Often when runners are looking for help with their nutrition, they know that eating clean and healthy whole foods or real foods are the way to go. How to go about it? That’s the difficult part. The stumbling block for many people is the application of eating a real food diet, particularly in a fast-paced society where stress levels are high, scheduling is tight and processed “foods” are rife.
5:15am Wake up. Kettle on, tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass with a splash of filtered water. Splash of hot water, drink it up.
5:30am Running shoes on and out the door for 60-75 minutes.
6:40am Arrive home, roll out the undersides of my feet with acupressure balls and spend 90-120 seconds in downward dog to stretch out the posterior chain.
6:45am Fry two eggs in butter with two rashers of bacon, refried leftover kumara roasties and half an avocado. Yum. Brew coffee and whizz it in the food processor with some butter and coconut oil (bulletproof coffee) ready to take with me.
7:20am Out the door with coffee and snacks packed for the day including almonds, two boiled eggs, banana and my usual jar of nut butter and a spoon. If I’m well-prepared there will be leftovers in the fridge (roasties, chicken, greens) so I’ll throw those together in a bowl with some sauerkraut and olive oil.
10:30am Smoothie from a great café near work. Usually something along the lines of blueberry, banana, cacao, avocado, chia and almond or coconut milk. If I’ve been super prepared and made this at home I’ll make sure there’s some form of probiotic in it.
1:00pm If I am hungry I will eat the leftovers brought from home or opt for a clean salad from the local café. Ideally plenty of leafy greens and other colourful veg, some chicken or lamb or bacon, egg and not too much dressing (preferably olive oil). Long black coffee is not uncommon at this time!
3:45pm If I am hungry, I’ll eat some almonds, an egg or two or have a couple of spoons full of almond butter.
5:15pm After work/school commitments. For me this is coaching of some capacity (academic, running or rowing, depending on the day).
6:30pm Yoga at a local studio (twice a week – this is just an example of a busier day).
7:30pm En route home. Pick up some organic meat and seasonal vegetables from the food store near my house.
8:15pm Serve up a clean and healthy meat and veg meal. Seared steak with some steamed broccoli and some leek, capsicum and kale simmered in butter and turmeric.
Of course, everyone has different schedules, some people are busier and some are less busy, and many of us work varying shifts. The take home messages here are that a little preparation goes a long way. Try to always have leftovers in the fridge – things like roasties, boiled eggs and cold meat are all great. Necessities for the fridge/pantry (to add to the leftovers) are sauerkraut or kimchi, seeds, nuts and avocado.
Should everyone eat this way? No, but this sort of template is an example you might want to base your day around. Aiming to achieve all of this straight away might be so daunting that it goes into the “too hard” basket immediately. If that is the case, just work towards making small changes in the beginning. That might mean just cooking large enough meals to have leftovers and beginning to use those as you remember to. Then you might start to stock your work place with healthful snacks like almonds or nut butter.
Let us know in the comments below how you achieve a real food balance in a busy lifestyle!
If you want a little extra help with it, get in contact with me and we’ll work out some useful hints for you.