I used to be in seriously good shape! When I was 10 my mum had us doing just about any sport she could enrol us in (except basketball, which explains why I’m a notorious double dribbler). She’d bribe us with pizza for swimming a kajillion lengths. And it worked. We’d swim until our arms fell off if it meant we’d get pizza for dinner. In high school I was on the field hockey team, the cross country team and the track team. And when I wasn’t at practice for one of those teams I was doing ballet. There were days when I’d have back-to-back practices where I’d run 5km for cross country and then do an hour of sprinting up and down the field for field hockey. My post-workout snack was a blue Powerade and 6 Nutrigrain bars.
I didn’t know or care about all the sugar and the other crap I was putting in my body. All I knew was that I had burned off a helluva lot of calories and my body needed electrolytes to replace all the ones I had sweated out. I was under the impression that if the amount of calories I ingested was equal to the amount of calories I expended then I was healthy. Not so much!
This is a typical day of food for 16 year-old Marina.
Breakfast: 2 old fashioned glazed donuts from Timmy’s
Mid-morning snack: a Rice Krispie square
Lunch: a whole wheat wrap with cream cheese and strawberry jam and a salad
Post-workout snack: granola bar or 6
Dinner: mashed potatoes and soup or Kraft Dinner or a ham and Swiss sandwich from Timmy’s.
After-dinner snack: an apple
Not all that healthy but because I was so active I thought nothing of it. Fast forward to today and my diet is radically different.
Breakfast: bowl of organic plain yogurt with hemp seeds, goji berries, dark chocolate & raw honey; shot of E3 Live
Mid-morning snack: 2 hard boiled eggs with S&P and peppers with hummus
Lunch: big green salad with avocado, almonds and cucumber
Afternoon snack: Raw Revolution coconut/cashew bar
Dinner: Pan-seared halibut with lemon, steamed broccoli and spaghetti squash
After-dinner snack: bowl of strawberries
Bit of a 180.
I know it’s still a popular mentality that as long as you burn off what you eat no harm will come to you. And it may keep you from gaining unwanted pounds but, other than that, the calorie theory is a thing of the past. I would really like if we all focused less on calories and more on QUALITY.
Because that’s what it’s all about. Put nutrient-dense foods in your body and it will work wonders. Put junks in it and it won’t do its job as well. Obviously exercise is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle. You can’t eat the cleanest of diets and be a couch potato. Being active and eating good food are both important, not one or the other. BOTH!