Thursday, 11 September 2014

I am 67% cocoa

I used to say I am a fat kid trapped in a skinny body. I have always loved to eat but luckily I never got very fat. My Mum didn't allow much fast food in the house. MacDonalds was when only when I went to the doctors and that was only because it was next to the surgery! Fizzy drinks were also a no, although I tried my best to ruin my teeth with sweets bought out of my pocket money. I think a major reason I remained very skinny - I was all knees and elbows till about 14 - was I was very active.
Sometimes I think I was too active, like the time I cam of my bike and nearly split my head open...
He looks better than I did

My mum taught me how to ride a bike. She bought my brother and I a bike, gave me a helmet and a push and off I went. No stabilisers. No knee pads. It worked. I was soon off with my mini chain gang roving round the streets of south London.

I was a very active kid, not hyper just active. I growing up I swam, rode and even snuck into a few of the school squads. While my life story is riveting I am sure what has any of this got to do with food, fatties or nutrition? Nothing and everything, I credit my relative natural athletic ability on the fact I was so active as a kid. I also just as importantly credit it to having a pretty healthy diet growing up.
Go faster chocolates

Now as I am pushing more advanced athletic endeavour as well as balancing uni studying I realise I am going to have to rethink my diet. I have almost total control over what goes in my gob and there are a lot more things that I never used to be exposed to, like booze. Students are notorious drinkers and I am not a total deviation from that. I like a drink or two, obviously this blog is called running on rum but I also know that if I am going to make even half of my ambitions I need to think carefully about how I drink. I will definitely blog on my thoughts about drinking and performance. The main focus for now however is food.

I was drawing up my budget and I realised that if I am going to consolidate the improvements from training I need to eat more and eat better. I could be burning in excess of 4000 calories extra a week. This is a smidge over 550 calories a day and I could get that from a foot long Subway or 6 bananas.  Regardless moment of the source, point is I need to replace these calories and that costs.

The stinger is you are what you eat. In an ideal world I would be eating only the finest organic, non-GMO hand plucked vegan produce but my poor student arse can't afford that. So what to do? The honest truth is I don't have a solution yet. Bulk buying and making food at home are current solutions but the grim truth at the moment is I risk jepodising future plans simply bynot being able to train and recover properly due to not thinking carefully about my diet.

Lets ignore the fiscal aspect and look at the quality. How do I make sure those extra calories, and indeed all my calories are coming from the best possible sources? I've looked at some of the supplements around and there are buckets. Looking at all the theories, fads and trends the only conclusion I can draw is carbs are my friend. I can hear the gasps of dismay but hear me out.

Paleo or eating as my forefathers did means I should eat like a Nigerian. Yams, cassava, amala, melon seed and locust bean those are the foods of my forefathers. Western paleo diets don't massively appeal to me as I don't eat a lot of meat. I have experimented with being vegetarian and during my first year I basically was vegetarian barring the odd sausage on a Saturday morning. Going 'native' I think will be my best option. There is a reason why African-origin athletes be they West or East are amongst the best sprinters and  powerful endurance athletes in the world.
Yam Powered 
So the big question now is can I afford it and will it work. While the money aspect is an issue I am optimistic. Partly because I have to be. As for the nature of my diet. I am more optimistic that can work. Simply because it has for so many previously.

Photo credits
The Snack Review: Grown Up Chocolates

No comments:

Post a Comment