Let's start with protein. I historically do not eat enough of it. I grew up with a vegetarian/non-cooking mom. I am a ramen noodle, mac n cheese, sugary cereal foodie. If you can microwave it, I ate it. If it came out of a can, I ate it. Favorite meal I could make myself? Bennie wennies. Yep. Gross. (but secretly delicious). When I went off to college I didn't really eat meat. Eggs, sure, but that was about it. I lived on noodles, salad, and Kool-aid. Picture of health, right? I played Division 2 sports in college and noodles were not cutting it. My first meat meal? Veal Parmigiana from the dining hall. Scary, but delish! I haven't looked back since. When my husband and I started dating he basically had to introduce me to meats meal by meal. I had not had a fast food hamburger (!). My first one? Five Guys. Mouth watering. I still have some chicken issues. I can NOT reheat meat (barf).
When I started Crossfit I knew I needed to clean up my eating habits. I kept a food journal for a few days and had a coach/friend look at it. It drew a crowd. Not kidding, I think I had logged 40 grams of protein. FOR THE DAY! Now, I didn't realize how absurd that was until I Googled "how much protein should I be eating?" The answer? 63 grams!!!!!! This is based on .8 x's bodyweight in kg. That's without trying to build muscle, working out, lifting heavy shit.....Well, I had work to do. I began keeping a VERY detailed food journal, writing down fat, carbs, and protein. It's hard to get that much protein in when you aren't used to it. I mean, eat meat.....right? Well, some meat is better than others. Some meat has the protein you want, but tons of sodium. Some meat is gross. Sorry, it is.
I started my protein journey with eggs and veggies in the morning, meat, meat, and more meat throughout the day. Did I mention I hate turkey? I do. I have chicken issues and I hate turkey. Makes lunches at work a tad more difficult and I had to get creative. Insert toaster oven. Yep, I cook in my office. I cook steak, sausages, veggies, eggs......people always tell me how delicious it smells. I also began incorporating protein shakes into my daily routine. One for a snack or emergency "I might pass out if I don't eat" and then always right after a workout. The ones I use and like:
Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Standard. This guy is my go -to (and is on Amazon Prime). I typically do chocolate (can't go wrong there). Protein: 22 grams, 2 grams of sugar, and it is creamy and delicious. I did just order, for the first time, cake batter. I can't wait. This is what my 7 year old has for breakfast in the mornings before school. He doesn't like breakfast foods, he is a SLOW eater and he LOVES this shake. We were giving him Carnation Instant Breakfast - do you know how much sugar is in that?!?! We mix the Gold Standard in some milk and send him off.
The other one is SFH Whey protein. I have not had all the flavors, but I've tried Pina Colada, peach-mango, chocolate, and coconut. The coconut is my fav.......I LOVE a coconut. These are low in sugar, high in protein, and taste great. They also come in individual serving sizes, which is nice for traveling. I've had the Pre-race, Recovery, and Pure - any time I can get more specific options like that I love it. All of them tasted good and sat well in my stomach (gotta be careful with that nervous poo). They have a Crossfit Team, which I love, and they are a locally based (Maine) company that promotes a clean diet, high protein/low sugar, and exercise. How can you not support that? Sounds good to me!
My husband eats protein all day....perhaps that's why his beard is so manly?
Now for baby food. I've heard other people eat it during long runs, competitions, etc. I've never been interested because the glass baby food jars freak me out......but now so many come in pouches. Less freaky. Right? At competitions, take Superfit for example, I tend to not want to eat real food. I get nervous that I will puke, it wont sit well, or I'll be in the bathroom (which will happen any way). I saw Happy Tots in the store and grabbed a few. Not gonna lie, they were deliscious, and exactly what I was looking for. I had apple, sweet potatoe, and carrot. Tasted great. Nothing added. Just those three foods. I wished they had the coconut one.......LOVE coconut! I will keep a look out for these for future events. I felt much better eating this rather than the standard GU, gel, power bar, etc. Felt good and tasted good - and no glass jar.
Competitions. I just want to say this. If you are running, crossfitting, swimming, biking, etc.......I think you should do a competition. Even if it's just one. They are fun. You meet a lot of people. You get to see what other people are doing, wearing (my fav), and how you compare. Who cares if you are last - you are out there. Odds are you get a shirt no matter what (maybe this is where my t-shirt obsession has come from?). I love a competition because it gives me a goal, it gives me a reality check (am I working hard enough, could I do something different, am I where I thought I was?), and I'm competitive. As far as crossfit goes you cannot realistically go 100% on every WOD and there are times you think you went hard, but had that been in a competition environment I bet you could have pulled way more out of you. Same goes for triathletes, runners, etc. Training is not meant to be 100%. That's what "Game Day" is for. I love it. It sends me right to the bathroom with nervous poo - but I love every second of it.