Finding the right nutrition for you

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Before I get into anything today, I want to preface this post by reiterating the fact that I am not a doctor of any kind, and these blogs are not research papers.

I write them based off of my life, my experiences, and to start discussions with you guys. Just because I write something that I do personally doesn’t mean it has been clinically or scientifically proven to be “right”. I’ve never claimed to be a doctor/medical professional of any kind. Nor do I spend hours researching a topic before I write these. The only topic that I research and learn about constantly is swimming and how to do so in the safest and most efficient way possible.

When it comes to anything else, I’m writing about my experiences based off of my day to day activities. That’s it! Nothing special. It would be the same as if any one of you sat down and wrote about how much you love eating ketchup in your mac and cheese. You’d be wrong (only kidding!), but it’s your opinion, and you have every right to that.

Okay, moving on. Today I wanted to touch base on a notoriously touchy subject: nutrition. I’m not a nutritionist, and I don’t know every fad diet there is out there (like the baby food diet? Heard of that one?). But I have implemented quite a few different ways of eating and wanted to share.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth, or a food tooth, for that matter. I’m in love with food, absolutely obsessed with it. It’s how I choose to experience different cultures and share those things with other people. I bake to show my love and appreciation and I cook to relieve stress.
Food is a big part of my life. And I’m always trying to see how best to fuel myself to perform at my peak. And when I say “perform”, I’m not talking about just my workouts. I am referencing the things I do in my everyday life.
At this point I’ve tried a ketogenic diet, high fat low carb (almost Atkins-esque), high protein no sugar, paleo, Whole30, and just plain old eating what I’m craving when I crave it (I think this has now been dubbed intuitive eating, but not positive).
What I’ve found is that each way of eating makes me feel a completely different way.
With some I was constantly hungry with a ton of energy, with others I was full all the time and didn’t want to get out of bed. Some ways of eating were just plain annoying because I had to have a spreadsheet to track my macros for Every. Single. Thing I ate.
This past November I decided to simply eat when I was hungry, and eat what my body told me it wanted. This has been the best I’ve felt in years, and I’m so glad I took the time to figure out what works best for my body to perform.
     Most days I eat a good amount of protein, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. But there are days where I really want to eat 3 slices of cake…so I do. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.
 What I want you to take from this post is that there’s no “right” nutrition. There’s only a right nutrition for YOU.
 Since testing all of these different ways of eating, my husband and I found that different things affect us differently. Shouldn’t be a shock, but it still is sometimes.
Now he eats ketogenic and I eat whatever I feel like (within reason). His body performs best with the high fat, low carb, medium protein approach. And my body needs more carbs (fruits and veggies) to feel at its peak.
I’m writing all of this so that hopefully, if you’re having trouble progressing in your training and you’re not sure why, you’ll take a harder look at your nutrition.
When it comes to most of our youth athletes, they’re usually not getting enough protein and are eating too many processed carbs. That’s an easy fix, but it probably won’t be simple for most people.
If you’ve already figured out the best nutrition for yourself that’s great! It can be a very long process sometimes, but one that’s definitely worth figuring out.
Nutrition plays such a large role in our lives but is often viewed as an extremely controversial topic. I hesitated writing about this because of that feeling, but in the end I figured it was necessary to broach the subject.
I’m not telling you guys what to do, or what’s best for you, or that you should eat how I eat. I just want you to figure out the best fuel to perform at your best. Once you find that, you’ll see just how good nutrition affects our day to day activities, sleep, and brain function.
-Lissa Henderson