Fueling for my Active Lifestyle

imageAs a personal trainer and avid exerciser I am constantly needing to fuel my body to get through the day. Most of my workouts take place around lunchtime so I front load my day with nutritious whole foods. I typically start my day around 5:00 am with my first client around 6:00 am. It is hard to eat a balanced breakfast before the sun is up, so in the summer I usually do a smoothie followed by an apple and some almonds or California trail mix around 9:00-10:00 am. My breakfast smoothie varies. Some days I will do a green smoothie, other days I will mix an organic plant based protein powder with a banana and some almond or coconut milk. It all depends on my appetite that morning and the activity level of my day. I love adding chia seeds to my smoothies because they add some satiety as well as fiber, omegas and protein. My mid morning snack is a mixture of carbohydrates and protein that prepares me for my lunch hour workout. If I am running I typically will eat a bit less because I have a sensitive stomach. No matter what I always spend my mornings sipping some variation of tea and drinking loads of water. I really love roasted dandelion root tea. It is naturally caffeine free and has a nutty rich flavor that takes care of any coffee cravings. On days where I am dragging I will drink green tea for a little extra boost.

I do not supplement before or during my workouts. I do much better on eating whole foods. I do sometimes needs to add a protein shake to my day after a tough workout if I know it will be a while until my next meal. However I generally try to plan a meal within the hour following my workout. If I lose a lot of sweat during a workout I will have some endurance powder to replenish electrolytes. I sweat a lot and if I do not replace electrolytes I can feel drained. My favorite endurance drink is made by Scratch Labs. They have a lemon lime flavor that is light and low in calories. On a really hot day I will have an endurance drink before my workout. I very rarely supplement during a workout. If I am running for over an hour I might have a GU, but unless I am training for a half marathon I generally keep my runs around 5-6 miles. I am a pretty intuitive exerciser, If I am feeling depleted I generally know when to stop pushing. I have learned to give into my body’s signs rather than pushing through with caffeinated supplements. My goals are to stay in shape and to feel good. I truly enjoy the process of exercising, rather than just the results. If I am doing a workout it is because it is what I want to do.

My workouts vary quite a bit. I am a runner, I love to run but I have learned to love so many other forms of exercise that sometimes I don’t feel I have enough days in the week to fit it all in. I try and get on the yoga mat at least once a week, I am a HIIT junky, plyometrics is my boyfriend and I have recently got back into shadow boxing. When I am feeling like I want too really sweat out a bender or an indulgent weekend I will do a HIIT Tabata workout. I also do a lot of walking with my dog. In the summer I paddle board in the bay for a low key core and upper back workout. I obviously need to adjust my consumption of water, calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates depending on what activities I am engaging in but it is usually a subtle addition. I add an egg or two when I need the protein, or an avocado when I need the fat. I also always reach for a spoon of almond butter if my meal didn’t seem to satisfy the fat craving.

I am so passionate about exercise and I am almost as equally passionate about eating healthy and delicious food. When I am eating a clean whole food diet I feel my the best. The less alcohol I consume the better I feel. I have been gluten free since 2008 and I continuously try to avoid dairy. I often fail and will indulge in some frozen yogurt or chocolate ice cream. When I fall off the wagon I just get back on. I try not to beat myself up for caving to food cravings but I am a human and I would be lying if I said I am not feeling gross about the amount of soft serve I ate Saturday night.

I like to be candid about my relationship with exercise and food. I very rarely have a day where I do not want to workout. Even when I feel like crud I crave the high I will feel after. That being said, I do take a rest day once a week. On this day I really try to rest. I think the key to staying committed to a healthy lifestyle is creating healthy habits. I have never been inactive, because to me it is not an option. It does not happen over night but I have seen it happen with my clients and I know it is possible to go from a yo yo exerciser and dieter to a healthy lifestyle participant. I struggle more with the indulging on weekends when it comes to social gatherings. My family gathers around food and booze so sometimes I feel like a blob come Monday. I am constantly working on my self control. It is a process and I know I am far from perfect. I constantly seek the balance of enjoying myself and all the joy that comes with social consumption without over doing it.

That’s all folks.