You know that nutrition section of Triathlete magazine where they have the latest and greatest nutrition tips? Yeah, we skip over to the bicycle Ads and Gear reviews also. Amazingly if every triathlete on Walden's beaches were asked where they get their nutrition information there'd be a collective "D'oh" with Dt athletes at least saying, "Coach wants us eating within 15 minutes of the workout. Because we're forced to have breakfast at the Cafe down the street. That heavily relies on the team to keep it in business." At one point you knew what to do. Until that 45 mile bike ride after swimming 2 miles forced you to look at that plate of Kale and hate life.
So with 18 weeks down and many more to go here is your guide to re-aquainting yourself with responsible eating for training.
This one is a toughie. Unless its your post training meal don't stuff yourself. (Editor's Note: Do you see how Dt even gives you an out when we have our post training breakfast. If you're going to binge do it after our workouts.)
Go for smaller meals and snack. What's a small meal: look at your fist. Eat that portion. You'll notice that if take a regular portion of food and bunch it up into a ball it's actually about the size of your fist. My daughter has proven this many times.
Shoot for 5 portions of fruit and 5 portions of veggie every day. Not only will become quite regular but it crowds out the moose sized steak you can only have post Dt training sessions. Now a portion can be a peach or a handful of raisins. Let's get this out of the way: butter is not a vegetable but damn it if it helps get the broccoli down then go for it. Dt is an anti-kale organization so if you need to drown the thing in chocolate sauce go for it.
Speaking of chocolate, we'll give you the chocolate milk is as good as any lab created amino-acid protein thing that just cost you the price of your bike...speech. As odd as that sounds it's one of the weird things that Mother Nature would have probably created on her own...actually she did. The US Olympic Team is taking crates of the stuff down to Rio and no one is paying them. Think about that. Honey is fantastic for refueling. Peanut butter is so high in calories, good fat, and protein that now its being put in gel packs and sold as fuel: its beginning to look like Mother Nature knows what she's doing.
Don't add salt to your food. A chef friend of mine once told me that if I wanted my food at home to taste like restaurant to empty one salt shakers worth onto anything I cook. Get your electrolytes from your food - don't need to salt. The caveat is if it helps you down your veggies.
Snack like you mean it: nuts and fruits and no it doesn't have to be processed to look like a candy bar.
Multivitamins, mineral supplements, and omega-3 horse pills are fine. Call it insurance.
Use Saturday as your "bad" food day. Here at Dt we question what is "bad" food. Sure Pork Cracklins aren't what we recommend and we do worship at the alter of steak and eggs but if you do stuff only once in awhile (once a week) then what is bad? New York State is suing half the nutritious granola bar makes (including KIND) for making stuff that's as bad as a Snickers bar. Pick your poisons and enjoy once a week and preferably on Saturday after your longest day of training.
Speaking of poison, and we're sure you'll hate this, wine and beer are classified as toxins in the formal nutrition book of life. Antioxidants in red wine and good beer carbs is a running joke and shows how powerful those industries are (nobody is lobbying for Welch's Grape Juice). But again we're advocates of the human experience and enjoying a glass of white wine with your salmon, brown rice, and broccoli sauce is one of life's great pleasures and contradictions.
Meat? Where's the meat? If you check your mouth you'll notice you're an omnivore designs eat both the bounty of the garden and the odd mastodon that brought us to the point where I can type this on a Macbook Air. If indeed you indulge the carnivore side of your humanity then a portion half the size of your fist (a hot dog!) at two of your meals is great. Make one meal meat free and you'll discover other delicious foods...not named kale.
Well there you have it, Coach Vic's take on the basics of food which I enforce at breakfast 15 minutes after every training session. Now if only my belly would listen.