Learn about your body and what makes you feel better or worse.
Stretch, strengthen, roll, massage... do what you gotta do
to get where you want to be.
– Spencer Hamilton
check yo' nutrients.
So much food of the food we eat these days is processed meaning we’re eating lots of energy dense food, but not much nutrient dense food, and according to health.gov almost 90% of Americans aren’t eating enough veggies, 75% aren’t eating fruit, and about 70% are eating way too much sugar, salt, and saturated fats – the hallmarks of a diet based on processed foods. And if you’re thinking “slow down young Jimmy, I don’t live in the US, this doesn’t include me.”, well I haven’t checked the statistics but after living in the Europe and Australia I can confirm that the most common foods in these places aren’t nutrient dense either. This kind of diet leaves you lacking many vitamins and minerals that are essential for you to be stay healthy and feel good and energised whilst you skate and throughout your day. So to help solve this problem I wanted to share a little tool that I personally use that will help you evaluate your diet and give you a better idea of the holes in your diet, it will give you an idea of the things you can change to improve it, and expand your knowledge of nutrient dense foods that you can start monching on.
The tool is a FREE app called Cronometer (also a web version). It’s a food logging app that lets you input all the foods you eat throughout the day and gives you the nutrient profile for each food along with a percentage of the recommended value of each nutrient. They have a massive database of thousands of foods and you can either search manually for each one or scan the barcodes of some products. If you want to take things serious you can weigh each food separately, otherwise you can just go for the average serving sizes.
This isn’t a perfect system and there are many variables that are going to affect the data – the quality of the food, the data might be wrong, etc. – so don’t expect lab quality data or nutritionist quality data but it’s still really good for giving you a rough idea of how you can improve your diet. Considering so many people are missing out on so many nutrients just having that rough idea can be enough to make some big changes.
Once you’ve logged about a week’s worth of data head over to the ‘trends’ section and it will show you what percentage of each nutrient you’ve been eating over the week showing you exactly which nutrients you regularly miss out on and which ones you eat too much of.
So once you’ve figured out which nutrients you’re eating too much of you can click on them in the app and it will tell you which foods are giving you the majority of those nutrients, and then, all you have to do is give them the boot or cut down on them. For the one’s you’re lacking, you can either just use Googz or there’s another tool I also use called The Precision Nutrition Food Encyclopaedia which is a food encyclopaedia that allows you to search either for specific nutrients and then it gives you a list of sources of that nutrient. Then all you have to do is pick one and put it in ya face. When you're choosing what foods to add and which ones to get rid of make sure you follow these 5 tips to eating healthy.
One final point to make is about supplements. Don’t think you can just blast a multivitamin and continue eating shit and be alright. A healthy diet isn’t just based on hitting the recommended number of nutrients each day, whole foods contain so many extra nuggets of power that contribute to good health and by taking multivitamins you simply miss out on them. Always try to get as much of your nutrients from whole foods as possible and use supplements only to fill in the gaps where you don't have another choice. Vegans for example will need to take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods fortified with B12. It would probably be a good idea taking vegan omega-3 supplements too (there are three types of omega-3 and whole foods like flax seeds and chia seeds contain only one type in sufficient quantities, the other two are found in fish or algae).