Letter from the Founder to the DEA Family, 11/5/2018, Nutrition
The Candy Eating Holiday (Halloween), is a great time to talk about nutrition. I know this because so many of you did;-) The most important element of the nutrition discussion is that each one of us is as unique nutritionally as we are biologically. There are actually DNA tests you can take which will (theoretically) indicate if you have certain needs that you may be neglecting. If it really works and what tests are best...I simply do not know enough. SHRUG.
Often, I hear parents and athletes talking to each other about eating ‘right.’ When I do, I mention that
‘right’ for them may not be ‘right’ for someone else.
There are many, many reasons why we crave foods and the more we examine them, the more obvious the reasons often are.
Craving carbs or fats can be an indication of physical or chemical need. So can high calorie consumption.
As a competitive swimmer and runner, it was an odd day when I consumed less than 6000 calories. Breakfast alone was usually a pound of bacon and a box of toaster strudel. After school, I would sometimes down an entire bag of Doritos before swim practice. If I didn’t eat like that, I could guarantee myself a mind and body numbing migraine and at least 1 day out of school, on my back, in the dark and quiet of my bedroom. Yet I graduated high school a whopping 5’9” and 132lbs. Clearly my body had a need. In hindsight, consuming more nuts as alternative fats and fruits and vegetables as alternative carbs, might have been a more efficient nutritional vehicle. ;-) BUT, there is only one way to tell. Track your nutrition! Tracking my nutrition, ahem, back in the day, was prompted by my biology teacher in High School. I largely credit Mr. Poe and his high school class. He challenged us to track our nutrition and ultimately helped me reduce my migraines. Today I use the My Fitness Pal application. It’s super easy, records data forever and has virtually everything you could ever eat already loaded with its nutritional value. Many of you already use this application and we talk about your nutrition on a semi-monthly basis. I pack every discussion of nutrition with some important messages.
You are unique. Two athletes in the same sport, same grade, generally same build and similar workout schedule will likely eat VERY differently. So, if you compare, do it for fun. Don’t expect to get a six pack on the same diet and exercise as Johnny.
Don’t count calories. Wait to see how your body feels over time. Then make small adjustments with the information you are learning. Cutting calories can make a person fat and slow just as easily over indulging on Candy Week.
Your body needs food to survive and to heal. If you starve it of something it needs, over time, your body will do damage to something you need (muscles and brain tissue) to protect your vital organs (heart). Gluten intolerance
Fruit or nut allergy
Each of these is real and each of these may be influenced by food. Some more clearly than others;-)
The only way to know for sure what you need and in what proportions is to track the information over time. If you have questions about your own nutrition and performance, let me know. We can talk about trouble shooting yourself or if a nutritionist may be a good idea. Sincerest Hugs Jay Mabry Founder