I had the honor and privilege to work with Julie Ellison of Climbing Magazine this fall and have our Trailside Kitchen Method strength training program listed in their Holiday Gift Guide, along with her secret sauce recipe for success with climbing.
Since then, I’ve gotten a ton of emails wondering what is the “secret sauce” to Julie’s success.
Here’s the recipe:
Know how food works: what roles do carbohydrates, proteins, and fat play in your body and how can you use them to strategically manipulate an outcome (better exercise performance, long work shifts, travel days, etc.)?
Know your own body: What are your individual needs based on gender, age, exercise intensity level, food allergies or sensitivities, lifestyle, schedule, etc.?
Consistency: Making food work for you is not something that only happens out on the trail or during your peak season. It calls for a (delicious ;)) lifestyle shift. How you eat consistently will lead to how you perform both outside and in your everyday life.
But how can you tell if you’re on the right track?
Secret Sauce checkpoints:
- How often are you hungry? If you are hungry before the 4-5 hour point then ask yourself:
- Did my meal have a good source of protein, fat, and carbs?
- In what quantities were they in?
- Did I eat enough food?
- Does your energy or performance feel like it varies day to day?
- What time in the day was your energy dip?
- Think about your last few meals and ask yourself the questions from checkpoint #1.
If you are new to this, sign up for the Trailside Kitchen newsletter for free guidance every week delivered directly to your inbox. If you want more reading, check out last week’s post about the Effects of Food Quality on Performance or get started incorporating some tasty recipes into your meal rotation!