Let’s stop using the words “nutrition” and “diet” and start thinking of food as fuel. What you put into your body counts, so make sure that the quality and quantity of your fuel improve your performance. Consider a mindset change that gets you thinking of the fuel (food) as something that affects more than your body composition.
There is no “one size fits all” formula for what we should be eating and frankly I find myself bombarded with conflicting information. We are unique individuals with heredity and environmental exposures, and we develop our own allergies, sensitivities and food intolerances. With all that said, we all need nutritionally relevant foods for our body that improve the following (and more!):
-Energy, health, and performance
-Mental alertness and brain function
-Sleep and mood
-Skin and eye health
-Circulation and immunity
Commit some time to find foods that provide satisfaction and enjoyment and that your body responds well to. Have you ever felt bloated or gassy after eating certain foods? Did you control what went into that meal? Dining out and eating processed foods give you no control of the quality and content of your fuel.
With the “food as fuel” approach to eating you can fuel your body to lots of colourful foods that put the rainbow into your system. The “eat the rainbow” way of thinking was an idea I got from Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD, LDN. The colourful fresh foods are most often found in the outer perimeter of the grocery store. Visualizing the colours of your food making your system happy and healthy is a good idea. A better visual (colourful and happy system) than something white like pasta/white bread and sugar that visually turn into sugar glue slowing your system down with sticky!!
Speaking of your system: have you checked the color of your urine lately to see if it’s pale yellow? #peecolourcheck. If you drink enough water to hydrate yourself, your urine color will reflect this! (See the PN Urine Colour Chart) Drinking a little more this week might improve your bowel movements in frequency and/or form….yet another bonus! We just haven’t found a better beverage for our system than water, so limiting your empty calorie beverages like soda pop or juice is a no brainer for your “food is fuel” plan. Getting through the day fueled on sugar and caffeine is otherwise know as overfeeding and undernourishing yourself! For more information on hydration from Precision Nutrition, click here.
To recap here are some tips from my trip to EXOS last month:
-Food is fuel.
-Ingest minimally processed foods and high-fibre carbohydrates that provide sustainable energy.
-Build your body with lean proteins that provide the body with the building blocks for repair and recovery.
-Protect and boost your immunity with healthy fats that decrease inflammation and nourish the brain.
-Prevent disease by eating colourful fruits and vegetables that provide fibre, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants needed for repair and immune function
-Meet your hydration needs by drinking water–hydration goal=1 oz of water per day per lb of body weight–not including fluids from other beverages!
Enjoy the fuel!
Written by Sheila Hamilton
Every Day is Game Day Mark Verstegan
EXOS Human Perfrmance Level 1 Mentorship Course Manual