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Small Wins for Daily Nourishment

It’s no doubt nutrition is a big deal when it comes to living well and showing up for our athletic pursuits. I break down nutrition with clients into daily nourishment and fueling for activity or what I call daily and sports nutrition.

The reason I look at this in these two buckets is that “fuel” as an endurance athlete means supplying your body with the right types of substrates to perform in an endurance capacity. During activity that ends up being sugars in the most simplest form most of the time. While they are not the best choice for daily nourishment, they are the best choice and essential for fuel for endurance activity if ingested right before, during, and immediately after. Otherwise, daily nourishment should center around copious amounts of colorful vegetables and reasonable amounts of starchy veggies, legumes, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, fish, dairy and healthy fats.

Consider daily nourishment and fueling for endurance activity separately. Focus on the overall quality of mealtime and food choices. It’s a great time of the year since there are many local fresh seasonal vegetables available. The more you can cook for yourself using whole foods the easier and more nutrient-dense your shift toward mindful eating and even better health will be.

I’ve put some resources below that I have shared with clients to inspire them. They are quick and based on the above—whole foods, lots of variety, and seasonal approach.

Mindset: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/News/Blogs/Fuel-Station/2018/July/24/No-Diet-is-the-New-Diet

On the fly meals with your leftovers from the week: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/News/Blogs/Fuel-Station/2017/February/07/Tips-for-Minimizing-Food-Waste-and-Maximizing-Meal-Taste

Recipe resources: Mark Bittman’s recipes are great because they tend to be quick and whole foods focused. They are not complicated or labor-intensive. https://www.markbittman.com/recipes.

Legume inspiration: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/article/12-easy-ways-to-cook-a-can-of-cannellini-beans. Sometimes it is hard for me to get excited about legumes and yet they are incredibly nutrient dense.

Cabbage is really great health food, inexpensive and you can shred pretty much anything else into it. Better than store-bought and goes amazingly with grilled meat or fish https://www.thekitchn.com/3-easy-recipes-for-coleslaw-dressing-221327

There are also so many other resources. Please send me your favorite cooking blogs or recipes too so I can have a better picture of your interest in food in general and your tastes. The more you can kind of throw things together the easier it is going to be to make a meal out of something that you either have to move out of your fridge or that you pick up on your way home from work at a farm stand or in your garden. Or something quick and mindless and still wholesome and satisfying if you are tired and distracted from school, work, family, or life in general!

They key here is to make as much as you can for yourself from whole ingredients. So whole plain yogurt + dates, berries, nuts etc… instead of a container of pre sweetened stuff. Apple and nut butter is delicious instead of granola bar. That type of shift. 

It’s all about shifts in mind and habit, practice these shifts often and they are small wins. Small wins add up to big wins and growth as a human!

Daily nutrition for optimum nourishment is fun because so much of it is learning and cooking and enjoying your meals. It can be an adventure.

Deanna Pomfret

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