Nutrition 101

Nutrition 101

Nutrition 101

42 @ 42 by Kelly Waterhouse

Along with not running regularly – I won’t say training as my brain seems to switch off at that word – my biggest weakness would have to be food. I’m definitely what you would call a good eater. Probably too good… And not in the sense of I eat a well-balanced, healthy, plant-focused, grain-free, dairy-light way. More in the family block of chocolate for one sense…

I’ve always been a good (big) eater, finishing off what’s on my plate as instructed as a child then having room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert right!?), while also finding room between meals for a little snack or two. A habit that was well developed during my childhood spent with Grandparents, Great Uncle, and parents – if you didn’t finish all your dinner then there was no after dinner treat, and I never miss the opportunity for a sweet treat. And with an increase in exercise, all I want to do is eat! And as can be expected, I don’t always make the best decisions when the urge to munch hits mid-morning or afternoon – where’s the office fundraising snack box?!

To try and combat this lifelong habit I regularly attend – when available – every workshop and demonstration on nutrition, lifestyle habits, health and fitness, and hydration. Whatever is presented, if I can go, I go. Sadly, even with attending all these sessions, taking copious notes, actually re-reading those notes, and asking the presenter questions following the session, I still haven’t put into practice any of these learnings. I generally hear the same information each time, with the occassional new piece of information, and pretty much know what the speaker is telling the group, but something – laziness, lack of motivation, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of self-realisation, who knows… prevents me from actually making life style changes for the better. Yes, I know I can still eat chocolate and have a sweet tooth, but it’s as if I’m being asked to stop permanently and I’m like – just one more piece… That all being said, this time I will make a change. That’s it, it’s been said, the winds of change will hear my statement and it will be done!

Nutrition 101: You're only one decisions away from a healthier life

With only 41 weeks to go until the Australia Outback Marathon (AOM) (#shamelessplug), I have time to implement strategies and trial run nutrition, as well as step my running up a notch. To help with the training side of things I’ve signed up for several events in the next few months: 3 Inch (the shorter version of WA’s 6 Inch trail event) in December, the Albany WA Sprint Triathlon in March as that will help with cross-training, plus several smaller things in between, and Birdy’s Backyard, an ultra-event two weeks after the AOM – ‘cos when you go out to do amazing things you may as well keep going.

The benefit for me of signing up for events, and to combat the whole “training” mindset issue, is that I know I need to keep up the regularity of my outings, and when I get out and about, if there are no time commitments, I just keep plodding along and can find myself covering more kilometres than I initially planned. Therefore increasing the time I spend on my feet and developing the necessary fitness. I know I’m never going to be a podium finisher and I have absolutely no issue with that, but I like to know I can cover a distance. I’m fairly stubborn and so far can get myself through a course, but being able to do it without having to really give myself a ‘good talking to’ is a great feeling.

To help with the nutrition I’ve recently had a body scan (oh wowsers, that was a wake up!) and discussion with a Naturopath, and will be seeking the guidance of people with knowledge in this area, namely; the Naturopath, a Functional Nutrition Dietician, nurses who are running friends, and running friends who are experienced trail and road runners across distances from 5 km to 100 miles. You cannot dismiss the knowledge seasoned runners have. They have experienced the highs and lows of running, and some of these friends have, and continue to, represent Australia at amazing places around the world. While they are not trained in nutrition, they have learned little tips and tricks on how to run with light packs, good fuelling choices that aren’t all mysterious words and letters I can’t decipher, and tricks for pre, during and post run nutrition. Apparently Eat.All.The.Foods is not a suitable post run nutrition choice…

At a recent mini workshop, the best thing I took away from the session was – diet, rest, exercise, stress and supplements.

  • Diet; investigate what works and doesn’t work for you and make small, good changes that you can continue with and don’t require you to suddenly become a Michelin Star Chef.
  • Rest; a vital part of any person’s life. We all spend so much time doing “stuff”, that we forget the importance of actually stopping. Resting by sitting down in a quiet room with your phone scrolling Facebook just doesn’t quite cut it.
  • Exercise; obviously an important factor in life, but not just going out and strolling the block. Yes this is a great starting place if you are getting back into an active lifestyle, but something that makes you a little ‘huffy puffy’ on a regular basis is good for you.
  • Stress; oh boy, as if this isn’t a big enough issue in our lives, now we need to add to it to? No, the whole point of this was to reduce stress. Massive amounts of stress in our lives, internal and external stressors, can have a really detrimental effect on our bodies and can create additional issues on top of the ones we are already dealing with. This point was to look at ways to reduce the stress in our lives, in whatever way works best for you; bush walking, massage, coffee with friends, fishing, lying on the grass staring up at the clouds, reading a book, disconnecting from the electronic world and reverting back to the basics.
  • And finally, supplements. So many people think that if they get ‘this, that and the other’ bottle of pills and tablets from the pharmacist this will help them to improve whatever issue it is they think needs fixing. This point was about Supportive Supplements. Go and make an appointment with a trusted or recommended (always ask around, you don’t want to go to someone that most people avoid…) Dietician, Nutritionist, Doctor or someone who provides these services in your area, and have them test you to ensure you’re not just creating a lovely dose of expensive urine… to put it simply…

Right, now to try and implement the first of my healthy changes; reducing my grain intake, which basically means not having toast with every meal of the day… ok, so I don’t do this every day, but… I do love me a piece of toast with lots of butter… maybe that will help with reducing my dairy intake too…? Till next time, run, run, run and don’t eat all the food!

41 weeks to go until the Australian Outback Marathon

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