Most of us have had food poisoning, or the stomach flu, yes? We have all experienced the fatigue of not being able to eat.
Now, think about how amazing it feels when you can eat a good nutritious meal again! And I’m not talking about junk food, but nutritious simple non-processed Food. Your body is telling you how much it appreciates quality nutrition.
Surely you already know that your body needs food, among other things, to operate. When you’re working your body and brain as hard as you will be at the Nationals, you will require high quality food. I strongly suggest that you plan your meals ahead of time. Will you cook at the beginning of the week and freeze some? Will you rely on raw foods? Will you make time to cook during the day, or trade off cooking duties with a classmate? Maybe you’ll scope out the fast food places that cater to your particular diet.
Whatever your strategy, make sure you have planned your nutrition. Of the numerous intense fight workshops I have done, my most successful ones have been when I was well-fed.
Now, this could just be me. Those who know me, know that I am not a happy camper when I am not fed, and ever-so-pleased when there’s good food to be had. But if you’ve never done an Intensive like this, I wouldn’t leave it to chance. Plan your food, and keep fuel in your gas tank.
Here are some suggestions from my own experience. This is not medical advice, nor is it a list meant to exclude anyone with specific dietary concerns. This is intended to jog your memory if your body works like mine, or at least to get you thinking about how your body works. In general, except for electrolytes, I aim for as local and organic as I can manage.
– protein. ALBERTA BEEF!! Cheese, sausages. Yum.
– water. Lots.
– fish oil. Makes my brain and muscles work better
– honey! Great for the voice. Natural sugar without the crash. Helps replace some of the minerals lost day to day. Maple syrup is good for that, too!
– lysine-rich foods
– celery. Um, mostly for the texture. I like the crunch.
– bananas or miso soup. Potassium!
– Emergen-C or another electrolyte supplement. My personal training friends swear by coconut water. Some people simply put a bit more salt on their food (get good natural salt!), or go for the Gatorade, though I personally am not a fan of the extra carbs and the chemical flavour in manufactured “sports drinks”.
– Caffeine. Just once a day. More than one cup, and it wrecks me. Just that one espresso to get me started.
– Booster Juice. I am so hooked. My re-usable cup is so old, the people serving me don’t often recognize it. When they do, it’s the managers who has been there for ages… and they take a picture of it.
– hot milk. Part of my wind-down routine.
– Chocosol chocolate. Directly traded. Locally processed off-the-grid. And good for my soul.