The typical cliche that we hear in our industry : you’re what you eat and running Ferrari on 91 unleaded compared to 98 fuel and comparing that to the way the car will operate and it’s comparison to poor food vs quality food for humans also couldn’t be truer. The way you feel, look and perform directly correlates with with your recovery – food and sleep to how well you perform and feel in day to day life.
When we talk about recovery this means simply recovering from the stress we endure : physical, mental and biochemical stresses. The 2 main ways we recover is through food : quality food that we do well on and the right quantity (intake). And secondly , Sleep: the amount of sleep we get and quality of sleep we get: depth and staying within our circadian rhythms.
Today we will speak about food. Sleep will be for the next article.
Food, so why is it important to have food that is high quality and why is it important to have food you do well on, and why is it important to have the right intake and what does all of that mean.
Its important to get a balanced array of nutrients and energy from our (high quality) foods so we optimise our recovery to perform better. This means the better our food whilst hitting the right intake to manage weight/goals/ health and high quality food the better our function and recovery: to name some : our energy will be, muscle repair and joint health , lower our inflammation, disease prevention, cellular health, mental health and function and list goes on. Its a super important thing for performance and health longevity.
In modern times we are so god damn confused what to do when it comes to nutrition, so many different diets and fads that present to us can be overwhelming.
At the end of the day theres no one sized fits all approach to food, much like training. Reason being, every one has a different make up or what we call constitution. How does food have any to do with someones constitution? Well lets start with the gut, as this is where it all starts. We/everyone has a different gut, so their ability to be able to digest and assimilate foods comes down to various things but to keep it simple, it comes down to structure of their digestive system and their ability to handle certain foods (mainly).
Other common factors to improve gut function may include lowering the certain stresses you maybe under, bacterial imbalances and a simple one, chewing your food properly. (refer to my gut health article to learn more)
So when we speak about how everyone has a different stucture and how that effects how you handle foods, this comes to down ancestral evolution and family backround – what part of the world you truly come from and what food was available then and in that environment.
We commonly find that people ( your ancestry) who are from close to the equater do far better on a higher carbohydrate diet as this is readily available to them in their environment – meaning fruits, vegetables, grains. Why you say? well over many many years this is what they have adapted too eating, and they have evolved with that.
To add, over many many years , people from closer to equator have developed a longer digestive tract, digestive enzymes and a gut microbiom to be able to break the food down easier. This is why some people cannot handle it and may get bloating or other irritbability when eating these foods- there can be other factors also as mentioned.
We find people further away from the equater and colder climates do far better on higher protein and fat diet with some fermented foods ( veggies). And much like I mentioned for high carb diet , this way of eating may not work for people closer to the equator ancestraly also. This may not always be the case and thats why its important to get in touch with what you eat and getting in touch with the way you feel after a meal.
Theres a great acronym I use for helping people with this. Its called the ACESD rule.
Appetite , craving , energy , satiety, and digestion. This refers to mainly what happens to the way you feel, digest and what happens to your blood sugars after you eat (they shouldn’t be to high or to low they should be stable). Simply, If any of those things are not positive you should reflect on what you have eaten and make a different choice on what you eat next time, and keep a record so you can draw the dots through your food groups. As food and the body is complex it can be trial and error thing.
Some times the ancestral thing may not work, this is due to new settlements, different beings living different parts of the world and starting family’s with different beings from different parts of the world. And also the way we grow our food now using poor quality soils and chemicals that maybe added. All in all, get super in touch with what you eat, use the ACESD rule , connect with your body, do you feel good ? And also opt for higher quality foods, stay out of your typical super markets and shop at the ones that have higher quality food ie specialised health food stores, farmers markets and organic or grass fed meat butchers. This way will make you recover way more optimally and allow you have better brain function, physical performance and also allow you to optimise your sleep better too, as your stress will lower and will be functioning the way it should.
Feel free to email me or call if you have any questions.