I was typing an email response to an athlete on the west coast this morning and realized the information and bullets would be helpful for all of our athletes. This particular athlete is training for an endurance event, but the same basic principles can apply to all athletes. Also, this athlete embraces a primarily vegetarian diet, thus note the references in the Paleo section…
“Katie – We teach two approaches to nutrition which makes a good synthesis – (1) Paleo nutrition & (2) Zone nutrition. Paleo deals with FOOD QUALITY, while Zone deals with FOOD TIMING and FOOD AMOUNT.
Paleo authors talk a lot about eating meat and often crack jokes at vegetarians, but I have a handful of vegan members who have used Paleo principles to improve their diet and recovery time.
Here are a couple posts on Paleo with links to resources
The Zone deals with consuming the proper amount of food at the right time for your body size, as well as training load. If you’e interested in this, I’d check out Barry Sears’ book http://www.amazon.com/The-Zone-Revolutionary-Permanent-ebook/dp/B000FC2P60/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344862085&sr=1-1&keywords=The+zone+diet
Lastly, I’m a big fan of smoothies as a source of recovery. Here are some bullets for smoothies.
– Try to consume one within 15-30 minutes of finishing your training.
– Shoot for a 3/1 carb/protein ratio (in terms of grams).
– Start with a base of greens (spinach, chard, or kale often works best)
– Use 1/2 banana (for sweetness), and 1/4 avocado (for healthy fat and consistency)
– I’m a big fan of Plant Fusion protein if you’re trying to stay away from dairy, and Stronger Faster Healthier protein if you don’t mind dairy (links below). Main thing is stay away from soy protein.
– Use a handful of ice cubes and a minimal amount of liquid (I use almond milk most often, sometimes coconut water, and occasionally just water). Start too thick and gradually add more.
– Use frozen berries for additional flavoring. Try to stay away from high glycemic fruits. The key is to not make your smoothie too sugary with fruits, otherwise it becomes about as healthy as ice cream.
– Cinnamon, nutmeg, 100% cocoa, vanilla, etc. also make for good additional flavoring.”