To stay strong, energized and to prevent illness and injuries during surfing it’s important to nourish your body with foods that fuel it. Making a few changes to what you put into your body during the day can really transform how you feel and perform. The best part is – it’s not that hard to make a few simple changes.
There’s always been the stigma that eating “clean and healthy” is expensive. If you’re not currently living off ramen noodles, you won’t see much of a price difference on your grocery bill. Especially if you stay away from the trendy packages labeled “organic.”
The hardest part of eating a healthier and cleaner diet is the commitment. It takes some time to prepare the foods. It takes some will power to say “no thanks” to that donut. But once your body is used to eating simple foods you won’t even crave the greasy foods you once loved.
1. Prepare your meals and snacks
This is so important. Through my experience, I’d buy fruits and vegetables and they’d sit in my fridge until they were rotten. I started preparing them by washing, cutting and putting them into reusable containers. Doing this helped because when I was hungry I had healthy, delicious choices to make that were ready to eat.
Every Sunday I buy groceries and take one hour of my time preparing my food for the week. Portion out snacks. I love nuts and dried fruit (without added sugar!), but if I’m eating out of the bag I can almost eat the whole thing! Most nuts have a serving size of ¼ cup. Portion that out and put it in a little snack bag. You’d be surprised how much it fills you up. Not to mention how long a full bag of snacks can last.
Going out to eat for lunch can add up, both in calories and cash. But if you cook your own lunch the night before, it’s ready to go and you know exactly what you’re eating. Restaurants tend to load their menus with salt and butter even when you think you’re making healthy choices. Source: I’ve worked in a lot of restaurants.
2. Eat natural sugar versus added sugar
You’d be surprised where you can find added sugars hiding. Eat whole fruits, fresh or frozen. Use honey as a sweetener. As a bonus, if you live in an area that has high allergens, eating local honey from your area can help reduce specific allergies. It also gives you a natural boost of energy. If you need your coffee sweetened in the morning, try cinnamon, honey and almond milk. Also, try coconut palm sugar on natural oatmeal with almond milk.
3. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t buy it
This is what clean eating is about. Eating natural foods from Mother Nature, the way it was intended. If you can’t pronounce the first ingredient, run away! There are plenty of similar foods that are made 100% naturally. For example, breads, granola bars and cereal, yogurt and even energy drinks all have natural counterparts.
4. Drink water
You learned this in elementary school – your body is made of 70% water. It needs to be replenished when you work hard or play in the sun all day. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. If you need electrolytes, try coconut water or adding a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water. If you hate the neutral taste of water try mixing it up by adding mint leaves and lime, a super refreshing water drink.
5. Eat six times a day instead of three
This is where portioning your food is really helpful. But eating smaller, lighter meals more often will keep you feeling more energetic. Heavy meals tend to weigh a person down and make them sleepy and lazy. Every once in a while it’s okay to indulge, but try to keep it simple.
Tiffany Broden is a resident of Seattle, WA who is always finding adventures in the Northwest. On the weekends you can usually find her in the mountains snowboarding or at the beach surfing. When she’s not on an epic adventure you can find her at home doing arts and crafts or yoga. She graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011 with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in advertising. She is currently working for a material handling company doing in-house marketing.