Recently, I renewed my commitment to eat more nutrient dense food. And while I ate relatively well during the week when I was off work, my choices on the weekends while working weren't always the best due to time constraints and energy levels. I think I did a great job last year making changes that made me a stronger and more capable athlete with the eating pattern I used in the 8 weeks leading up to Ironman Arizona. And while I still adhere to those eating principles now, I have wondered what would happen if I went even further? What if I took better care with my meals during my work week? What if I added more variety and nutrient density? What if I gave up things that probably weren't serving my overall goal to become fitter? And could food make me fitter?
Well to find out I hired a personal chef. A vegan/raw personal chef who would not only assist me with making food for me to eat during my work week (Friday through Sunday), but would also show me how make this type of food for myself. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into. But as it turned out, this is one of those things you sometimes do with only the vaguest of notions yet becomes something more than you could have ever dreamed.
To put it simply, I have never felt stronger or healthier in my life. Last year when I changed my diet and started my eating pattern in the weeks before Ironman, that change did more for me in 2 weeks than 9 months of training. It was huge. More lean muscle, less fatigue, faster recovery, you name it. But this, change goes beyond even that. The food I have been eating is delicious, and filling, and good for me. It seems both restorative and supportive at the same time. I have more energy and I feel stronger. I know this week I was lifting more weight easily in my workout and running and cycling have felt effortless.
I certainly can't speak for everyone, but in my experience paying attention to my diet is paying a lot higher rate of return than killing myself with volume and intensity. Who knew?