Here is Blog #4 for my English Class.
When people find out my major is nutrition and I’m an athlete the first thing they say to me is: “oh, you must eat perfect”. Let me tell you “perfect” is for the step-ford wives. Honestly, I eat foods that make me feel good, body and mind included.
My philosophy on the real key to nutrition is to eat with moderation. It is certainly best to make the effort to eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, leans sources of protein and healthy fats (heard that a few times right). This doesn’t mean that you can’t go out for ice cream. What it does mean is that you probably shouldn’t go out for ice cream every night.
We all know what we should eat to be healthy; we’ve had parents and teachers drilling it into us forever. Nutrition has to be personal though. There are so many different diets out there, from Vegan or Vegetarian to Paleo, none of these are necessarily wrong or right. It really depends on the individual and the foods they can and can’t or sometimes won’t tolerate. I will say that in my experience I have more energy the cleaner I eat, and I feel better about my body and performance. Clean eating is simple it means choosing foods that are the least processed. It is the whole food principle, basically eating the orange rather than drinking the juice.
The science of nutrition and how different elements affect different systems and processes in your body can get complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. It comes down to being able to listen to your body and give it what it needs. From the twinkle in your eye to the bounce in your step, nutrition is a blanket that affects all your systems, all the way down to the level of gene expression. (Sorry won’t nerd out on you anymore. I am loving my nutritional biology class.)
The biggest problem that people face today is that the less healthy choices are overly abundant, relatively cheap and very convenient! Fast foods and frozen dinners may be occasionally overlooked when consumed in moderation, but the problem is that eating this way becomes a habit. While not very tempted by fast food, I have my own issues with going for whats quick and easy over what is generally the most nutritious. There are times when I get home from school or a workout absolutely ravenous. I then go on what my mom likes to call my “see food” diet, which basically means that any food in sight will be consumed… immediately.
This is in no way a good thing, but it’s easy enough to fix. Sometimes it just takes a little more time and effort to eat healthy, but the benefits can be enormous. Rather than hitting the drive-thru after work, having a few simple snacks prepared ahead of time might help you to make it home where its easier to prepare a real dinner. To derail my “see food” diet I try to have quick, healthy options already portioned at home. This way I take the edge off my hunger with clean food options, and can see straight long enough to actually make a meal.
- Carrots, celery and/or red pepper with hummus
- Non-fat Greek yogurt with berries and sprinkle of granola
- Almond butter on a rice cake with a banana
- Almond butter with an apple
- Small handful of roasted almonds and a bunch of grapes
- Small bowl of brown rice with almond milk
- (My alternative to cereal.)
(And yes, there is an almond theme here.)
There are all sorts of ways to eat healthy, it’s up to the individual what they decide makes them feel the best they can be. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean going without, it just means making conscious decisions about food choices. Oh, and of course regular exercise and lots and lots of water.
And in other news…only 12 days till Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon!