When talking to derby folk about nutrition I hear the same things over and over:
“I don’t know what to eat.”
“I don’t know when to eat”
“I try to eat healthy” OR “I eat terribly and I know it”
“I drink plenty of water” OR “I don’t drink water and I know it’s bad”
I’ve been doing this health coaching thing for a little while now and I can almost predict what people are going to say before they say it. It is part of why I’m so passionate about Derbalife – I want to help my friends answer questions.
Because honestly, it can be really confusing when you’re trying to figure all this out on your own! There are a billion fad diets and trends, and everyone has a different idea of how much you should eat and what you should eat. And then the SCHEDULING? WOOF. That can be rough.
So, while my method isn’t perfect by any means, and there is still some trial and error that goes along with creating plans for yourself, I wanted to share with you what I have created for myself.
1) This is my 90 day plan. As I approach the end of 90 days, I will re-evaluate, tweak, and create a new 90 day plan (that won’t look too far off of this one, probably).
2) Bout weeks will change up my schedule. I will do a deload leg day on Thursday, and will rest at least a day and a half before a bout; more than that for a more competitive game, or for a weekend competition.
3) I have eased into this schedule. I did not just decide one day to work out this much. This has been a two and a half year process. Do not just try and hop into a two a day program. Work with a sports trainer if you’re unsure of how to plan out your cross training.
4) I have nothing to do other than work, train, and play/ref/watch derby. Do not look at my schedule and think “Wow. I could never do that.” **kick stones** “I guess I just won’t do anything”. No. That is not the point here. The point is to show you how you can break down every day of your week into an intentional plan.
So the first thing I did was color coding. I broke my day into half hour bite sized increments. Then I went through and blocked out the scheduled pieces: work time, drive time, practice time is all set. I can’t change them, so they go in first. From there, I could build my cross-training schedule. After that, my extra stuff could go in.
Once I could see what my days look like, I could build my meal plan. I know that when I work at Taco Bus I can only eat meals during certain times. I also know that I get employee meals. The goal is to eat every 2-3 hours, starting with eating within 30 minutes of waking up. I walked through my day, and found times that I thought I’d be able to eat. I typed in what I thought would be good snacks and meals. I put in as many snacks and meals as I thought would hit my desired calorie count… which… originally… I thought was 2000 calories. As you can see, below, it is NOT 2000 calories.
So after I planned out Monday, then I went onto a calculator program on If It Fits Your Macros. When you walk through the calculator, I always encourage people to use the athlete formula (since it factors in your exercise amount, not just your body fat). I, personally, am on a plan to help me gain conservatively. Everyone’s goals are different, and that’s ok! I would recommend, for derby athletes that you choose either the “Recommended” for WEIGHT LOSS, the MAINTAIN, or “Cautious” for WEIGHT GAIN.
PS Macros are : Fat/Protein/Carbs/Fiber. How I got my numbers? I’m 32 years old, 5’4”, and 145#, looking to GAIN CONSERVATIVELY and working out “everyday”. I also did the formula where I eat 1g of protein per 1# of body weight, .4g of fat per 1# of body weight, and I had it calculate for 7 meals a day.
Right, so it gave me numbers listed just below this paragraph. Next I went into FatSecret.com and plugged in the day I had planned out to see what it gave me. I found out that not only was I about 600 calories short, but I was 25g of fat short! Good fats are super critical for muscle creation and is also awesome for your joints and your brain. Once I saw that, I could go back through my Monday and adjust my meals! I had them broken down in my tracking program, so I could see that a snack only had 11g of protein and I could add some jerky to it to improve that. Or that a meal was only 150 calories, so I needed to add some avocado. 😀
I want everyone to know that while I am super excited about the above schedule of cross-training … I also get a little vomity looking at it. I am not a cardio kind of girl. If you know me, or have been keeping up with this blog, than you know that I would rather deadlift every day than run. EVAR. However, too high of a focus on weight training for too long can weigh someone like me down (especially since I cameo jam now and again). So I’m moving my focus to some explosiveness. On my lift days, I’m using a modified 5×5 program, that I have preached about in the past! More about lifting and 5×5 here.
You may look at this schedule and say, “But Khaos! You said that running for long distances doesn’t do much for derby!” And it is true. It doesn’t. However, my long endurance has been slipping since I am on a team that doesn’t do endurance practices. Since I am not doing a speed practice, I am utilizing my conditioning training to help keep my long distance endurance strong, which is linked to recovery over the course of a bout. (So it may not help me from jam to jam, but over the course of a whole game, I want my large muscles to still be able to respond.)
How to build your meals?
Look at your macros, use your tracking devices to understand the compositions of your food. Whenever I eat, I make sure there is at least 10g of protein in what I’m eating. Otherwise I pick something else, or add protein to the thing I’m already eating. I also drink a gallon of water a day. I also take vitamins 3x a day. Doing those things helps to keep the metabolism running and helps your body absorb all the things you’re giving it!
Feel free to use my meals as a starting point! If you want specific help please feel free to message me at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com. I have a good bit of Herbalife in my personal plan, but I can help you figure things out for you with or without the Herbalifle. ^_^
It’s a lot. It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming. Break it down piece by piece. Map it out. Then, all you have to do it is follow it and be awesome! The nice side effect of mapping out your nutrition and fitness this way? You’ve just made a road map for your daily schedule. Watch your productivity go through the roof!! And don’t be afraid to schedule in “FUN TIME” or “TRAVEL TIME” or “READING”. Do it up! It’s your plan.
