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Building Your Body: A word on Nutrition, Rest, and Recovery

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

As we exercise and push our bodies cardiovascular-ly, muscularly, skeletally... (You get the idea... mentally...) those parts adapt to the load we place on them which helps us reach our goals. BUT we can't get there without the proper nutrition, rest, and recovery.

I am not a registered dietician. But I do, as well as all of us, have access to basic nutritional information. I am also certified with sports nutrition, but I can in no way prescribe and exact meal plan in my state. My advice may not be for everyone. It really depends. If you think you may need a registered dietician, I have a few recommendations, including Emily Parsell, who I interviewed last week.

For building greater muscle mass, you need at least 60% of your food intake to be protein. Don't forget to make sure your diet does contain calcium and other micronutrients to improve the quality of your rebuild. Gaining muscle, through heavy lifting with fewer reps, is about rebuilding. Eating the right food provides the materials to build with.

Endurance runners may need more carbs. It is your body's preferred way to produce energy. Runners may eat about 60% of their macros as carbs, 25% protein and the rest fat.

If you are a hybrid athlete, you may need a hybrid diet. And a schedule that allows your body to recover from the run and into weight lifting mode. (I recommend staying in the aerobic zone in running if you want to gain muscle mass, but work with a trainer and see what you can do. Then Eat and Rest and Recover.)

All athletes and people who exercise need rest and recovery. Rest is sleep and down time. Recovery could be anything between massage, foam roll, strolls around the neighborhood.

Favorite protein options:

  • nut/ seed butters

  • chicken

  • beans + rice

  • Greek yogurt (this can be with savory dishes as well)

  • milk

  • tofu

  • hard boiled eggs

Favorite Carb options:

  • chick peas, black beans

  • rice

  • sweet potato

  • white potato with skin (try putting a savory mix with Greek yogurt on top.. and maybe some chili sauce YUM!)

  • Brownberry Bread

  • Triscuits

Favorite Fat options:

  • whole milk (contains fat. Vit D is fat soluble)

  • peanut and other nut/ seed butters

  • olive oil

  • the natural fat occurring in meat (chicken) and egg w/o added fats

  • cheeses


Below, I interviewed my friend Emily Parsell. She is a Registered Dietician in Michigan and serves female weight loss clients.

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