The Dolce Diet welcomes Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer to our family of bloggers! His motivational insight and unique experience offer a valuable look into how we can best achieve our goals! Read on, readers!
by Brandon Guyer
There’s a reason I now use quotations when saying the word “diet.” It took me awhile to actually see that “dieting” is really just a quick fix. What I was striving for all along was a lifestyle change, but I didn’t know any better. Talk about a lesson in trial-by-error.
Early in my professional baseball training I was trying to get as big and as fast as I could, figuring it would be best for my career. My “diet” was focused on high calories, high carbs and high protein and I consumed the same foods nearly every day, something that got old quick. I put on weight and muscle quickly, but it wasn’t the functional weight and strength that could benefit me in baseball. I was too big and too stiff. That was when I realized I needed to do some research, and after learning more about nutrition (reading Living Lean helped immensely) my life and body changed. I understood that to get the ABSOLUTE most out of myself, my “diet” needed an upgrade.
Your body is your temple. I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t want their body to look and/or feel the best it possibly could. The problem is that it doesn’t just happen, it takes real effort and discipline. Being a professional athlete, my body is something I constantly rely on. Why wouldn’t I take care of it?
Two years ago I started the process of upgrading my “diet” hoping to do the following:
In order to rid my body of joint and muscle aches, I started eating more earth-grown nutrients and cut out all processed foods. Shopping on the perimeter, rather than the middle of grocery stores, is one way to help with that! My focus was on foods with anti-inflammatory properties, high in omega 3’s. For example: wild fish (or fish oil supplements), avocados, walnuts, and various veggies and seeds (hemp, chia, flax). Consuming these foods allowed me to rely less on over the counter methods of relief, such as Advil.
I also wanted to find a way to boost my recovery time following a workout or a game. The Living Lean principle of eating based on what I just did or what I’m about to do is key here. This is where high quality foods and simple sugars (immediately after) come into play: apples, berries, raw honey, kale, broccoli, eggs, chicken, turkey, etc. It has been just as important to cut out the low quality foods such as: anything fried, candy, soda, chips, processed foods, etc. These healthy food choices combined with proper hydration (water), has my body feeling and recovering better than ever. It really is amazing how adding clean foods can assist in the healing of one’s body.
Lastly, I wanted to find new ways to get through the dog days of summer and keep my energy up. Now my focus is to eat based on what I’m about to do, and since we play every night, it’s important I get plenty of complex carbs in my system during the day such as oat bran, quinoa, sweet potatoes, various veggies, brown rice, etc. Lean proteins such as eggs, turkey, and chicken are just as important. Taking the time to prepare my own food and having the discipline to eat clean ALL the time keeps me constantly fueled. The last couple months of the season can be a drag, and this year, more than ever, I felt just as good in August as I did in April.
Slowly but surely I’ve gotten closer to where I want to be. I say closer because although I feel as fit as ever, I know I can still be better. I’d be cheating myself and my career if I didn’t put in the effort to make this lifestyle change. It’s simple: The better you feel, the better you will perform. Living a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for that. I know personally. It’s not only helped my career, but also enhanced my quality of life. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about? Living your life to fullest and enjoying every minute of it.
About the Author
Yeah, I can hit a baseball, and yeah I did hit a home run in my very first major league at bat. May 6th 2011 was the best night of my career. May 7th was a whole different story. The dream of being a big leaguer ended before my ball was even caught in the left field stands… I was sent back to the minor leagues! Six years ago I was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Virginia. I’ve been up and down with the Tampa Bay Rays the last three years…I plan on sticking next season. I’ve been through it all injuries, promotions, demotions, playoffs, all star games, etc. The one constant in my life, other than my sportscaster wife, has been a healthy lifestyle. It’s not only helped my performance on the field, but also helped me cope with the emotional stress of a season. Although the life of a pro athlete may seem glamorous, at the end of the day I’m just a guy who can hit a small ball with a wooden stick. Hopefully the people who would read my blog can see that. Most importantly I have been an ONNIT Honor Roll member for the past year and I’m a huge supporter of the Dolce lifestyle!