In this video we sit down with coach Mitch to talk with him about what he normally eats, his relationship with food, and his advice for those trying to change their dietary habits for the better.
Mitch’s story is unique for a number of reasons:
-He’s a member of CFSB’s full-time coaching staff
-He recently got engaged
-He is one of our top athletes in the gym
-He is training to go to CrossFit Regionals
There are a lot of great insights to be gleaned from what Mitch has to say about how he eats.
In this video we talk about:
-what Mitch typically eats
-what he grew up eating
-his favorite off-plan items
-how he navigates social situations
-how to eat healthy while training for top performance
Robby:???????????? Alright guys, Robby here from Crossfit South Bend. Today I’m here with coach Mitch, and we are going to be talking about Mitch’s relationship with food. So Mitch, first of all, thank you so much for being here.
Mitch:????????????? Thank you, I feel like I’m in Batman’s layer almost. This is like a privilege, this is great.
Robby:???????????? Appreciate it. No windows, yeah, completely cordoned off. So Mitch, the first thing I want to ask you about is, tell me what food was like for you growing up?
Mitch:????????????? Growing up it was probably your classic American lifestyle. It’s a bag of chicken strips that we preheat the oven, or a Tombstone pizza. Having my mom being a full-time worker, she wasn’t at home all the time, so usually it was us kids fixing our meals initially, and then when she’d get home she’d usually cook us some kind of meal that is closer to what I’m going to show you guys here in a little bit, but for the most part it was frozen foods, veggies out of a bag, thing like that.
Robby:???????????? Okay. And then when did you start getting interested more in healthier nutrition, when did that transition happen?
Mitch:????????????? So the biggest thing, it was actually brought on through fitness. After high school I was no longer playing any sports, so I wanted to fill my time with some sort of activity, and luckily my brother-in-law helped influence my fitness lifestyle. So I started working out in a gym, and then I realized, “Oh crap, I can’t really get away with eating this stuff anymore, especially if I want to get to this kind of PR.” Or whatever the case may be. So I just had a roommate at the time, who lived a very similar lifestyle as me, and he helped show me the ropes on how to meal prep so to speak, and I just blossomed from there. And as the years have gone on I look back like, “Damn, was I really eating that stuff back then?” And I’m sure five years from now I’m going to be like, “What the hell was I thinking at Crossfit South Bend?”
Robby:???????????? Okay, awesome. So tell us a little bit about what you typically wat now, what your food looks like, and I see you’ve brought some food in, what these typical meals are?
Mitch:????????????? Yeah. So with me wanting to be on the performance side of my fitness routine, wanting to compete, things like that, you definitely have to fuel your body or else you’re going to crash energy wise, or your body’s just not going to recover. So the things that you guys have taught me is really, really make sure that you’re putting good quality food into your body day in and day out. So luckily I have a significant other who is also in the same mind frame, so we usually do our meal preps together on Sundays, and on Thursdays if we’re running out of food by the end of the week. So usually that’s a three or four hour process that we spend on those particular days, and I generally eat about four to five meals a day, as crazy as it sounds-
Robby:???????????? That’s awesome.
Mitch:????????????? And this is how it is. So generally, it’s going to be all broken down from a macro standpoint, like I have my numbers that I follow, and I try and stay within that range as best I can, and I generally try and eat every two to three hours, as long as my work schedule allows me to do that. But yeah, for instance, I have a cup of oatmeal with some chopped up apples in there, and some crushed almonds to give it a little extra crunch, and then I have egg whites mixed with white onions and broccoli, and that’s a go-to meal for me for breakfast.
Then before my workout, probably an hour or two before that, I’ll have six ounces of some kind of beef, or maybe even chicken, just depending on what we have, some green veggies, and some rice, because that seems to be a carb that really sits well with me. I feel like I get a good energy from it, it doesn’t really make me feel bloaty or anything like that, and I didn’t realize how important that was until I started to really follow my diet and started noticing certain foods were making me feel less energized, or more sluggish, things like that.
Then usually about an hour or so after I work out I’ll have this big, big meal. That’s usually where I get the main source of carbs from, and that’s usually a little bit harder for me to get all that through, because I’m a cow, I’m a slow grazer, if you will. So I could just sit there and just pile it in for and hour if I have to. Then I tend to have a home cooked meal with Stephanie whenever we get home from work, so that’s our ritual, if you will.
