When you eat something healthy, you're like -
Yo! Let's go! Where's the next spot?!
– Felipe Gustavo
The most foundational purpose of food is simply to provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to run.
In general skaters have pretty shitty diets, and well, people in general have pretty shitty diets too. Shitty processed food is everywhere and in all fairness it’s usually more convenient, and a lot of the time just tastier. I’m one of those people that likes to peek into the shopping carts of other shoppers in the supermarkets and then ridicule the person’s food choices sometimes verbally, sometimes physically, whatever I'm feeling. Nah not really but the vast majority of the time I get my peek on all I see is refined bread, processed cheese, processed meat, and soft drinks - the classic Western diet, and a diet that leaves you lacking many essential nutrients, constantly sends your body out of balance, and in the long run, destroys your body in many ways and doesn't providing you with as much energy as you could have when you go skate.
The thing is, food isn’t all created equally. A key consideration is that certain foods have more nutritional value than others, meaning more vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other little nuggets of joy that keep your body running well. In general the more processed a food is the less nutritional value it will have and you might be thinking, “I don’t think so bruv, my coco puffs say 9 vitamins added on the box.”, and although it probably does have 9 vitamins added, the rest is probably highly refined and most the time it’s the food as a whole that brings the extra goodness more so than the individual parts.
Another key point of the foods you choose is how much they send your body out of balance. Your body has many specific ranges for many things, for example blood sugar levels, hydration, mineral requirements, etc. and it will always try to bring itself back into these ranges and back into balance. Certain foods, for example ones with a lot of sugar, can send your body way out of balance creating extra work for your body as it tries to bring things back into balance, making it run less optimally as it could.
So basically eating healthy means providing your body with all of the nutrients and energy it needs from foods that don’t send your body out of balance on a regular basis.
the five principles to eating better.
1. listen to your body.
There isn’t one perfect diet that suits everyone, everyone responds differently to different foods and something that’s going to blast you with energy could drain someone else, so observe how what you eat makes you feel, not just in the moment but an hour or 2 later as well, as for example something with a lot of sugar can bring you up but then smash you back down about 30 mins later.
2. eat whole foods & mostly plants.
Normally fresh natural foods are pre-made with the exact nutrients your body needs along with more reliable energy. Processed foods are often just the opposite, usually with the nutrients stripped away and full of empty calories. Which leads us onto point number 3.
3. avoid empty calories & a lot of salt.
Empty calories means no nutritional value other than energy, things like added sugars, refined oils. Soft drink and cookies are prime examples with probably the same nutritional value as a fart. Also watch out for eating too much salt, eating primarily whole foods should eliminate this problem naturally, unless you add a lot of extra salt.
4. eat a variety of food.
Make sure you're eating a variety of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, protein, and fats. Try and go for whole-grains as much as possible, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, high quality protein sources like tofu, lean meat and fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
5. drink enough water.
Waters needed for almost all bodily functions so if you don’t get enough your body’s just going to go to shit. The water in food and even drinks like coffee count towards your daily water needs but drinking just bog standard water should be part of your daily routine too. Everyone’s exact water needs are different and depend on many factors. Try taking up Brandon Biebel’s gallon challenge and try and knock off a gallon of water in a day.
Now you don’t have to become a raging food whore and you can still enjoy your junk food every now and then, but basing the vast majority of your food choices on these 5 principles will leave you feeling much better in general and when you go skate.