I have changed a lot about my habits in the last 15 years. There is a lot that has resurfaced from the years of being a young, naïve tomboy in middle school (competition and weight lifting in particular). And there is a lot I have had to release over the years. Here are seven things about me that have significantly altered my physical energy, my spiritual strength and my overall positive outlook on life. As I was writing this, I realized I could have made a list of 20 things! I’m sure you’ll hear more in the future.
Befores and afters. ^_^ (and still going)
1) I eat protein for breakfast
“But Kristie! Oatmeal is so good for me!”
O rly? What I have found is that when I start my day with a high protein breakfast, one balanced with complex carbs and some fat, I have considerable energy throughout the day. When I eat oatmeal, cereal or breakfast potatoes I find that I am sluggish, hungry quicker and have a hard time firing on all cylinders at work. It is because even your “steel cut oats” are still oats. They spike your blood sugar and they do not keep you full.
What does this breakfast look like? Ideally it is an Herbalife breakfast shake – recently it’s been 2 scoops of Formula 1 Sport, ½ cup of pasteurized egg whites and maybe some PB2 for fun. If I know I’m running around a lot during the day, I’ll save the shake for later and I’ll start out with 2 eggs, a 1/3 cup of pasteurized egg whites, sautéed spinach, onion, broccoli and tomato.
2) I get dressed as soon as I wake up
Yes, for as much as I try and live in the comfiest clothes possible, I have found that if I wake up and toddle around in my PJs for too long, I become lethargic and my to do list stays as long as it was the night before. By staying in the mode of sleep wear, I have given my body permission to remain in sleep mode. No more permission granted!
Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, wash your face, do stuff.
3) I reserve bananas pre-workout only (if at all)
More and more people are catching on that bananas are not the super fruit we once thought. High in sugar and low in protein, these little bombs of energy are fantastic for before a workout, but are a culprit in keeping you hungry and padded when eaten before a long day at the office. And while good for potassium and fiber, there are 6 electrolytes total that effect cramping. If you are chowing down on bananas Charlie horses go away, you very much need to take a look at the rest of your diet. My dehydration migraines have stopped now that I incorporate all the electrolytes into my diet, along with drinking at least half my body weight in ounces of water each day. The 24 Hydrate by Herbalife has been a lifesaver.
4) I eat until bed time.
Yup. Your body doesn’t actually care what time it is. By saying “I’m not going to eat after 7p” and then staying up until 11p, all you have done is slowed your metabolism and hurt your recovery – especially the athletes in the crowd. If you do a workout that finishes at 11p, then you need to eat afterwards. It’s one of the strongest changes I’ve made. That being said, keep away from the simple carbs within four hours of bed time since your body won’t be able to burn them off before bed.
5) I rarely step on a scale, and I only do measurements every 60 days.
It’s ok to not know where your body is moment to moment. I know that I am much happier feeling healthy and strong and not being concerned if I weigh 138 or 144. Do my pants fit? Do I feel strong during practice? Am I faster than other people? Did my squat max go up? These are the questions I hit myself with. It is good to track your metrics so that you know what your progress looks like and you can re-evaluate every 90 days, but our body fluctuates too much day to day to use a daily weigh in as a gauge. I have seen friends drive themselves crazy over this. It causes stress, which then feeds right into keeping the weight on. It’s a cycle. Don’t feed into it.
6) I realized that I eat mostly the same things every day, so I may as well make them healthy.
Before my journey began, I used phrases like “Variety is the spice of life”, “Diets are boring” and “I live to eat, not eat to live.” And then one day I realized that all I was doing was making excuses for myself and my habits. And then the next day I realized that I was repeating my meals every week anyway. I always had something egg-based for breakfast, I always had a sandwich or salad for lunch, I always had a protein with some carbs and veggies for dinner. (Back then I also always had 2 cherry sodas a day, a few soft pretzels and candy bars as snacks.)
If you can recognize that you’re really not as chefy as you like to think you are, you can tighten down easier on a schedule of healthy eating that is nourishing, promotes your goals and saves you money (now that I know what I want at the grocery store, there is no need to randomly pick up ingredients “Just in case”).
Also, shakes for meals are not nearly as scary as I thought when I first heard about them. Mostly because my shakes don’t come out of a metal can, I’m full afterwards and they taste RIDICULOUS. Also, when you’re eating 5 – 9 times a day (like athletes should), it’s a whole lot easier to scoops, shake, drink than it is to make 8 individual meals.
7) I include workouts that are mental exercises.
Yoga and running are most specifically what I have worked on, though rock climbing and speed skating are another set of mental challenges.
I hated running. Hated it. Railed against it and refused to believe that it could help me (secretly, I knew it would, I just hated the way it felt because I was so out of shape). I will never forget running my first mile alongside of Eric Winters on the track of Mechanicsburg High School; technically I was his pole-vault coach, but he gave me the single greatest lesson of my life as the ex-boyfriend turned best friend:
Your body will do amazing things, if you just ask it to.
Conquering workouts that we hate means that we must overcome our self-doubt, our mind’s will to sabotage and we must release all of the excuses we have made in the past. Yoga, running, climbing, speed skating, cross-country skiing… there is quiet control and a zen-like state that must be achieved for success. You must connect to your breathe, to your soul, to the Universe’s will around you.
Pro Tips: Set an intention at the beginning of the session. “Focus”, “Awareness”, “Precision”, “Fearlessness” are all excellent intentions. When it begins to get hard (and it will), repeat this to yourself. Also, I like to visualize something that I connect with that calms me. The giant manta ray that I would watch float towards me in the vastness of Atlantis’s aquarium in the Bahamas comes to mind when I am running and my breath gets ragged. I picture the calm beating wings to gather myself and then keep going.
To start on your journey with me as your coach, drop me an e-mail at KGreyActiveNutrition@gmail.com and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Khaos24Fit