The Core Diet Blog

As we approach the off-season, conveniently coinciding with the holiday season, the tendency to forego strict nutrition and loosen up is understandable. We've all worked hard and sacrificed for the passion of sport. The time is now to celebrate our accomplishments and live it up! Cereal parties, pancakes and Halloween candy (if you haven't read Rachel's latest bog, check out which treats may trick you) are the perfect choices now that training and competing are wrapped up. Well…(insert audio of needle scratching across the vinyl here)…not so fast.
Through the season, there has been sacrifice and tremendous effort, but let's keep a cool head in the off-season. Just the words "off-season nutrition" may summon anger, but realize that this is NOT scrutiny of macronutrients for performance, but a golden opportunity to work out some kinks without interfering with competition. Off-season nutrition can be a forgotten, but key tool for training, and really provide a winning edge come Spring.
Follow your core diet. Weight gain during the off-season isn't tragic, but imagine your starting point in February or March when you don't need to focus on losing 15 pounds to start the season. Imagine! Some of us may also need this opportunity to change body composition without risking any compromise to performance. Sure, there will be brunches and cocktail parties that you can actually now attend and enjoy, but this doesn't mean you need to go overboard.

Down time and a subsequently modified nutrition plan are important for a rest and recovery period, physiologically and mentally. So, how to find the balance? Below are some tips to help you enjoy the off-season without needing to buy an off-season wardrobe.

• Stay true to your core!
• Maintain blood sugar consistency!!
• Create windows for yourself that compliment brunch or parties whenever possible
• Create opportunities to experiment with pre workout foods
• Clearly define and set limits to your off-season celebrations
• Choose an early segment of your off-season to be a bit more lenient
• Incorporate some different anti-inflammatory foods/recipes (Studies show that if foods are going to have an anti-inflammotory effect, you will likely need to eat them every day)

o Select oils that provide omega-3 fat, such as canola or soybean oil.
o Add flaxseed oil, which is very high in omega-3 fat, to foods like salad dressings. (If you use flaxseed, be sure it is ground up. Your body cannot digest the beneficial fat if the seeds are left whole.)
o The walnut is the only common nut with alpha linolenic acid. Try walnut oil in salad dressings, too.
o Crushed or pulverized walnuts can be used to "bread" chicken, fish or other lean meets.
o Some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s so their eggs will contain more as well. When buying eggs, check the package label. Remember all egg yolks contain cholesterol.

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Remember the off season can be a wonderful (training) opportunity. Just don't use the word training so that we can all still relax!

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