What should I eat? What should I not eat? What is paleo? When I eat paleo I’m always hungry… why? If it fits in my macros I can eat it right? What are macros?
Have you asked any one of these questions before? Nutrition can seem so ominous and complicated because there are so many options, fads and differing opinions.
Most often, nutrition becomes a neglected and silent player. This is unfortunate because nutrition plays a very key role in life and your health.
There are many pillars of health and each pillar receives different amounts of attention. You are unique and will find a balance that works best for you. However, none of these pillars should be neglected and effort should be put towards each one.
The pillars of health, as I have defined them, include:
Mobility and Strength
Body Care – PT, massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, EMS (compex etc.)
Mindset and Psychology
Lifestyle and Wellness
Although not inclusive, these pillars of health are each very important for creating a well-balanced and healthy client. Often times, we allow one pillar like our training to dominate everything that we do in and out of the gym. Neglecting the other pillars, while focusing on only one, creates massive gaps in a client’s training, or accomplishing goals as a whole.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Nutrition?
Nutrition is a topic many shy away from, perhaps because we hear and see so many fads and conflicting information that it is hard to determine what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
Let’s cover some basics.
If you knew you could improve your training, improve and maintain your health, improve recovery times and reduce the potential for injury would you make better choices with your nutrition?
Here are some general guidelines that I give to my clients. First, I highly recommend joining this program to learn more about nutrition. I also recommend working with a physician/doctor or nutritionist that understands your sport and can coach you on your nutrition.
Here is my general framework that I give to each and every one of my clients for nutrition. It varies per person and individual needs:
Tip #1: Eat adequate amounts of protein. Whether it’s plant based or animal protein – determining how much protein you need to eat is imperative. Eating too much protein can cause acidity in the gut, which leads to inflammation in the body and joints causing aches and pains. Eating too little protein doesn’t supply your body with enough amino acids to rebuild. In addition, protein helps regulate our blood sugar levels, so we want to make sure we eat enough protein.
How much protein should I eat? It depends on you, your training program and your sport. A general research based guide might recommend:
For endurance clients: around 1 -1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
For strength training clients or high training programs: around 1.5-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Hint: if you are eating around 2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight, you must be also consuming high amounts of vegetables and fruits to balance the potential for increased inflammation (as I mentioned above).
Tip #2: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating around 9-12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day requires a lot of variety and a lot of volume. This helps avoid the “I feel hungry when I eat vegetables and fruits”. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and many other nutrition benefits that come from eating plants counteracts and heals a lot of the damage from tough training sessions.
Tip #3: Eat fat. Healthy fat was never out. Olive oils, avocados, fats from nuts and seeds were always considered healthy and still are. Balancing your ratios of carbohydrates (from fruits and vegetables) to fats is where a lot of clients often see large improvements in body composition and strength. Healthy fats also feed the brain and provide the cholesterol your body needs in order to build and produce many different imperative hormones.
Tip #4: Avoid Sugar. The culprit behind most client injuries is sugar. Refined processed flours and sugars create inflammation, are addictive, and cause massive spikes in blood sugar and over compensation from the pancreas trying to produce enough insulin to counteract the spike.
Tip #5: Continue learning. There is much to learn about nutrition and how to fuel properly for your workouts, for your life and for recovery. Eat for your health. If you aren’t healthy, you can’t workout and you can’t reach your goals. Continue to learn about health and ways nutrition can support your goals. We hope this site will be a resource for you to continue learning and applying what you learn so that you can be the best client and person you can be.
As we build and as you go through this program there will be many resources available to you like:
How to reduce inflammation with nutrition
Improve your gut to improve your health
How to use nutrition to prevent and heal injuries
How to improve body composition and strength with what you eat
And much more…
Thank you for being here and we are honored to be a part of your journey.
About the author:
Dr. Kirstin Lauritzen DC is a chiropractor that works with her clients and athletes on healing and preventing injuries with chiropractic and nutrition. She offers nutrition programs that focus on helping clients stay healthy for the long term, but also helps them reach their goals in the short term. She holds three bachelors degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience, Spanish, and Human Biology. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic from University of Western States and holds a certificate of further education in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. She will complete her Masters in nutrition next year, 2018.
If you’d like to learn more, visit her blog at www.gym-call.com where you can see more information like this, learn more about her programs, and get tips, tricks and guides!
Campbell B, Kreider R Ziegenfuss T, La Bounty P, Roberts M, Burke D, Landis J, Lopez H, Antonio J. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and Exercise. Journal of the international Society of Sports Nutrition. 2007. 4:8.
Fuhrman, J., & Ferreri, D. M. (2010). Fueling the Vegetarian (Vegan) Client. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9(4), 233-241.