Food as Medicine

Hello? Hello? Are we still having this discussion? Apparently, yes.

You all understand that flailing about on the black mats isn’t what makes you “fit”, right?

You all know it is how you live your life the other 23 hours of the day that determines your “fitness”, right?

You may hate to hear it, but I never get tired of repeating it: your recovery determines your performance.

I could go into the whole, long-winded, “I-told-you-so” rant, but instead, I’m going give you a few tips to start making sustainable positive change in your life . There are many components to effective recovery, but I want  to focus today’s rant on the calories and nutrients we consume: FOOD.

First, things first. This is not a “diet”. Food is preventive medicine. If you believe anything different, you are ignorant.

If you practice anything different, you are basically suicidal. What I’m talking about is “insuring” your health by feeding yourself as effectively and efficiently as possible.

What I’m talking about is investing in protecting your physical body from the rigors of decay by consuming that which provides the “most life possible”. There is no right or wrong way to do this because we all possess a unique set of physical characteristics. However, there are some general principles which we can all take to heart and practice in our everyday lives.

This rant is a reminder that your laziness and lack of discipline regarding your food choices will also produce “results”. Your body will adapt to the habits and patterns you use, and while perfection isn’t required, consistency and commitment are a must.

What I’m saying is the 80/20 rule should be your mantra; try real hard, most of the time, to do what you know needs to be done. Then, occasionally, eat a donut or drink a beer, or have some pie, or enjoy whatever sneaky vice revs your engine.

Then, get back on track and do the right thing. Are you still hearing excuses bubble up in the back of your mind? If so, here are a few tips to help you get your mind right!

Meal Plan, Meal Prep, Meal Share

*Every Sunday, write out a menu for the next week. Protein, Carbs, Fats, and keep it foods you ENJOY consuming. Then, go buy all the food. Bring it home.

Cook the protein. Portion out veggies. Prepare healthy nutritious snacks in reusable containers that you can use all week. Make plans with a friend to make a large batch of something and trade recipes. This is the part where intention and consistency and commitment start.

Keep it Simple

*Eat Lean sources of protein. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, and try to eat a different color with every meal. Eat nuts, seeds, and healthy fats and oils. These give food flavor and texture and the help you feel full longer. Eat fruits and sweets but keep them to a minimum. Have a select few favorites and enjoy them in small portions..

Eat What You Can Pronounce

Food that is “produced”, rather than grown, tends to be laden with chemicals and fake stuff. Read the package and understand what you are putting in your body.

Even better, purchase and consume foods that DON’T COME IN A PACKAGE. If you consume meat, source it from the animals that were raised and killed as ethically and sustainably as possible. Quality is worth any extra incurred cost.

Reframe your relationship with food

Living an active lifestyle requires FUEL! Your caloric and nutrient intake determine how well your body performs. Stop thinking about food in terms of convenience or rewards/punishments. Start thinking about your food as the fuel that allows you to live your best life possible.

Pay attention to your body, and only eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. Allow yourself the occasional treat, because food tastes good and that makes life more fun!

Do you see what I’m getting at here? It is 2016, and ignorance is no longer a justifiable reason to treat yourself poorly. You know it feels better when you pay attention to what you consume. You know it feels better to consume foods that are wholesome, nutritious, and delicious. Make it worth your life to make the right choice. Make it worth your life to be aware of what you consume and how you use that energy.

If, by some chance, you don’t have a good idea about what kinds of food work best for you, we have an on-staff nutritionist at Crossfit Primal Energy who has made it her passion to help people use food to their greatest benefit. Want to know more?

Check out our website, touch base with Laurie or myself, or introduce yourself to Chelsea Brinegar then next time you see her in class. I hope you found some small nugget (not a chicken nugget!) of wisdom here that you can take with you and improve your nutrition choices today!  Until next time…