You are what you eat.
Ever heard this expression?
Well I was feeling it this week!
Last weekend, I indulged a little more than usual in a few treats. Think: Chips and salsa. A margarita. And a gluten-free brownie.
Perhaps not too crazy for some, but definitely not norms in my daily nutrition plan.
By Tuesday of this week, despite an adequate amount of sleep, I was ‘dragging.’
As I began to ‘wrack’ my brain a little bit (Sleep? Check. Water? Check. Nutrition? Ehhhh.), it hit me!
My nutrition had been a little bit more lax than most days and weeks.
The POWER of nutrition never ceases to amaze me in the role it plays in how we look and feel—both negatively and positively.
While this is an insight I have known and realized for quite some time, weekends, like this past weekend, are excellent reminders and reinforcements, if you will, for staying on the ‘road less traveled’ (eating real food, often known as Paleo eating).
It’s no secret that the majority of our culture and society struggles and strives to ‘eat better’, ‘eat less’, or ‘eat healthier’ than they do.
If this was not the case, the diet industry would not be wracking in billions of dollars annually, nor would there be thousands upon thousands of books, blogs and articles out there devoted to nutrition information (both good and bad).
It’s rather funny to me how sometimes the Paleo ‘diet’ (ie. ‘eating real food’) is touted as a ‘diet’ or ‘fad’, often by those who don’t adhere to its principles.
In actuality, eating real food is the oldest and most tride and true ‘diet’, or nutrition plan, there is.
Before there was NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Juice Cleanses, MediFast, SlimFast, American Food Pyramids and more…there was, well, eating real foods.
Protein. Good fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, oils, coconut). Fresh fruits and veggies. Some tubers and root vegetables.
Real food people.
Paleo eating is really no diet at all—it’s the way humans were designed to eat and live (off the food of the land).
While I follow a real-foods plan 80-100% of the time to a tee, I don’t like to put labels on things.
I am a realist in the fact that I know you can’t live under a rock or in the confines of your kitchen 24/7.
You will indeed go out to restaurants, travel to see new sights, go to a friend’s house for dinner, celebrate holidays and vacations.
That is all well and good!
In fact, I do preach the need to have balance.
The 90/10 rule (90% clean diet during CrossFit training season, or when you may have body-related aesthetic or health goals).
The 80/20 rule ((80% clean, 20% not as strict—such as this past weekend for me).
And, the 70/30 rule (Use sparingly: think vacation-mode when diet is not your all-in focus).
The difference in adhering to a real-foods plan vs. eating a free-for-all (whatever you want and whenever you want) is:
When sound nutrition is a value and becomes part of your lifestyle, you find that, while you can and do live life, you also know and feel best when you are eating the foods your body was designed to eat!
So yes, I myself can stray from my ‘real-foods’ diet whenever I so please, but I also know and realize the impact it makes on my energy, my performance, and my overall feeling of health (gut health, headaches, etc.).
I love my daily work, working with clients daily to improve their lives through both fitness and nutrition.
While I could talk until I am blue in the face on how much nutrition, and eating real food, has impacted my health, my performance, my lean muscle tone, it’s pretty darn cool to witness clients realizing this fact for themselves.
I am available whenever a member reaches out to me to offer guidance and support in enhancing your quality of life through nutrition.
At CrossFit Central, I also lead regular Nutrition Meetings on the third Tuesday of every month, at noon and 7 p.m., along with the help of my colleagues, Meg Parsons and Lynnsey Hooper.
I’ll leave you with this:
What you eat does not define you, the person that you are…but you are what you eat when it comes to the impact that food and nutrition has on your health, your goals, and your performance—both inside and outside the gym.
Your challenge for the week?
Set a goal, just one goal, in the area of nutrition for this next week.
One small change, enhancement or habit you can break for this week alone to improve your all around nutrition needs.
It could be:
I will drink 64 oz. (8-8oz. glasses) of water every day for one week.
I will not eat bread this week.
I will include green veggies at 2 of my meals every day this week.
I will not skip breakfast, only to get snack-hungry two hours later into the morning.
I will cook 5 out of 7 of my dinners this week.
You get the picture. When a change and goal comes from YOU and you alone, it is up to you to make that happen—and it is you that is most deserving of that ‘success’ that comes with each and every achievement-big and small!
You’ve got the power.
On a side note…I thought it would be fun and helpful to offer a little guidance to eating clean, real-food (Paleo) here in our “foodie” city, Austin—there are actually TONS of options and your are by no means confined to living “under a rock”.
ZEN You can’t go wrong with this “fast-food” local Asian restaurant in Austin. They have a whole menu actually dedicated to CrossFit Central! The chicken, salmon and shrimp bowls are awesome. I request extra veggies instead of rice (or “Make it a Salad”), and sometimes even a little extra protein (egg, chicken, fish) if you’re extra hungry. The Nigiri Trio sushi is also awesome, as is the 7 Pepper Ahi Tuna, Crunchy Kale Salad and Tori Kimidori Salad (Mixed greens, cabbage, oranges, golden raisins, cranberries, almonds, green onions, grilled chicken breast and ginger-carrot salad).
La Mancha I went here the other day with a crew from CrossFit Central, and you have to try their bowls! Ask for a heaping amount of veggies with your meat (beef/chicken) or fish (Mahi Mahi/shrimp) of choice and some avocado on top, no extra rice, beans or cheese needed. Their signature La Mancha salad is also very fresh: season veggies, lettuce, tomato, avocado, toasted almonds and some chicken, shrimp or beef on top.
Torchy’s-Order whatever meat you prefers sans (without) the tortilla!! You can totally get a bowl here. Add some veggies, maybe a little hot sauce, and boom!
Hopdoddy ANYTHING goes here, minus the burger bun, cheese and milkshakes! I love the Bison Burger or Classic Burger in a lettuce wrap with tomato. Their salads are also pretty amazing too! Order anyone (no cheese or candied nuts please), add 1-2 burger patties of your liking, and you’ve got it made!
Moonshine If you’ve ever been to CrossFit Central’s Downtown location, you’ll know that Moonshine is our neighborhood restaurant, right on the path of our 400-meter run. And they are super accommodating! The Sweet Potatoes are a must-have side dish alongside a requested platter of grilled chicken breast or grilled fish and seasonal veggies or collards. On the salad menu, try the Fajita Steak (sans cheese and tortilla chips), Seasonal Farm Salad and Berkley House Salad with chicken, salmon or shrimp on top.