This is my first (of many, I hope) Nourishing Interviews, where I talk with a fellow food blogger, inspirational individual or just a really cool friend to let you in on their stories. This first post with Emma from the gorgeous Fruits and Routes isn’t so much an interview as it is Emma’s exploration of how she achieves balance. I asked her how she manages to balance food and nutrition while she is training, or indeed running, as it something about which I know fairly little. I was engrossed in her discussion about “Fuelling to Thrive” and love this term she’s used. After all, isn’t life in general about fueling ourselves so we can thrive?
Without further ado, here’s Emma…
The Balancing Act: fuelling to thrive
Hi everyone! For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Emma, the 17-year-old blogger behind Fruits and Routes. On my blog, you can expect to find a selection of nourishing recipes, training tips, discussions about mental health and much more. There’s also a guest post from Amy up today, so make sure to give it a friendly read 😊
Anyway, back on topic.
“Fuelling to thrive”
You might be thinking, “what exactly do you mean by that?”, and rightly so. For me, this involves ensuring you give your body the adequate nutrients to enable it to function optimally. Now, obviously I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I have any qualifications to my name, so all of these are personal ideas based on experience. At the moment, I’m in full-on exam mode, with my first A-level exams looming around the corner. Coupled with the fact that I’m in a busy racing period, stress levels are super high and it can often feel difficult to give my body the support it needs to deal with all this.
This is a phrase which has become increasingly popular in the world of Instagram, so in some ways I am jumping on a bandwagon here. However, I’ve recently tried to embrace this form of eating, as it has allowed me to become far less rigid around my food. For me, intuitive eating entails being in tune to your bodily needs. Sometimes, I just am hungrier than “usual”, either due to doing more sport, work or just purely because I am, and rather than ignore it I’ve learnt that it is my body’s way of saying that it’s low on fuel.
Vibrance and variety
When our lives are particularly hectic, it can be much easier to just choose a microwavable meal or have a takeout. I’m not saying that this is wrong, but it might not be the best means of providing yourself with the necessary nutrients to flourish. Two things that I try to focus on are vibrance and variety, which involves incorporating some colour in most meals. I’m thinking an array of fruits and veggies to complement (or form) every meal, not forgetting the “plainer” coloured foods (such as rice, bread, quinoa etc) to make sure I’m getting enough carbs too. If you have variety, chances are you’ll be hitting most of your needs too!
Now this is key. Whilst I am not a “meal-prep” person (yet – that will change when I head off to uni!), I am a firm believer in being prepared. Often, stereotypical “healthy” foods are not the most convenient, so preparing things in advance is essential to ensuring you can fuel yourself with nutritious foods on demand. Having a selection of tinned goods (beans, tomatoes etc), nuts, dried fruit and grains means that I can always whip something up. When I know I’ll be out all day for a race, I prepare my meals in advance so I won’t be lacking anything on the day. I also always bring a few snack bars and bananas just in case of emergencies!
The last – and most important – thing for me is striking a balance. As someone with a history of disordered eating, it can be easy to slip back into strict and inflexible eating patterns. Whilst being organised and prepared is essential to eating a nutritious diet that provides you with everything you need, being overly obsessed with it can also lead to its own set of related issues. Because of all the running I do, I know that I need to make that extra effort to fuel up, and I also know that eating a chocolate bar (or two) won’t make me “unhealthy”. It really is a balancing act!
I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Amy for letting me write something for her blog, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post!
* Don’t forget that you can also check out my recent post on Emma’s blog, all about why I started blogging. You can find it on her blog which is fruitsandroutes.com and I’d love to hear what you think! With Nourishing Love x