Making sure we get the optimal nutrition is very important for our bodies in general and even more important as a CrossFit athlete as we put significantly higher demands on our bodies than the average person walking the street. As an athlete, you want to make sure that you know what it is that you are putting into to your body because, as the saying goes, “You are what you eat!!”
You know you get nutrients and minerals from the foods you eat but getting the proper nutrients in the proper proportions to support your CrossFit lifestyle is extremely important. Lets say you just killed a great WOD and you feel good but you’re so hungry you are ready to eat like a beast!! Or conversely, you have just killed that WOD and have NO appetite.
Maybe you skip eating because you assume you don’t need to eat if you don’t feel hungry. Or you go and eat some pizza or go to Wendy’s and order some crazy, greasy, yummy food!!
Well, guess what you just did? You completely neglected your nutrition and, unfortunately, undercut a lot of the benefits you would have received from that great WOD! Because in order to realize the benefits, you have to make sure your body has the building blocks it needs – in the form of proper nutrition – to incorporate those benefits long term.
So all that hard work you just did was wasted!!
So how do you make sure you don’t waste that effort? It’s really important right after your workouts to feed your body with the proper nutrition (here’s a hint, Wendy’s is not proper!)
Between 30 min to 1 hour after your workout you should provide your hard working bod some sort of protein to allow your body to recover. A few great options on how to feed that awesome body to recover are:
Healthy fats like avocado
Nuts like almonds or cashews
Beans in an easily digestible (and yummy) form like hummus
Fish like tuna or salmon
Grains like whole-wheat pita for the hummus
And most important Greens!!!!
Let’s talk about another important way of eating – raw foods. The more our foods are touched by human hands and altered from their natural occurring state, the less likely you will be able to get the maximum benefit out of those foods.
Depending on your lifestyle and the goal you want to accomplish this type of raw food lifestyle – focused on unprocessed, uncooked, organic and wild foods – is an excellent way to feel energized and stay energized through the whole day. It is also one of the best ways to get the most nutrients out of your diet as an athlete, although supplementation is very important when eating this way.
Most of the foods that are involved with raw eating are those that have not been heated above 104 degrees and include:
Raw fruits and vegetables
Nuts and seeds
Eggs and dairy, as long as it is right from the cow and unprocessed and contains no GMs (genetically modified) foods.
Raw foods are great medicine for your body. Eating a balanced diet consisting of 70-80% raw foods would reduce sickness and help our bodies fight off more infections, autoimmune disorders and other systemic diseases such as diabetes and even cancer! Perhaps most importantly, a raw food diet can also boost sex drive, make your hair, skin and nails look healthier and help regulate digestion!!
In the end, if you can’t pronounce the word on the label and don’t know what it is or where it is coming from, you shouldn’t be putting it in your body!!