Nutrition in Captivity (Part Two)
You can hop on to The Endurance School channel on Twitch to watch the interview I did with Chris and Molly at any time. Here's a bit of a recap.
What questions are you hearing most from clients and athletes right now?
"What should I eat?" That's a question I get a lot from folks looking to improve their sports nutrition or make changes in body composition. It's a question with an annoying answer, "it depends!" What you SHOULD eat, depends on what you like, what you want to achieve and the specifics of your daily life. But, with some work and experimentation, we can come up with the best answer for each of us.
What advice are you giving folks who are stuck at home and can't train with as much frequency or intensity as they are used to? (And maybe eating a sleeve of cookies?)
Really it's very similar advice for non-pandemic training and eating. The keys to dialing in your nutrition are to Plan and Prepare. Right now, I think it's also important to Simplify and Experiment. And always, be Adaptable. It is impossible to stick to your healthy habits and follow the plan 100%. If we tried to do that, to NEVER have an extra slice of pizza, or never take a day off, we'd eventually crack. It's too much. When it's time to buckle down, when your race is getting close, or when you really want to reach an important goal, you've got to nail it 90% of the time. For most of us, most of the time, 80/20 is a reasonable and effective percentage. 70% "on" and 30% "off" is barely maintaining the current state of things. If you've slipped down to less than this because PANDEMIC! that's completely understandable. I mean, yikes. But, that can't last. If it does last, you risk forming bad habits that stick. Time to pull up!
Plan your first meal no more than 2 hours after waking.
Don't let more than 2-4 hours pass without a snack or small meal.
Be sure to include at least one serving of veggies (or a fruit) at every meal. Include one serving of lean protein at every meal.
Remember what carbohydrates are used for: energy. Use them wisely. Avoid taking on energy you won't use. Include one serving of healthy carbs as needed.
How can we be more mindful of our eating habits right now and not let things slide too far off the rails?
Embrace the boredom! Instead of filling the weird in between moments with trips to the kitchen, stop for a minute. We are usually so rushed everyday, we eat and barely notice. Right now we have an opportunity to slow our roll and actually pause to enjoy what we are eating. I know this can be uncomfortable. It's not as easy as it sounds. We have become used to eating without thinking or feeling. Many of us have lost touch with our actual hunger signals. We just go through the motions. Before you dig in...HALT...and ask yourself, Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? or Tired? Eat if you're hungry. Otherwise, head out for a walk, call a friend or take a nap.
What are your favorite snacks right now?
Silly as it sounds, I've been making my own little cheese plates! String cheese is fun because it's interactive! Rice crackers and spicy pickles. That's a fun snack.
Brown rice cake with peanut butter and smooched banana is my go-to get-out-the-door snack. Great before workouts.
Easy meal ideas? Put chicken breasts in crockpot, cover with salsa. Cook. Serve with torts, avo and cheese, or whatever! Recently I made pulled pork in the crockpot. Chopped onions, spices and ginger beer was all I needed. Used the rest of the Ginger Beer to serve up a couple of Moscow Mules! Final thoughts? Go easy on yourself. Enjoy foods that make you feel good. Try to hold on to your good habits. You can do both...Go easy and do better. Grace and Grit! And absolutely NO GUILT -- there's no time or energy to spare on that crap.