Eating Through the Day in a Busy Life – by Sinead

 

In the last blog, I highlighted some practical strategies to help you optimise your nutrition when life is hectic. In this blog I want to dive a little more into some of the science behind each meal of the day, and highlight some things you can think about as you make food choices through the day.

Starting with breakfast …

So, you wake up. Get ready. How many of you eat breakfast? I am going to try and convince you
why eating breakfast can be important if you need to maintain focus and concentration from the start to end of your day, as well as training volume and intensity!

Most cells in our body want to use glucose as their primary source of energy. In particular the brain. So, our bodies try to maintain our blood sugar levels within a narrow range that means a constant supply of glucose can be provided to all the cells of the body. When we are in this range, we have sustained energy and we can do work. If our blood sugar gets lower than this range, we are fatigued, we can’t concentrate, we are hungry. Energy is low. You may not always consciously register this.Particularly if you are in the habit of running on empty.

In the morning, when we haven’t eaten since the evening before, our body has to work to maintain blood sugar levels. Our body is breaking down the glycogen and fat (and muscles, if we are really in energy deficit) to keep the blood sugar up. So, if you need to be mentally alert and focussed, you might want to take this stress off your body (particularly if it is already fighting fatigue, a cold, work induced stress, injury etc) and eat!

Okay, so assuming I have convinced you (if you were skeptical) that breakfast is the bomb, what should you eat?

In terms of sustained energy, not all foods are created equal!! The main rule: avoid foods that are essentially all sugar. Why? Sugar is sugar. It does not need to be digested, it is already small enough to pass straight through our gut and into the blood and around the body. So it moves rapidly into the blood. Blood sugar levels spike – high and fast. Yep, this will give you an energy surge. But the body keeps blood sugar within a range because high blood sugar is dangerous. So the body reacts quickly and aggressively to strip the excess sugar from the blood. In its haste, we overshoot. Blood sugar levels crash below the ideal range. You feel an energy crash … you get hungry quickly, and moreover crave the food that will quickly raise blood sugar and increase your energy. i.e. more sugar. You’re on a blood sugar roller coaster, and it’s hard to get off it. So – choose foods that also contains a mix of starchy carbohydrates, proteins and fats, with fibre. This gives you a steady release of blood sugar over time … giving you sustained energy across the morning.

Common challenges – you don’t have time, or you don’t like eating first thing. A coffee with full fat milk plus a banana will do. Or a handful of nuts with berries. Takes two minutes. And you can eat them on the go (although preferably sitting down for the benefit of digestion … a topic for another time!).


Monday

A) Back Squat
3 @ 70%
3 @ 80%
90% x max reps

B) EMOM x 7min.
7 Pull-Ups
7 DB Power Cleans 22/16kg

*Rest 4min.*

EMOM x 7min.
7 Burpees
7 DB Push Press 22/16kg”

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

A) Snatch
Every 3min. x 5 Rounds:
15/12 Cal Bike/Ski/Row
3 Heavy Snatches (Climbing)
*Score is your last snatch set

B) Every 3min. x 5 Rounds:
200m Run
10 Deadlifts 100/70kg
10 Wall Balls 9/6kg

MetCon

EMOM x 10min. (Same min.)
8 Alt. DB Snatches 22/16kg
8 Wall Balls 9/6kg

EMOM x 10min.
Odd: 15/12 Cal Row
Even: 15 Box Jumps 24/20″”

For Time: (CAP: 10min.)
100 DB Push Press
*EMOM 5 burpees

Wednesday

A) Clean and Jerk
20min. AMRAP:
15/12 Cal Row/Ski/AD
3 Clean and Jerks (choose a starting weight and add each round)

B) 10min. AMRAP:
30 Power Cleans 40/30kg
30 Toes to bar

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

Bench Press
25min. Gainz Window:
4-5 Rounds (depends on time)
5 Heavy Bench Press
5 Strict or Weighted Pull-Ups
10 DB Bent Over Rows Ea. Arm

EMOM x 10min.
15 American KB Swings 24/16kg
Max H.R. Push-ups
Score is Push-Ups only

MetCon

A) Build to a heavy 5 KB Front Squat
(Take about 3-5 working sets building each time and between each set complete 20-40 Russian Twists)

B) 16 Min Alt EMOM
1: 16 Wall Balls
2: 16 DB alt Snatches 22/16kg

Friday

A) Back Rack Lunge (5 sets by 1min. Max Effort )
5 Working sets that have you lunging non-stop for a minute straight. Score is your highest weight for max reps.

B) 12min. running clock…
1 minute of double-unders
1 minute of Dumbbell snatches 22/16kg
2 minutes of double-unders
2 minutes of Dumbbell snatches 22/16kg
3 minutes of double-unders
3 minutes of Dumbbell snatches 22/16kg

Saturday

For time with a partner:

60 Cal Row
50 Pull Ups
40 KBS 32/24kg
30 HSPU
20 Power Clean and Jerk 90/57.5kg
30 HSPU
40 KBS
50 Pull Ups
60 Cal Row