There is currently a billion dollar “diet” industry. As a professional athlete, what we put into our bodies becomes even more important. You can’t fill up the Ferrari with water… let alone with cupcakes! With all the gimmicks and myths, I thought I’d do a little research into the nutritional needs of an endurance-power athlete. With a little help from Amazon.com, I acquired some literature on two of the diets out there, and set to trying them out.
I started keeping a Diet Journal, not just for calorie counting, but to investigate the other nutritional properties of what I am eating. I also started stepping on a scale that measures weight, body fat, muscle mass, bone density, and water retention. After reading the book Power Eating over winter break, I tried to adopt the recommended diet that fit my nutritional needs. Here are the key principles of a Power Eating diet:
-Eat the carbohydrate you need (loving this!)
-Vary your diet
-Time and combine your food and nutrients (small meals and snacks every three hours, timed around workout schedule)
-Use a food plan (perfect for a schedule freak like me!)
Through the process of testing out these principles I learned that raising self-nutritional-awareness is half the battle. The biggest benefit I felt from adjusting my eating habits manifested in my recovery. Of course, I was not magically faster, stronger, or more fit. But since I maintained a similar training regimen through the culinary change, the results felt clear. The same workouts felt easier, so I was able to put in more work and be a wee bit more pleasant when I wasn’t working out. Tired Christen is cranky.
While it’s a bit more challenging to figure out everything in Sweden, I have done my best to maintain my eating habits in this foreign land. And now, with the beginning of Lent, I am a 40-day pescatarian! (Loosely) Following the guide of my new book: Forks Over Knives, I hope to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. The goal is to improve my personal health while reducing my carbon footprint and respecting mankind’s relationship with animals. Here is the gist of the Forks Over Knives diet:
-Avoid anything that came from a source that ever had a face or a mother. Sorry to the fishies, I’m still going to eat you!
-Eat plants! The more intact, the better.
-Avoid overly processed foods.
-Avoid preservatives and additives.
-Eliminate dairy. Goodbye cappuccinos :,(!
-Don’t worry about carbohydrates (as long as they are the right type of carbs.)
-Don’t worry about protein (plenty of protein to be had outside of steaks.)
I will keep you posted on how it goes!
“One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three quarters keep your doctor alive.”