To spend your energy focusing on what real food option you should not eat is not how you should be spending your time, money and energy. I'm so over athletes dissecting every food in the diet in terms of how bad the food is for the body.
Can we just make peace with real food?
Are you currently sabotaging your health and performance because you are refusing to give yourself permission to eat certain foods that will energize your body?
I promise, unless you have an allergy or intolerance, nothing bad will happen if you eat a plain baked potato, eat a bean salad for lunch or enjoy a banana before a workout.
When you restrict food, you restrict yourself from energy.
If you have a healthy relationship with food, you will understand that with every bite, you have the wonderful opportunity to provide energy for a chemical reaction to take place to move your body, to sustain activity, to help you recover and so much more!
Healthy eating is fueling your body, protecting your body and nourishing your body.
Healthy eating is not just important for your overall well-being but as an athlete, it is vital for your performance and health.
If you do not spend energy appreciating, planning and consuming real food, rich in vitamins and minerals, do not expect your body to reach it's full athletic potential.
Restricting food increases your risk for nutrient deficiencies and poor energy to help you keep good form and energy during workouts. Additionally, an unhealthy diet (too much/too little) leads to injury, sickness and chronic conditions. If your body does not receive the nutrients that it needs, your body becomes weak and your risk for serious health issues increases.
Fruits and veggies should be part of your daily "athlete" diet. I recommend to aim for 3 handfuls of dark leafy greens a day + at least 2 cups mixed veggies. For fruits, at least 3 handfuls of fruit per day.
As for your macronutrients, keep it simple by focusing on 3 meals and a few planned snacks throughout the day to meet your daily needs:
Carbohydrates - 3-8g/kg/day
Protein - 1.3-1.8g/kg/day
Fat - ~25-30% total calories
It does not matter what type of athlete you are to appreciate the goodness found in real food, knowing that you are meeting your metabolic needs.
Free yourself of food fears and make peace with food.
Enjoy your carbs, protein and fats and don't forget to eat your fruits and veggies.