How often should you eat?
As a physically active individual you need to be mindful of keeping your energy levels optimised and to do this it is recommended that you eat between two to three meals a day. For the purpose of this post we recommend three meals per day.
The optimum meal times:
First meal between 7-9am
Second meal between 11am – 1pm
Third meal between 4-7pm
How should each meal look?
A simple and moderate size meal with ample of water (to help replenish the body after fasting & dehydrating during sleep) which includes vegetables and/or fruit.
The largest meal of the day with the greatest variety containing both lightly cooked or raw foods.
Small size meal and preferably cooked containing mostly protein (legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts, tofu, tempeh, miso) combined with green and non-starchy vegetables.
Should you feel the need to snack between meals, recommended food sources include complex carbohydrates and proteins such as:
- Rice cakes
- Starchy vegetables especially carrots (grains and sprouts, sweet potato, beetroots, pumpkin)
- Micro-algae (spirulina, chlorella) added to smoothies and juices
The Food Debate
Of course, all the above is open to a contentious debate, its food and diet after all and from years of reading and researching everyone always has something to say about these topics on various levels from origin, health, and wellbeing. I don’t see this changing soon or ever.
We should always have food in the forefront of our mind; after all food is our lifeline and for me, over the past week it’s also been my enemy. Somewhere along the line I picked up a stomach bug which left me bed bound for two days and struggling for energy for the following four – only really coming good after 6 days.
What caused this upset?
- Food itself?
- A virus?
- Weakened immune system?
May be one or all the above, I am not really sure but all I know is, my immune system and gut health were compromised, and I had to work with it as opposed to against it to help find a solution.
My food intake for the week but basically what I would eat in a day; I reduced most energy giving foods from my diet and dialled back flavour to reduce stress on the guts. Over 7 days my diet consisted of:
- White rice
- Miso broth
- Wheat crackers
- Coconut yoghurt
- Mashed potato
I had also dialled back all exercise; any movement was exhausting so what took priority was sleep and meditation. I sensed into my failing body, trying to identify the area where the trouble was brewing – lower gut and bowel.
It was obvious my gut bacteria were funkier than usual, gases were swirling and erupting, and I needed something to settle this; pre and probiotics. To the rescue: inner health plus and copious amount of gut friendly ingredients such as coconut yoghurt, kombucha and fermented vegetables.
Every day I work at refining my diet to be the best it can be for not only my athletic health but overall lifestyle health. I am in tune with my body most of the time but every now and then, it challenges me and has been thinking; what do I need to do better? This week of gastro or gut unrest threw me a little but fundamentally the core value of my diet still stands the test of time.
Foods to eat
NUTS AND SEEDS
Mushrooms in particular shiitake mushroom
The goal with food is to eat ’simply’ to find satisfaction and a solid nutrient profile from foods grown by nature with little to no processing. To eat a diverse range of foods to help challenge the microbiome that lives in your guts and to know when to dial back foods to rest the gut.
Since my experience with COVID in early April, I have found myself now on the receiving end of illness twice; that’s more times in 6 months than 20 years. I am immune compromised, maybe from COVID or maybe from lack of exposure to airborne virus that we almost took for granted.
I will continue to keep dialling in my nutrition, to eat a diverse range of plant-based foods and to listen when my body does not feel more than 100%; these are some of the key points to ongoing health and wellness.