I consume food like it’s my day job. Is it weird to say that one of the reasons I love to train is because I love to eat? I do what I have to do to survive. Truth.
The swim, bike, run life I currently lead is mentally and physically challenging, draining me of hundreds to sometimes thousands of calories a day. It’s important that immediately following these calorie-torching sessions I properly refuel and rehydrate with a nutritious meal packed with protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.
When I'm in pool, riding the bike or on the run, I’m immediately building up a menu in my mind as my mouth waters with delight. It is upon completion of my workout that I am as excited as one could possibly be. You know why? I get to eat! So I get home, get out of my stinky duds, sometimes I’m even too hungry to shower first, and I make a beeline for the kitchen. The urgency may be a bit over the top but it is true that one should eat within that first hour after a workout to properly repair any muscle damage and fill the body back up with nutrients you may have lost during your workout.
I find that my impatience is something I need to work on when it comes to eating. I generally throw “meals” together quickly and then scarf them down without coming up for much air. My college-level cooking style is easy and doesn’t require much thought other than making sure I have my food categories covered. I’ve been this way since I was a kid. My eyes were always bigger than my stomach and I never got full until I was TOO full. To this day, the dining room doesn’t get much attention, as my food is usually finished before I leave the kitchen. As much as I love to eat, eating in a more proper manner is something I definitely need to work on.
*So if we break it down, this is generally how I build a meal post morning workout:
Seek out a carbohydrate:
-Sprouted Grain Bread
-Van’s Protein Waffles
-Kashi GoLean Cereal
Find myself a protein:
-Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
-Kashi Go Lean Cereal
-Vegan Protein Powder
Add some nutrients:
-Mixed fresh berries
Grab a healthy fat:
Sprinkle on a bit of:
-Ezekiel Cereal crumbs
It’s a small pool of choices, a lot of them falling into multiple categories. For a gal on the go like me, these suit me perfectly. Every morning I have very little time to eat so I build my masterpiece by pulling choices based on my: hunger level, amount of calories burned, type of activity completed, kind of day I have ahead (yes! Mondays need significantly more YUM than the others! Ha). I’m calling myself a foodie even though it’s slim pickings in my kitchen. But, hey, we like what we like and it’s all about feeding yourself what works for YOUR body.
But maybe you can get some fun (and easy!) ideas from this. And if you love food like me, then embrace it. Food is not to be feared, but learned about. I don’t ever want to limit myself, but find ways to enjoy the things I love alongside a healthy, edible lifestyle.
Love your body. Give it strength. Feed it well.
PS- if you have any questions about the foods pictured here, email me! FITwithForge@gmail.com
Friday, 2/20 - Recovery: restorative yoga, stretching, foam rolling
Saturday, 2/21 - BRick (bike + run): 2-hour computrainer ride followed by 4-mile run
Sunday, 2/22 - 10-mile outdoor run
Monday, 2/23 - 3000yd swim
Tuesday, 2/24 - team outdoor run