Everybody is different. No two people are the same. We all have different nutritional needs and requirements. In my case I have Celiac Disease, therefore my diet is much different from the average person. However what we eat is very important. Our fuel will dictate how well we run. Some think I am overly cautious with food choices due to my bachelors degree in Nutrition. But really, why would you want to put “bad” food in your body. It is funny how we will put sunscreen on our skin to prevent skin cancer but we do not treat our insides with the same respect. We consume countless amounts of sodas and processed foods not really taking into account what it is doing to our insides.
As runners we have to be cautious about what we eat. Not only will your choices affect your running ability but it will also affect your life in a positive way. So now you are probably thinking, What do I need to eat?
That is easy. My advice is to consume about 75% of the food you eat in its most natural form. Meaning lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. Try to stay away from overly processed foods as much as possible. I do realize we can not avoid processed food. I understand we are not cavemen. What I mean by natural is instead of buying prepackaged spaghetti from the frozen section. Try making your food from scratch. Boil water and cook your own pasta. Also try making fresh tomato sauce and freezing the leftovers for future uses. There will be less preservatives this way. You will be fueling yourself with the best possible option.
I also realize we may not have time to put in that much effort into your meals. That is fine. Just try to think about what you are consuming before you eat a fried Oreo.
My Top 10 suggestions:
1. Use your crock pot. All you have to do is let the crock pot do the work for you.
2. Nuts and seeds make great snacks. They are full of protein and heart healthy fats.
3. Eat your Sweet Potatoes. They are full of energizing carbohydrates and loaded with potassium to help you get through your workouts.
4. Veggie Smoothies. If you are not getting in enough veggies buy a bag of Kale and add it to your smoothies.
5. Eat your Beans. They are easy and cheap. And can be added to pretty much any dish to increase not only the protein but fiber content.
6. Add Berries to your cereals in the morning. This way you get a serving of fruit!
7. Use olive oil based dressing and sauces.
8. Read the first 5 ingredients on packages. Those ingredients tell you what your food is made up of. If you can not pronounce those first few ingredients but it back and look for something else.
9. Drink WATER!!!!
10. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
There are many aspects to being a great runner, athlete, and individual. Nutrition is just one of them. What are some of your nutrition suggestions?