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April 10, 2015

Nutrition: A Moving Target

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Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, naturopath or even a self-confessed nutrition guru. I am just a man, trying to work this stuff out.

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Over the years, I have drastically changed how I eat, how I consume, how I recover and how I train. Nutrition is the basis for so much of what I am trying to achieve in life. The other night I was telling my wife that I want my life to be like a GoPro movie – the great outdoors, doing awesome things, in rad places, with mates.

So how does nutrition tie into that?

Well, a sick, tired, unhealthy person could very well do all of that, but who wants to hang out with someone like that. I am hoping to live a life of health as wealth. It takes practise, and damnit, sometimes its flipping hard. I have a weakness for some chocolates, for ice cream, for beer and wine.

Hell, I am a walking contradiction at times. As I chug the last sip of Cab Sav down, licking the spoon of double chocolate ice cream, I wonder what the hell I am doing to myself.

But at other times, I have had 3 eggs, an avo and a bowl of veggies for breakfast and I know I am on the right path. So for me, nutrition is this moving target, much like ‘performance’ as a goal.

Here are some things I have learned along the way, which have worked for me, so lets see what you think of them.

1. You can race a little dehydrated, but make sure you REHIDRAT afterwards. Yes, I meant rehydrate but hell, REHIDRAT SPORT is one of the people who make my dreams possible. Their product is incredible. So bear with me.

2. Don’t beat yourself up for every block of chocolate you have.

3. Want to bulk up? Protein. Want to slim down – cut the protein, and carbs, but up the fat. I don’t know the exact quantities, but play with it.

4. Know what you are putting in your mouth. Read the labels. Don’t make excuses and say you are Banting if you are eating rice, pizza and consider yourself high fat because you’ve added butter to your bread.

5. Know the differences it takes to refuel in summer versus winter.

6. Same for eating when training hard versus training almost nothing. My appetite drops hugely when I am not training but most people aren’t aware of the same thing happening to them. They can just EAT ALL THE TIME.

7. Don’t believe the hype. Play, try and test.

8. There is no magic pill. A consistent strategy and time are your friends. If something doesn’t work in a week, give it a month. I am now seeing benefits of eating in a specific style for the last 4 years. My body took almost a year to even out with it, and I had to tweak it along the way.

9. Know your limits. I pushed mine hard at times. Too hard at least twice. I did learn immensely from those times, but knowing when to step back would have saved me from 2 x 4 month recovery spells. I carry spare REHIDRAT with me on every long ride, because I trust it to get me home. I have weight limits now, because below a certain weight, I am doing damage to my body.

10. You are in charge of what goes in. If you feel like you could be eating better, blame yourself – not your job, your lack of time or your other commitments. If its important, you will do it. If, like me, sometimes its just not possible (read: I have cravings too!) then don’t bust your balls about it.

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A big thank you to REHIDRAT SPORT for the ongoing belief in what we are doing here. This post is a shout-out to them to say thank you for all you do, and hopefully give you some things to think about. Their product is available at all major pharmacies around South Africa – give it a go.

I mix up 2 x sachets per bottle, sometimes even combining the flavours, and sip on that according to thirst for the ride or run. I make sure to get in a full bottle after training if its been a big session during the next meal I have as well, and I really don’t struggle with DOMS, session-to-session fatigue or the dreaded droogies that some other drinks have given me in the past. It’s a simple, clean, reliable product.

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