Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Food Plan

So then you know, I plan my food around my fitness plan:

BEFORE
complex carbs &
light protein

IMMEDIATELY BEFORE
simple carbs
 
WORKOUT IMMEDIATELY AFTER
simple carbs &
light protein
AFTER
complex carbs &
light protein
BETWEEN
complex carbs &
heavy protein

Immediately before/after means within 45 minutes, before/after means within 1-3 hours, and between means more than 3 hours before or after workouts. Which nowadays are at pretty regular times, no more half-awake nibbling peanut butter and honey toast before Saturday morning speed practice or munching peanut butter and jelly sandwiches one-handed on the way to Tuesday evening speed practice. Which means that my already horrifyingly limited palette of foods has gotten even more limited, but also that I almost never have to do dishes.

Complex carbs and light protein before workout

Most of my workouts are in the evening, so this means dinner. Lately I've been having pasta salads for dinner. As in, I make a huge pasta salad at some point in the week and eat it all week out of takealong containers. And if I'm not eating pasta salad out of a plastic container, you can find me at Choppers or Taco Burrito Express. Or if it's happy hour, at Geisha Sushi eating $4 maki rolls.

Before Kru on Saturday morning, I usually have oatmeal with dates, walnuts, and silk because I haven't organized anything else.

Simple carbs immediately before workout

I'm still following what it says in Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life:

While the pre-exercise snack is not unimportant, its value should be minimal. What I mean by that is, try to ensure that the previous workout was properly recovered from and that the body is so well fueled on an ongoing basis that what is consumed immediately before the workout is not a major factor, fuel-wise.
The body's first choice for fuel during intense exercise is simple carbohydrate.... It's best to ensure the body is provided with enough simple carbohydrate to fuel activity so that complex carbohydrate is not relied upon. If the body has to resort to burning complex carbohydrate while exercising at a high intensity, it will have to use extra energy to convert the complex carbohydrate into simple carbohydrate.
Also, protein is not what you want to have your body burning as fuel. Protein is for building muscle, not fueling it. When protein is consumed in place of carbohydrate immediately before exercise, and therefore burned as fuel, it burns "dirty." meaning that toxins are created from its combustion. The production and elimination of toxins are a stress on the body and cause a stress response, ultimately leading to a decline in endurance.

That said, I pretty much stopped having pre-workout snacks. I don't feel like I need them. Pasta and juice for dinner or oatmeal and juice for breakfast sets me up beforehand, and then I drink OJ2O throughout. I still want to try coconut water, though.

Simple carbs and light protein immediately after workout

Also from Thrive:

To speed recovery, the body needs simple carbohydrate to enter the bloodstream—the quicker the better. This means that the post-exercise snack should contain very little fat (even the good kind) and no fiber since both slow the rate at which carbohydrate enters the bloodstream.... Up to one part of protein for every four parts of carbohydrate can be beneficial. This small amount of protein helps speed glycogen synthesis, the rate at which the muscles absorb the carbohydrate. However, a greater amount of protein, in excess of 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, will slow recovery.

For this, I've been having a small glass of chocolate silk and a handful of almonds.

Complex carbs and light protein after workout

Unless I'm starving, I have my chocolate silk and go to bed. So then the meal after a weeknight workout is breakfast, which for summer is raisin bran with banana, sliced almonds, and silk.

Complex carbs and heavy protein between workouts

For lunch and afternoon snack I'm back to eating avocado toast and apple with peanut butter, neither of which is exactly heavy protein. Not real worried about that, I think I get enough protein. But if I were to have a big protein meal, it would be lunch or dinner on off workout nights. Is what I'm saying.

Truthfully, it's a little bit boring to eat like this; but it's easy, and you would be amazed how much time you can free up around food—

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