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Feed the Machine

Updated: Feb 18

We carefully watch the gas tank levels on our dash boards because we don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road without fuel. We expect our bodies to perform on command just like a vehicle. It makes sense, then, that we must do our maintenance and supply our bodies with the correct fuel. Why, then, is it difficult to prepare our own bodies in the same way?

More often than not, the thing that stands between us and self-care is our perception of our time. When we feel like we are running out of time, it is difficult to think about adding new priorities to our list. Healthy behaviors - including exercise, proper food intake, and overall stress management - take a back seat to balancing work, family, and social obligations. The key to making change, then, is not to add more tasks to your already full plate, but to replace old habits with new habits. The simplest place to start is with a thoughtful approach to your food. After all, you’re already eating something every day. Might as well make it something that supports your goals.

Nutrition plays a major role in optimizing performance for exercise and sport. It’s also essential for modifying body composition, such as the increase of lean muscle mass or the loss of body fat. Without a proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, we just can’t make the gains or losses we are hoping for.

When I create a supportive diet for exercise, I like to keep the rules simple. Although there are a few exceptions, I avoid foods that come in a bag, box or can. This reminds me to eat fresh foods with living enzymes. Life creates life. If you are eating processed foods with preservatives and additives - a nutrition label full of stuff you have difficulty pronouncing - you can bet there are no living enzymes to give you the life giving energy you need.

How do you dial in the correct mixture of food, exercise and rest to achieve your goals?

Your perfect balance depends on your goals, and it depends on your health. Most adults should target their diets to be 45-65% Carbohydrates, 10-35% Protein and 20-35% Fat.

The next step is to decide what you want to maintain and/or change in your health and body. From there, you can adjust the percentages of your macronutrient intake and couple that with exercise to better support the goal.

And then, of course, you’ll wash it down with good, old fashioned water. Water is an essential nutrient and vital to sustain life. It comprises approximately 60% of most adult bodies. (Women may have a slightly lower percentage, and some men may have a slightly higher percentage of body water due to higher glycogen stores.)

Water serves several important functions in the body, including the following:

  • Regulation of body temperature

  • Transport and distribution of water-soluble nutrients

  • Maintenance of blood volume

  • Lubrication of joints, membranes, and synovial tissue

  • Shock absorption

  • Removal of waste matter and toxins

So with food and water covered all you need to do is rest and repeat!

John “Wyld Stile” Larson

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