Robby:???????????? Awesome. So, one of the things I like to do with these videos is, with Andrew last time we were talking about the fact that for him, his unique situation was he was a college student.
Robby:???????????? In your case, you are a competitive cross fitter, and working out multiple times a day, doing really hard programming. What sort of nutritional modifications have you had to make in the past few years, and what sort of things have you learned about the way you eat with all this stuff?
Mitch:????????????? The biggest thing that I’ve really learned more about myself is how much we’re like a car. Legitimately, we’re built like a car. Like we have to do our maintenance work, we have to fill our gas, we have to change the oil. Things like that, and I didn’t realize how true that was until I started really making sure that I was changing my oil every couple of hours by eating food, and how skipping a meal and choosing to exercise versus eating, how big of a difference your performance can be with that, and not being in a set routine can definitely mess up your performance.
For me, I’m very lucky that I can work out at the same time, generally, every single day, and my diet falls into that schedule as well. But if things are very busy in my life, I might have to work out earlier or later, or maybe only get a portion of my workout in, but I do know that if I’m choosing exercise over food, I know that my performance is not going to be that good that particular day, or maybe even that week because of that decision.
So just learning how diet and nutrition is key, versus putting in a better workout. So that’s probably been the biggest thing, and the most rewarding thing I’ve gained from doing this.
Robby:???????????? Awesome. So, we’ve talked a lot about good food.
Robby:???????????? Now, let’s talk about what are your favorite off-plan foods? What do you like to do when you’re nutritionally off-roading?
Mitch:????????????? So, none of my athletes know this about me, they would be totally surprised when I say this, but I love spicy food. Just kidding, they probably know that better than anything. Whenever I’m describing a workout, whether it’s a long aerobic piece, I’m like, “Yeah, this is like your honey barbecue flavor workout, it’s just super chill. Or you’ve got your mango habanero, that ghost pepper, that’s the 500 max row. That’s going to make you hate life for a little bit.” So that actually stems from me actually loving spicy food. Put a plate of wings in front of me, just sit back and watch the show. Die hard pizza lover, I definitely could eat that at any point. But desserts, I blame my girlfriend for this, but she’s really got me into Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, getting the little pints and just destroying that, late at night sometimes. Luckily we haven’t done that recently. We’ve been really dialed in with diet and nutrition, things like that, but if you put those three things in front of me it’s game over.
Robby:???????????? Awesome. So, yeah, that gives us a really good sense of what your diet’s like now. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with anyone about food, and things you deal with related to food?
Mitch:????????????? Yeah. I think the biggest thing, and I try and relay this to our athletes as well, is that, look, I get it, if you’re invested you’re going to commit 100%, things like that, but we have other priorities. Some of have family obligations, job obligations, there’s other things that play into our day to day lives, and I think sometimes people get discouraged when they can’t sit down three or four hours on a Sunday and meal prep their food for the week. And I think that instead of making small jumps, whether that’s preparing one meal a week, or whether that’s ordering Meals by Maura, hashtag throwing that in there.
Generally, making just a small step forward is still a step forward, that is a room of growth, and just start from there and build off of that if you can. It has to have meaning to you, you have to put value in it if that’s something that you want to get towards and become. It can happen, just don’t be so discouraged if you can’t give 100% right off the bat. And luckily I’m very fortunate that with my job path, and the people I’m surrounded with on a day to day basis help promote this kind of lifestyle, and even with that being said, it’s still hard. I still find times where it’s like, “Damn, I have to meal prep today,” or, “Damn, we’ve got to go get groceries.” I understand, it is very challenging. Nothing is easy about this, but it’s not just a diet, or a meal program, or anything like that, it’s genuinely a whole lifestyle.
So I totally get where being discouraged comes from, but don’t let that get the best of you. Just start one thing at a time.
Robby:???????????? Absolutely. Could not agree more. Well, Mitch, thank you so much for being here, thank you so much for sharing this food with us too.
Mitch:????????????? Thank you, Batman, I appreciate it, and I’m going to go eat.
Robby:???????????? Awesome. Alright guys, thank you so much for-