It’s been over a week since I started on a new nutritional journey. Nutritionist and endurance runner Barry Murray has provoked lots of thoughts in my mind over the past 2 years – with his blogs and podcasts explaining how our bodies are designed to function as fat burning engines.
I felt I’d made lots of positive changes over the past 2 years – trying a 30-day Paleo reset was key; as was doing some cooking classes, which eventually led me to here: my weight is stable, I train 7 days a week, I’m fit and healthy, I need to eat well & recover to the able to perform at work and racing/training. Most importantly it all contributes to my general wellbeing.
So after sending in a detailed 7-day training plan of a typical week, plus sample meal plans/food diaries, I awaited Barry’s wise words. His initial reply said “a lot to work on.” Oh, what radical change did that mean?
Luckily the answer was that I’m already on the right path. I’ve gotten the basic principles in place:
- Cooking most of my meals
- Eating lots of fruit, veg, red meat, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds
- Not drinking too much alcohol
- Snacking occasionally
- Reducing my processed food and carb intake
So how did week 1 go?
I didn’t carb load the morning of my 2 races last weekend. I trusted that a low carb high fat (LCHF) brekky would get me through a mountain run (Wicklow Way Relay – Saturday) and a sprint triathlon (TriCarlow – Sunday). Breakfast consisted of black pudding, eggs, tomatoes, ½ avocado, rye crackers and black coffee with coconut oil (instead of milk). A bit of yoghurt, nuts and blueberries and I was set.
Did it work?
- Well I felt fine before and during pretty intense 1 hour races. I resisted the urge to snack on gels and bananas before and during.
- I cooked a lot for the week ahead: tomato meatball stew, salads, chicken legs, roast root veg & sweet potato, mixed veg pastry bake, banana pancakes.
- Training on empty: all my training this week has been early morning. I much prefer it and it fits my work schedule. No food before swims but also nothing before or during our 2hr Wednesday morning spins. I need to be more disciplined here – as I give in and have buttered cracker or some dried fruit, which I know is counterproductive as it causes an insulin spike and shuts down my fat burning engine.
- Intermittent fasting: I’ve never done this up to Tuesday. Idea is to skip a meal so you fast for 14-16 hours. So after dinner last Monday, I went to work and ate at lunch. It worked well, I didn’t feel hungry – I did have coffee but gave in by having a cracker, more out of habit than need. I will try fasting once a week now.
Week 2 Plan
I’m excited to absorb all the detailed information Barry has shared with me. There’s a 30-page personal nutrition report, which is going to take a while to break down and implement in full. The important thing it’s a plan, which gives me structure and a guide. There are lots of things I need to look up online, I want to read more, I need to add some new foods/recipes to my shopping list as well as looking at vitamins and supplements.
Simple things like Bulletproof coffee and peppermint tea but more complicated things like BCAAs and reading from Dr Jack Kruse. This diary will help keep me honest and set goals. For the next week I really want to snack better – stop getting dessert at work and have a yoghurt or fruit instead or stop munching on bread and butter between meals. I just need to have the right alternatives in the fridge/press.