Forget the Word ‘Diet’ – Let’s Talk About Practical Nutrition for YOUR Lifestyle
How often do you hear the word ‘diet’ being thrown around in conversation? “I’m starting my diet on Monday,” “I need to get back on a diet,” “I’ve messed up my diet,” to name a few. Throughout my fitness and nutrition journey, I’ve realized the word ‘diet’ is no longer in my vocabulary. Why? Because a diet has a start and end date. A word that IS in my vocabulary (and I live by every day) is lifestyle. I’ve spent years tailoring my food choices to fit my lifestyle. Food is my fuel and it should be yours, too!
Eating healthy should be fun and realistic; it should be a part of your lifestyle. Finding ways to keep nutrition practical to YOUR lifestyle is key. Nutrition and diet should never be synonymous, nor should food be a punishment. Food is fuel to drive you through your workday, power you through your next WOD, and get you through that family vacation. Food is necessary to live; so, keep it positive and exciting!
Own Your Health!
Nutrition is the foundation of our existence; the base of our “totem poles of life." Without solid groundwork, it is nearly impossible to properly build “levels” aka, our life-goals. For example, some of my life-goals goals are to provide excellent care to my furchildren (all of my rescue animals), be an efficient employee, be a great Coach, and help others live healthy lifestyles. If I don’t properly provide my body with healthy “fuel,” I won’t have the energy to be a productive employee; which pays for my furbabies to live their spoiled lifestyle. I sure as heck won’t have the energy to coach at my best ability, nor will I look the part of someone who’s expected to provide advice and education about health and fitness!
Matcha Tea - my afternoon pick-me-up (that I use as a coffee substitute)
Knowledge is Power!
Food can be medicine, or it can be poison. You owe it to yourself to empower your mind with accurate information! Do your research, ask questions, get curious! If you don’t know, ask. If you want to know more, read. If you want to know it all, keep reading! Don’t be afraid to ask for help; everyone needs a starting place. CrossFit gyms have coaches for a reason. Coaches are there to help you reach peak fitness levels. Same goes for nutrition. Nutrition and Wellness Coaches are on the rise, don’t be afraid to seek one out to get you on the right path!
As important as coaches are, a solid support system is key! Humans are very capable creatures, but sometimes, you need extra accountability – and that’s OK! The extra push could be a one-on-one coach, or a group of friends committed to similar goals. This is one reason CrossFit is so addictive; you not only get a daily butt-kicking workout, but you also get a second family. Nothing brings people together like Named WODs and struggle!
Outside of the Hey Cupcake! food truck in Austin, TX
Patience, Young Grasshopper!
With nutrition, there is no one-size-fits all. What works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. So, BE PATIENT! Nutrition is a process, not an overnight event. Even with Coaches, support systems, and knowledge, nutrition is a ton of trial and error. Pick one small goal and focus on ONLY that goal for 1-2 weeks. Let it become a habit, muscle-memory. Once you’ve mastered that goal, pick another small goal, master that, and so on and so forth. This is why tracking what you eat is so helpful. Free apps like MyFitnessPal are readily available to help! The nutrition process should be fun - enjoy the ride!
Be Practical, Not Perfect!
Let’s be real. Not every day will be a good one. You’re going to eat that burger and fries and have a few beers with friends. DON’T STRESS! Be social, enjoy life, make healthy choices, but realize enjoying life is our purpose! Keep things simple. Eat mostly whole foods, reduce processed items, and learn what macronutrient and caloric ratios work best to serve YOUR energy levels and goals. If you have a hectic on-the-go job, look in to pre-made meals (If you’re local to Charleston, check out Fit & Fresh!). If you’re traveling, take some extra time to put together grab-n-go food items and pack a lunchbox! If you have a social event, check out the menu beforehand and game plan some healthier options. If cooking isn’t your specialty, buy a crockpot, or three! Fill them up with meat and/or veggies, let them slow cook, and then keep them on warm. Easy access to perfectly cooked food!
Your body is a Ferrari; fill it with top of the line fuel!
Like I previously said, nutrition can easily become confusing in the initial steps of starting your journey – but I’m here to help as a friend and a Nutrition Coach! If you’re interested in having a conversation about your own nutrition and starting steps, please let me know. We’ll chat and put you on the right path to practical nutrition for YOU!