Hi friends, it was so great to read all of your comments on Crossfit and strength training. You are very right that Crossfit ain’t cheap but thankfully I have worked it into my budget (bye bye shopping). You are also right that getting totally jacked is not what I want. It certainly works for some but I’m good with little muscles.
Saying this, I have been experimenting with my meals and snacks lately. As I told you yesterday, I am not totally sold on the “Crossfit nutrition philosophy”. I’m not all of sudden going to start eating steak, downing protein shakes and giving up peanut butter. But I am all about learning and trying new things to figure out what works best for me and my body and I have been hungryyyyy. Like reallyyyyy hungry.
I like to think I know how to “eat healthy” but I wasn’t exactly sure how to do this for weight training. Well the short version is to eat more. Easy enough right? Okay not going to lie… I was hesitant at first. Cue: “fat fears.” I immediately associated eating more with gaining “bad” weight and bulking up.
Stupid right? But I’m always honest with ya…
As per my Crossfit coach’s request, I have been writing down everything I have been eating. I have found this to be extremely helpful in seeing what my body needs, which has been the hardest part. I am still trying to figure out how much food to eat. Sometimes my breakfast isn’t big enough and then my tummy grumbles an hour later so I eat more. Sometimes my dinner stuffs me so I don’t have a snack before bed. Weight lifting and exercise requires the proper fuel aka FOOD so we gotta give what the body asks for… aka listen to it and feed it well. I know this is easier said than done and I will write a follow-up post about this once I better gather my thoughts so stay tuned.
Anyways, I have only been strength training for a few weeks but I have been trying three “new-to-me” approaches to fuelling my body with what it needs and with a bit of planning and prep, it has been totally do-able.
1. Eating before a workout: I find it hard to eat in the early hours of the morning, when I workout. However the more I have learned about pre-workout nutrition, especially in terms of strength training, I have been trying to eat a bit of protein and fat before Crossfit. Even if that’s at 5am.
I have been having either half of a banana with peanut butter or a hard boiled egg with a few nuts. Ideally I am trying to eat a combination of protein and fat pre-workout.
2. Eating more earlier: I know for me, dinner is my largest meal of the day. Some believe that eating more food later in the day actually hinders digestion and lean muscle development. Of course everyone is different but I’ve been testing the waters. I am trying to eat larger meals at breakfast and lunch and more substantial snacks throughout the day. So far I still don’t have much muscle (hah!) but it has mostly helped ward off the night-time snack monster - although I more often than not still have a “bedtime” snack.
After a workout/for breakfast, I have been eating more protein (usually more eggs) and fat but adding fruit or another carbohydrate source. Like, 2 hard boiled eggs, pistachios, almonds and half of a grapefruit. Or eggs, berries, veggies and avocado — it’s been on sale! Or my coconut and banana pancake [recipe].
Lunch has been the most challenging. I have basically been switching what I would eat for dinner to now eating it for lunch. It feels weird and unnatural but I’m rolling with it right now. I’ve also been trying to make them meatier… minus the meat. For me that means having a larger portion of protein and lots of veggies but I still am figuring this out. I usually have fish for lunch with veggies, fat and carbs. Like: salmon, sweet potato, 1/2 an avocado and brussels sprouts.
I have also been having more substantial snacks throughout the day: banana with nut butter, a bowl of oatmeal, veggies and hummus, Larabar and fruit. Dinner is typically beans or lentils with fruit/veggies and a healthy fat… or sometimes oatmeal.
I’m usually still a bit hungry after dinner so I have a snack with tea. Since stocking up on my TJs goodies, I have been having a handful (or two) of trail mix…
…or a few dark chocolate honey mints.
3. Decreasing spikes in insulin level by eating longer lasting energy foods: I am still figuring out what this exactly means. But to my knowledge it means focussing on eating foods (like low-glycemic foods) that digest slower and sustain energy. Any help here?! Still working on this…
Tomorrow, for What I Ate Wednesday, I will post a whole day of recent eats. Okay time to go eat! I’m probably not even kidding…
Questions of the day…
How do you fuel your strength training workouts?
Are you a snacker?
What do you like to have for lunch?
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