Crossfit and nutrition – Interview Milou de Winter
Milou de Winter, 26 years old, from Amsterdam is Crossfit athlete and trainer at Vondelgym Amsterdam. The past year Milou has participated in several Dutch competitions like the Tiglon Series, Beach Throwdown and the Amsterdam Throwdown. At the moment she is working at the Royal Dutch Marechaussee. A couple of weeks before she left we had an interview with her of which this is the first part. About her nutrition in combination with being a Crossfit competitor.
How do you deal with your nutrition as a Crossfit athlete?
When I started with Crossfit 4 years ago everyone told me I had to follow the Paleo diet because it’s a part of Crossfit. Especially a lot of meat was recommended. I thought to myself ok I will do it because apparently thats part of the deal and good for my training.
Since then a lot has changed. Because since about four months I no longer eat meat. I do still eat fish and chicken but no more beef. Partly from ideology and partly because meat is very heavy for me on the stomach. I feel great with the choice I made. Maybe it’s mental but it works fantastic because I feel fitter than ever.
Nutrition is an absolute necessity for recovery and to be able to train harder and harder. My current eating pattern developed over the years. I went through an evolution that has taken me to where I am right now. By trying different diets and eating habits you will find out what works best for you. I don’t believe there is a one size fits all solution.
When I’m with people that don’t train that much I notice there is a big difference in eating habits between what I eat and what they eat. For instance I always eat a warm lunch with vegetables whereas in the Netherlands a simple sandwich is much more common.
What does your diet look like on a normal day?
2 examples of Milou’s regular breakfast:
I often have to wake up early to give class in the morning. So what I eat in the morning needs to be quickly prepared and nutritious. My favorite breakfasts therefore are breakfast smoothies or overnight oats that I prepare the evening before.
Breakfast smoothie ingredients:
Spinach, zucchini, banana, coconut water and 1 scoop natural whey cacao. Then I ad some flax seed and oatmeal to get sufficient carbs and fats. It is easy to bring with you in order to drink it in between classes. It gives a satisfied feeling and makes sure I get through the first hours of the day full of energy.
Overnight oats (like in the video):
Put oat milk, oats, chia seeds, flax seed and 1 scoop of natural whey vanilla in a blender. After blending put it in a bowl in the fridge. The next morning all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and your breakfast is ready. If you prefer you can also heat it up a bit.
In the afternoon and the evening my meals differ quite a bit. I always make sure to ad sufficient protein, carbohydrates en healthy fats with each meal. For example during lunch I eat a wrap with hummus, vegetables and chicken or turkey filet. For me bread is not really an issue I actually do really well with bread although many would disagree to the benefits. I do always make sure that what I put on my sandwich is healthy and nutritious.
What else do you look at in your choice of food?
Packaging: Next to the nutritional values I always pay close attention to the ingredients list. In some chicken filet for instance there’s only 76% chicken. So what is the rest of the filet made of I often ask myself. Many products contain a lot of artificial and unhealthy additives so pay close attention!
Sugar: I always pay attention to the amount of sugar a product contains or if there are added sugars. In general I only choose products that contain naturally occuring sugars. Refined and added sugars I always try to avoid because they are simply not healthy.
Processed food: I try to eat as less processed foods as possible. So that generally means no packaged foods. Chicken filet in general is processed but in that case I pay attention that the major part of the product is actual real chicken. Turkey filet is more pure and can contain up to 97% pure turkey meat. Therefore turkey definitely has my preference.
Origin: I always pay close attention to where the products I consume come from and what has been the quality of life of for instance a chicken or turkey. Therefore I always take free range and organic eggs, chicken, turkey or other animal products. Next to that I’m experimenting more and more with vegetarian recipes and I’m noticing it tastes better and better for me.
Do you follow a certain diet?
Some time ago I tried this app on my phone where you can register everything you eat including calories and macro’s. This made me feel really depressed. The advantage is that it makes it more easy to loose weight which is an advantage for workouts using only body weight.
Actually apps like those which make you calculate how much you can eat of each dish are really not made for me. I noticed I was getting kranky because of it. Next to that eating is my hobby and something that makes me happy in life. I love to eat healthy and delicious food and to give it my own interpretation. Next to that I’m feeling fitter than ever before so I don’t see the necessity of such programs for myself.
Find what works for you and try new things to keep it interesting and discover what brings the best results for you. Don’t be too obsessed about it. In the end you also need to enjoy training and your nutrition.
If you have any questions please do let us know. We’ll be sure to answer them as soon as possible.