|Ale enjoying Nutella, March 2011|
Despite my participation in athletics throughout my life, the concept of "nutrition for improved athletic performance" only recently became a focus of my training plans. While running cross country, or playing basketball or rugby, I ate whatever I wanted, which usually consisted of a high percentage of carbohydrates and refined sugars (think: pancakes, all of the time). However, the need for building and sustaining muscle only became a priority within the past year, so I'm focusing on a nutrition plan that reaches beyond the general goals of eating whatever seems reasonably healthy coupled with a few (or substantially more than a few) tasty treats here and there. Coach tapped in to my scientist side a few months ago, and suggested I start collecting data on my meals, snacks, and carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios. I've been tracking everything through My Fitness Pal, both through the web and an app on my Android. Facing reality with the numbers is keeping me on track, although I still have my wholesale club-sized jar of Nutella waiting for whenever the nutrition plan allows for a tasty treat.