I was completely wrong!
And with good reason. There is a huge amount of conflicting advice, media reports, magazine articles, sports celebrity diets, governing body recommendations and well meaning friends/family. But who do you trust or believe? After a few formalities and rapport building, I asked the attendees to have an open mind during the presentation (as there may have been a lot of new concepts spoken) and write down any questions they have. What was meant to be a 30 minute “in-and-out” talk, ended up being a 2 hour marathon event of Q ‘n A style conversation. It was great! I always know that the crowd is interested and responsive when the questions, concerns and comments come flooding in.
Even though I know more than most about nutrition, I’m not a Dietitian, so I had to write down a few of the questions for Vicky to address individually at a later stage. However, I did manage to “hold my own” and portrayed a clear message on how to “cut the crap” from your daily diet and (strongly) recommend an alternative approach to a highly processed carbohydrate driven nutrition plan (both for everyday consumption and for activity, exercise, training and competition).
Below is an email that I sent through a couple of days after the presentation to summarize the main nutrition principles and points that were covered…
- Eat whole real foods including lots of green leafy veggies (these can be sourced from markets and farmers markets, local grocer, and from the fresh food section at commercial retail supermarkets). If you can identify exactly where the food comes from by looking at it, you’re on the right track.
- Stay away from processed foods – i.e. any food that is pre-prepared, packaged, tinned, etc (this is the food that you find in shopping aisles in the supermarket and fast food restaurants and take-outs).
- Eliminate all sugars, grains, flour, corn and wheat (these foods are highly processed, cause inflammation, have a negative impact on digestive hormones and enzymes, and are the main culprits of nutrition related causes of chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia).
- Fat is your friend… good, healthy fats that is. These include fats from good quality proteins (wild caught fish, free-range organic pasture fed beef/lamb/pork/chicken), nuts (macadamia, almond), butter (from grass fed cattle), coconut oil, olive oil, dairy (full fat natural greek yoghurt, full cream milk, unprocessed yellow cheese).
- Have moderate amounts of fruit – i.e. 2 serves/pieces per day maximum (berries are at the top of the list).
- Eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty. Forget about the “recommended” 6+ meals per day or drinking to “avoid thirst/dehydration.” Your body and brain is very clever – it tells/signals you when you’re hungry and thirsty.
- Eating more fat does not make you fat. Just like eating green veggies does not make you green. Cattle farmers fatten their livestock on grains, corn and soy. So why would you want to have a diet that’s high in those foods? You’ll end up fat too!
- So what do you eat? Check out our blog and FaceBook page for recipes, meal ideas, etc. Or you can book in to see Vicky for an individualised plan to get you started (you’ll also get full access to our membership site which is jam packed with recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and much more).
- Fuel your performance with fat. We have ~2000 calories of stored glycogen (which can last for 60-90 minutes of moderate exercise). We have over 80000 calories of stored fat. Which would you rather use to due your next bike race/marathon run/triathlon event?
- Just like you train physically to get the most out of your running or cycling ability, you also need to train your nutrition. “You can’t out-train a crappy diet.”
- When you’re out for meals, make the best choice you can in the situation that you’re in. (and No, pizza is NEVER a good option!)
- Stay away from carbohydrate gels, energy bars, protein bars, protein shakes, electrolyte tablets, etc. These are all processed “foods” that are making your body dependent on burning carbs as a primary fuel source.
Don’t be another victim of a great marketing campaign. Be a real food advocate.