Looking into food as a source of energy, I can dissect more freely how I need to work with food. We are dynamic and constantly changing, so our fueling and experiences with food need to also reflect changes and growth.
From seasonal throughout the year, to seasonal in life circumstances, the more aware I am of shifts and changes, the more quickly I can respond, adapt and avoid sickness.
Weather I'm training, racing, traveling, or staying put, consistency is golden. I stay consistent, so when there's disruption in the program, I have built a strong immune system and rhythm- two things that keep my equilibrium and homeostasis.
Sleep and morning, night rituals are key. Balancing fresh, local seasonal vegetable with free range meat, fresh fish and my personal supplements daily keeps my body and mind from moving into fight or flight. Keep it regular when you can. The support piece is quality water.
Instead of using food, of measuring it’s energetic output via calories, grams, pounds, and other metrics, I look at where food comes from, it's distance from my table, and how it's delivering the most nutrients in the most efficient way. Nutrient density is the trick. Of course, training and racing, you must measure your nutrition. But we have so many metrics as athletes, that I abandon them as much as possible. I can develop a better sense of when I'm low on energy or off in some way when I don't depend on a device to measure every aspect of my life.
Some foods work better for us than others. Some will cause fatigue; our minds and bodies may reject certain foods. We may not process and digest certain foods. We don’t know until we have a clean slate to start with. From a clean gut, we can determine what foods we need to thrive. I like to fast occasionally to clean my gut and reassess what foods are working for me seasonally.
Ultimately, I just want to rid the body of toxins, so we can see what energizes us, instead of what depletes us. As athletes, we create a lot of free radicals- the one big downside of being an athlete. Ramping up antioxidants easily in the form of fresh veges is good, but not enough. Checking blood labs at least twice a year is helpful to check in with changes and to have just a support team to navigate questions.
We also want to observe our habits, and our emotions surrounding food, so we can have a more comprehensive sense of what motivates us to eat other than sheer hunger.
What we're doing is digging into an actionable understanding of how food affects us, enables us to develop a new experience that food, as energy, is entering our ecosystem and affecting our brains and bodies at a molecular level.
From that point, we can do just about anything.