Monday, August 16, 2010

Training To Eat, Eating To Train

So this year I've been training smarter. And I've focused most of my attention though on some days or weeks it has seemed, all of my attention, on diet and recovery. This year I wanted to see how far I could take my fitness gains if I worked my training from the other side of the equation. Instead of breaking my body down and allowing it to recover, I decided to build my body up physically and nutritionally first then exploit this heightened "wellness" to then train harder and longer.

I know that some athletes have started to make the connection that food is fuel, but I've been trying to take my food beyond that. I've been using my food as fuel, as a restorative , and as medicine. To that end I put my beliefs and money where my mouth was this year and began working with raw/vegan food chef Dina Knight.

At first all I was looking for was someone to help me up the quality of my meals when my time became more constrained like on the days I have to travel 35 miles to the office to work. I figured if I could just have someone help me prepare a few meals on those 2 or 3 days, the rest of my week would take care of itself. I wanted to stop eating "whatever I had time for" on those days and eat as purposefully as I was when I was off. For me what sealed the deal was Chef Dina's knowledge of nutrition honed during her own personal wellness journey, her work with people attempting to lose weight in a healthy balanced fashion, and her philosophy of making the food as nutritious as possible and then making it tast delicious.

I have to admit, even though I've been a vegetarian for years, I really didn't know what I'd be getting myself into. I had my habits of eating just like everyone else. And I while I had been exposed to raw foods in the past and had several books on the subject in the house, I'd sort of dismissed the raw diet even in spots as impractical for an athlete.

What I can say now, after having eating this way for the past 6 weeks is taste is always going to be king when it comes to food and what we choose to put in our mouths. And if that food is also nourishing, cleansing and healing along with tasting amazing then that is when change in not only practical but easy. The food I've been eating has been the best food I've ever tasted anywhere. And it comes from my own kitchen with very simple ingredients. It is so easy to leave things at the store or drive by a restaurant now because I have more nutritious and better tasting food at home.

The pictures in this post are to give you an idea of what I've been feasting on. I'll make an effort to post some of the recipes as I've decided to post this stuff weekly after my work with Chef Dina. Train well!

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