Sep 26, 2013

Nutrition Notes

I think we'd all agree that if you are following along with IMCF's programming, you are getting after the training aspect of fitness.  But as a group, we don't do much to address the nutritional foundation that forms the base of an effective fitness program.  Here's the first in a series of nutrition-focused posts from Stephanie G. intended to get us talking about food as fuel and to introduce us to some helpful resources and support networks.  

"The food you eat can either make you more healthy or less healthy.  Those are your options."

These words from Melissa & Dallas Hartwig's "It Starts With Food" say it all.  I am by no means an expert, just someone who has experienced success with Paleo / Whole 30 and wants to support others looking to do the same.  I have successfully completed two Whole 30 challenges, helping me attain some weight loss goals -- including getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight and jeans!  I attribute a lot of my success to my efforts at CrossFit and also my improved approach to nutrition.  It is often said that one's fitness is determined 80% by what you eat and 20% by what you do.  In other words, you can't kill yourself at the gym, eat junk food, and expect to see positive results.

I often get asked why I eat Paleo, and the bottom line is that I like the way I feel when I eat this way.  I have a lot more energy in the day, I don't hit that afternoon low anymore, and I don't wake up depending on coffee or other caffeinated drinks to give me energy.  When you eat concentrated carb sources (like sugar, bread, pasta, rice, cereal) they keep your blood sugar levels spiking and crashing.  You will feel it too and think "man, I need something sweet."  That would be the sugar dragon telling you incorrect information.  You don't need it, but your body becomes dependent on it.  Eating Paleo can help retrain your body and get rid of those cravings for carbs from highly processed sources.

Look forward to more IMCF posts on nutrition.  If anyone has specific questions, please post away on the comments section or find the Leavenworth Whole 30 group on Facebook.  A bunch of us will be starting a new Whole 30 challenge on October 1st...learn more here and get in touch if you want to give it a go!

What's on your Game Day Menu?

I am originally from New England and we love our football up there.  I grew up having large gatherings every Sunday to watch football.  Of course, people brought all their favorite "snacks".  With football season upon us (so happy about that!) I figured I would give some ideas for a game day menu.  That way you can't use the fact that you like to watch football as an excuse to why you can't commit to healthy eating!

Here are some simple but awesome (they have bacon, enough said) recipes to get you started:

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds
  • Dates (preferably pitted)
  • Whole almonds (preferably raw)
  • Bacon
Pit your dates (or buy pitted dates!). Put an almond inside and then wrap half a piece of bacon around it. Bake in the oven at 400F about 15 minutes or until bacon is crisped. 

Jalapeno Bacon Chicken Poppers
  • Chicken tenders (boneless skinless cut in half)
  • Jalapenos (seeded and halved)
  • Bacon
Place the chicken tender inside the jalapeno and wrap it with bacon. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.

And last, a few more links to some other favorite, Paleo-friendly football foods. Please, share links to any of your go-to recipes in the comments section. Enjoy!


SuperiorJake78 said...

"The food you eat can either make you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options."

"The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudices."

Clint Eastwood offers that second gem there and I believe it urges us to caution the words of anyone who thinks in extremes. The whole "With me or against me" attitude.

Food is a highly personal topic, and folks who's lively-hood is selling books and diets have to use those extreme positions to get attention. Personally I question anyone who says with certainty anything about food other than you should probably eat some of it.

Crossfit offers sound advice on the topic and backs it with the research of a few subject matter experts. They do this without saying "YOU WILL DIE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU EAT BAD!!!!"

I'd recommend if anyone is interested in the topic to focus it through your goals. If you are using food to enhance your athletic performance, there is evidence to suggest you should eat differently than if you are eating to survive or just because you like cake.

Always always always question folks on the validity of their claims about anything - diet included, because if you go off the deep end and get on some "extreme" diet, you could screw yourself up pretty good. Research and base your opinions off of evidence.


Meghan Smith said...

Great start to the dialogue, Jake! I'm glad we're opening this up to educated information so that no one goes off the deep end or anyone feels pressured to make changes not appropriate for their bodies.

It's been a great learning experience for me to learn that food IS fuel, not just something tasty, but that something tasty is also ok. Having done the research you suggest, I have learned quite a bit. Eating certain foods has made a big difference in the life of my mother who suffers from an autoimmune disease. Learning that more than 75% of your immune system lives in your gut helped her (and me in the studying to support her) learn that some foods were in FACT making her less healthy.

On a more personal note, I really enjoyed cleaning up my eating. It has positively impacted my health, I feel better about what I feed my kids, and I've found that "good" food actually can taste really good! Having said that, I personally FIRMLY believe that when it comes to eating right, for me that means when I eat the stuff I know isn't "fuel" I want the good stuff. Real ice cream, no joke cookies, etc. It's a balance, plain and simple.

Jared said...

Great timing. Heard about a free seminar that Dr Lorien Cordain (prolific Paleo researcher) is offering in KS. See link or details. It is free but you must register or a spot. Maybe interested in a carpool down there depending on my schedule.


Scott S said...

Jared - I'm down, and carpool sounds good. Let me know and we can coordinate a group and hopefully get something together. I'll register today.