How I Eat for Performance

This is a little overview how I eat for performance with my bio-individuality in mind.
I am referring to PCOS here.

Before I go into the protein/carbs/fats ratio, I would like to emphasize that I build my plate based on how my body feels on any given day. I listen to my “cravings” instead of just dismissing them. Our bodies are smart and can tell us what they need. However, we need to learn how to recognize those signals by eating a whole food, nutrient dense diet. Here is a perfect example, when I crave sweets, usually it means I need more carbohydrates. Maybe I had a more intense training than usual, or ran an extra mile that day, or under slept and am feeling a little run down. I will listen to that signal and first, have an extra piece of fruit or larger serving of sweet potato etc. I always start with a whole food before giving in to the cravings. But once I do, I eat it, enjoy it, and move on. Do not punish yourself for having an ice cream or that freshly baked cookie. The only thing I ask, is to try to have the real thing first, not the fake, low fat version that is full of chemicals. Trust me, you will eat less of the real whole milk, all-natural ice cream with the real sugar, versus that sugar free, low fat version anyway. I can bet you will enjoy it more as well.

My macronutrient break down fluctuates depending on my activity on any given day. However, I always make sure to get about 125 grams of protein every day which is 1 gram of protein per 1lb of my body weight. I am an athlete; therefore, my body needs higher amounts of amino acid to rebuild and support my hormonal functions. Protein is an essential macronutrient which supports every function in the body. Do you know that your immune system is made out of amino acid? On my hard training days, I eat more carbs, it ranges anywhere from 200-250 grams. My favorites are sweet plantains or Japanese sweet potatoes, but I eat gluten free grains like quinoa or rice as well. Finally, is my fat intake during the higher carb days. My fat naturally goes down to about 55 grams. I feel better with a higher fat and lower carb ratio due to my insulin resistance. Keep in mind I have PCOS. This is when bio-individuality is the key. I have discovered that I feel/perform the best if I eat most of my carbohydrates around my workout, before and after. This way my blood glucose level stays stable and I do not experience the dreadful sugar crash. I like my rest days because I can have 100 or more grams of fat. My carbs usually drop to 100-150 grams on those days and I get them mostly through vegetables. There is nothing better than fresh avocado on top of nicely roasted veggies, in olive oils of course, and a runny egg on top. On any given day, all my meals are built around veggies. I buy and cook my vegetables in bulk. You can find big glass containers full of precooked vegetables in my fridge at any time. I try to eat as colorfully as possible, but my staples are broccoli, green beans, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, kales, spinach, and different kind of salads. After reading Sarah Ballentyne’s book Paleo Principle, I realized I am missing out by not including mushrooms in my diet more often. They are a vitamin-rich powerhouse. For some reason, I have not found a great way to cook mushrooms in my kitchen yet. I have to work on that.

I should mention that I eat gluten free due to my gluten sensitivity. I do not have celiac but trust me, gluten sensitivity is real. You do not want to be around me if I’m accidentally exposed to gluten. I do not replace gluten-full items with gluten-free versions like waffles, pancakes etc. on a regular basis. I use those occasionally when I am really in the mood for it. It is more of a treat for me. My whole family loves salmon, sardines, and all kinds of seafood, so most likely I don’t have to worry about my Omega 3 intake. However, we still supplement with a high-quality fish oil. I buy canned cod liver. It is supper yummy on a piece of cucumber. I buy grass fed and pastured raised meat from a farm in upstate New York called 8 0’clock Ranch. I believe we can all benefit from eating high quality meats to achieve optimal health and not be Vitamin B deficient. Yes, we can supplement, but remember the whole food approach first. I also love to eat fresh fruits, especially juicy mangoes, oranges, and apples. We went to Italy over the last summer and I became obsessed with green figs. Oh, I miss that taste.

I personally try to avoid dairy with the exception of ghee because it makes me break out on my jaw line. There is nothing wrong with high quality, full fat, grass fed yogurt or cheese. It could be very beneficial to our gut flora. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with hormonal imbalance like PCOS, dairy is most likely off the table for you. Since I do not consume much dairy, I pay extra attention to my calcium intake. I eat a lot of greens and sardines with bones which are a great source of calcium. It also helps that I do weight bearing exercise almost every day.

Would you like to find out your perfect macronutrient ratio that is based on your bio individuality? Are you confused about what you should eat? Is low carb or keto the way to go for you? Or maybe it is the IF? Let’s chat <3.