Some live to work, others live to play. For residents of the Canadian Rockies, and those who might as well be, its usually the latter. Five o’clock rolls around and we’re straight out the door and into our hiking boots, climbing shoes or whatever outdoor gear we feel like trying out next. Its tough to eat well when youre constantly on the go, though, and getting some good grub in your system is crucial to being at your best.
So Ive compiled the five fastest nutrition tips out there for you!
1. Go Eat! I Said…Now!
If its been more than 3 hours, you need to get food in you. You should be eating small meals every 2 to 4 hours.
- Plan ahead for your day and recognize how many meals you will have to pack. An 8-hour work day requires 2 or 3 small meals. Be prepared so you dont put yourself in a situation that forces you to waste your money on poor meal choices.
- Always have healthy snacks on hand for when your day doesnt go as planned. Example, tuna salad, carrots and almond butter, hard boiled eggs and cucumber, or greek yogurt and granola.
2. Protein is Not Just for Gym Rats
Every meal should contain at least one serving (20-30g, or the size of a deck of cards) of a complete protein. Men should be eating two servings.
- Complete proteins include all animal proteins (such as fish, poultry, milk, meat, eggs, cheese) and combinations of complementary proteins (cashews and quinoa, oats and walnuts, sesame seeds and brown rice).
- Protein is the most energy consuming nutrient for your body to digest. That means its the best choice for increasing satiety (feeling of fullness) and boosting metabolism. When in doubt, choose a protein-filled meal.
3. Get Some Veg on Your Table
Im not going to sit here and tell you that munching on a crown of broccoli is going to be a flavour party with all your taste buds invited, but if you get a little creative with how you cook them, you might just surprise yourself. Shoot for two servings (1/2 – 1 cup) per meal.
- Every time you go shopping, pick a wacky vegetable you havent tried before; youll discover some great flavours. (Bok choy? Oh boy!)
4. Be Wary of the Forbidden Fruit (pssst…its not fruit)
Oh, starchy carbs. Why must you be so delicious? Rices, pastas, breads, cereals and pastries; how I would love to eat you at every meal! But, if youre looking to lean out, then these tasty treats must be eaten in moderation.
- Limit starchy carbs to after your hike, crossfit class or whatever gets your sweat on.
5. Fats are Friends
Fats gets a bad name because of…well their name. But there are many good fats that need to be eaten. Fats should make up about a quarter of the average persons diet. Im not kidding!
- Balance evenly between saturated (fatty meats, cheeses, coconut oil), monounsaturated (avocados, olive oil, almonds) and polyunsaturated (walnuts, vegetable oil, cold water fish) fats.
- Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats are usually the most lacking in the diet. You can avoid that by sprinkling some ground flax seed, hempseed or chia seed on your salads. Or try adding a cold water fish oil supplement to your daily vitamin regime.
When the crisp alpine air is filling your lungs and the mountains are beckoning, its easy to rush outside and forget all about proper nutrition. But with these five tips and a little planning, you can live your fifth-gear lifestyle and eat for it too!