Nutrition.. Almost something I dread talking about, as there are so many opinions, often with so little experiential knowledge or physiological background.
There are many diets and plans (such as paleo, ketogenic, intermittent fasting and beyond) that gain and lose popularity all the time. Although it sounds boring, to be honest we actually find the best approach is still a balanced routine that is suited to your body’s needs.
Since 2008 I've been (often extremely) experimenting or "bio-hacking" nutritional strategies. Back then I tried everything from 16-8 fasting, 6/1 fasting, carb back-loading, keto, paleo, etc etc. Anyway, in recent years I've become a lot less polarised and have found so much more joy, health (and yep, body comp improvements) with a middle ground approach.
At Workshop, we believe in a sustainable and simple approach to food. Of course, there are individual considerations for every person, but there are also some pretty key concepts that make sense, a few of which we've touched on below.
Eat real food. Not packaged, not processed. Real food.
Can you identify the food source? Do you know how the product has been made and what from? Real food doesn't need a food label or detailed description and real food isn't saturated with chemicals. Hit up your local Farmer's market, organise an organic veggie box, or at least just visit the "outside" of the supermarket.
Start with veggies (and enjoy fruit!)
You've heard this a million times, but vegetables really are the bees knees. Not only will vegetables help to reduce inflammation, provide more roughage and fibre to help clean out your digestion and help prevent disease, they will keep you satisfied and provide a range of nutrients to help with the millions of chemical processes that take place in your body every day - including those related to energy production and metabolism! Aim for a veggie base with every meal and try to pack in lots of different types from starchy to leafy greens, crunchy, raw and cooked.
Eat power proteins.
These are nutrient dense powerhouses, and are all packaged up with goodness such as saturated fats and bone-building minerals. These include: eggs, bone broth, shellfish. Add these to your regular happy, free range meats to create more diversity in your diet.
As part of improving our connection to the natural world around us, seasonality is important! Not only does buying seasonal support your local community, but it also prevents the waste of resources and energy associated with shipping food across the world. Seasonal foods tend to be cheaper, healthier looking and more available. Notice where your food is coming from! Most supermarkets now will tell you where a product is from. If your garlic has come all the way from Mexico and your kiwifruit from Italy, skip these options for a local alternative. The more local the better! Can you grow some of your own food in your back yard or on the window sill?
Drink (quality) water
Just like many of our food sources, water has also been tampered with. If possible, get your hands on some filtered water that has had all the chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals removed. This can be achieved through the right water filtration system. We have one at the gym - let us know if you have any questions about it! Drink when you are thirsty, and make sure that you get enough during the day. Drink water around main meals so that you don't dilute your stomach acid in the process and hinder digestion.
Finally, eat regularly. Yes, this is going against the fads of fasting that is trending right now. Yes, we know you "don't even think about food" if you are currently fasting. We've been there. But, what we are finding is we believe there may be a stress-response involved with regular, long term and repeated glycogen depletion (yes this goes for keto too). Our current approach is eating at regular periods throughout the day, to regulate blood sugar levels and feel great.
How do you feel about your nutrition?
We are passionate about providing an integrated approach to training and health here at Workshop, and part of that service is our one-on-one nutrition and lifestyle consultations and coaching programs.
We work with a number of members to help them stay accountable and on track when it comes to finding a sustainable diet and removing all the overwhelm and confusion associated with the world of nutrition. Want more info? Get in touch here.