Enjoying the basil strawberry lemonade from Laughing Seed.
I have spent many, many years figuring out the role of food in my life. While I want my food choices to positively affect my health and athletic performance, I have also worked hard to discover a way that I can eat, perform well, and still function well in life to enjoy the things that mean so much to me, like being with Karel, traveling and spending time with close friends and family.
Ultimately, my diet enhances my life and it does not control my life.
Seeing that my career and formal education both revolve around food, it would be easy to assume that I am obsessed with food.
While I am passionate about food and have dedicated my life to learning about food and how it impacts the physiology and health of the human body, food is not my life. I eat when I am hungry, I feel satisfied and I move on with my life. OR, I eat when I need the energy to perform, I train to maximize my performance, I recover and I stay consistent with training.
How about you? Do you find yourself at ease with your diet, comfortable when eating out or when someone else prepares your food and happy when you eat?
Or, do you find yourself stressing, obsessing, feeling guilty, restricted or overwhelmed by food.
There are no food rules and certainly no off-limit food lists in our diet.
Neither of us have ever followed a diet plan.
In my opinion, this is food freedom.
I feel it is important for every athlete to understand what foods work best for your body and when.
Regardless if you have a clinical reason to avoid certain foods, you want to lose/gain weight or you feel otherwise healthy, I believe that every individual should have flexibility with the diet but with enough structure that assists in reaching health goals and athletic expectations.
While this is easier said than done and takes time (and consistency), one way that I achieve food freedom and a great relationship with food is not obsessing about my weight.
While Karel and I could both probably be leaner, skinner, thinner or however you want to describe the body image, there's a line that neither of us want to cross when it comes to our enjoyment of food and what it would take with our diet to be "less" with our bodies.
If you know anything about me and Karel, we absolutely love trying new restaurants, specifically when we travel. While I try to not be too adventurous with my eating before a race to ensure a happy tummy with familiar and easy-to-digest foods, traveling (especially for a race) provides a unique opportunity to be inspired by new foods, new recipes and new creations.
While returning home from our race (Lake James 50), it took a good 2+ hours or so before either of us had enough of an appetite to eat a meal. I looked up places to eat in Asheville, NC and came across Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe.
Seeing that the name made our mouth water, we couldn't wait to eat our first "real" meal of the day (around 3:30pm)
Karel ordered the Tempeh sandwich with sauerkraut and melted cheese on marble rye with a side of pea salad.
I ordered the breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, beans and cheese with a side of salsa and sour cream.
For dessert, Karel ordered (his favorite) Key Lime pie and a piece of rugelach.
We both shared each other's meal as they were both delicious and we wanted to each share the yumminess with each other.
Lucky for me that Karel doesn't mind vegetarian food options as it isn't that often that I can eat what Karel eats at a restaurant.
After the meal, we left the restaurant with happy tummies, feeling absolutely great with our food choices.