First let me preface this by saying I am not here to try and convince you of anything…I am simply stating my opinion and what has worked for me in regards to diet. I do not have any sort of expertise in nutrition or food science and honestly have very little interest in it. This day in age there are seemingly billions of diet options that will turn you into the best person, athlete, and superhuman you can be. Nowhere is this more evident than in the endurance community…you’ve got your paleo, vegan, vegetarian, low fat, high fat, no fat, all-organic/non-GMO/gluten-free foodies and then there’s me. I’m that person who is still following the food pyramid we all learned about in elementary school. Yes I am sure this is an outdated concept and all the foodies and healthy eats people will say I’m wrong but that’s fine with me. I eat whatever I want but try and maintain some semblance of balance between grains, fruits & veggies, dairy, meat, and fats. Oh I almost forgot my own personal category…alcohol. Cause let’s be honest people most of us are ganna have a drink every now and again but it is DEFINITELY something you want to maintain portion control of.
Above is a picture of what a typical day looks for me. All the major food groups are covered with a little of that extra food group to enjoy while bringing the puppy out for her evening walk.
Of course some days are ganna be “healthier” while other are less healthy. We all have busy lives and if occasionally stopping to grab take out instead of spending an hour cooking dinner makes your life easier DO IT. And honestly the reason I do not take more advantage of all the restaurants around me is because I’m still on the “Broke as Hell College Kid” budget. So most of my grocery shopping focuses on the store brands for any given product and whatever I can find that’s on sale…the all organic everything route is just plain too expensive for me. However, I do make a few exceptions, the biggest being: Snyders’ of Hanover pretzels, diet coke, and IPAs. Other than that I am hitting up store brand everything and bottom-of-the-bottom-shelf whiskeys that are usually found under the shelves covered in dust because I am the only person who ever buys them.
I guess what I am really trying to get at here is it’s okay to not jump on the newest diet bandwagon. By all means try out new foods, trends, and recipes and find what works for you. But don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t keep a strict diet…do whatever works for you, keeps you feeling healthy and strong, but most importantly doesn’t drive you insane. I’m sorry if you were looking for a more detailed explanation of my diet but there isn’t that much to explain…I eat healthy-ish, try to avoid overly processed foods (which isn’t always successful), and eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not.
Okay if you have made it this far here is the reason I decided to touch on the subject of diet. I have got a ton of questions recently, mainly from Instagram, about my diet. If you are reading this then you most likely know me…it’s not like I’m setting any world records for blog views here…and know how I do 95% of my running and exercising. Shirtless. And that translates over to my Instagram account where most posts are made after a run when I am shirtless. Yes I know I am decent shape and have definition but that has less to do with diet as it does good ‘ol fashion work. YEARS (going back to working on a farm all thru middle and high school) of manual labor and then later in life strength workouts and running has given me the build and body I have now. Although maintaining a healthy diet is definitely a good thing it cannot replace the act of putting in the work over years create the physical appearance you desire. All these miracle products, workouts, diets, programs, etc. that guarantee a “beach body in 4 weeks” are a short term (and in my opinion largely unsuccessful) fix. Sure if you really workout and change your diet for a month you will see results but maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is the only way to keep that “beach body”…and guess what that takes. Hard Work. Every week. Every Month. Year in and Year Out.
If I haven’t managed to lose you in this drawn out rambling here is the final take home message from The American Runner on diet and fitness: Hard work and dedication to yourself and achieving your goals is of utmost importance in becoming the athlete you envision. I do not put a huge amount of stock in short term fixes. And eat what you want…try to keep it healthy but its okay to slip up. Sometimes you’ve just gotta say F*** it and go for that extra beer, piece of cake, or whatever your weakness is. Life is too short to forgo all indulgences.