Peak Condition – helping you train harder and smarter – written by Paul Collins
Last month the coaches at Peak Condition put together a Nutrition Night. The primary goal was to give our athletes an idea of what we do day to day to stay health and preform at a high level.
This whole night was started because Quinn (he’s a personal trainer at Peak Condition) and I were talking about our personal approach to eating bacon nutrition in front of a couple clients. After about 5 minutes our client suggested that we offer this information to everyone in the Peak Condition family. A few months later our nutritional night was a great success and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback asking for more similar events. It just goes to show you that bacon can lead to more than just a delicious meal.
You might be thinking that this post was just an excuse for me to talk about bacon. Well, you’re right but I also have additional information from the nutrition night that I thought would benefit those who weren’t able to attend.
Flywheel approach to nutrition
My main topic was about what I call the Flywheel approach to nutrition. The basis of a flywheel is that once it gets moving momentum makes it much easier to spin. This “bike” was my first glimpse into the power of the physics of a flywheel.
At the nutritional night I told the story of playing around on this bike (it is actually a stone sharpener for tools) my Dad had in our basement when I was about 8 or 9 years old. The shortened version is that it was extremely hard to get moving. Apparently my 50lb frame didn’t help. However once I grinded out a couple slow rotations it gained speed and after a couple more it was spinning without much effort. Think of it as trying to bike with a gear that is too hard initially but when you get moving it becomes much easier. What does this have to do with nutrition? The flywheel is hard to move and every push matters, not one push is more important than another when getting started. Nutrition is the same way. There isn’t one meal or one type of food that will get you moving or eating for nutritional success. It takes the consistency of healthy eating over multiple meals/days before you have momentum. In addition just like one push didn’t get the flywheel spinning one food won’t make you healthier. There are guidelines that are important but to say blueberries are better than raspberries or kale instead of spinach simply does not make sense.
What are our guidelines?
EAT. WHOLE. REAL. FOOD. PERIOD.
The less processed the better. If you can’t hunt, fish, pluck, grow or ferment it avoid it. The goal is to create a lifestyle not a diet that you plan on ditching in 3 weeks. Batch cooking is an essential part of my nutritional plan. Every Sunday and Wednesday I spend about 2 hours cooking. This process saves me HOURS of time during the week. Instead of eating out every meal I spend 5 minutes in the morning and pack all the food I’m going to eat that day in glass snapware.
Keep in mind that I still cook breakfast and dinner at home. I try to leave most of my batch cooked food for when I am at Peak Condition or away from home. As far as grocery shopping one of the most helpful tips I can give someone is to shop the perimeter of the store. Chances are you won’t find anything of value in the frozen food section. Stick to the produce and meat department (ideally free range, grass fed, minimally processed meats).
Funny side story, a couple days after the Nutrition Night I asked my Dad if he remembered the flywheel tool from the basement. Not only did he remember it, he still has it. The photo above is the exact same one I played on as a kid and apparently he still uses it.