6-Week Slim-Down: Food for fitness

 

My 6-Week Slim-Down main goal: Getting the right nutrition to maximize my workouts. I’m gearing up for triathlon season and am working out five to six times a week but my nutrition is seriously lacking. I often fall prey to easy, high-sugar treats or rely on fatty late night snacks to keep me going instead of loading up on proper protein and carbs. Eating poorly is leading to injury and exhaustion.

Challenges: 

  • I work out in the mornings so I need something easy and portable for pre- and post-workout snacks.
  • I’m not a very adventurous cook (and I don’t eat red meat) so sometimes finding protein can be tough.
  • I eat out a lot and find it hard to balance my nutritional needs with my social schedule.
  • I  have a mean love on for granola bars even though I know most of the store-bought kinds are filled with sugar.

Successes:

1. Building in a better breakfast: I made quinoa granola for a quick morning snack and I added in nuts and seeds for extra protein. I also have a few scoops of Greek yogurt before I head out the door so I’m not running on empty and bring a banana for a post-workout boost. I also switch it up with morning smoothies made with ingredients like frozen bananas, wild blueberries, pineapples, avocados, almond milk, matcha green tea powder, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and spinach or protein powder if I have it. It’s thick, delicious and full of healthy fats to keep me going all day.

2. Cooking up protein: Instead of noshing on carbs in a panic, I’m marinating chicken breasts and sticking them in the freezer so I can bake a quick and tasty protein source to go with my veggies.

3. Talking to an expert:  I’m booking an appointment with a naturopath so that she can look at my diet and break down the real areas of improvement. I’m always looking for new recipe ideas and I’m really aware of how my meals impact my fitness.  A pro will help evaluate my diet to make sure I’m on the right track for reducing post-workout pain and inflammation.

4. Preparing in bulk: I make a delicious raw root vegetable salad  (Brussels sprouts, radishes, carrots, kale, beans, apples) that lasts in the fridge almost all week. I cut up the basics and toss them together sans dressing and then can add protein (like nuts, chickpeas or tuna) and oil and vinegar dressing the morning of. I also make a lentil soup that I freeze and can unthaw for instant nourishment.

©iStockphoto.com

 

5. Supplementing my diet: I’ve started taking a regular cod liver oil pill to get maximum omega-3 fatty acids. I know that I need more to reduce inflammation in my body from exercising. My sports medicine doctor also recommended I try foods that fight pain and inflammation such as pineapple, berries, green tea, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cold water fish.

It’s always a challenge but I’m working towards a healthier lifestyle and a better nutritional base.

What do you eat to keep your body healthy when working out?