long road trip with the car on empty? I hope that the answer to all these questions is NO! I think that my body and health are more important than a sports car, but a lot of the time I don’t treat it like it is.
Low grade fuel or cheap oil? I think about this like training really hard and then going through a drive-thru on the way home. We wake up before the sun to head out on a run. We are at the pool before most people have even thought about their first cup of coffee. We are on the bike for a long ride right as the sun is coming up. We go to great lengths to get our training hours/miles in, so why would we want to eat poorly. I have tried to this season think about my food as one more step in my training. I train hard to perform the best that I can, and want the food that I eat to help me with that training. I think about it like this, poor quality food= poor quality workouts!
Running on empty! Think about heading out for a long drive in that nice sports car and having very little or no gas in it. You will not get far and you WILL run out of gas. I think about this all the time. If I am headed out for a long bike or a long run and haven’t eaten, or eaten very little I’m going to run out of gas too. You have to have enough energy to get through your workout and reach the goals that you have set for that workout. The food we eat is turned into the energy that we burn and is what gets us through the workout. It is important to know your body and how it works to be able to fuel it correctly. This is where trial and error, suggestions, and a good coach can help you figure that out. But once again think about the quality of the fuel that you are going to be using.
This topic can be argued and discussed and I know that everyone has their own way of doing things. This is my opinion and I have seen results by taking a few simple steps and having a little self control.
Steps that help me:
- Plan a weekly menu and stick to it.
- Allow yourself to be human and eat a “cheat meal” every once in a while.
- Prepare food to take with you to work, makes it easier to be good.
- Avoid junk food (we all know what this is).
- Drink LOTS of water.
- Potion control. Not always eating until I’m completely full.
- Making sure there is some color to my food. Veggies, fruits, berries, etc.
- Eating a higher protein diet with less carbs (unless they are complex carbs)
These are just a few things that have worked for me. I know there are lots of ways to achieve results. I have just tired to “clean up” the way I eat and am enjoying seeing how it effects my training and my everyday life. I have been happy with the results so far.
Remember that this is not always going to be easy and we are only humans (busy humans) at that. But it is not easy to get out of bed when the alarm goes off at 4:45 am. It is not easy to show up for a bike ride when our legs are worn out from the previous days run. It’s not easy to hit the paces that our coach gives us for our long runs. BUT WE DO IT! I would suggest giving it a try and seeing what you think. Hey what have you got to lose (maybe a few pounds)?
As someone that loves food and has a giant sweet tooth, I have found this challenging but very rewarding.