“Eat your vegetables!”
Not only did you probably hear this ad nauseam from your parents but you will probably hear it from your nutrition coach as well, especially if your coach is me.
Why do I harp on this so much? I promise I don’t do it to be annoying (even if it might seem that way sometimes). I just cannot stress enough that while yes, the amount of food we eat does matter, quality is just as important, if not more so.
You can probably do some creative macro Tetris and hit your carbs/fat/protein by eating junk food but that’s not going to do you a lot of favors when it comes to fueling your body with nutrients and giving it energy to help you feel your best.
When making decisions about what to eat, it actually helps to think of your body as a fine piece of machinery.
Now, I know absolutely zilch about cars (I haven’t even owned once in the 5 years of living in Germany) but I do know that if you want your car to run well, you need to fill it up with good fuel. You can fill your car up with sawdust but it probably won’t get very far (people who know things about cars, feel free to tell me I’m wrong here).
It’s the same for our bodies! Except instead of filling up with Premium gasoline, ‘good fuel’ for us comes from eating foods high in micronutrients (fancy word for vitamins and minerals).
We need micronutrients for a multitude of reasons but they primarily help support our immune system, promote muscle function and recovery, as well as facilitate energy production.
Our macronutrients (protein/carbs/fats) need them in order to do their jobs as well. The micronutrient is the ‘butter’ to the macronutrients ‘bread’ sotospeak. The Luigi to its Mario. Each can stand on their own but they work so much better together.
You can find micronutrients in colorful fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins (i.e., poultry, seafood, eggs, etc).
I’ll go into further detail about the different types of micronutrients in future rambles but for now, I challenge you all to try and fit in at least one extra serving of fruit or veggies per day and see if it makes a difference in how you feel.
Here are some quick / easy ways to do this:
– Banana with breakfast or shortly after your workout
– Having a side of spinach with your eggs
– Roast a variety of veggies (my favorite is to roast broccoli and brussels sprouts at 425F for 15-20 minutes with salt, pepper, and chili flakes)
– Microwave a bag of the ‘Steamable’ frozen veggies and have with lunch or dinner
– Eat some carrots or an apple as a snack
How will you choose to fuel your Ferrari today?