Nutrition Your Way
I have spent many years trying to solve nutrition problems for a lot of people. My wife and I are constantly playing around with solving our own family's nutrition problems. We have four kids ranging from 6 years old to 13 years old. Their nutritional needs are constantly changing, as are our own.
I remember when I was 28 years old I used to go for a 10 mile run in the morning, work all day in the studio, and then do a strength session later in the day. I would come home from work and eat three bowls of pasta with three chicken breast and then wash it down with a full box of peanut butter bumpers in skim milk. That wouldn't work for me anymore. That also might be why I weighed 185lbs back than. Now, I’m 165lbs. My point is as I get older I have to adopt new strategies that work for me and for my family. It’s never perfect, but we’re always trying to get just a little better. Here are some of the things we have learned:
It never works to say “never” with the kids. “You can never have ice cream,” doesn’t work. What has worked is to constantly play around with what’s a little better than ice cream off-the-shelf that might not have too much sugar and growth hormone. We have tried coconut ice cream, cashew ice cream, and oats cream. Some the kids like and some they hate. Of course, once in a while, they get regular old ice cream. Then they pick if they want it based on how it makes them feel. Plus, they understand that they have options and why they have options.
Mindful eating practices go a long way. This might sound simple, but now that Christine and I are no longer 28 years old, it goes a long way to slow down when we are eating and pay attention to when we feel full. We no longer eat to the point where our bellies are bloated and we’re unable to breath. When we slow things down and pay attention to how we feel, the next day feels way better. It’s not so much about limiting carbs all the time or making sure we are eating paleo. It’s become more about paying attention to how much we eat and how we feel.
Big changes and strict diets don’t go well for us. We have done this in the past were we have said we are going 100% vegan or 100% paleo or fill in the blank with whatever new diet we wanted to experiment with. This never works well for the kids. They don’t do well with having had burgers last night and now today they can’t eat meat ever again! What we have found is that experimenting has to work in our lifestyle. We might have a vegan meal once in a while or try and eat more plant-based for a few weeks. If we like it, we will stick with it. If it doesn’t work for us, we will move on. What ends up happening is we begin to adopt all these practices that we pull from on a daily basis and we can shift gears on the fly when we need to. If we know we are on vacation and aren’t going to train as hard, we know what low carb looks like and feels like. We also get a better response from our kids when we bring them along and take them for the ride. It’s temporary and it’s only for the experience, not forever.