Contrary to what many may think, when it comes to nutrition, I have been more of a “do as I say, not as I eat” person. With my vigorous activity / exercise regimen, I’ve been able to “get away” with it. But what exactly have I gotten away with by not properly fueling and hydrating my body? The reality is I’ve sabotaged my race performances and suffered some health consequences.
The appearance of physical fitness does not equate with health.
I’ve had many bouts of kidney stones from chronic dehydration that I’ve brought on myself (too much sweating, too little water intake). Something as simple as drinking the 8 glasses of water a day has been a real challenge for me. I’m also guilty of chronic neglect of adequate daily veggie and fruit intake. My good intentions too often transform into science experiments in my fridge.
Truth is, while I am an exercise fiend, I am lazy in the dietary department. It’s my turn to commit to get fit from the inside out. We all know what comprises the good, bad and the ugly of our diets, change is a challenge for everyone―even me.
When my regular workouts (swimming 3-4 times a week, biking 2 times a week, deep sand running) came to a sudden halt due to a cycling accident, there were 2-3 weeks of little to no physical activity and 2 months of very mild activity. This has been down time for me in more ways than one―plenty of time to take stock of my habits and how they are affecting me. As addicted as I am to exercise, I am equally addicted to chocolate, sugar and empty carbs. And I have never been good with moderation. Since I wasn’t getting my exercise endorphin fix, I found myself over-indulging in the “bad stuff”. Like an addict, chasing an elusive high. I realized not only was it not helping me feel any better, it was making me feel worse emotionally and physically. (No brainer I know– that’s what the nutrition experts tell you.) I just had never really felt it so dramatically.
Notably past the midlife point, it’s clearly time to for me to start eating and drinking like a responsible adult. I know I will feel better and let’s face it; my body is not as forgiving as it once was
Inspired by the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead in which the Australian, Joe Cross, transforms his health and his life by going on a juice fast, I’ve decided to try juicing myself. Nothing radical— I’m starting small – introducing one 16 ounce glass of veggies & fruit juice a day. Not a fan of V-8 or pure carrot juice, I know I need to be creative, forgiving and patient with myself. To fool my sweet tooth, my strategy is to begin with a couple of carrots and lots of fruit and slowly change the ratios adding more green veggies and carrots and less fruit as my taste buds allow. So 2 carrots, 2 apples, 1/2 pear, and a handful of grapes later, this juicing newbie is off to a sweet start. It was easy, quick and kind of fun. It’s all about making small, incremental positive choices as you minimize the not so great choices. That’s the strategy—add in the good stuff and eventually, you’ll crowd out the bad.
Any juice concoction I make will be more fruits and veggies than I would otherwise have had on that given day. It will also helps increase my daily fluid intake. So cheers to better health and fitness day by day. What changes did you make today?