Workouts in a rut? Time for Food Porn!

Come on. Is this not the prettiest cauliflower you ever did see? (Image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Come on. Is this not the prettiest cauliflower, carrot and dill dish that you ever did see? (Image courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

This is one of my secret weapons for getting my workouts back on track after a layoff, or an injury, or a biggie race. I don’t keep on trying to work out hard if I’m exhausted or just not quite ready for tough workouts. I lean in to the nutrition side of the equation and build myself back up that way. Or, to put it another way…

Food Porn!

The New York Times’ Stephanie Strom wrote recently about Bolthouse Farms and their efforts to make healthy foods visually enticing through the use of lovely photography. It’s a pretty cheeky initiative they’ve got going, with the hashtag #FoodPorn and a fabulous website: www.foodpornindex.com. The idea is to get gorgeously-photographed healthy foods into a dominant place in our culture. And it definitely helps. Try posting some awesome healthy food photography around your kitchen and dining area and see how it affects your interest in eating better.

Yum, I tell you.

More food porn! I started to love the squash family when I realized how versatile it was: acorn, butternut, spaghetti, patty pan...and pumpkin! (Image courtesy of Praisaeng / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
More food porn! I started to love the squash family when I realized how versatile it was: acorn, butternut, spaghetti, patty pan…and pumpkin! (Image courtesy of Praisaeng / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Why is this so important? I’ve noticed among my athlete-friends that there’s a very common feeling that we can “get away” with eating not-so-great foods sometimes because of all of the activity we do to “burn it off.” Many people (a disproportionate number of men, actually) have told me that when they want to lose weight, they just work out harder, or more often, or both.

But after something like a big road race when my body is truly exhausted, it’s time to build back up using the tools that build us up from the inside: the solidly nutritious foods that should make up most of our diet, most of the time…but that can get lost by the wayside when we’re in the heaviest training periods of our year. Seriously: once you’re running more than thirty miles a week, plus weight training, plus yoga, plus whatever else is getting you ready for a big event, your body can often just metabolize whatever you give it. For a little while.

At least, mine can. Until the race is over. Then, we gotta get back to business.

Make healthy food fun and beautiful. Go on, I dare ya. (Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Make healthy food fun and beautiful. Go on, I dare ya. (Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

So I’m “back to business” this week on the nutrition side of the equation, because my workouts have been anemic. I’m tired, I’m sleeping later than I sometimes feel like I should, and I just can’t get buzzed for a good run right now. Maybe my body does need a solid break from running for a few weeks after a long race. I’ll see.

In the meantime, today I’m leaning in to nutrition, and that means leaning in to the beauty and deliciousness that fresh foods can be. Hot cereal with blueberries and a soy latte for breakfast, and a healthy lunch, dinner and planned snacks to come later today. Hopefully I’ll feel more energetic soon, and ready to get back to some great workouts.

Recent #every48 workouts: WALK yesterday, to and from the local library – about 40 minutes today. Today, a WALK/CALISTHENIC set in the local park – probably a mile and a half or more of walking, plus my Daily Dozen calisthenic set. That’s enough for today. And now, back to some good nutrition.

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