Each and every session with Carley brings the inevitable question, “How has your nutrition been?” Typically this is soon followed up with, “You have to get it to 100 percent.” Apparently when I announce that I had donuts, Lloyd’s Tacos, and M&M’s for a snack, he is unimpressed.

Up to this point, our foray into weight-training has us following a loose “eat healthier things” diet plan, which for the most part I can say we have fallen short of. Ellie often makes very healthy lunches, but the 6pm binge right before dinner is ready, and the jars of candy we have in the house from Christmas has consistently set us back. 

Ellie and I follow a seemingly random diet full of unwritten rules. Generally speaking, we don’t eat meat at home. This pseudo-vegetarian diet is for two purposes: First, the whole ethical thing about sustainability is in the back of our minds. Second, we just aren’t that into eating chicken, beef or pork. We certainly aren’t strict vegetarian by any stretch, as my Mom’s meatballs are too good to ignore. But neither of us crave or really seek out meat.

I have a whole host of other trigger foods that I avoid, like most onions, and soft cheeses to name a couple. Ellie avoids shell-fish, and neither of us are that big on fish in general, although Salmon has been slowly working its way into our acceptable range after a couple of stellar dishes. Meal planning has been a major challenge which neither of us has fully risen to the challenge of. However, one thing is becoming abundantly clear, we both need to get this worked out if we are going to continue to build strength. After a couple of weak sessions with Carley, where I struggled to hit full sets at the weight assigned, I knew right away it was directly related to my nutrition.

Building strength involves more than just putting in the work at the gym. Nutrition is key, and it is going to be our next major focus in the weeks to come. As we gear up for the Buffalo Half Marathon in May, it will be even more critical to get our food intake down to a science.