8 ways to Cultivate Health Integrity
This is the blog category where we will discuss everything related to diet and nutrition. We’ll share recipes and cover all the latest developments in the world of nutrition and how it can improve our lives and performance. Have a recipe of your own to share? Post to comments!
Getting started on the right nutritional path:
What is your number 1 goal? Weight-loss? Build lean muscle? Get “toned?” Get stronger?
What we know about health and fitness is that achieving your goals in health and fitness starts with nutrition. We don’t like to call it “diet” because people tend to associate it with “dieting” or “being on a diet” when nutrition is really about finding a sustainable way of fueling your body and life. So meeting your goals, whether it’s losing fat or gaining muscle, starts with the same basic principles.
1. Eat whole foods. These are things that are minimally processed, and can be (but doesn’t have to be) eaten raw. Things that come out of packages with unnatural ingredients, processed unnaturally or can’t be readily identified in its original form are not whole foods.
2. Base your portions around your goals and learn about macronutrients. There are 3 macronutrients that your body needs for health: protein, carbohydrate and fat. (Micronutrients are things like vitamins and minerals.) Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you may want to learn more about how to portion these three things to boost your results. Your coaches are available to help! Everyone needs all three, but perhaps in different amounts. You should never eat too little - that won’t help you lose weight OR put on muscle. You’ll just cannibalize the muscle you already have and go into starvation mode which encourages your body to store fat. Ideally, your (small-ish) meal plate should be ¼ - ⅓ lean protein and the rest colorful veggies cooked in good, natural fat. For those that need to put on weight or muscle, more protein and added fats are recommended for each meal, and a post-WOD recovery snack (preferably a starchy glucose heavy vegetable, like sweet potato) is also recommended.
3. Avoid consuming suboptimal “food.” So, as a general rule of thumb, decrease or ideally eliminate your grain, dairy, legume and sugar intake. Conventional wisdom says whole grains are high in fiber and good for your heart and dairy is a good source of protein and calcium. When put up against colorful veggies and leafy greens, grains and dairy don’t hold a candle to their benefits.
4. Systemic inflammation, in the simplest terms, is when your body is constantly repairing itself at the cellular level. Consuming suboptimal food causes your body to constantly repair cells or work harder to manufacture the nutrients you’re missing. Systemic inflammation may be the reason you can’t lose that last 5 lbs, or why you’re not recovering from your WODs as quickly as you should. It’s also the basis of progressive diseases like diabetes and autoimmunity. If you’re not in a constant state of inflammation, your body can focus on burning fat and building strong muscles instead of repairing damaged cells.
5. Drink water. Lots of it. Your body is mostly water, and works best when hydrated properly. Water conducts the electrical signals your brain sends out to control the rest of your body. Beware of sports or energy drinks you see everywhere these days - it’s mostly sugar and unnecessary chemicals and most people don’t need to supplement with electrolytes. Good alternatives are coconut water and plain electrolyte water.