You are as healthy as the food you eat
“You are as healthy as the food you eat” – or: How the right nutrition can help you improve your athletic performance
Actually it is very simple: If you want to have a healthy body you have to eat healthy!
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains provide essential minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, proteins and enzymes that regulate bodily functions and keep our cells healthy. Do you want strong, healthy cells bristling with power or do you want weak, vulnerable cells that surrender when being faced with exhaustion or inflammation? Exactly! Fueling your body with good food will help you train harder, recover quicker and feel better.
After dealing with nutrition for 15 years and trying out different diets Iʼm now at the point where I know what works best for me. But every body is different and what works for me doesnʼt necessarily works for you. However, there are tips that work for everyone and that will help you quickly notice an improvement in your athletic performance:
1) "You are what you eat. So donʼt be fast, cheap, easy or fake."
2) Try to cook with fresh, unprocessed and ideally homegrown ingredients. Canned food that expires after years is dead food. How should your body get energy from this?
3) Stay simple! A lot of people push too hard in the beginning and mix all kind of vegetables or fruits. Donʼt go with more than four main ingredients for your smoothies or meals.
4) "Listen to your body. It's smarter than you.” Stop eating when you are 3/4 full. It takes about 20 minutes until our stomach signals us that he had enough. So leave the table when you are still a bit hungry, this will help your body to have a healthier digestion which in turn gives you more energy to do other things, eg. sports.
5) Eat small quantities every three to four hours. Have the biggest meal in the morning and go really mellow at night (donʼt eat after 8pm). If you need a snack, grab some nuts or drink a smoothie – they provide you with long-lasting energy.
6) If you are really craving for some sugar, eat fruits. But only an hour or two after your last meal as otherwise it messes up your digestion.
7) Eat mindfully and consciously. Thoroughly chew your food and enjoy the act of nourishing yourself. You will notice that you need less food than before. Also donʼt talk too much while you are chewing as it interferes with optimal digestion.
8) "Count chemicals not calories."
9) You donʼt need to eat meat to become a better athlete. (The famous sprinter Carl Lewis is vegan since many years!) You can get your protein from all kind of foods,
eg. flaxseeds, chickpeas, beans, eggs, quinoa, rice, almonds, nuts etc. The only thing which is important is that you have protein in every meal, eg. mix flaxseeds with your cereals in the morning, snack some nuts in the afternoon and eat fish with rice in the evening.
10) Keep a food journal. Write down what you are eating every day of the week – like this you can see if your diet is balanced and if you are taking in enough proteins, vitamins etc...
My favorite superfoods:
Himalayan pink sea salt: Most natural, highest degree of minerals (Filtered water is often lacking minerals, simply add a bit of Himalayan salt!)
Apple cider vinegar: Aids digestion
Flaxseeds: Reduces inflammation, great source of protein (add it to smoothie, salad, banana bread etc)
Chia seeds: Loads of nutrients! “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” (great with chocolate porridge)
Coconut oil: One of the most beneficial saturated fats you can consume. Use it for cooking instead of butter or olive oil. When baking you can replace butter with it. Quinoa: Great source of protein and gluten-free
Avocado: Includes loads of potassium and magnesium
Almonds: Contains healthy fats, proteins, magnesium and calcium
Have a glass of lemon juice every morning 30 minutes before breakfast! This helps kicking off your digestion and giving your system a wake-up:
- Warm water
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1tbsp apple cider vinegar - 1 tsp of honey
Followed by a small cup of warm water
Lemon-coconut breakfast bars
These lemon-coconut bars are the perfect start into a healthy day full of natural ingredients!
- Healthy fats, carbohydrates and sugars will give you instant and long-lasting power
- The chia seeds are full of fibers and omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of
- Dates contain fibers, iron, vitamin A, magnesium and many more nutrients
- The dried coconut will boost your immune system thanks to loads of fibers and minerals
1 1/2 tablespoon of chia
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup oat flour or rice flour for a gluten-free diet 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shredded dried coconut
A pinch of Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 medjool dates
- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees
- In a bowl mix the chia and lemon juice together (mix & set aside for 15 minutes)
- In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, coconut flakes and lemon zest
- In a third bowl mix coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, medjool dates and almond butter and add the lemon/ chia seed mix
- Put all the ingredients into a blender
- When itʼs a smooth dough spread the mixture into a baking pan
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
Tip: You can add some grapefruit for even more Vitamin A and C!
This is one of my favorite post-workout green smoothies that refills your body with loads of nutrients and minerals – your muscles will recover quicker and you will have loads of new energy!
- 1 avocado
- 2 Medjool dattes
- 1 banane
- 1 handful of spinach
- Tahitian vanilla bean
- Filtered water or homemade almond milk
Tip: I love to add hemp seeds which are a good quality protein source. And always remember: Healthy food = Happy Mood!