As a Macrobiotic practitioner, we treat the human system holistically. Having said that, when Alka Sharma came to me came to me to address her needs and ended up talking about her son Sacchitt Sharma who was at that time entering the Wimbeldon under 16 representing India, I couldn’t help but give her some tips that would also help him. Alka was very clear she needed to keep him on a plant-based approach, while his own coach was fine with it; the others that had taken the team (from India) having being fed information on supplements and performance enhancers couldn’t disagree more. Her dedication to stick to what she believed in, made him eventually win the under 16 Wimbeldon title.
I have worked out (pretty hard all my life), and used the knowledge I have of foods (simple, natural everyday foods) to help me do get the maximum out of my workout, and recover better. I admit its harder, as one has to make a lot of the stuff on one’s own; but what I do know is that I will never ever suffer from a setback on my health in the future. What most sports nutritionists are doing today, is making it easier for parents (actually making them lazy) and not helping them understand how they can use natural foods to enhance their child’s performance, energy levels, and recovery time. Instead I see a ‘herd mentality’ being followed, comparisons made when they meet, one parent tells another what they are using, and they load their kids up with stuff that eventually 5-10 years down the line will definitely sap the energy out of their child, and load up their kidneys.
I can’t give all the tips in one blog article but I can say this to you. Please be cautious of the advice that comes your way. I see most parents have no filters when it comes to having their kids use supplements to perform better at a sport. The goals of the parent should be to reduce stress, boost energy, and look and feel great about their sport. I am sorry to say I don’t see that happen.
There are two components that make up an athlete’s life: training and recovery. In the recovery phase, we as parents and health practitioners have to reduce the stress from the body and enhance the quality of the rest phase. Instead we load our kids with supplements which actually sap their energy and do not allow for this to happen. The better a diet and the more natural the foods used, the better is the recovery and lesser stress placed on the body.
Just a simple pant based approach is not enough, for this we need to add high quality, alkaline-forming, easily digestible, and nutrient dense foods. A diet should be able to improve productivity, increase strength and endurance, give you faster recovery, improve the mental state, sleep, productivity, reduce sugar cravings, reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle.
When an athlete client comes to me it is important to enhance the diet by breaking it down further. I do this by examining phytonutrients from vegetables, giving enzyme providers via foods, reducing inflammation by keeping foods alkaline, looking at bone health, addressing food insensitivities and lifestyle.
Here is what Alka Sharma had to say after her son has been on this diet for almost 4 years now –
“Thanks so much, I have been following your diet program with my son. With your guidance on food, I am seeing much better results from my son. Special emphasis on fermented foods; I make a lot of sauerkraut, kefir, pickled vegetables, and use miso. After meeting you my views on food have totally changed. You opened a new door for me. My son is No. 1 in his age category in India. I swear I think of you a lot, and thank you from the bottom of my heart”