There is so much knowledge on nutrition available out there. By stating this following blog, let me start by saying I am not a nutritionist. This is simply my take on one aspect of nutrition. So, if you have a different opinion, find another blog.
I was having a discussion with a friend of mine and fellow athlete on the topic of “strong is the new skinny.” I made arguments that I love it. I love seeing men, and especially women now, pushing themselves to become strong and capable. She gave an opinion I had not yet considered: that, if strong is the new skinny, that people can still be extrinsically motivated because that is what is now “wanted.” Wow. There’s a thought.
In my head, in order to truly be strong, one would have to be intrinsically motivated, because it is just so fucking hard to be good at it. One could argue that the ends justify the means, but in my mind that would be incorrect. If one is extrinsically motivated, you will always fall short of the mark. Once you have the desired effect of how you look two things will eventually happen: you will stop trying so hard and/or you will never be satisfied with your appearance and start killing yourself to be extrinsically “perfect.” That can be bad for your overall health and mental wellbeing. Beauty is also fleeting on an extrinsic scale.
It should always be about performance. What appealed to me about sports, and now especially Weightlifting, is how valuable and transferable it is both spiritually and physically. A person should be able to lift, pick, and move. This is what we are designed to do. When our bodies were created or evolved to a certain point, it was never about having a “bikini body,” it was about survival. To move in a different direction is to ultimately detrimental in some way.
Food is the ultimate source of performance (the only other measurable and equivalent contributor is sleep). Not eating what your body needs will always lower your performance value, and thus your capability. Your body will look like what it is capable of (most of the time, generalizations must be tolerated here).
What you see in the above picture is what goes into my recovery drink after training sessions.
1) Natural, grass fed, derivative protein. Red meat today can be dangerous, get something that is natural. Thankfully due to the fitness revolution, this is easily found now. If you are using it for recovery, get a Whey Protein.
2) Blueberries. For starters, blueberries are good for the brain and other crucial aspects of the human body. When added, they provide quick digesting sugar which helps to push the protein into your muscles more quickly.
3) Ground Flaxseed. This is my preference. I hate fish oils. There is a lot of discussion on whether or not flax seed can be an equivalent. The proper Omega fats are there (joint regulation), but, if you decide to go this route, find some that is ground or ground your own.
4) Creatine. If you are about to say creatine only adds water mass, stop reading this blog and leave me the fuck alone. Do your research. This shit is cheap and should be added to any athletes diet.
5)Antioxidant rich, vegetable derived powder. You can also use actual veggies and greens, which I do as well. This stuff is from Trader Joes and offers a very rich antioxidant value to the drink.
There you have it. This works for me and I am currently training twice a day and successfully recovering (obviously what you do outside of this will contribute as well). Performance will always yield success. You must eat to perform, and eat the right things. It isn’t just salads and lemon waters. The better you eat and recover, the more intensely you can train, and it becomes a reciprocating cycle. When you become intrinsically motivated and strive to push yourself to become more capable, beauty is no longer fleeting, but becoming. We have a saying in warrior culture: “Make peaceful the mind, but make savage the body.”