After a year of collecting recipes from our Bootcampers, recruiting friends to do recipe testing and trading personal training for design and illustration services, I’m so psyched to introduce our Food Feels Good community cookbook! Have a look at the Forward to learn a bit more about our food philosophy, check the back for some awesome resources about everything from food politics to disordered eating and then dig in to some delicious recipes!
(from the forward of the Food Feels Good Cookbook)
Warning! Gluten ahead!
None of these recipes will promise to make you lose weight or look like a celebrity or be bikini ready in 3 weeks. Be warned that they might contain fat and meat and dairy and deliciousness. These are a collection of recipes chosen by people like you; busy people with families and jobs who like to make and eat food that makes them feel good.
I know you want to be buff and beautiful and have a flat stomach. And you’ve probably heard that people who cook are more likely to have a healthy body weight and live longer. In fact, the decline in home cooking closely tracks the rise in obesity and all the chronic diseases linked to diet. Research even indicates that children who enjoy home cooked meals with their parents do better in school and are less likely to drink, smoke and suffer from eating disorders.
This book was designed to evoke a time when people cooked at home about twice as often as we do now. Cookbooks were not glossy hardcover kitchen decor but smudged with lard grease, chocolate fingerprints and years of wear. Those 1970’s cooks may have been making jellied ham salads, but at least they were making their own and not outsourcing their food to industry. And they were a lot thinner and healthier than we are today.
You may think that a cookbook by a Personal Trainer and a Nutritionist should be a bit more prescriptive. If you want food advice, I would quote my favourite food writer, Michael Pollan, in saying: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And then I would add: Eat with people you love. And pay attention to how it makes you feel (physically, emotionally, psychologically).
If you want some ideas from active and awesome people such as yourself, check out these recipes.
Personal Trainer, Fitness Educator & founder of Fit Feels Good
The Food Feels Good Community Cookbook!
From Kristen Spencer, Registered Holistic Nutrionist.
Sometimes when people first start an exercise program, they hear buzz words like “carb loading” and “protein shakes” and think that they automatically need to be adding all of this stuff into their diet. The thing is, these kinds of nutritional strategies are only needed when in very intensive training. In terms of bootcamps, you are likely not training for more than an hour, which means that you don’t really NEED anything extra (provided you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day) except for water! Once you hit the hour mark, we’ll start talking about carbohydrate supplements. Super long training (like 5+ hours) and our focus shifts to fats!
How much water, though? For all workouts, you’ll want to consume 4-6 ounces of water for every 10-20 minutes of activity. So, think about ADDING another full 750ml bottle of water to your day (picture a regular ‘Camelback’ bottle or equivalent).
Tips to keep in mind
- You’ll want to avoid eating immediately before a bootcamp. Food will just sit in your stomach, and when you exercise, digestion shuts down to focus our energy efforts on the activity at hand. This can lead to some not-so-good feelings.
- Avoid commercial drinks and gels (or at least – check to make sure they aren’t full of artificial sweeteners and colours
- The more you sweat, the more you need to replace electrolytes (which is what Gatorade is trying to sell you on). So for summer bootcamps in humid weather, we’re sweating a lot. You may want to think about a natural alternative like coconut water which contains electrolytes. You can also eat dulse (a seaweed), or check out some of the higher quality supplements like nuun tablets (you just dissolve those in water)…
- Eat properly throughout the day. If you aren’t doing that, you may get HANGRY when you start bootcamping regularly and end up binging on whatever you can find in the moment. Prevent this by putting a big focus on protein and fat in all of your meals.
- Listen to your body: Go to sleep when you are tired! Especially if you are doing an early morning bootcamp, your body will need extra rest so try to get to bed early! Human growth hormone is essential for muscle repair, and when sleep is interrupted, levels of this hormone decrease.
- Severe cramping? This could be due to an electrolyte imbalance. It could be potassium (in which case try 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in water… if this helps, add more potassium rich foods to the diet like apples, banana, avoado, mushrooms, yogurt, spinach). It could also be calcium/magnesium (you can get this from raw cacao which is my personal fave, but also dark leafy greens, broccoli, Natural Calm magnesium supplement). Green smoothies can help get all of these minerals in quickly and deliciously.
Fifteen minutes to an hour after a workout, your muscles are primed to receive fuel to begin the repair process. Your meals after a workout should be easy to digest! The perfect meal will hit all of your macronutrient groups. A great meal: avocado (healthy fats) with sea salt (electrolytes), eggs (healthy fats & protein), and a plantain cooked in coconut oil (simple, easily digestible carbs and more healthy fat!)