Let Food Be Thy Medicine

By: Nick Niedzwiecki

Nutrition should be the foundation to any health and fitness model you choose to follow and is the case with CrossFit. You may be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies when it comes to your health and fitness success. What should nutrition look like? Here is the definition we use in CrossFit, it is simple, not easy.

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

These two sentences capture a nutritional approach that, when applied with our workouts, yields incredible health and fitness. A healthy diet is linked to solving most health problems in today’s society. High blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases can be greatly reduced, if not cured, by living the simple definition of nutrition listed above. What does this look like in life?

Eat meat and vegetables — Meats should be low to moderate in fat and vegetables low in carbohydrates. Both should be cooked through a method that does not introduce additional fats and oils, i.e. grilled, baked, broiled, or boiled. White fish, chicken breast, low-fat beef, and turkey breast paired with non-starchy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, and tomatoes.

Nuts and Seeds — Pecans, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are great places to start with this food group. Raw or lightly roasted and salted are the best way to go for these but be careful not to consume too many. One small handful a couple of times a day will get the job done.

Some fruit — Fruit is essential to a well-balanced diet and we should not stray away from it. Sugars occurring in fruit are not of concern!

Little starch — Starchy vegetables include white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green peas, and carrots, just to name a few. We want to keep the intake of these lower than our non-starchy vegetables listed above.

No sugar — This is where the magic is. Eliminating added white sugar from your diet will be the difference in being healthy and not. Sugar occurs most in processed foods, this is anything that comes in a package. Sticking to the above instructions will be essential in helping to remove sugar from your diet.

Why eliminate sugar? Sugar is addictive; it turns on reward pathways in your brain and causes withdrawal. But trying to break the sugar addiction can be very challenging alone.

I challenge you for the month of September to try and eliminate as much sugar from your daily life as possible. You won’t be perfect and that’s fine, no one is perfect. This will bring light to something you may have never focused on in your life, and having daily challenges is a great way to grow stronger, physically and mentally!

Need help with your nutrition? Please feel free to reach out to CrossFit Athens at info@crossfitathens.com and we will answer all your questions! We even have a nutrition program that will begin on September 6, 2023, and is open to everyone!

By: Nick Niedzwiecki

Owner, CrossFit Athens