Just eat it! Are you eating enough?

So much focus in the health and nutrition world is spent on restriction.  Don't eat too much, or you'll get fat.  You need to control your intake so you'll make race weight.  Lighter and leaner equals faster, stronger.  And to a certain extent, this is accurate.  However, I want you to to also consider the flip side.  Are you getting enough?  As athletes, this is usually not a problem because we are SO HUNGRY!  However, many of us also are SO BUSY.  Sometimes it's tough to eat a balanced diet when you don't have time to pay attention. 

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Proper Nutrition Shouldn’t Be Rocket Surgery

Hello! Welcome to my revamped and re-branded website. First, I'd like to thank Sugar & Type for creating an awesome space for me to spill my thoughts. I figured since I have a new look and new blog, I'd start with a topic I feel is the foundation of my philosophy: Don't over-complicate things.

There are so many rules, diets, terms, and lifestyles that are being promoted as the answer. Eat this way, not that way and you'll be everything you've ever dreamed of being.

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We're constantly getting "How To" information crammed down our throat, regardless of where we turn. On instagram you'll see picture after picture of someone's latest meal based on #insertdiethere. On Facebook one of your friends will be peddling the latest product or trend that has made her feelOMG100%better!!!!

Checkout lines, supplement posters on your gym wall, ads in your trail running magazine. I find that athletes have it especially bad. Not only do we have the goals of the masses (look good in a swim suit and not get cancer), we also want to get better/faster/stronger. We're a potential siphon for supplement and food companies looking to sell us the magic bean that will grow us a fast track to performance heaven.

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It really is an amazing podium

But many of us don't even have the foundation in place. How can any one thing drastically improve our health (and therefore performance), if there are numerous holes in the holistic lifestyle bucket?

Your shopping list should not look like this.

Your shopping list should not look like this.

So let's take a step back.  Before you start filling your cart with exotic plants and fancy supplements, restricting all sorts of food groups, and then doing a bunch of complicated math to determine the "optimum" time to consume food/supplements (I don't know about you, but my math-brain doesn't work when my heartrate is above 120 anyway) I want to stress to first take a look at the big picture.

Are you:

  • Getting the most out of your regular meals? Are there adjustments, additions, or subtractions that should be made to what you are already eating first before the supplementation route is examined? I'm less concerned with eating the "wrong" food, than I am with getting enough of the "right" food. Food that provides all the needed macro and micronutrients needed to keep your system running at the optimum level. (And after your tank is full of the right stuff, there's less room for junk.)
  • Getting enough sleep? Trust me, I know. Easier said than done. But if you're feeling worn down, sluggish, and unable to perform at your usual level no amount of super foods are going to raise you out of the sleep-deprived hole.
  • Eating enough? Usually the focus is on calorie restriction, so this one isn't often on people's radar. Am I eating enough to fuel my activity?
  • Doing too much? We only have a limited amount of tolerance for stress, and athletic training is a stress. If you're stressing your body beyond its capacity, there's no (legal) pill that can save you.

So while the title of this article may make it seem like I'm saying it's super easy, it isn't. Not at all. If it was easy, then everybody would be in excellent shape, optimal health, and have endless energy. But life gets in the way and we have to decide what actions we're going to take to improve our health.

My goal is to provide information you can use in making educated choices to improve your health, and therefore performance.