Venturing beyond the kitchen
It was an epic powder day as I carved untouched lines between the trees. I lean back on the tail of my board and float through the blissful moment. My mind is sharp, body nourished and energy levels abundant.
I believe part of thriving in the moment is nourishing your body with the right foods. More than finding the perfect pre-workout or post-workout meal or deciding how many calories your ingesting, it’s about nourishment for life’s moments. It’s about eating nutrient-dense, whole foods. Real foods.
The nutrition journey
These days the sense of needing an instant fix takes precedence over the concept of long-term vision. I believe we need to venture beyond the kitchen and go deeper. Food is hardly a destination point, but the lifeblood of our experiences, adventures and greatest moments.
We need to stop obsessing over our outside appearance and consider the health of our inside. We need to step away from the notion that calories are the most important consideration in choosing our foods, and think more about the quality of food having an energetic effect on the body, mind and spirit.
Expanding your nutrition vernacular
The three words we hear most in modern diet parlance are protein, carbs and fat. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone walk out of the gym talking about one of these, I’d be traveling the world in a private jet with a quiver of Santa Cruz’s, Pinarello’s and Argon 18’s.
Consistent with our shrinking attention span, insistence for immediate gratification and intolerance for hard work, our effort to understand and consume proper nutrients is halfhearted at best.
The hack mentality
There are no shortcuts to health and longevity. For every action there’s a reaction.
While you’re so caught up in spending money on fad diets and workouts, counting calories and munching on chocolate-covered organic buttered coconut creatine protein bullets, the truth is staring you in the face. Nutrition is not rocket science, however eating the right food will help you feel out of this world!
Let’s step away from the hack my life mentality and come to grips with basic biology. There are two major groups of nutrients we get from our diet which are macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro is your well-known protein, carbs and fat. Micro is the long list of vitamins and minerals such as; B12, lutien, iron, copper and manganese. Both are important.
Pro Tip: Think of these two groups as your bike’s frame and wheels (macro) and all the little components (micro). The frame and wheels are the main conversation topics when discussing a bike—I’m in love with that sexy frame, ooooh aaaahh that’s what I need, and what a great price too! …But if that frame is sitting on some bargain bin components and a mix bag of brand names, it’s not going to ride as well as it could.
Whether you are a professional athlete or a couch potato, nutrients help our bodies and minds thrive—ya don’t say! In order to get all of the vitamins and minerals we need it’s important we don’t just focus on macronutrients.We need to eat a wide variety of whole foods that contain both macro and micro. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes contain a plethora of beneficial micronutrients and each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in bodily function, therefore variety is key!
Expand your food landscape and consider trying new foods. There’s a lot more to choose from than you think. Alongside all the crap we have access to these days, we also have access to some incredible ingredients that are packed full of nutrients. Consider shopping at your local farmers market or seeking out a good produce-rich grocery store. Adding in any one of these to your meals is a great way to expand your micronutrient intake; purple beets, golden beets, tri-coloured carrots, cilantro, pea shoots, kale, spinach, arugula, avocado, cauliflower, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, ginger, turmeric, lemons, sprouts, yams, fennel, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, raw almonds, raw walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, quinoa, wild rice (instead of white rice), lentils, tahini, tempeh, almond butter (instead of peanut butter) etc!
When we’re disconnected from how food makes us feel, our intuitiveness is ignored and we are confused about what to eat and why we’re hungry. Slowing down is one of the best ways we can get our mind and body to communicate what we really need for nutrition.
Practice paying attention to what you eat, the textures, flavours and how it makes you feel during and after eating. Eating should be a pleasurable activity and once you become aware of the positive feelings from eating healthy food, your motivation to adopt a healthy lifestyle becomes easier.
We are shaped by the choices we make
Pun intended. We want to be instantly gratified, but we forget to be mindful that something will happen after. The sooner we learn to accept that our bodies well-being is directly correlated with our ability to thrive in each moment, the sooner we can take care of it with some sense of both gratitude and respect.
Nourishing your Zesty Life
Livin’ the Zesty Life means having a balanced approach and a healthy relationship with food and exercise. There’s no obsession with abs, disordered eating or exercise addictions. A healthy relationship means nourishing your body for life and it’s a long-term way of living.
There’s no substitute for eating whole foods and exercising, you need to put in the hard work, patience, dedication and passion in order to achieve success, health and long-tern satisfaction.
Take a moment to consider: What is food for you—Is it nourishment? Is it fuel? Is it shame? Is it self-esteem? Is it addiction? What would you like food to be?