Monday, June 4, 2007

Breakfast es muy importante!

I have found that what I eat before a weekend class can really affect how I perform in that class. No later than ninety minutes before class starts, I usually will have something along the lines of a mashed up banana with some granola, some raisins, and then a smattering of skim milk or lowfat yoghurt to moisten the mixture. It is a concoction of dense carbohydrates that provides me with enough fuel to last through the two hours of training, albeit with a bit of stomach growling probably triggered by the smells of food emanating from the street below.

Yesterday before class, I did not plan so well. The bananas I had purchased on Friday still had a greenish tinge, and the mere thought of having to crunch a bowl of only granola made my jaw ache. Instead, I settled upon my leftovers from lunch the prior day. Maybe it was cos I was still in a sleepy haze, but somehow I decided half an iced coffee with half of a vegetarian sandwich (portabella mushroom, spinach, tomato and a sliver of fresh mozzarella) would be perfectly fine for breakfast.

Not the most brilliant of plans. During basics, I felt wobbly and dizzy, and seemed to be sweating profusely -- even more than I usually do cos of training. I took myself out during a few of the moves and still could not cool down, and my wooziness got worse. I fell over at the end of chujiquantao. I stretched on the wood near the windows, and still felt like crap. Weird.

So we resumed basics with waibaitui, and after I got through two trips down the carpet and started feeling disoriented, I took myself out of the line, and told Shifu I needed to go get some sugar. I grabbed some money, went downstairs and bought a bottle of Coke -- not my usual Diet Coke, but regular -- and guzzled half of it down. When I got back to Temple, the class began forms practice, and I started feeling human again. I didn't feel 100%, but I felt a lot better with that added jolt of sugar in my system and was able to practice forms for a while.

I concluded that I must have burned through the few carbs in that half of a sandwich awfully quickly, and became hypoglycemic (aka had a low blood sugar level) as a result. I must remember to eat better before class, especially when it's the first meal of the day, and I probably ought to keep some kind of quick sugar fix in my bag, like some kind of packet to mix into my water and/or some hard candy or whatever. Anybody have any tips?


  1. amituofo! i feel for you! it's very hard when pressed for time to fuel up for KF correctly. i highly suggest the emergent-c drinks (many flavours) to help you along as it's been a lifesaver for me. still though, if i eat too closely to training i totally cramp up & if too far ahead of time, my energy is sapped & it's only pure strength of will that i get through the class. we all have to do better to give ourselves what we need & well in enough time to digest!

  2. I'm a big fan of the smoothie before training. About an hour before class I like to go to Jamba Juice and get the small sized one. They're great because they're easy to digest and full of sugary carbs.That way I can get the calories and the energy without worrying about cramping. Also I like to have the protein shot as my booster for a little added oomph with all the kung fu muscle building.

  3. I once heard shifu say that it's all really in your mind and you have to push past it. One thing he sugests is to just eat more beef and to keep training through it.

    It's not that you were feeling dizzy or that you couldn't cool down, just that you didn't fully believe in your ability to push your limits. Remember it's all in your head. Thats why we say More Chi, Train Harder.

    For diet I suggest like what Shifu says eat more beef. I usually have some after for lunch, a small bit before class and another helping after. It really does help me keep the chi up.

  4. igaunadon says: "It's not that you were feeling dizzy or that you couldn't cool down, just that you didn't fully believe in your ability to push your limits."

    hi iguanadon -- i don't think i know you, but hi!

    i will have to disagree with you respectfully, however. i am quite familiar with pushing myself and hitting the wall, and having mental blocks during training. but i am also familiar with my own body and medical history and am somewhat dilligent about monitoring my blood sugar levels generally. another philosophy that is emphasized in addition to push yourself is know yourself.

    i do believe in my ability to push my limits, which is why i've persisted in training for all this time. that is probably the greatest thing i've learned. yesterday during class, i was pushing myself to do basics, and found that i still was woozy and in fact my hands were trembling, which is a good sign that i'm running low blood sugar.

    but thanks for your comment. i'm sure eating beef after class provides a lot of protein which is essential to building chi as well.

  5. I'm just telling you what Shifu told me. I asked about this sort of thing maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago after class. So I figured I would jsut tell you what he told me. No disrespect intended.


  6. hey iguanadon (who are you, btw? inquiring minds would love to know! :P) --

    i know you meant no disrespect. just clarifying my own personal situation. shifu's advice to you is true. we must push ourselves, and a lot of it is mental. but we must also know ourselves. training is learning to know and understand ourselves better.

    anyway, i don't know about eating beef before a weekend class for breakfast, but i'll take that into consideration. i was just in chinatown yesterday and bought some freshly made spicy beef jerky. maybe i'll throw some into my granola next time!


  7. Sifu loves his beef:) I really get a kick out of his making fun of my vegetarianism. Regardless though, I appreciate the importance of protein. Good way to start your metabolism at breakfast and really important after any kind of strength training. But you should always listen to your body, especially if you have dietary/health issues (being veggie, asthma, diabetes, chronic dry-eye....ok but seriously). Pushing yourself is one thing; making yourself sick is another. Be healthy everyone so that you can train harder!

  8. I don't know who Iguanadon is, but wouldn't it be cool if there was a real dinosaur training kung fu?That should be a comic strip for real. Maybe, Shaolin Raptor: Claw of Fury. I'm making shirts.

  9. Hehehe, Hannah. Amituofo! It went from diabetes to chronic-dry eyes. That's funny! :)